Who am I first? 

Hello guys,

I told you I’d be back soon. Working on my dissertation now, all 20000 + or – 10%, knowing myself, it’ll probably be -10%, lol. So today, I want to talk about something that has played in my mind for a very long time

Am I a woman or am I black first?

I’m a double minority, probably triple if you consider other things. But two things that one would describe me as is black and female. This has been something on my mind for a very long time. When you belong to two groups that are seen as ‘less than’, you begin to wonder why other members of the group don’t come together to work.

I am a woman. My genitalia says so, my brain tells me so as well. Being a woman in 2017 means you’re either seen as complicit if you are not a feminist or seen as ungrateful if you are one. There’s really no winning. Being a woman in 2017 means, though you’re working in your engineering field, or as the governor of a state, your fashion sense will still be looked on sometimes before your policies. Being a woman in 2017 means,  you can’t even happily say you want to be a stay at home mum for fear of being ridiculed. As a feminist, a proud one dare I say, I believe in equality of the sexes and in women willing and being able to make their own choices, the outcome of said choice is unknown to me and I really don’t care as long as we as women stop looking down on others for whatever decision they take in their own life. In the end, isn’t that what we are fighting for? 

And then, you flip the script and take a look at the other side of me, the black side. The perk of this is, in my home country, I’m just a good old regular female person and that’s it. However, I currently am not in said home country and I wonder sometimes, why can’t I still be the same good old regular female person? I mean, yes my skin is darker, my hair is ‘puffier’, but surely one should be able to see that’s really the only difference. Yes, there are black people who do messed up shit but there are also white and Asian folks who do that as well. Why should one person’s persona be extended to the rest of a race? What irks the most is when black people who have experienced prejudice, take it a step further and then exert the same sort of diminished reserve for women and queer folk of all races. One would think or assume, we would all come together and work for the greater good.

I’ve had a long think, for as I know and I think I’ve finally come to a conclusion, I am both, very much so but first, I am a woman because even when I am in my home country, that’s still a part of me that’s sadly looked down upon in some settings. 

What do you think? Do you consider your race or gender first?

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7 thoughts on “Who am I first? 

  1. I wouldn’t consider either or..why should you put emphasis on one thing more than the other. Say if you played the race card..you’re black sometimes you’ll be faced with racial segregation or discrimination (or both don’t know if they mean the same).. if you played the gender card..lol -sorry to say but women whine alot about being the minority yet you can step up and stand out ..it doesn’t matter whether you have to consider gender or race..embrace yourself as you are no need to pick on issues which society often has something to pick on

    1. Haha, but then some situations don’t allow you that privilege. You have to live your truth as a woman or a black person or in my case, both. But in most cases, being a woman is probably what I have to ‘combat’ first. That’s just what I think though.

  2. I think the question “who am I” goes beyond just identifying as a woman or a black person. In fact I think the first issue in this world is that of identity. We can’t judge what has no identity. What if we tackle the larger part of the problem, which is identifying or classifying ourselves or others. Just what if.

    1. I think we are a lot, we have different identities but I feel as an individual, the typical first is either gender or race. Being a part of something is always something we want as it gives a sense of belonging.

  3. Hi Tobore, I really loved this post. I think the answer to your question varies at different points of our lives. For me, I think my disability usually comes first because no matter where I am in the world, that’s what people notice about me before any other thing. I haven’t lived in Nigeria for a couple of years now so I’d say my race comes before my gender but the good thing is that I live in a multicultural society, so most of the people around me are of a different race. When I was studying mechanical engineering back in Unilag, my gender came first. We were only 5 girls and I remember some guy walking up to me and saying that “oh you are 5 girls but you won’t all make it to graduation ” etc. I wanted to say that I don’t hope to make it to graduation because I want to travel abroad for my degree but obviously I didn’t tell him that. After I left Unilag to study abroad on a scholarship, I’m sure that won’t matter to him. All he’d consider is that I’m one less girl in the program. Lol.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I agree with you, depending on your situation, the one thing about yourself that makes you different is most likely what you’d identify as first.

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