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Now, of course you were not actually allowed to use the cane. Then, to my surprise, my teacher said that the monitor had to be a boy.
But it was an exciting prospect for the nine-year-old me. She had forgotten to make that clear earlier because she assumed it was ... A boy had the second highest score on the test, and he would be monitor.
Some weeks ago, I walked into a lobby of one of the best Nigerian hotels.
I thought about naming the hotel, but I thought I probably shouldn't.
I think I must have read every single Mills & Boon romance published before I was sixteen.
And each time I tried to read those books called "the feminist classics," I'd get bored, and I really struggled to finish them.
The late Kenyan Nobel Peace laureate, Wangari Maathai, put it simply and well when she said: "The higher you go, the fewer women there are." In the recent US elections we kept hearing of the Lilly Ledbetter law, and if we go beyond the nicely alliterative name of that law, it was really about a man and a woman doing the same job, being equally qualified, and the man being paid more because he's a man.
So in the literal way, men rule the world, and this made sense a thousand years ago because human beings lived then in a world in which physical strength was the most important attribute for survival. The person more likely to lead is not the physically stronger person; it is the more creative person, the more intelligent person, the more innovative person, and there are no hormones for those attributes.
But my teacher would also give you a cane to hold in your hand while you walk around and patrol the class for noisemakers.
He was also the first person to call me a feminist.