My very good friend Millie (who happens to be one of this blog’s editors, by the way) and I like to have (Whatsapp) discussions about different things; but one of the topics we often come back to is feminism. The other day she sent me the article ‘Sorry Chimamanda, African Men don’t do Feminists’, and added: “Something like this would sell on This Burundian Life, Lololol” (I’m sure you’ve noticed we haven’t been posting as often as we used to, and when we do, it’s usually about politics these days. We don’t like that, although we can only publish what you send us. Anyway, we’ve been thinking of ways to revive this blog, but without drifting into propaganda. It’s not easy, in times of crisis.)
Anyway, I replied, “Let me read it, and maybe you could share whatever we discuss as a blog post.”

Millie: Well, you write it… because I won’t!

Me: Hahaha! WHY?!

Because thissounds like a desperate bitter lonely woman’s story. Which I am not yet, and I don’t want to sound like one.
Hama read the comments… they’re really not leading to any constructive conversation.

Basha, nzoyandika nce nshiramwo ivyo vyose uvuze vya “desperate bitter lonely woman” lol

Hama I’m tired of bashing our men! Plenty of fine guys around here! I am just tired of trash talking.
What she is saying is purely anecdotal, I don’t believe it.

I don’t even understand the whole angry feminist thing and bashing men. I guess because I was raised by a feminist, malgré elle.

No, the article clearly implies that African men hate feminists, are intimidated by them…
Which in my opinion is bashing African men.
And the whole concept of “feminism if western” is stupid as hell.

I think people mean ‘angry feminism’.
Because I’ve actually realised, after observing some white couples here, Burundian women are actually more feminist by nature.
Gusa n’uko they are very smart about it… I mean, Abarundikazi.
Bon, abarundikazi bo muri ville.

Didn’t I write an article about how I think sexism came with colonisation?
In Burundi that is.

Sinibuka

I did

(She did! Here is the link: On n’est pas si mal barrés)

I think precolonial Burundi (like many other societies in the world) was liberating for women, more than many of the colonialists.
After a lot of observing and some facts here and there.

The colonialists brought in religion into the equation.

I absolutely think Belgians brought Sexism iwacu.
Yeah, so a lot of anthropologists say that the Abrahamic religions brought sexism around the World.

Lol, some people could say you’re blaming colonialism for all our problems.

Hama even today, women in Burundi have less barriers to opportunity and credit than men, compared to the US in my opinion.
Mugabo les Américains bari grave ntawobafata comme référence.

Equal pay! Urazi ko I just learnt recently that unequal pay is actually a thing?! And it still doesn’t make sense to me somehow. Because men and women in Burundi make the same money… I think.
Hari uwambwiye ngo house workers don’t, but in my experience, maids and nannies actually make more than ababoyi. Maybe I’m biased, but still, akazi bakora si kamwe, so…

Unequal pay is real.
And as a black guy expect to make less money than your white counterpart on average.

Of course.
SMH!
Imana izobahana.

Here’s how I see it. Burundian society gives a lot more responsibility to women than in most societies I know.
And they are given some sort of flexibility in how they fulfill that responsibility.
Bref, debate done… I’m not writing that, and I don’t think African men hate feminists.

Haha, don’t worry I’ll write it!

So you think African men hate feminists?
Canke abagabo b’abarundi hate feminists?

Not the African men I’m friends with…
How can they hate them when that’s all they know? I feel like Abarundikazi are feminists by nature… A Mupfasoni type of feminism.

Lol.
Well, I’ve met a few that did.
But they just sounded like very insecure men.
So I didn’t overthink it.

Bon, I won’t deny ko hariho abagore batotejwe by the men in their lives.
Bariho benshi dayeri.

Yeah, but do they hate feminists or are they just douchebags?

I think it’s general douchebagery

“Nature”
You can’t be feminist by “nature”.
Sexism and feminism are social constructs.
The rest is true.

Hmmm, maybe I mean respectful of the female gender.

Oya ukuyemwo nature ni bon.

I get what you mean.

So, what do you think? Is Burundian culture sexist, or are there just some douchebag individuals who give everybody else bad rep? (By the way, I still haven’t read that article, haha!)

By Karl-Chris R. Nsabiyumva. Check out his blog: misterburundi.wordpress.com and follow him on Twitter: @Mr_Burundi

Photo by Muco Aristide