The following short story was written three years ago and it was inspired by Jamaica Kincaid’s brilliant short story called, “Girl.”
Below is a photograph of the short story, “Girl,” by Jamaica Kincaid.
This is how you’re going to keep cutting your hair so that you don’t resemble to a female, don’t ever grow it out, just keep cutting; dreading your hair is definitely not an option!
Oh and you better not pierce your ears either.
This is how you dress so you do not look like a burglar; don’t sag your pants, don’t walk with poor posture, and definitely don’t hang outside the house with large groups up to no good; we call that gangs!
This is how to walk miles and miles without stops, better not complain, after all, you are a man! Be strong like your ancestors were.
This is how you round the herd and gather the wood so the women can cook; you must know how to do this, it’s one of the manliest things to do.
This is how you get water from the well, better do it right because if you fall, you’re dead.
This is how you are going to speak to your elders; never talk back, tame your tongue, and most importantly, treat them as if they are your parents. If you don’t, then you’re not well-behaved and your parents have failed you.
This is how you will make money for your family; start a business selling random things, remember another man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Men have always been the providers. That’s always been the way the ancestors did it, you’re a fool for thinking that’ll change now!
This is how you find a wife, the halal way, you must to go to her parents to ask for her hand in marriage.
This is how you keep your parents happy; do as they say even if you disagree, they know and want more for you, after all, the elders know best.
This is how to be a real man in the city of Conakry.
I wrote this three years ago with the intention of calling out the stereotypes and gender roles for males in the culture of Conakry, Guinea. These words have nothing to do with my own personal beliefs 🤎 it was just a fun project for me 🙂
It’s important to recognize that some of these culturally bias gender roles that developed over-time can be mentally and emotionally damaging for people growing up. Let’s break the cycle of generational curses and taboos.