There is nothing that excites my soul compared to receiving news regarding the success of a woman. This is simply because that means one step ahead. One more role model who has broken the glass ceiling. When Rebecca Miano was appointed the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at KenGen last year on the 1st of November, I would tweet about it and talk about the same the whole week. Do you know what that means? Being a woman in the energy sector? She was the first female C.E.O in the history of KenGen. My friends would even inquire if I know her in person.
After my big win the other day- the Blogger personality of the year award, I got a huge following, became popular and opportunities came my way. I knew I would narrate my story about that day-of how unaware I was of the event. How my friends and I struggled in the afternoon to shop for a decent outfit. How we stood outside the tent anxiously waiting for the winner to be announced. How I thought winning the award was a minor step until I heard my mom’s voice oozing with pride. Conversely, this post is not about the happenings of the event.
On Thursday, I got to my place a bit late from a group discussion we had with friends in school. I was to sit for my continuous assessment test (CAT) the following day. Of late, I have cultivated a habit of logging in on Whatsapp immediately I get home. So, I find out that I have been added to a strange whatsapp group and presumed that it was another opportunity that had popped up. I scroll downwards and the texts message get worse, grotesque terms are used and anger builds up. As I read through each text, I felt like a part of me broke into tiny pieces. I could not take it any longer and thus ignore the messages. A former classmate, the only person I knew in the group sends me a text message. She narrates that a few days ago someone in the group posted a photo I had recently uploaded on Facebook. If that was not enough, another human being in their right state of mind commented that I screwed my way to victory. Apparently, they added me to the group so that I could confirm the allegation. Well, this is one of the many drawbacks women experience on their way to the top.
In such scenarios, most people will take such an accusation lightly and even tend to believe the rumour mongers; your family will tell you to ignore. Your lawyer friends will also tell you to ignore after explaining that law suits involving cyber bullying and defamation are a hard nut to crack. “Whatsapp screenshots will not be taken as evidence,” they will add. You choose the latter and blame yourself for not being strong enough to let it go. For allowing trolls, bitter souls who only want to belittle you, get into your head. You get overwhelmed with feelings where you feel attacked, slighted and judged. Responses to text messages such as “How are you?” start to make sense and you first have to pause before giving your reply.
A woman works hard and gives it her all to climb the ladders and all you can afford to say is that her win is not genuine? That she must have enticed some man with her pretty face and shaven legs to attain the success? That no, the only way women can make it to the top is by using their sexuality? That at this time and age, we still objectify our women and deem their success as a sham. I have come to learn that there are human beings who are socially engineered to drain women, degrade and steal their light. We will not allow this. We will not hide our pain, neither label our scars with shame. We deserve peace. We will adjust our crowns, because we are about to shatter the glass ceiling and strong is the only option left.