We call it the Short Dress Syndrome.
Like many other disorders, it only occurs in women and is most prevalent in Africa.
Some symptoms include: Constant staring by both men and women; men ogling at your legs (sometimes flattering, sometimes obscene); women shocked at your guts as if only the rebellious can decide to dress so.
You get a bit nervous each time you go to places filled with men. Specifically “makangas” (forgive the Kenyan bias). You have heard tales of others who were unlucky thus you hold on to your skirt a bit tighter, because just maybe…
Just maybe this time might be you. Just maybe no one will come to your defence. Just maybe some idiot will boastfully say “you asked for it”. Just maybe you may be a new addition to the growing statistics of women who have been harassed.
Quick remedy you may ask?
Well sorry my dear it may not be as quick as you may like.You see this is one of those diseases that aren’t really what they seem.You may feel the pain most but the truth is you are only a mirror of those outside. You reflect their bias. Their chauvinistic pride. Their thoughts. Unfair? I know, it is not the first time they blamed something like this on you.
There are some pain relievers I would recommend to make the pain a bit more subtle (don’t worry I am not the kind of doctor who lies that drugs can fix all things).
ESTEEM. Gain some for yourself. It does wonders.
FIGHT. Okay this is only when it gets too bad. Only Gyms and Exercise offer this. May not be such a bad idea carrying it around. Just makes you feel more confident.
KNOWLEDGE. I would recommend a daily dosage of this. Understand it is not your fault. Understand who you are as a person. You are beautiful and the way you dress is an acknowledgment of that. You don’t dress to please anyone so they should all suck it. Understand how society works and how you can change things. Read about others who walked in your shoes and somehow managed to kick off the disease. It helps.
And lastly HOPE. Surviving without this is deadly. Believe that one day such things will be intolerable. Believe a cure will be found. Keep hoping. Keep trusting.
If you have any more questions don’t hesitate.
(Random reflection I had walking in Nairobi City Centre and experiencing some of the city’s sadistic wonders.)