Dannish Odongo recently published an article titled ‘Lessons From Huddah Monroe vs Joe Muchiri Tweef, #JoevsHuddah’. The article was messy… to say the least.
The entire article is built entirely on false premises; incorrect or otherwise unproven claims for his argument. There are no ‘lessons’ that were garnered from this post, the only thing that came to light was the author’s bigotry.
To be fair, I did not write off the article immediately. Instead I went through it paragraph by paragraph, picking out the logical inaccuracies in it. It was not an easy task.
“Joe Muchiri raised a question concerning the career of one Huddah Munroe. The response he got was made of undiluted arrogance and outright inanity. How do you flood social media with your filtered images yet when someone talks about them, it becomes personal?”
Joe Muchiri did not ‘raise any questions’, he didn’t even tweet Huddah directly. He tweeted a screenshot of her IG page and added this comment
Because of his massive influence the post was Retweeted several times and must have caught her attention. Either that or she searched her name to see the post, but that is neither here nor there. Huddah responded to the tweet, as she had every right to, because if you are making offhand statements about someone else, especially on a social platform that both of you occupy, you’re going to have to be accountable. Did you really expect someone to remain silent after they have been insulted? Before anyone jumps down my throat with the excuse of freedom of speech , we all have the right to voice out our opinions however we are also accountable for whatever we say. That’s the responsibility that comes with your freedom. Saying “it’s just my opinion” when being harmful is like kicking someone in the throat and saying “so, it’s MY foot!”
And what exactly is the writer calling ‘undiluted arrogance and outright inanity’?
[Translation: You seem to be hurt. Is it your mother’s vagina being sold? Or is it your father’s money being spent? Live your own life.]
What is so inane about this? I in fact think she raises very valid questions. Where does this need to shame Huddah (or any other woman) for using her genitalia come from? If it doesn’t take away from you or your family, why dedicate so much time to filling your mouth with her name? Who appointed you Lord Commander of the Morality Watch? Were there elections? I was not made aware of this.
“As is said in Africa, a pretty face and fine clothes do not make a character.”
Who is a model?
“The Urban Dictionary defines a socialite as:”
Stop. Right. There. Urban Dictionary is in several ways a parody site. It deals in slang and because it is mostly user submitted content, it is not particularly concerned with accuracy. You can’t use it’s definition as the basis in an argument without showing why we should take that definition seriously. Why Urban Dictionary honestly? Is it because the proper dictionaries didn’t back up your bigotry? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
“A socialite is someone who is well known in fashionable society and is often seen at parties and other social events for wealthy people.” Nothing about contributions to society, except probably being aesthetically pleasing.
“The allure of easy fame has driven many to abandon reason. Some have gone to desperate and extreme lengths just so that they might be in the limelight.”
How do we gauge that this fame is easy? Can just anybody do it? Could the writer of this post without much effort give up his writing career and become a socialite and succeed at it? Surely if the extents are so desperate and extreme this cannot be a simple task. And even if it was easy, even if there was no backlash and the people embraced socialites as easily as they embrace corrupt MPs… what exactly is wrong with easy fame? What is wrong with people knowing who you are? Show your working.
“We will soon part irreconcilable with the days where success is about brilliance and hard work and one is celebrated based on the meaningful contribution they make to society. A new invention that solves human problems or an athletic ability that defies odds will be frowned upon. Excellence in academics or awards in arts and music will be pedestrian. We will hopelessly begin to search for days when we rewarded an impeccable character that is beyond reproach and questioning.”
The writer is using a slippery slope argument. To assume that ‘easy fame’ will lead to wanton destruction in the society is an extreme reach. How will this happen? How will a woman taking pictures of herself in various locations around the world lead to this? There is no explanation as to how socialites will singlehandedly destroy every board and organisation that deals in science, technology, athletics and academic excellence. How will those Instagram likes destroy LIFE AS WE KNOW IT?
Also, what is the scale used to gauge the meaningful contribution a career can offer? Athletic ability is mentioned as desirable which is fine… but how does this meaningfully contribute to society? Just like socialites, athletes entertain people, they both generate income.
