Growing up I never knew these words existed – Feminism, Feminist, Sexism I don’t even remember unearthing them in the countless You magazine I used to browse through which my dad would bring home from work.Nevermind the fact that they were all a month or two old they made for fun reading as well as great cut and paste pictures (I mean this in the most literal way possible) for music books and wall posts. Besides all of that we had a very limited vocabulary in our schools, townships schools come on now we had no time for fancy words. Now the other day as I was sitting at Hard Rock Café in Sandton I lurched upon this article: Pick a Struggle http://wp.me/p3p7Ud-2T by Sade Wiggles, quite a stimulating read, well put annotations I might add.
Where I grew up women are seen as just women nobody really takes them seriously. More habitually than not I always make references to the church ,pardon me I never mean any harm, it’s just that growing up 85 if not 90% of my time I spent at church(could well be very churched out). As a young girl it didn’t seem out of a norm not to see women in leadership roles at church because that’s just how things were, and this will be backed up by the bible, people who knew scriptures would quote myriad of them to you to elucidate why women could not lead in church. Sunday school yeah that they could do (incongruously this is the foundation of it all, anyway) Youth – Yes a women would be very well received to lead the Youth too, but no not the entire congregation, what umfazi I might as well stop going to church men would say. Unfluctuating worse if the woman happened to be spinster, you would expect it to be just men who will ill-treat such a women, what? No not in the church I grew up in. Being a women, unmarried and think you will hold a leadership position at church forget it.Now imagine you see all of this and you are a girl, firstly your understanding of why some women are married and others not is limited. All you hear is how bad it is not to be married so what does your little conscious do? It whispers try by all means not to end up like that so you can at least get some respect and recognition. I wonder what did they Make of Luke 7, yea a scripture in the bible where Jesus observes everything going one but is moved by just one thing only.
At home all you heard growing up was how you need to be able to cook and clean and just behave like a women really. While visiting relatives to prove that indeed you were a women you were expected to be the first one up doing women chores and the last one to bed, taking care of more women chores. Not that there’s anything wrong with teaching women to take care of themselves and people around them but why it was never obligatory as much to boy children it beats me.
The school however must have been one place for me where I saw a lot of women doing great, I supposed that’s why I loved school because I could just see myself as one of those teachers(not teaching kids of course) but just holding my own.
When I started working though after finishing school, the stupefaction came back. If women make the most of the population how come there is so few of them in leadership roles at the corporates? I mean even in our last year, our group was made up of atleast 60 % Women, what then ensues to us? Where do we disappear to?
Going back to Sade’s article there is really not much love going around for
1. The traditional women
2. Lesser Love for the modern women
3. Major love for women who can cook and clean
4. No love for women who act like a man
5. No Love for women who don’t act like a man
Again It depends where you coming from, where I’m from society has never really been the kindest to women (Oops I have already mentioned this), especially the ones we referred to today as sort of modern.Everytime I think of trying to correct something that seems like it shows some kind of prejudice towards women I stop myself at the fear of being labelled as a feminist which I think I am based on these definitions found on Wiki et al.
Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending a state of equal political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women. This means then that one doesn’t have to be a women to be a Feminist right? So long as you are for equal rights for all correct? So our beloved Nelson Mandela (whom we will celebrate his birthday tomorrow by giving 67 minutes of our time towards good cause) could as well been a feminist not so?
I’m not a man I don’t know if men are ill-treated on not, nor do I know if there is a need for movements and ideologies aimed at supporting equal rights for women. I am however a women I remember my boss asking what kind of a mother I was who forgot that it was pajamas day at school and made my kid wear jeans instead of Jamie’s. I remember the very same boss applauding for a guy colleague of mine who showed up at his kid’s school concert with the kid wearing different colours to those which were recommended, my bosses exact words were: atleast you tried I mean you showed up, never mind the wrong colours the important thing is that you were there).Yes I know the two are totally different and they have nothing to do with rights or being a man or woman
I m just saying….