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Tue, Jan

DELA GOLDHEART'S LETTER TO ACE ANKOMAH; DINOSAUR OF THE GUTTERS

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Mr. Ankomah, let us look at some of your specific arguments. I am sure our audience could pick one or two things from it. You said that whether a woman works outside the home or not, she must make sure the house is cleaned, food is cooked and served you, clothes washed etc. When I asked you what your reason for such an argument was, you said that there are roles specific to men and women. So I asked another question: "does your wife use her vagina to cook?"
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This is from the little worm who has no spine to you - a Dinosaur of the Gutters.

For the past four days, I have watched you intentionally misconstrued my words, deliberately misrepresented my comment on your post, attacked me incessantly and inspired hate towards me on social media and beyond. What was my crime? I dared to challenge you - the almighty Ace Annan Ankomah who happens to be the demigod of knowledge in Ghana. You described yourself as having been married for 25 years, did Gender Studies in addition to Law which you have been practicing in Ghana for some years now. So I ask, which of the characteristics stated above makes you the demigod of knowledge that you think you are? In other words, do the above listed endeavours make you too knowledgeable to be enlightened? If you think that you have nothing more to learn, then please stop reading books and interacting with people because you learn from them when you do. I think that believing that you are too enlightened to be enlightened was your first act of stupidity. Borrowing your own words, "I am not insulting you, I am only describing you".

 

Before I proceed, permit me to ask: how could one comment from a mentally unstable, deranged, uncouth low IQ bush worm that has no spine warrant so many replies - to the extent of several new posts - from a respectable, knowledgeable, learned, high IQ old man and seasoned lawyer like you? Let me ask: do you run naked out of a bathhouse after a mad woman because she took your towel away? What should we make of a person who does that? Is he not madder than the mad woman? Your followers, so I understand, will say that the mad woman deserves to be run after for taking your towel away. The truth is, not everyone who points accusing fingers at others is "clean". What you demonstrated these past few days showed that there are many mentally unstable men in respectable suits in our society.

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Observing your followers repeatedly saying that I deleted my comments on your post and took to my heels, and seeing your silence in the face of their accusations, I could not help but realize that many of the things you ascribed to me rather fit you more than they fit me. How could a man those same people call respectable not tell them that he deleted/hid my comments and the original insults he threw at me (maybe for fear of looking bad and being reported to the Ghana Bar Association)? How could he keep mute and not inform them that he has closed/limited comments on the post after I finally honoured his invitation and replied him? I guess you could not save yourself from the shame that will come when your followers finally realize that you are a coward and a shameless liar. It is sad but the truth is people like you thrive more on fame and reputation attained from past and arranged glories rather than actual work, honesty and courage. Clearly, you, at this moment, have no shame or proper work to do than sit on social media and attack a young woman you claim is unworthy of your attention. In case you are tempted to console yourself that you only did what you had to do to save your image, think again. Young people like me who hold the law profession in high regard expect a better conduct from you than what you put up on social media on Saturday. The same way law is not about blubbering and for deranged young women like me as you said in one of your “jabs at me”, it is certainly not a basket full of lies, clothed in cowardice and shamelessness as exuded by individuals like yourself. If it were, young people like me would have distanced ourselves from it. It is a respectable profession that you have smeared with mud through your conduct these past few days. Even if I had gone below the belt, a seasoned lawyer who advises people for a living should have gone higher and said “my daughter, this is how it is done”. Instead, you chose to descend even lower than the young lady you described as “deranged, bushy and mentally unstable”.

DELA GOLDHEART'S LETTER TO ACE ANKOMAH; DINOSAUR OF THE GUTTERS

You seem to suggest that if law school and Ghana was made up of brains like my own, it would have been a disaster but I beg to differ. In my view, if law school could have just 10% of its annual admission offered to brains like my own, Ghana would be rubbing shoulders with countries like the United States of America. Reading you say that I am mentally unstable and destined for doom, I kept smiling because I started hearing discouraging words about myself years before Facebook was invented to give people like you the chance to say it without standing in my face. That is what our patriarchal society and chauvinistic men like you do to daring young women like me. But you know what? Each and every one who said that I will yield to nothing has been wrong. I see myself climbing higher with even more determination each step I take. You know why I am succeeding even when people swear I will fail? I do not make what you and others like yourself think of me or say about me determine what I think of myself and the steps I take to reach the future I have envisioned for myself and the world. I tell myself every day that it is more important for me to see my progress than for others to measure my speed. Instead of being ungrateful for the opportunities nature and life give me, I remind myself that if I, a fisherman and tomato seller's daughter, who was said to have been too beautiful to complete even SHS; who grew up in a town that gave her no mentors; who dared to dream beyond what she could see in her environment, is now where I am, then the rest is just determination and hard work. Not even people like you can stop me. But I will not elaborate any further. I will only pray that nature and lifestyle grants you enough time on earth to see me when I am at your age and beyond.

