Do my essay for me!

Gabrielle Dubois female storyteller

Yesterday, on my Instagram @gabrielleduboisthestoryteller, I received a private message from someone I didn't didn't follow and who didn’t follow me.

Wait, before going on with my story, I must tell you that once a week I receive private messages from men I don't know, messages that I trash without even reading what they are about, because they are all kind of:
"Hello sweetie!" or "Nice to meet you, beautiful!"
And, don't ask me why, most of these messages come from U.S. Army officers in their 50s and 60s, closely followed by doctors and other white collar workers... according to their profile picture!
Why do these men seem to be attracted to my profile on which I only talk about my readings of 19th century authors, where I only post pictures of books?
How do you expect me to know! I don't have a clue and don’t have time to waste with that. I directly trash them. Maybe in my trash can they're chatting together, who knows? I don't… weird!

So, yesterday, I received this private message, obviously from a teenager girl. Before I open her message, I took a look at her Instagram page. Obviously, she's a cute high school girl who shows up with her friends, in sportswear, at a cafe terrace... kindish kindly show off, but it's 2020, right? Anyway, it all seemed quite harmless, so I open her message:

"Hi there! Through your hashtag #callmewoman I saw that you have read the book by Ellen Kuzwayo. I am a Danish high school student and I have to do an assignment with this book. But I don’t have time to read it 😕 If you have 10 minutes to quickly answer the following question you would save my life!! The questions are:
1 Is Ellen Kuzwayo trying to convince something in the book?
2 How is she trying to portray some problematics?
Thankyou for your help🙏🙏☺️"

There, stunned by so much audacity, I burst out laughing!
I have indeed read this incredible and poignant and interesting testimonial by Ellen Kuzwayo, the book in French is entitled Black and Woman in South Africa, and I had written about it on www.gabrielle-dubois.com and Goodreads one year ago.
I reread the message: this charming highschool girl asked me to do her essay, no more no less! So I would have had to reread the book to answer her questions, because since then, many other books have gone over it.
I read the message to my 19 years old daughter, university student, confined at home because of the pandemic, and I say to her:
‘Never, if the Internet and social networks had existed when I was in high school, would I have dared to ask a stranger to do my homework for me! I can't believe it! And on the one hand, I admire this audacity, this naive tranquillity of today's young people who don't hesitate to ask for everything.’

‘Maybe she has a point, mom,’ my daughter says. ‘Too bad I didn't get it when I was in high school. I could have had my math homeworks done! She's right to try, if it's not you, I'm sure someone will answer her questions!’

It gave me something to think about. This high school girl, obviously a black and white half-breed, has everything to be interested in the subject of this book. It would be a shame if she didn't read it. So I wrote back to her:

"Dear ***,
Never has a private message made me laugh so much! You're so cute!
I have two children, 19 and 20 years old, so I don't get mad at your nerve and I am amused by your naivety.
I wrote my review of this beautiful book on www.gabrielledubois.net last August. You can read it, but it doesn't exactly answer your two questions and... I don't have time to write your essay on this book either, but :
I really think you should "take the time" to read it.
Beyond the particular problem of South Africa at the time Ellen Kuzwayo lived there, her story as a woman extends to the story of all women in the world, to your personal story, you, a young girl of the 21st century who, according to your Instagram profile that I just looked at quickly, is one of the "privileged" of this world. I mean, you seem to have access to hot and cold drinking water, to be dressed properly, to be free to move and think freely... and to be free to think.
Read this book, ***, review it, answer these two questions. It doesn't matter if you're wrong, if the grade the teacher gives you isn't worth your effort. You will have used your brain to understand it, your heart to sympathize with the cause of women which is also yours, where you live and now. Whatever the life, the testimony, the story, it is important that it is finally told by the women themselves and not told by the men.
You are more than just a pretty girl, ***, also show your brain and your heart.
I suppose I've been annoying you like a parent with old ideas, but if you're reading this sentence, you've come this far and you must have thought there must be some truth in what I've just told you!
If you decide to read this incredible book and write what you think about it, let me know, it will be my pleasure to read you,
You can do it,

And I click: Send!
Well, we'll see. *** will she take offense? Will she throw my message away and basta? Will she think: "She's as boring as my teacher!"

