Exactly a year ago today (September 6, 2017), under the most serendipitous of circumstances, a gender advocacy group was born.
Employing sarcasm, wit and sheer honesty in addressing the grave implications of the unfair societal expectations and ideals placed on people only based on their gender, a group of women (and some men) went about “flipping scripts”.
Normalized gender narratives were turned right on their heads to expose the hilarity and hypocrisy therein.
Not surprisingly, this was met with scorn, shock, opposition and ridicule in many places and yet there was massive quality support as well. This started a national conversation that was unheard of hitherto with #PepperDemMinistries trending relentlessly on social media especially Facebook for months.
Suddenly gender was a worthy topic and was being discussed on both social and traditional media.
For us at PDM this has been the greatest achievement so far: raising awareness on gender issues and ensuring that conversations on gender are not relegated to the background in our national discourse. We believe there is a lot more that can be and should be done, however we pride ourselves in the fact that we have been part of initiating and sustaining conversations on gender on social media and traditional media space. We acknowledge the work of our predecessors and others in the gender advocacy space whose activism contributed to preparing the landscape for such a time as this.
We also believe that apart from these positives, a safe environment has also been created to enable people come “out of the closet” as feminists, understand what feminism really stands for and identify as such. For a tag that comes with so much negativity and wrong connotations, we are very happy with the strides that have been made in getting many young people on board the gender activism train.
In a year, there were many goals and ideas as a group we had that couldn’t be achieved but we are immensely proud of the young women and men who have committed to ensure gender is part of our national conversations amidst the vitriol that has come and still continues with this unpopular decision and action.
For the many social and professional relationships that have been affected, many more influential relationships that promote gender equality have been formed.
We are truly thankful for the people who have stood up to defend the ideals PDM stand for even when it has been very unpopular. The allies, fans, friends and supporters, you are truly appreciated.
For the media houses that have given us space and platform to explain and promote our message, this last year would have been very different without your support and we are grateful for this.
To the organizations and personalities that have lent their names and credibility to the cause of a young and unknown enterprise to exist and thrive, Thank you!
This was a fact we were not oblivious of at all. In a very short time after PDM had gained traction, all sorts of counter groups were formed with monikers of our name obviously to mock and derail the efforts of the group. There was very determined opposition which was (and still is) dogged even in the face of logic and an honest effort from us.
As disappointing as that was, we were (and always are) convinced of the fact that true commitment to a genuine cause will always trump attention-seeking gimmicks that is born out of spite.
And so a year on, we are not surprised at the state of these groups and the so-called nicer and friendlier “gender advocates” that heralded them. We are truly thankful for such groups and the many people who vowed to ensure PDM wouldn’t stand the test of time. With your intense efforts at discrediting the group, the message of PDM reached the very places we wanted it to, and for that we are truly grateful.
Finally, to all the ladies of PDM and other female allies who make sisterhood so exciting, thank you for deciding daily to stick your necks out to address the toxic gender narratives that saddle our society, it has been a good first year; it can only get better from here and so WE SOLDIER ON!!!
To shattering toxic gender narratives!!!!!
Source: Pepper Dem Ministries