As I watched events unfold here and beyond on Saturday, Sunday, Monday and today - from your angry retorts that carried more attack on my person than my argument, to your lack of manners while criticizing my lack of manners, your display of folly via foully statements, you and your blind followers rebuke of me while committing the same crimes, and above all, the silence of those who call themselves defenders of women’s rights, freedoms and opportunities - it struck me that the level of injustice sustained by ignorance and fuelled by fear in our society is higher than I had imagined. Let's take your conduct on social media as an example. While it is a fact that most of your comments and posts directed at me lacked substance, many people supported you and cheered you on. So I wondered: were they rehashing the points you made because it was coming from you or/and because there was sense in it or repeating it because even though they do not understand what you were saying, the privileges they enjoy depend it? My lowest point in all these is that our ignorance level is so high that we have internalized it. Ignorant and vulnerable as your followers are, they stood by you even as you proposed ideas and acted in ways that affected them. We have simply refused to think critically. We prefer to support mediocrity, be silent in the face of injustice and act blind to our own needs, including licking the boots of those who destroy our society so long as our favour lies with them. That is why our country is the way it is. If we had leaders who thought beyond the status-quo, have the guts to challenge world powers and stand their ground even if they were little worms with no spine, I am sure we would have been better off. And if we, the citizens, were strong enough to rise up against injustice in every form, even when we are threatened, we would have come far as a people.

Look at us. Despite the fact that women make up more than 50% of our population and have equal brain power and capabilities of contributing to nation building, we insist on reducing them to unpaid domestic workers. In other words, people like you and women who have internalized their oppression prefer to glorify us as subordinates rather than partners. You prefer to have us exist as slaves rather than equal humans. To the extent that when we refuse to be subordinated, oppressed and relegated to the background, you charge at us with all sorts of weapons and threaten our very existence. Naively, you often forget that without us, there will be no you and that is why we should see each other as partners on this journey of life. Imagine us having equal education, equal pay, equal promotion, equal recognition, and shared domestic and financial responsibilities. What a beautiful world would that be? But for the likes of you, that is only a distorted vision!

As a young woman of the social media age whose heart has always been in love with the law, I was particularly glad that lawyers like you see Facebook as a platform worthy of interaction between yourselves and the public. I was glad to network with you irrespective of the fact that we have never met in person. I held you in high regard even though I did not know anything beyond the fact that you are a lawyer practicing in Ghana. Three days ago, you took all that away from me. If someone had told me that you are a man with an outdated mindset and a large ego to cover it up, I would have said it was a lie. Unfortunately, as the past days' events have indicated, you are worse than an archaic brain with an ego; you are a dinosaur of the gutters. Dinosaur, because you have entrenched views and woefully defend them in your ignorance and arrogance misconstrued by yourself and many as intelligence. And you are of the gutters because you would go any length to pull those you should be mentoring into the mud for offending you. I want to ask: Is what you demonstrated the past three days your ideal example of a respectable elderly family man and seasoned lawyer? I am sorry to say this but if this is what wisdom and experience and being learned looks like, then I'd rather not be wise, experienced and learned. You smell of the very sh*t you say you hate. "I am not insulting you, I am only describing you".

You asked that I should mind my own business. I want to ask you: how much of your own business do you mind when you comment on issues involving others like I have seen you do on Facebook? The vagina question caused me enough trouble but I will still ask my questions anyway. Even though I understand that English is not the mother tongue of most Ghanaians, I could not make the same excuse for you until I reminded myself that big name and plenty money is not common sense or/and wisdom. If you live in a society that has allowed you privilege for so long that its Genesis is difficult to trace, you would start thinking that is your birth right. And if you have been oppressed for far too long, you would begin to think that oppression is the normal state of things: you will tell yourself over and over again that is how things are supposed to be. What you probably do not see in your egoistic blindness and gutter attitude is that whatever you enjoy in your privilege is what women lose in their oppression. And that is why, "mentally unstable" (again borrowing your words) young women like me are advocating that instead of unreasonably insisting that whether women work outside the home or not domestic chores are their sole responsibility, you recognize that (1) they are humans [not super-humans] like you [even physically weaker than you averagely], (2) they do not use those body parts that you do not have [i.e. vagina] to do the domestic work you think is their responsibility and (3) social norms are not cast in stone [even stones can be broken].

