This morning, I spent some quality time with my friend Afia Schwarzenegger. We chatted about motherhood, woman hood, work/life balance, the media industry and everything else in between. We laughed at some things. But then, as naturally as the current environment would have it, our conversation glided into her life over the last 144 hours and counting!
A gorgeously hefty blend of humiliation, fear, confusion, emotional torture and above all, abandonment. Our conversation spotlighted everything from the night of the now famously infamous #AfiaAffairgate to the importance of teaching her daughter Pena different languages. As much as I didn’t want to come off as a nosy reporter, my genuine zeal to discover and uncover stories for the sake of lifting my voice and roaring out the need to fight for justice for Women, reared its ugly head. And I asked the question of doom. “Afia what happened that day?” At first, she smiled…..and then as if the veins in her throat were about to burst, she began to speak. Half way through, she broke down. I let her cry it out and waited a few minutes, distracting myself with her daughter, Pena, who was seated at my feet, happily distracted by cartoons. After a while, we resumed our conversation and spoke at length. We spoke about second chances and purpose. Here’s what I learned this morning…..
1) If Journalists swore an Oath before assuming office or going out into the field of work, the way doctors and lawyers do, we would consciously research, powerfully inform, thoroughly follow through and aggressively protect the subjects of our stories.
2) Every human being, no matter how overtly and overly boisterous, seemingly nonchalant, can indeed hurt baldy and be broken into tiny pieces in a way that can have an eventual wholesome destruction if other parties don’t intervene.
3) Women, in particular, own what I call “The Skill to Create the Fabulous Art called Covering Up…” be it abuse, violence other anything that clearly poses as a threat to their lives.
For a very vocal generation, with the internet at our mercy, our silence is horribly loud! We maintain our silence about the truth that hurts us and would rather showcase a “forced” strength, camouflaged in laughter, smiles and terms of endearment, in order to protect and shield the ones we love (even when we know they don’t love us back). And we have to start speaking up loudly and fighting back harder. Here’s what I concluded after the hearty discussion with @queenafiaschwarzenegger.
Afia’s life is exactly that….her’s. It’s as simple as that. As a full grown adult, how she lives it and with whom for that matter, is her choice. As a citizen, human being and Woman, her protection is our’s…….ESPECIALLY when a clearly domestic affair, has become a public circus. She said something that hit and stung me into shame “If these threats were made towards any other woman and this video had been circulated with any other woman as the victim, every security agency, law enforcement body and social group would jump into action to protect her and prosecute the man….but I am Afia Schwarzenegger so you’re all going to sit, watch, laugh and say I deserve it….you forget that after everything is said and done, I am a human being and blood runs through my veins just like you.”