These are the exact words I want to yell out every time I see a woman with a bachelor’s degree turned into a secretary by virtue of her mammary glands. I know I am male so it is kind off weird for me to yell those exact words out….but I have to…because frankly I am sick and tired of the status quo.
The status quo where women at work…especially Nigerian women are subconsciously turned into secretaries despite their many qualifications simply because they are female.
It starts with a simple “can you help me scan this file” and then escalates to “can you tell so so and so that I will not be around for today and ensure that my schedule is free by 4pm.” Huh! Just like that you have become a “secretary.” Even though you have a bachelors’ degree from that University, not to mention your primary work responsibilities, but somehow you are expected to start photocopying and faxing for the guys that are too lazy to figure out how those machines work. It’s like the boobs and long hair automatically turns you into secretary.
Whenever this happens around me, I always tell the females to tell the males, that they are not secretaries. Shoot we are all in the same office so why the double standards?
Now, I know some people will say all this is trivial, but it is not, it is the little things…the little cases of female discrimination that escalate into the more serious ones such as domestic abuse that is all too prevalent across Nigeria. The little things that subconsciously make any male with a dickree think that he can turn his female co-worker to a secretary, will automatically make him feel he can turn his wife into a punching bag.
We have to draw the line somewhere, actually we have to draw the line everywhere, because this attitude, the secretariaism attitude has to be stopped. Sadly, a lot of times the secretariaism issue is not as explicit as “go and make me a photocopy”…in most cases it is disguised. It could a female engineer that finds herself constantly being asked to write documents or take minutes, while her male colleagues go out and work in the field. These little things that can transform a bachelor’s degree to a Primary School certificate!
So, to the ladies out there, you are not secretaries. If you want to be a
secretary secretary of state that is fine. But let no one turn you into a secretary by virtue of your gender. Push back…and if you need help reminding yourself of who you are, print out a copy of your school certificate with your highest degree or and place it on your desk. So that it can serve as a reminder to yourself and those around you…that you are not a fucking secretary.
Sketches by @ofilispeaks
Ofili is a recently transgendered male female who is unsure of his sex at the moment but is sure of the need of female equality no matter how trivial. Follow
him her on twitter, Facebook or subscribe to his blog for more honest talk and as @ofilispeaks on instagram for more sketches and illustrations!
To bring Ofili to your school or organization as a
secretary speaker simply go here. His Her third book is titled How Intelligence Kills Us and will be coming out in the second quarter of 2013 as soon as possible. Want her BB pin, then go here and ask for it =D