Since you deny that you enjoy privileges women are denied, let me outline a few of them for you.

When you are appreciated more on your brain/hand work rather than your appearance, you enjoy unearned privilege.

When you get to see limitless representatives of whom you aspire to be in future everywhere around you, you enjoy unearned privilege.

When you are allowed to become pretty much anything you want to become, you enjoy unearned privilege.

When your voice and presence alone commands respect because it is seen as the representation of authority, you enjoy unearned privilege.

When you are not measured by your ability to “acquire” a lifetime partner or give birth at a certain age or at all, you enjoy unearned privilege.

When no one reduces your worth to your ability to feed a fellow human being and heed to his commands, you enjoy privilege.

When society reserves certain positions and recognitions for you, you enjoy privilege.

When society does not tie your rights, freedoms and opportunities to what you have between your legs, you enjoy unearned privilege.

When everything around you is built to suit you and make life comfortable for you while others are ignored, you enjoy unearned privilege.

When you are not rebuked for the same things a woman is crucified for, you enjoy unearned privilege.

When you are held to different expectations despite your sameness or measured by the same standards despite your difference, you enjoy unearned privilege.

I could go on and on and on. For these and many other reasons, your argument that you love to do things the old-fashioned way does not hold at all. You know why? I bet apart from "running your home the old-fashioned way", you do every other thing "the new way". In case you are struggling to understand this point, just ask yourself why you are on Facebook instead of reaching each of us via a messenger on foot. Facebook arrived barely 14 years ago; don’t you think that is too new-fashioned? All these spineless worms get to hide behind their phones and challenge your reasoning – you, the almighty Ace Annan Ankomah. I want you to realize that the car you drive to work instead of walking was not even a privilege in the era in which women cooked for men. This is why I believe strongly that you are a dinosaur that is simply ignorant and resistant to changes that you foresee as likely denying you your unearned privileges. You could justify and rationalize your stance by invoking more of your so called "our culture; I live in Ghana, not U.S." arguments. But may I dare once again to remind you that geographic locations and their cultures are not static: human beings build and change culture to suit them, not the other way round.

Unfortunately, while your followers may not have had the privilege of going through an education system where they were exposed to critical thinking, Gender knowledge and different cultures thus can be excused for thinking and behaving the way they do, the same cannot be said for you. That is why the first sentence of my comment on your post was "I never thought I would say this about you". In my mind, people with a background knowledge in Gender/Women studies who formally think and talk on behalf of others and have travelled far and wide should not express the thoughts you had expressed in that post. What I forgot was that taking a course is not the same as understanding the course or believing/accepting what it teaches, neither is traveling an assurance that a person will pick something from everywhere he goes. This is why we produce graduates in science fields yet "nothing" is ever invented/manufactured in our land. Your kind of brain is what we keep producing as the prototype for young people to follow. It is not good enough. Even without an adequate research on me, you quickly dismissed my line of thought as a Western influence. Before I inform you of the genesis of my interest in feminism, let me quickly alert you that I have been in the U.S. for barely six months. In my view, it will be quite naive of you to insist that my thoughts are more of a product of the place I have been for only six months rather than the more than 20 years I was socialized in Anlo and Ga land.

At the same time you claimed that feminism is a Western concept, you also claimed that Yaa Asantewaa was a feminist. Another thing that made me question who the true mentally unstable and deranged person is between you and I. Growing up as a young woman in Ewe land, Yaa Asantewaa was not my role model. In fact there were no women whom I was taught about to befit my definition of role model. Yes, Yaa Asantewaa was a great woman who is celebrated for her courage. But I think that is a limited definition of what courage is and what is worth celebrating. Every woman who carried a child for nine months, went through death itself to bring her/him to the world, raised and watched that child grow is heroic. The only thing happening is that our work is not called work. We are not appreciated for our contributions to the world even though they are the foundations of life itself. For this, our men see us as weak vessels who should be chained to the home. Even with our successful emancipation from the home and education, men like you insist on seeing us as daughters, wives and mothers. Hear it from me today: we are much more than associates of men. We are our own humans with full bodies and brains capable of making our own decisions and choosing our own fates!

