In South Africa we celebrate Women’s Day on the 9th of August every year. We remember the women who fought against Apartheid and we celebrate the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters of our beautiful country for a full month.
What does Women’s Day, Women’s Month and being a woman in South Africa, mean to me? Why do I celebrate being a woman?
This year I have given much more thought to what it means to me, being a woman. I have also paid more attention to how other women seem to perceive themselves and how we portray ourselves in society and on social media.
I believe that men and women are born with certain gender privileges and that there can never be true gender equality. Males and females are treated differently by society. Men have the privilege of being gentlemen and women have the privilege of being ladies and mutual respect goes a long way. This works for me!
That is where the privileges should stop. When it comes to careers, raising children and taking care of their families, men and women deserve the same level of respect and appreciation. I believe that women are instinctively stronger nurturers and that men instinctively lean towards being providers … Does that mean women should stay at home and raise children and men should go out and work to provide for the family?
As an older woman using social media in 2015, I continue to be amazed by the number of young people under 35, who still expect women to be “barefoot and pregnant” or married and at home raising children and taking care of their husbands.
There is constant conflict over the duties and roles of women. What I find alarming is the number of females out there, who are judging the women who choose to pursue a career while raising their children …
Why is this still happening in 2015. Why do so many young women today still adhere to the values placed on females since the beginning of time?
We talk about the need for women to be independent but when we find a woman who does just that, who juggles a career while raising her children and caring for her family, we jump at the opportunity to call her out as being a bad mother. I am surprised at some of the comments on social media directed at successful, hardworking mothers … ‘You are suppose to take care of your man”, “You just gave birth”, “Who is looking after your baby?” “You should be at home”.
I can fully understand the older generation of women assuming that a woman is supposed to serve her man and that the man controls everything in the home. I can “forgive” my peers for still holding on to some of these values imposed on women. What I can’t understand is when a young woman completely adheres to these values and believes that it is perfectly fine to judge another women, someone who is working hard to make a difference to her life, the lives of her family and society in general.
Why is it so easy to make a negative comment when there are so many positive and uplifting things to say to another women? Why do we assume that we know or even understand the circumstances or life of another woman? Why do we feel justified commenting on something that, quite frankly, we know nothing about?
We should be more confident, comfortable with who we are and proud to be women. I believe that society should not tell you your place as a human being or what role you should follow but that each individual must have the right to choose for herself or himself. As women we should stand together and uplift and encourage each other rather than break each other down.
So what does being a women mean to me?
A woman embraced the fact that she is a women. She expresses herself and knows her purpose. A woman is aware of her beauty and power, she feels it and uses it to make a positive impact. She does not use her voice in a negative way against others. Her beauty shines through in the way she gives, in everything she does and how she does it. As a role model she knows her self-worth, she respects herself and demands respect from others. She knows how to be strong and when to allow herself to be vulnerable. She believes in her abilities and she trusts herself.
The 2015 woman is determined to find balance in her life … family, work, health and religion is equally important to her.
She has no desire to be a man or replace him … she just wants to be the best woman she can be … and the only thing she wants in return is respect.
What are we teaching our daughters?
Life is Love