Boyani: Stop opening women’s handbags
Let’s go straight to the point, going through women’s personal belongings is a despicable act. That cannot be overstated.
Women are silently protesting, silently cursing away their frustration of having their handbags combed at security checkpoints of every retail store and any other basic amenity.
My best philosopher of all time Noam Chomsky said it is quite dangerous when people are willing to give up their privacy, and in this case Kenyan women.
What this means is, women in this country are not entitled to privacy. We might as well just walk with open handbags because that’s all we do, open our handbags at almost every door for every Tom, Dick and Harry and especially Suzy to see.
If anything, they have us expose the constituents of our bags to strangers in a line, while the other stranger, whose job is to keep guard goes through my belongings.
Why should I sacrifice my privacy every day for a multi-billionaire firm that can afford the required security equipment to search my bag without inconveniencing me?
Thus the rhetoric, if you cannot sacrifice some few shillings to buy security screening equipment why should I sacrifice my dignified privacy?
This norm of searching women’s handbags was started following terror attacks in Kenya, a move that we understood, at least, until stores sourced the necessary machinery.
Luckily, I happen to be a citizen of a democratic state that does not suppress nor infringe on women rights.
Unlike a North Korean woman, I can confidently quote you my rights and fundamental freedoms, especially from article 31 of the constitution, which liberates me and my fellow women from this barbaric way of upholding security.
The terrifying part is that there is no a code of conduct or etiquette that comes with searching our handbags.
To be fair, only a few stores offer you customer care at the gate, the kind that seeks consent before searching your bag.
Besides those, the majority are brutal, annoying and excessive. In fact, they would first use a Garret scanner and wait for you to dare leave before shouting in Swahili “ebu fungua bag yako”.
I want to come out clear that my score is not with security guards or agencies. In that matter, it is beyond you since you are under instructions and you probably need to make rent. So yes, I understand but that does not mean I condone.
My score is with firms and all other amenities that are not adopting measures that are effective and comfortable for women.
Subjecting women to such consistent exposure is not only a violation but also subjection to other risks.
A handbag is a woman’s sanctuary, a holy temple bequeathed with belongings that only we fathom, stop trespassing.