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We are a bunch of empty vessels



Women, Basotho women in particular, are a funny bunch. Funny in a way that is tragic of course. Take their recent sentiments about the first lady’s hair. While a lot can be said by those more stylish than myself on that particular hair colour and its stylishness one cannot insist that it actually is offensive. Basotho women, on the other hand, were deeply offended. That an adult woman who pays for her own hair choices with money that she earns decided to look like a smurf was something that was viewed as a deep personal offence and did not hesitate to make their sentiments known. One of their main issues of contention as per their long complaints on social media was how the colour of the first lady’s hair represented them to the international community. Never mind that she is a well accomplished woman whose hair is the last thing anyone with a brain should be worrying about when it comes to her standing in the international community. The other issue they had was that she looked “bitchy” that is an actual comment made by an adult woman on a popular news site by the way. I personally am not sure how one looks bitchy so I am not at liberty to comment but I suppose it has to do with not fitting into a neat little box of societal expectations. That is actually the issue; the woman is not attempting to fit into a box. That she is living her own life, unconcerned with how the average Mosotho views her is the actual problem. Basotho have over the past few years felt very entitled to how their first ladies should look and act and anything that does not fit their prudish ideals is frowned upon. The issue of Basotho women feeling this offended by blue hair would make actual sense if they were actually a prudish people given to high moral standards. Now if truly Basotho women behaved and acted like the Messiah was coming tomorrow I would forgive them their imposing their Victorian ideals on hair. However, history has shown us that it is not so. In the very same week that their moral compasses were shaking vigorously over blue hair they were also perving over an alleged murderer man because he is cute. The very same “Christian” women who felt that blue hair on a grown woman was the height of inappropriate behaviour are willing to overlook murder provided the man who committed it is handsome enough. Mind you this was not any old type of murder. This was femicide committed by a man who allegedly has a long list of offenses when it comes to hitting women. One would think these morally inclined women would frown upon this act and condemn it heavily, if not more than the first lady’s hair colour. For those of you who are not at the top of the news’ cycle the alleged murder I am talking about is an incident which allegedly happened at a popular night club in Maseru on Sunday 4th July whereby a man allegedly shot his girlfriend dead in the parking lot of the club, killing her. Now the public sentiments as per that incident by women, at least the ones who made their voices heard on social media, has been that they should be given the man’s numbers as he is handsome and is now obviously quite single. I have never been one to agree with the sentiment that women hate each other, in fact I have over the years vehemently argued with those who would say that. I cannot help but admit that the goal posts of what is morally acceptable seem to shift positions where gender is concerned. Basotho women are always quick to condemn what is not even a lack of morality in women but that same energy does not seem to apply to men. They are quick to forgive and even give excuse for a capital crime against one of their own but get so easily outraged over something as small and nonsensical as a hair colour. To say that this past week has been disappointing in as far as the actions of my fellow country women has been concerned would be the understatement of the century and I can only hope it to be a case of empty vessels being more noisy, I refuse to believe that those are the sentiments of the majority of Basotho women. If only for the sake of my own sanity. Thakane Rethabile Shale

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