In the comments, share what does womanhood mean to you (personally), and where you got the idea from🤔. I’m interested to know, not just from women but also what do men think being a woman is like?
The title is “womanhood?” put that way because I am questioning it. What the hell is it? 🤨
In August we have SA’s National Women’s Day. In March, the world celebrates International Women’s Day, interesting because in SA we have it as Human Rights month, either way both are important.❗ Throughout history all women have been marginalised, looked down upon and dismissed. Yes, all women! I will add, however, that the level of severity/intensity varies between women of colour and white women. To make it simple, in an example, ALL women were never allowed in positions of power (business and/or household), but women of colour were not allowed in positions of power AND were made into slaves – I hope that makes sense, as a human chain/hierarchy (couldn’t this of a better word), woman were at the bottom but as a woman chain, black women were at the very bottom. Sick!
It is not the best example, but I hope you are able to see in the broader spectrum of things that we have all felt pain but in some way, other’s pain could be justified as more/worse.
Anyways, I don’t know if things are slightly changing a bit, but the slogan of the 9th August 1956 Women’s March was “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo!” (You strike a woman, you strike a rock!). It has always been with us. As of recently, I’ve been hearing and seeing what seems like the opposite, women saying, “I’m not a rock (I am not strong), I’m soft, I cry, I bleed.” I didn’t understand it at first, I mean I never wanted to come across as “weak” to a man, but I eventually understood that people are saying “I’m human, I do break down sometimes but that doesn’t make me ‘weak!'” Powerful, right!✊🏾💪
Okay, the backstory – there is always one right.
Growing up a female child, it might even be more prevalent in African communities, please anyone shed some light if I am wrong or not addressing all the angles. There are these interesting questions: “When are you going to learn to cook?” I think between myself and my male cousin (7 years older than me), this question came to me more. I mean yeah sure, Granny meant well, she was a hotel chef and all, and we have to consider the times – back then, every woman needed that, because they weren’t allowed anywhere else but home or in a hospital as a nurse (caregiver type vibes). Not a question but .. “You should wake up early and do chores, because you are becoming a lady.” Hmm .. anyone else see the fault in this statement? There is a whole story behind this, I will share on my live on Saturday, 15 August. Anyways, my favourite is when all of the above is linked to marriage, like I am worth less (not worthless) if I cannot do these things.
This is where I am asking, am I being a woman wrong? Well I am still single, but I am also fighting with some people who are within an older generation. I am by no means saying that I choose to not have these necessary skills, by the way, I have some of them, but I do choose to not be told that this is something I should do only on the basis that I am a growing female. That leads to so many other issues like sexism and male superiority (toxic masculinity) etc. Simple things that are setting us back from growth and development as a society.
We are fighting for equal rights and opportunities all the time, EVERYWHERE! All of that can only start at home, right? Right! I have to understand that my aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. grew up in a different time where women did this and men did that, so it will often come back to me as the above paragraph. It is a bit of a mission to let them understand the point of view I’m coming from, because also a thing in African culture is breaking the age difference barrier in every conversation, funny thing, everytime my aunt wants to make a point she starts the sentence with “Nana … ” not realising that she is exerting her age dominance, lowkey to me it says “I know more because I am older.” I do not dispute her wisdom, she has got it and I look up to her, but it does not mean that “someone younger cannot teach someone older something new,” my other aunt (mamkhulu) said that to me.
New era now, women have rights too and goals to achieve and it will only get more intense as we see it with Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and other such movements, which can only be avoided in future if we are educating the children of today about equality, and stop perpetuating “men become mechanics and women look after the kids at home and wake up early to make breakfast for the family.” It is a kind gesture, but why should I only because of my gender. Then adding, if they don’t they can be undermined by men or other women. They might not explicitly state it but the implied terms are there.
Womanhood? What the hell is it? It is whatever you want it to mean to you as a woman. You need to define it. The chances are high that it will be defined and aligned with the era you are born into. So for me, womanhood, is not doing things because I’m a woman, but rather because I know that certain skills are necessary and I want to have them at my own time. When I have children, who knows what type of era we will be in then (might not be a giant difference) but to add on, womanhood is also adapting to the times and taking note that what my focus is now, might not be my child(ren’s) focus in future.
This picture is so loud to me. I think it just sums up everything so well. I could speak forever just sharing my personal story that is triggered by this image alone. Unfortuately, there is no forever!
Keep in mind that women are amazing and can do so much more than we think! We are powerful! We are brilliant! We can do anything we set our minds and hearts to. Never forget that!
Anyways, that’s life, but it can be changed and we can learn to be better and do better! See you Saturday, 15th August at 4PM on instagram.com/royalty_gux2 😉
Let’s talk about womanhood, in this women’s month. Let’s be #Royalty.