The Price of Muliebrity

What they say women must experience
What they say women must experience

It’s a different story being “witnessed”, and another being “the witness”; and yet neither the former nor the latter conceals the story.

Eve’sDropTM and Eve’sDropMagTM are some of Simon Charwey’s creative muses on writing and design respectively. It is a repository of ancestral relics, showcasing a pronounced custom — the “dipo” puberty rite — of the author’s land of nativity.

Eve’sDropTM seeks to also present some key voices’ responses on the author’s eavesdropping on the custom – the dipo puberty rite/initiation – that is belying its core values (and/or ancestral objectives) known in earlier epochs.

Being passionate about themes such as “A Mother’s Love”, “Motherhood” and/or, more importantly, “Womanhood” (or the qualities traditionally associated with “Muliebrity”), the author approaches his audience by coining in a much simple and yet intriguing phrase, “Eavesdropping on ‘Eve’s drop'”. Needless to say, this is not a kind of a ‘memoir’— though it may reflect upon the author’s experience of being raised by many mothers (even two stepmothers under the same roof; and also mothers of friends), but rather a native’s perspective – or a child’s heart – into everything that is (or perhaps shouldn’t be) ‘dipo’; the falling of ‘values’ (known in earlier epochs of the dipo custom) that were tenaciously embraced by female-born children among the GaAdangmes (or the Krobos) of Ghana.

Each mother who is blessed with a daughter passes on their wisdom and creates newfound traditions and moments to share; special moments. (Inspired by Vlisco Brand Campaign, 2015) Admittedly, we may all agree to the fact that every mother yearns to see herself in her daughter(s); like the aphorism goes, “Like mother like daughter.” Thus, we happen to see this usual phenomenon continuing to circle in the way mothers (not excluding “parent-dads”, and chief custodians) embrace the one thing — The dipo — they believe makes or rather prepares their female-born children (or ready-initiates/hãyoei/dipo-girls/and even infants – between 5-9 years) ‘ready’ as matured tribal members (or ready-adults) in the eyes of their own people — what I see and coined as “What they say women must experience.”

But let’s pause for a moment, what do we see from our own windows of witness when we joined in as both onlookers and participants in the initiates’ processions to the “sacred” groves (or gardens) — where fetishism is hallmark with custodial gratification and parental pride? Are these newfound traditions and moments we share with our daughters (and onlookers) clothed with ‘the intent’ without any ignominy?

“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.” — Greek proverb

Think of these things; the stories still teach, it teach us of our ancestral heritage, who we were and who we are now (as a people), where we have come from and where we are now (our present locale), and what that means to our children and great-grandchildren yet unborn.

We have a little sister, and she hath no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for?
If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will inclose her with boards of cedar.
I am a wall, and my breasts like towers: then was I in his eyes as one that found favour. (Song of Solomon 8:8-10 KJV)

The author believes a generation is coming, even now we are the ‘seed’ of that generation, that will rewrite the script of muliebrity – even as the brothers of Solomon’s wife did and pledged to keep.

“It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry, live up to it.” _ Max Langen

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