I’ve recently discovered this new, badass Vice channel and blog called Broadly, and they did a piece on a small village in Samburu, Kenya called Umoja which literally is a “Land of Women.”
I’ve also been binge-watching The Fall, and Detective Gibson (another totally different but equally awesome badass played by Gillian Anderson) mentions a different community of only-women in China where there literally are no men, but they can visit and stay for the night if the women so choose. It seems like a stretch to hypothesize about a world without men when I live in Toronto….where, I mean, I see men every day all day on the subway, in grocery stores, etc. etc. etc.
And I wonder how things would work. One of the most startling and beautiful moments (multiple moments I might add) from the above Broadly video is that they ask young women, girls, if they want to grow up and get married and they respond with a resounding “No.” No, the women do not even miss the men, the men who have mistreated them, because they can survive on their own.
Reproduction is an obvious issue with this all-women-all-the-time situation, but in communities where there are women who need protection at all times, it’s hard to see an issue at all.
And then, alternatively, I don’t have an opinion. I like men, but I can completely see why women who’ve been abused would want an alternative. ALSO, like, good for them for finding their own. They CAN actually make the decision to live in a world without men, THAT’S THE FEMALE PEROGATIVE. We don’t have to date, I know lots of women who seriously choose not to date and have no interest in it. That idea alone fascinates my poor, lonely, companion-seeking heart.
I’m still forming my own views and stance on this topic, because there seems to me so many different things to take into consideration. The “safe haven” for local women in Kenya is an inspiring idea in all meanings of the word. Take certain plays like Michel Tremblay’s “Les Belles Soeurs” which consists of all women. There are stories there, especially from strong, lived women who explore and ask questions. Umoja was created by a woman who stood up for herself and ended her suffering and worked to end suffering for other women like her, and to me that is enough inspiration to continue to tell, explore and spread her story further.