Being a woman is no easy feat. Some would call it an imprisonment, in the way you have to grow up fast, intuition your guiding principle, active and dreamy yet bearing so many expectations within. Expectations that burden the heart and soul, and finally the girls become women in disguise. Women who hear so many creeds to live by that they have to forge their own paths and adopt their own systems of belief.
Every daughter of the soil today carries along with her a tag. Now, some are fine. Enough to be rocked like jewels on a crown. Others reduce the protected occupation of womanhood into a tiny box that confines us.
It has become a cliché, that girls no longer cook like their mothers and sew like their aunts as in the days of old, but today they drink like their fathers. Sad, but true. They think that it is cool to blow billows of smoke from behind a heavily-made up face, staggering in their heels and swearing obscenities, their short dresses riding high up their thighs. Many consider it glamorous. To be termed a slay queen, to be referred to as the life of the party.
I would rather be a lady who not only arouses the loins of a man but also his intellect and his masculinity, his desire to pursue a lady and ‘fight’ valiant battles for her. There is nothing endearing about being an object of scorn in male circles, nothing decent about being the blunt of cruel jokes in male locker rooms.
We are treated to daily doses of ‘cheap drama’. From girls who decide to use their bodies as a circus and become clowns to women who drown out their sorrows hanging on the shoulders of men. The reason why we have broken melodramatic women is because there were so many wounded girls. And most women are still nursing the wound, hiding it rather than ripping away the band aids to allow healing.
We cannot be the proverbial ostrich and deny the existence of these matters in our society; that there are women who social-climb the ladder of success, from the bed of one man, to the cabin of another and to the floor of her boss.
Despite all these, it doesn’t mean that womanhood is lost on us. It doesn’t mean that the daughters of the soil are a lost cause. After all, who are the wounded women masquerading in masks of fulfillment and such tags except broken girls within with some unresolved issues? Girls who have baggage that they still carry around? Chips that they haven’t taken off their shoulders? They are but the little girls whose greatest joy was to nestle at their mother’s bosom, whose greatest pleasure was sustained riding on the shoulders of their fathers.
We can thus conclude that womanhood is freedom; Freedom in finding as much joy being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, cleaning up after children and a husband as in the boardroom of corporate offices. Isn’t this the lives our grandmothers demonstrated? Strong women by the standards of their time, who lived and breathed under submission to their husbands. Submission draws out our effeminate docile nature and arouses the masculinity and protectiveness in a husband.
Then shall husbands be proud of the femininity of their wives, shall fathers be proud of their daughters, shall sons blossom under the womanhood of their mothers and shall brothers be embraced by the beauty of our souls.
And the narratives that we shall have to tell our daughters will change. That they do not have to subscribe to every wind of relative truth that blows across our society today; versions of half-truths that blame human weakness on womanhood. That any narrative that begins an explanation with “because I am a woman…” is to be shunned. That this life is bound to be hard, and it gives no exceptions based on beauty, gender or troubled childhood. That it will take them being strong and abandoning the brainwashing of “the modern woman” who “has it all”. That perhaps we have to retrace our lives and try to map and project the value systems of our grandmothers into our lives. We can show them by example that there are greater crowns to be sought, cravings of the spirit, soul and heart of a woman that can only be filled by God. We can tell them that there are beautiful tags to be worn and a crown of dignity and honor to pursue.
Then the daughters of the soil shall blossom and glow, jewels in the crowns of the Sons of our Motherland.