As a young person who is probably less than half of your age, I have concluded that I like my brain much better than yours. When you said that I have a low IQ (even without measuring it), it made me laugh. Not that I didn't know you meant it as an insult or you lacked common sense to see that you needed to see my IQ test results to arrive at a conclusion. The truth is that I could not stop myself from laughing. My focus was on how to explain to myself that the "high class" lawyer who claims to have taken classes in Gender/Women studies and critical thinking says that there are separate roles for women and men because society says so? How do I let you see that you are full of “borla” knowledge covered in false pride? How was I going to explain to you that no one stops learning until they die and children teach adults? How was I going to point out to you that attacking the person behind the comment instead of the comment looks pretty bad coming from a person who argues for a career? For someone like you, for whom “logic is the palm oil with which he eats arguments” for pay in a court of law, I am sorely shocked at your resort to “argumentum ad hominem”. To break it down for you in your own Fantsi language (I am taking a guess from your name) “wo nyonko banyin aa, otswawu a, tswanu bi” - attack the man when you can get the ball.

Mr. Ankomah, let us look at some of your specific arguments. I am sure our audience could pick one or two things from it. You said that whether a woman works outside the home or not, she must make sure the house is cleaned, food is cooked and served you, clothes washed etc. When I asked you what your reason for such an argument was, you said that there are roles specific to men and women. So I asked another question: "does your wife use her vagina to cook?" Still believing somewhere within me that you will see that your wife does not have any advantage that you lack when it comes to doing house chores. But once again, I underestimated your ignorance, naiveté and ego. You would rather show the world that you are a dinosaur even if it means descending into the gutters, than accept defeat and retract your words. To put me in my place, you went deep, in fact, deeper than I have ever seen any respectable man go. And your fans cheered you on and you foolishly went on throwing more jabs at the young woman who you should be correcting and encouraging. Permit me to ask, could you not have used that time, effort and data to address the issues I raised instead of gather and throw every dirty word that came to mind at me? How many punches did you need to throw to kill a little worm that has no spine? Imagine if this is how men who are women's rights advocates behave? Would any young lady ever have the courage to stand up to gender discrimination? I put it to you that you are no women's rights advocate: you are a male chauvinist who behaves like a wounded dog when your place of unearned privilege and wacky reasoning pattern are challenged.

Personally, I think that little worm you were determined to bath with gutter water is too strong, beautiful and intelligent for you to smear. Imagine... If that little worm could gather up enough courage to challenge the thinking pattern of an arrogant gutter dinosaur like you, stand up to you, stay standing even when you built an army against her, and survive to this point, then she is small but mighty. If you ask me, I would say she demonstrated that strength not in class/fame/reputation; intelligence is not necessarily a trait of educated minds; age does not always come with wisdom; and 25 years of marriage doesn't make you an impeccable marriage counsellor. If not, how could you have said that a woman - a fellow human like you - who has been with you for 25 years is a kitchen cockroach while you are the "DADDY"?

DELA GOLDHEART'S LETTER TO ACE ANKOMAH; DINOSAUR OF THE GUTTERS

You said that if I were half of her, my family will be proud of me and I would not use a fake name on social media. First of all, I want you to know that I would not like to be full-her not to talk of half-her. Even if I am given a quarter of her, I will run. Not because I do not think that she is a highly accomplished woman but because I will not be able to stand a mind like yours for a second, not to talk of years. In other words, I would not like to be married to a man who thinks that something makes women kitchen cockroaches while he stays "DADDY". When I read you saying that daddy is someone who only provides money for upkeep and does not clean, cook and wash, my mind was like "Is this man dumb, blind and suffering from "archaic-neurosis"? Secondly, what you call a fake name is actually my name. I understand that for an old tug like you, social media represents a person’s real world. Well, it is not our real world. In fact, it is our ideal world. On Facebook, we project a certain image. That is why you do not see so many aspects of our lives there. Those who follow me will tell you that fake is not one of the words you can apply to my name. I share documents containing my name all the time. If I was living a lie in order to hide my true identity, why would I share documents that indicate my official name? I am sure in your education and career journey, you read books written by women and men under pennames. Did those women and men use pennames because their families were not proud of them? Mr. Ankomah, you have disappointed me more than once in this short period but I am still going to give you benefit of the doubt. Dela is an abbreviated version of Amedela and Goldheart represents my ideal self. Yes, I could have written it in Ewe as Shikadzi but my friends, family and fans are not only Ewes. I wanted them to see what I aspire to so I wrote it in English. I hope this helps.

