Used to describe

1. a woman who refuses to place her value on her vagina

2. a sex positive woman

3. a woman who pays no mind to patriarchal BS

4. a woman who does not deny herself the pleasure of living

Cheap is an accusation in my world. You know those girls that do not want to be priced goods? They are cheap. Cheap girls are easily conquered, lacking in slickness, apparently without tricky finesse, presenting themselves exactly as they are.

I was stuck in a conversation recently with a guy who described our neighbour as cheap. He is surprised that the said girl did not succumb to pressure to have sex with his friend because he pictured her as cheap. He pictures most girls as cheap anyway. The conversation left me with a bitterness and a fear in me. Bitterness because I could not speak my language fluently enough to have left him chastised. A fear because with the sneer on his face I knew immediately that he had described me as cheap too, at some other time, with some other girl. A girl’s story can easily soar to great heights with bad intentions.

While in my second year at the University, my roommate introduced me to a friend of hers. He is interested in me. His interest spiked mine and I gave him my contact number. My roommate who was present all the while later accused me of being cheap. She believed I should have let him woo me and I should have stressed him, alienated him before welcoming him into my queendom. At the time I was not fluent in feminism and I still struggled to speak through religious piety. I felt chastised and cheap.

My roommate and my neighbour are products of a system that believes that to be considered valuable games have to be played. It is a system that devalues women’s desires, wants and aspirations. A system that renders them voiceless for them to be accepted and liked. To this system, a woman has to be a pack of oxymorons to be considered worthy of stress.

But what is this behaviour with cheap? Why is it so easy to pull out a person as not woman enough because she presents herself far from a system that tries to turn her own voice and body as a weapon against her. The rhetorics abound and it is floating even now. Girls are becoming women in a society bound on attaching their values to the class, caliber and number of penises that enter their vaginas. They are being taught that to be of great value they have to present themselves as worthy of attention and to refute acknowledgement of it. They just have to be flowers, bloom, be noticed but never given to noticing or voicing what they have noticed.

Cheap is a status quo and in a world where we are trying to build equality on all levels it is a word that has to be embraced and/or redefined but not ignored if we are going to effect qualitative change at all levels, because the work must continue.


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Deborah Olusegun

Deborah Olusegun

A commentary mini-blog. I will wear varying hats in my lifetime but for now I’m a journalist, copywriter, content strategist, product designer and a FINE GIRL!