The Society Cynic

A realm for the exploration of political and social realities

Home: An Exploration Of Otherness

As an international student living in Canada, the ‘concept’ of the home has become very elusive. Its concrete feeling of comfort and belonging has slowly faded away, becoming nothing but a conceptual possibility that I find myself yearning for, with each passing day.

Home for me is a third space, captured between two snapshots, both of my life in Canada and my life back in Nigeria. I do not feel as though I quite belong in any of these places, and so this third space that I embrace as home is a reflection of an erosion, clash, crisis, and loss of my self-identity.

Home for me is a psychological marginalization and an emotional separation from my physical and temporal existence. Home for me is an incessant, daunting feeling of otherness, occasionally replaced by the ephemeral jolt of anticipation, agitation, and adventure.

As gloomy as my representation of home might be, there is a contrasting feeling of liberation that comes from not belonging anywhere, because then my existence becomes fluid enough, that I can adapt everywhere. So, home for me is neither a place, nor a community, rather, when I am asked what home means to me, I respond simply by saying, home for me is, alienation and emancipation.

A Message On The Role Of Storytellers

It is always so awesome when I get messages from people, telling me how much they enjoyed my writings. But, this particular message, from an awesome person named Frank, stuck with me like no other. It has definitely given me perspective on what it means to be a writer, and I could not be happier. Here is the message:

"Do you write under the non-de-plume of Udoka Okafor? Or might that be your real name and this here your fb presence? Either way, if you wrote the recent piece on the problem with international interventions in the LGBTI human rights issue in Africa and elsewhere, I would like to congratulate you on your insights. I would also like to encourage you to grow those insights. You have an eloquence that is needed in this struggle: the role of the storytellers is also a hugely critical role in this process - both the stories of individuals and the stories that counter disinformation not just of the other side, but also our own!! I don't always fully agree with what you say, but your level of argument is refreshing to say the least of it in the noise of much commentary I have seen on all sides. Indeed, my possible disagreement with you is part of what I like: you inform me; challenge my current views; and allow me to develop new perspective while not always agreeing with you 100%. That, to me, is journalism at its highest peak! Yours, I strongly suspect, is a voice that has much of great importance to say in a way that needs to be heard - and, quite likely, can be heard. I say this only having encountered your work this morning and only read just a few of your pieces. Bless you on your journey!!"

The Persistent Existence Of the McMaster Engineering Chant Book

So, it came to my attention that the chant book that I posted back in September had been removed from my blog. A friend told me this yesterday but I obviously did not believe it. How did the person or persons get access to my account to remove the chant book, was the lingering question at the back of my mind. But, I decided to investigate this claim, and low and behold, the claim was true. The chant book was gone. 

I was quite surprised to be honest with you. I know that my decision to post the chant book was met with stark opposition and antagonism. But, I did not think that it was enough to get someone or a group of persons to actively get rid of the chant book. I was infuriated by this. 

I have posted the chant book back up and I am going to keep posting the chant book insofar as I am alive. That chant book is always going to remain up for public scrutiny. I am simply tired of the harassment and active censorship that I have been subjected too since the release of the chant book and the suspension of the red suits.

To all those who were seeking out the chant book and could not find it, I apologize. But, it has been posted up again and will continue to be posted up insofar as people are bent on taking it down. Transparency is the key to a better life and it is the only way that we can, as a community and a society, make progress and keep moving forward.

Sexism &The Rape Culture At Educational Institutions

I am fazed by the amount of sexism that exists both at an institutional and individualistic level at universities. It is not so much the sexism, because as a woman of colour, that has become common place for me, it is the ignorance that accompanies the sexism. Little is done to target sexism at its core, at educational institutions, and so they persist on.  

I came across these chants, from a source, and these chants were chants that were compiled together by some engineering student at McMaster University. Although, I am unsure as to how many of these chants are being used today, if any at all, these chants were compiled not so long ago, and not only should the people who compiled them be held accountable to their actions, but they demonstrate the extent to which the monstrosity that is sexism, has eaten at the fabric of institutions. 

These chants demonstrate in large part, the demon that I and so many other women, and men allies, are trying so hard to fight against. It is shocking really, that such draconian chants were even thought of in the first place. So, there you have it, sexism and the rape culture as its most deepest and vulnerable. The question now is, what next?