E-Book Review: You Mad? Bake Cake!

The E-book, You Mad? Bake Cake (YMBC), couldn’t have come out at a more auspicious time. Released on the first day into the half-way mark of a year that has left the world reeling from the delirium of extreme existential challenges ranging from a global pandemic to global protests sparked off by the gruesome murder of a black man by the police in America.

Closer home, a series of gruesome rape murders and the expected mansplaining from the usual suspects coupled with the unraveling of shocking rape stories on Twitter unwittingly heralded the entrance of YMBC into the social discourse of the day.

YMBC tackles the twin malaise of patriarchy and slut-shaming with a 13-topic table of contents that starts out tracing the origin of its inspiration (“It Happened on Facebook”) and ends with the antidote to the most potent weapon in patriarchy’s arsenal (“Conquer Shame”).

Deploying its author’s trademark burst of instantly-engaging sentences, YMBC walks you through the operations of patriarchy, noting its obsession with the female genitalia as a means of maintaining its stranglehold on the female gender.

It highlights the culture of silence designed to deny women the benefits of a contrarian voice and exposes mob action as the place of refuge for those lacking the boldness to pursue individuality and independent thinking.

It identifies slut-shaming as a weapon favoured by a culture that is uncomfortable with rebellious women to keep them in check but also admits that when the prejudices are right, players on both sides of the divide deploy slut-shaming as part of their arsenal.

It highlights the irony of women participating in the policing of the female body (in the hope of earning the validation of patriarchy) but notes that their best reward from patriarchy is an institution that reinforces their subservience to it.

In prescribing an antidote to the slut-shaming wiles of Patriarchy, YMBC offers one tried, tested and proven from the author’s personal life experience: undo the culture and conquer shame.

For ardent followers of author, Joy Isi Bewaji, the 13 topics in the table of contents have been covered, at one time or the other, in her over 2000 and counting Rants on Facebook.

But YMBC isn’t so much an encore of her Facebook Rants as it is a daintily-crafted and nuanced oeuvre offering deep and meaningful insights into the workings of patriarchy and how to flip the script on it.

There is also an observable tonal difference in YMBC’s take on those topics from that of her Facebook Rants. Whilst her Facebook Rants pulsate with righteous anger in unraveling the wiles of the Sons of Patriarchy over the female gender, in YMBC, the tone is a decidedly relaxed one but no less profound and potent in delivering its message.

Read it fast or slow, read it on the go or laid back at home; YMBC is a guaranteed page turner. Whether you are a son of patriarchy or a victim of its slut-shaming or a would-be rebel still hesitant about breaking free of its stranglehold, YMBC offers profound truths you cannot deny. It is essential reading for young and old, male and female.

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Esosa Omo-Usoh

Lawyer, movie reviewer, music lover, one time regular writer of unhappy poems inspired by Rock songs, daydreamer and people watcher… in that order.