#IWD2017 Women’s Chronicles: Labeling Versus Origin

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I was born and raised in Sierra Leone. Lived all my life in the Eastern part of Freetown. My parents gave me all they had, to provide the best life for me, out of my environment.
Oh boy, they tried. To the point that no one could connect the dots to my roots after a conversation with me. But I refused to let them go with the fallacy of me being that rich girl, born and raised in the finer circles of what they could relate to.  Simply because at an early age I noticed a trend. I recognized the POWER of LABELING.  I saw how it destroyed my fellow women. I saw how some girls tried so had to BELONG, seeking to have the LABEL that society felt was preferred.
It became worse when I went to university. I saw how other women felt they were better than another woman because she was labeled “X” and her “Y”.  I saw the battle of supremacy take centre stage. Every other day was misplaced. Nothing made sense to me…from the misrepresentation of who we are and what we must stand for, to the conscious effects of ourselves trying so hard to destroy one and other.
I asked myself often. Then as I did, it became clearer that if only we didn’t have all these categorizations, then there would be nothing to really fight about. 
Starting from that girl named home-girl or worse off the one named prostitute. What are we truly, other than just a WOMAN!
Next time, before we categorize ourselves may we first think WOMAN! OUR ORIGIN!
May we see in ourselves a woman who made a mistake: Prostitute 
May we see in ourselves a woman who was not as priveleged as you are: Poor Girl
May we see in ourselves the girl who feels comfortable being home more, based on her values: Home Girl
May we see in ourselves a woman who is being misled: Rude Woman
May we see in ourselves that girl who is in her happiest place in the company of her creator: Church Girl
May we see in our selves that nothing is as bad as another woman who finds pleasure in labeling her fellow woman at the expense of her dignity. 
However, let us strive to LIFT each other up. 
Before I go dangling and risk being misunderstood as a woman promoting the vices of women, let me say this, as much as the vices are bad, it is terrible to ONLY SHAME HER without being that sister and support base to take her out of her circumstance. 
I see the casting of names happen more than the fixing, I choose to talk about that instead.  Because at the end of the day, whatever labels we decide to give each other, it never changes the fact that we are all “WOMAN”.
Therefore, when next you meet her or become friends with her and you think she isn’t conforming to what you tag as “Good” or “StandardsApproved” please seek her hand and help her through the process.
Lastly, to all women trying  to BELONG, pay close attention to LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES!
We weren’t born to simply exist, but to live and make an impact.
#RememberThatAndBeThat #IlluminatingLady #NudityInWriting

Grace Kargobai is the Founder of Illuminating Ladies, a global network of Illuminessence ambassadors, facilitated on WhatsApp. She is a graduate of Njala University with a major in Environmental Management and Quality Control. Her hobbies are writing, talking, singing and dancing.

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