Saturday, January 30, 2016

Will Uganda Embrace Generation X?


Like Teen Kid today, when I was one, I went through a phase where I was scattered. Scattered in that I had no direction, no clue of what to do with life and was just there – or fwafwa as we are now fond of saying. 

After A-levels, a good number of my English friends went off travelling to Asia - not because they had passed exams and Parent was treating them to a holiday, but because they wanted to ‘find themselves’.

How do you just pick up and go with nothing more than a sleeping bag to the villages of India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh mbu to find you? I find it hard to grasp that there are people who have no clue of who they are.

In my teen scattered self, I still knew who I was and I am sure that if I had told Parent that I need to go off to India to find myself, alarm bells would have rang all the way to Butabika. Clan elders would also have gathered round the acacia tree in kyalo to get to the root of why one of their own, does not know himself.

Today’s generation has a different kind of scattering and it has to do with sexuality. In my days, girls played with dolls. I didn’t. I played with cars, climbed trees, took dad’s car for a joyride and used to throw the cat off the roof of our double storied home. That’s what boys did. And girls didn’t do boy stuff.

Nor did we look at girls and harbour ideas of wearing dresses, skirts, knickers or bras - or want to have to sit down when we went for a pee like they did, because we were boys – Period! We also didn’t feel that whilst we were in Mother’s womb, there was a mix up and that we were supposed to have been born female and not male or vice versa.

Enter the Transgender. While Ugandans skirt all transgender talk, in the UK, it’s a big political issue and out in the open. Maria Miller is an MP and also chairwoman of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. In that capacity, she recently produced a report declaring that every person over 16 should be able to change their gender at will.

Her committee also says that people should not have to record their sex as male or female on passports and other official documents, because it infringes the human rights of the ‘trans’ community or Generation X in my books.

Instead so she argues, they should be able to put an X on their passports in the box marked ‘gender’. I think we had better take a breather before we continue?

You got your breath back? Moving on in 2008, Britain’s Manchester University re-designated its toilets to accommodate Generation X. The following year, the first purpose-built ‘non-discriminatory’ public toilets opened in East Sussex, in the teeth of fierce local opposition.

There is a dilemma. The norm today is that during a crisis – evacuation, burning ship or whatever, it is the children that are evacuated first - followed by the women with the men bringing up the rear. Now that there is Generation X, where do they fit in the evacuation pecking order?  Will they want to jump the queue and fit themselves between women and men?   

Society is not as straight forward as it was 50-years ago and I say what happens behind the walls of your home is your business. However, I was brought up in a world order where men co-exist with women and in my wildest dreams I never thought or imagined a Generation X in this world.

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