The last time human beings were rewarded with an impeccable character beyond reproach and questioning they nailed Him to a cross.
“Its extremely regrettable when people whom God has given abilities choose to abandon all that and travel the thorny, bumpy road of controversy. Instead of harnessing the mental power, they have surrended to looks to attract vain fame. And that’s what happens when you lower the definition of success to a point where sluts can easily access tools for cleansing their reputation through flashy images and illusions of success on social media.”
Last time I checked, looks were also God given. Why is she (or any other good looking person) supposed to shelve these talents? Also the choice of the word ‘slut’ in this section is awkward considering that in the first paragraph the writer berates people who “churn out crude words”. Tsk tsk.
“We know the profession you are involved in; a high end trade of the flesh!! In the past such acts were deemed to be too disgraceful to even imagine. They could only be carried out by the most shameless miscreants and even then such people had to operate under the cover of darkness. But now, yellow journalism has sanitized the “world’s oldest trade”, dragged it into the limelight, glorified it through entertainment blogs and made it a noble career option.”
No. We actually do not know that. Who told you? Where is your proof? Just pictures on the internet of things and places? What actual ‘flesh’ has been traded? The writer tries to draw parallels between socialites and prostitution, but has not done anything to further his claim.
Ah, yes, the appeal to faith. It’s never missing whenever people want to condemn ‘wayward women’ who do not adhere to society’s expectations. Quoting a Bible verse proves ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, and it proves less when it is just picked out of context and thrown into an argument. The writer doesn’t even explain the purpose of the quote (what is this bad thing that has been sown?) but instead puts it there to continue misleading the audience with his false comparison. We’ve been told over and over again that even The Devil can quote the scripture for his convenience. A good Christian knows that her or she is in no place to condemn someone based on their actions. The name calling and slut shaming is wrong, and so is making assumptions over people’s lives under the false pretext of ‘morality.’
“The values that built the foundation of this nation and spurred it to economic growth shall soon feel the full impact of the hammer of extinction. The end justifies the means, by whatever means possible, seems to be our widely accepted motto. Irreducible minimums for proper socially acceptable conduct are deemed uncool by some myopic individuals who live for the moment. Wisdom has fallen by the wayside and manners are about to make a swift exit.”
What values exactly is he referring to? This country was actually built on very suspicious ‘values’, what with all the murder, the theft of large tracts of land and let’s not forget the corruption that has been within the corridors of power since day one. But let’s say I’m nitpicking. How does a person who pays taxes hamper economic growth? How do selfies and international trips destroy the nation? “Full and final impact of the hammer of extinction?” Does that mean that after socialites do… something or the other… and force our values into extinction we as a country will never ever recover?
WHO said the minimums were irreducible? Who sets the standards on moral behaviour? Society is not rigid, it is fluid and ever evolving, so the real myopia is demanding that everything remains the same.
“It becomes a national disaster when mainstream media glorify no apparent personal achievement apart from scandals, at the expense of those who rightfully deserve the limelight for their noble contribution in society. Instead of educating the nation about vision 2030, socialites now chart a discourse for national dialog. Where are the moral sentinels? How then do we expect to stir Kenyans to greatness if the content that excites us is that of junk? For a meager amount, one is willing to flash their dignity down the toilet and we regard them as ‘celebrities.’”
It is wrong for mainstream media to glorify scandals in lieu of those that rightfully deserve it and I wish it wasn’t so as well. However, there are still outlets that do so online. It is ironic however that the writer complains about bloated scandals when he himself wrote the article that led to outrage which prompted this response.
Isn’t the outlet on which he was published on mainstream?
Where is HIS contribution to the right kind of discourse?
Is it only socialites that are derailing the education of Vision 2030?
Is it not corruption and laziness of our leaders that has slowed us down?
Can we please just let one another LIVE?
The author, Olivia Kidula is a writer with a passion for books, music, feminism and social justice. She is also the co-founder of Will This Be A Problem, a blog aimed at distilling ideas and challenging archaic narratives. Twitter: @DontCallMeLiv