To be fair, your line of thought that caused the brouhaha would have held water in the olden days when men used to go out hunting, fishing and farming while women stayed home to nurture babies. Unfortunately, this is the 21st C where women, in addition to carrying babies, giving birth, and breast feeding, go to school too; work too; earn money too; and bring money home too. If your wife does not support your family with what she earns, it does not mean that other women do not. My siblings and I are four. Our mother looked after us from a certain point. She did so by going from farm to farm, market to market, to earn enough to provide us food, clothing, healthcare and education in addition to the shelter our father provided us. While you preach domestic work from your high horse, you forget that the life of women like my mother is what majority of Ghanaian women’s life looks like. Women who wake up at 1.am to sit in rickety Lorries for several hours to get to markets away from home.

 

While most of your followers missed your class status in the midst of the debate, I did not. In fact I followed up and realized that you shared a post just a day ago about your cook who got married not long ago. So I asked myself (I am extending this question to you and your followers): how many families in Ghana can afford a cook in their homes? I know that there are families like yours who have enough money gotten out of the exploitation of others in this capitalist system to afford three or more servants in your home. My point is that when I argue for domestic partnership in homes in place of the master-slave union, I do not refer to families like yours. Rather, my mind goes to the many young women and men who want to marry their age mates instead of old men with money. I think of the average Ghanaian who earns too little to pay their children's school fees not to talk of employing a maid. And that is why I think that this conversation is extremely important for our future as a nation. We should not allow you to mess up the possibilities of these families whose children could become anything provided they work together to give both girls and boys equal opportunity, all because of your egoistic short-sightedness.

As a girl, my mother made up her mind that she was going to make sure her children were well educated. She must have learned her bitter lesson from the incident that saw her brothers tear down the building she built with her own money upon their father’s demise. The same father she spent all her life serving instead of going to law school like her junior brother or becoming an engineer like their older brother or better still being a nurse abroad like her sister. If something made me angry in every sentence you have thrown at me this past three days, it is that particular one that insisted that you did not enjoy privilege. Clearly you cannot see it and you are too arrogant to calm down and be shown. The life of girls is not like that of boys. That is why we have departments and ministries dedicated to us. We are discriminated against and oppressed at every angle – social, religious, political, economic and biological. To the extent that some of us have internalized our suffering. Do you think that girl/woman who claims to love domestic chores wouldn't be amazed to find out that she could be pretty much anything?

When we go to school, we are measured by the same standards as you and same is the case at the work place. Yet, you insist that we must be domestic rats. Why? Is it because we are born with a vagina and have breasts that protrude or because there is a womb in our mid-section? Thinking of differences, a lot would have been clearer if you had addressed that one issue I raised in my comment on your post: "I am sure you can see that your wife does not use her vagina to cook". That was to show you that it is very unreasonable for you and any man or woman for that matter, to insist that women must be in charge of the domestic chores. As I said to you, if anyone should be doing paid job in addition to domestic work at home, then that person should be the man. Simply because men, compared to women, are physically stronger averagely. So instead of wickedly, selfishly, and ignorantly insisting that you act "Daddy" while your wife cooks, cleans, washes etc., after work, you do half of the job the same way she works and bring money home. Personally, I think it is very foolish of you to leave your stomach in the hands of another human. If you ask me, I will say cooking is the most basic skill any human should acquire because there is no point of bragging about other skills when you cannot feed yourself to stay alive to use those other skills.

As you insist in your disillusioned mind-set that you hold the views you hold because you are in Ghana, not the US, I want to remind you of the fact that if the men who came before you thought the way you are thinking now, none of us, including your well accomplished superhuman wife would have gone to school, not to talk of working outside the home and I would not have been able to write something for you to reply. If any female teacher ever taught you on your educational journey, that female teacher’s existence would not have been possible let alone anywhere near the classroom not to talk of gathering enough knowledge to pass-on to you. The more reason why it is very important that while you run your mouth like a person suffering from “loosemouth” disease, you don't forget that if women who came before me were unquestioning of the status-quo, your wife and pretty much every woman, would have still been home giving birth, raising babies, making food, cleaning and being at the beck and call of men like you. And the world would have still been in the old age with old ways of doing things rather than a new age with old age of doing things at some places and new age and new ways of doing things at others.

This is common sense, not rocket science. "I am not insulting you, I am only [observing and] describing" the implications of your words.

Yours sincerely,

The little worm without a spine who has a brain that is deranged and unstable, and produces jaundiced views from the bush,

 

Dela Goldheart.

 Source: delagoldheartwrites

 

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