An hour later - *** was supposed to be in class - I get an answer:

"Hi Gabrielle
Thankyou for your sweet answer. I’m glad that my message made you laugh 😊 You have definitely inspired me and given me motivation! I will certainly try to find time to read the book ― I’m sure it’s beautiful and hearttouching! And thankyou for sending me the link to your review of it! But is the book just a description of Ellen’s life or can you feel her opposition torwards apartheid, when you read it?

I will let you know if I write what I think about it,

"Well, you know, she's a black woman living in the apartheid... obviously she is totally against it!
Ok, you're clever, trying to get me answer your questions! 😏 ok, I tell you few things and you read the book.
First part of the book is when Ellen is young, before the apartheid. Then she explains how and when apartheid began. It's very easy and shortly read. Then she tells her personal life during apartheid and adulthood, but her personal life is connected and influenced by apartheid.
Bu, as far as I can remember, because lots of books since, she's not against white people, she's got a big heart and mind and she sees beyond the black and white issue, beyond politics. She's very much and above all, into women's conditions. Because she observed that even if black people would get equal rights, black and white women would still be "under" men.  Sorry my English is not very good. If you want to know more about this, read also The Wrong Kind of Women by Naomi McDougall Jones which released
... just three weeks ago. My review on www.gabrielledubois.net
Please do, it's passionate and easy to read!


Answer from *** :
"Okay, It seems like she is just describing her life and women’s conditions. I will take a look on the other book too!
But thank you so much Gabrielle!! I wish you a very nice day 😊

Then why am I telling you about this private messages share? For three reasons:

First, to tell you that I think the Internet is great!
So yes, my old mom only sees the dangers of the Internet and its social networks and there are some. But no more and no less than in "real life". Social networks are not a separate entity, they are us humans, they reflect only us humans. It is up to us to strive, just as in "real life", to be respectful and good. It is up to us to neutralize, as in "real life", bad actions or bad people.
I think that when the Internet can be used by two people from different countries, different cultures, different generations, to communicate with each other, it's wonderful!

Because, no, I will certainly never again have any contact with this high school girl who has "no time to read"! Even if she doesn't read the book and manages otherwise to do her homework - which, in my opinion, shows that she is not lacking in resources! - One day when she has gone through the possible activities while stucked in confinement at her parents' house, or perhaps in ten or twenty years, even without remembering this conversation, she may start reading this book or thinking or acting with understanding in a certain situation, because there will have been that tiny little positive interchange that, among the many others she will have in her life, will shape what she will be.

As Ellen Kuzwayo says :
"A person is a person through another person. You are what you are because of the people who are close to you."
It's up to each of us to choose the ones we wish to be close to, and which small part of their souls we wish to let into ours.

Then I told you this story to tell you: Read women! Why ?
Because, what's wrong with the world? A microscopic virus is shaking the political and economic system that has been in place for thousands of years? What other system could emerge to replace this one? I do not know. But I believe there may be a more humane and understanding and supportive solution. I believe that the more we become imbued with the vision of women, the more harmony we will create in our relations between men and women, in our human relations, the more we will be able to create, naturally, another world, another way of living and managing our affairs.
And because, do you have that much to do, stuck in quarantine at home, that you don't have time to read female authors?

And finally, I must admit, I'm a little satisfied with this small personal victory: with a little kindness and understanding, we can achieve surprising results. Maybe a virile arm wrestling match is not always - never even, dare I say - the solution.
Having said that, I have my days too. I'm only human after all!

So, I send you (uninfected!) kisses to all of you readers (and male readers), take care and... read!©
Gabrielle Dubois

PS: The day I took the photo, there was a terrible wind... hence my very becoming hair helmet! :)

#female #author #writer #storyteller #thefutureisfemale #womanhood

Write a comment

Comments: 0