TITLE: I’M TOO PRETTY TO BE BROKE and Other Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself
AUTHOR: JOAN THATIAH
EXTENT: 181 PAGES
PRICE: KSH. 500
AVAILABLE AT: PRESTIGE BOOKSHOP/THE MAGUNGA BOOKSTORE/JOAN THATIAH/AUTHOR FACEBOOK PAGE
REVIEWER: VERAH OMWOCHA
You have probably fallen victim to what is dished out to us by the society: women should support other women, women must outdo men, entrepreneurship is the way to go, we will invest after we get married, I’m too pretty a face to be broke, marriage should equate happiness and other lies. As such, we have created cocooned women groups to ‘teach’ women, We tell our daughters that he will come around and that a man is like a dog that can be ‘trained’. Try as we may, we have no justification for it other than, ‘that is how it is supposed to be done’.
These are some of the lies Joan seeks to deconstruct and pit against the truth in this book. Clustering them into four categories: Womanhood, You and Him, You and Money and You and Motherhood, this text dishes out doses of common sense every woman should be armed with.
Without sounding preachy, Joan makes her point in a simple and very convincing way that in many instances, you just have to pause and self-reflect on the lies you’ve been living by. Lies that hold you down, lies that make you feel guilty and apologetic of who you are.
Subtly and in not so many words, Joan condenses the lies and lets them fade into nothingness. She makes it clear that women do not have to compete with men to earn a place at the proverbial table. She challenges the reader to break free of all societal ‘rules’ and expectations of women and truly question the relevance of each one of them. For instance, does being a stay at home mum make one unhappy and unambitious? Says who?
In this text, Joan doesn’t give you a consolation or a shoulder to cry on. But she offers something much better; a journey on how you deal with men, money, motherhood and being a woman. She untangles you from the web of societal expectations and gives you a voice and confidence.
This is the kind of writing that is well thought out, unalloyed and unapologetic; probably mastered from all the years of writing for women. You just got to love how deliberate the title is.
I’m too Pretty to be Broke and other lies is not just a book; it is a gift you deserve to give to yourself. And no, it is not exclusively written for women.
Here are quick snippets:
“You shouldn’t expect me to listen to your music or to buy your art purely because of the shared gender. Earn it!
That assumption that womanhood is a single, universally shared experience is false.”
“There is nothing wrong with feeling the opposite of what society expects you to feel about an event in your life.”
“To say that a woman’s private parts are the most powerful thing in the world is to belittle women.”
“The man you marry isn’t and can’t be the custodian of your happiness. Find happiness within yourself and then, only then will you be ready for marriage.”
“You have to work both at your job and your love life. You can’t put all your efforts in just your career and expect that your love life will feed off these efforts.”
“It is not your job to train a grown man to be a sufficient partner. It works on puppies, not men.”
“The truth is that cheating isn’t one of those things that all couples must go through. It is an anomaly in a relationship.”
“Do not be loyal to your job, you are not irreplaceable. Be loyal to your career.”
“The purpose of your existence is not so you can outdo a man.”
“No relationship, even the worst one, is a waste of time and emotions. All of them teach you something.”
NB: Joan Thatiah is also the author of ‘THINGS I WILL TELL MY DAUGHTER’, another precious title you have to check out.