When you hear third world problems what do you imagine? Poverty? Lack of electricity? Terrorism? labor? Lack of sanitation and healthcare? War? Pollution? Hunger?
Well you are right but that’s not all of it. The thing about third world countries that the media does not tell you is that the people who live in third world countries have both first world problems and third world problems. Don’t understand yet? Here is an explanation: we are so far behind in living we have to pick our struggles, more about while we are fighting and waiting to get to a point where we can celebrate 24 hours of steady electricity (or even 12 hours we’ll settle at this point) we are homosexuals, decease mentally ill, and feminists, and dreamers so we roll the dice for governor who brings the change or 50 years old living in a house with your lover who everyone thinks is a loyal best friend. We suffer everything that the first world people suffer but in a harsher environment. Now, what is it like to be an activist in a third world country? It’s hard. It’s wearing a rainbow colored suit to a black and white themed party, all eyes and hate on you. It’s losing friends and family. It’s getting pitied or insulted by strangers and having to hear over and over again “who will end up with you?” It’s breaking up with your partner at 2am because no one will take you seriously if they learned that you liked someone who shared the same reproductive parts with you and then going on to not cry or show the pain because the thing about illegal love is that it brings illegal pain. How do you call your mother and say I broke up with my girlfriend and my chest burns? Because frankly that’s all you want to do. You wanted to run in the streets and write his/her name the first time she kissed you and slept in your arms but today you have picked the lives of young girls in Borno state over yours, the education of young boys in Kogi State over your love.
It’s breaking down in the middle of the night because the very people you want to save say things are fine the way there are and why bring confusion? Its giving up on your need for freedom for people like you because the world is beating you down and having to pick it up two days later because this little girl who was told by her mother that being a pilot is a male job is now ready to be a pilot because she saw in your eyes that she could be more than an air hostess. It’s those days when you finally convince someone that feminism is a fight against sexism not against men but it’s also those days you break down because we are spending more time trying to convince men that we do not hate them instead of coming together to fight to stop child marriages. It’s looking up to Hollywood to give a speech about the misfits so you can dance and bask because maybe it’s not your people, maybe it’s not this generation but somewhere, some day people will clap for you and name their children after you.
So did you wake up today angry about the climate change? I did too but to raise awareness about the struggle of an activist in a third world country I had to put on my generator to charge my laptop as there have been no power supply for three days. Did you wake up concerned about wage gap? I did too but asides wage gap, I also had to be concerned about female genital mutilation, education of girls and encouraging girls to go for bigger dreams so we can actually rectify the wage gap problem. I have heard about intersectional feminism but I do not feel I am in the loop, they are some of us still fighting far behind and we want support.
Written by Sharon Rose