My iPhone alarm woke me up at 5.30am this morning. This was annoying because I clearly remember switching it off last night before dozing off after watching another episode of Vampire Diaries. Plus, I know very well that it’s a public holiday today, so the idea of my well-deserved DIVA-sleep being rudely interrupted was not one that I was ready to embrace better yet, entertain. I reached out for my phone whilst forcing an obstinate eye to open and found that a couple of Happy Women’s Day messages were making their way into my inbox – hence, WAKING ME UP!
Now that I was wide awake, I realized that I really couldn’t be bothered about this day.
It sounds like a careless thing to say considering the effort and bravery of the 1956 march to the Union Building in Pretoria to submit the petition against the “Pass Laws” and to further protest against the restrictions on the movement of women.
I have to raise a major concern about how the priority of this march was to take a stand against something that was effecting and paralysing the entire nation – not women alone. This brave and selfless act was for everyone and I would think more importantly to shape a better future for the youth of South Africa. The restrictions against women were secondary, which is why I am concerned about how we are “celebrating” this day as if it was purely about women. Are we not missing the point here? Are we not meant to be celebrating by continuously standing together, if not as a nation but as women against actions and laws which cripple our nation and the world daily?
Surely there was more to this than us sending each other messages on Twitter and Facebook to encourage each other whilst sitting in our comfortable spaces because the problems of this world have not reached our homes or communities yet. We have to do more. There has got to be more to this than what we are choosing to see with our naked eyes.
But wait – what baffles me also is that the very same people who disrepute women daily are now sending me messages saying “Happy Women’s day”? Am I supposed to jump up and “celebrate” this ONE day where we are finally acknowledged as women of strength and power – all because of an act that was performed to free them? What happens tomorrow because Women’s Day will be over by then? Is back to kicking us to the gutter, disrespecting us on social media and using us as punching bags behind closed doors?
How are we supposed to “celebrate” this day when every single day we are fighting for our rightful place not only in the community or the work place but at home as well? Women are rejected to the lowest form globally. This is not even a South African problem anymore, it is a global catastrophe! Women are the victims of rape, abuse, human trafficking and public disrepute. We are labelled the weaker sex, the highly emotional ones, the dramatic, irrational, impractical and unnecessarily sensitive sex.
Our God-given femininity has been turned to a weakness as we are gagged with metaphorical bandages not only to cover our mouths but to completely shut our voices too. But you’d swear no one hears our cries because things are still the same. What was once heartache and sadness has erupted to anger and resentment for those that were put on this earth to protect and provide for us. What was once disappointment is now disgust for those that were called by God to love us just as much as we were called to obey them. Call me to submission if you must but love me, take care of me and I will obey and respect you in return.
But wait! How can you claim to love me when your action towards my gender is filled with ill-intension?
Just the other year (on Women’s Day mind you), I was violated by 2 drunks in a taxi on my way home in Sea Point. The highly inebriated of the two started off stroking my braids and no matter how politely I requested him to stop – he wouldn’t. I was then called a bitch, a snob and a model C whore who preferred white men to lie on me instead of getting a taste of the real thing from a black man. You might think I am exaggerating but these were the words used by this man.
As I turned to respond ferociously – I felt a huge, rough, scathed-stinking hand slapping and shoving my face at the same time! I think I blacked out for a couple of seconds because by the time I gained consciousness, I realized my wine-opener that was in my handbag, *don’t ask what it was doing there*, was stuck between his Ulna and his Radius. I actually stabbed him with my wine-opener!!! I was shocked and scared. He was screaming like a bitch and the taxi driver ordered me out of his taxi immediately. I had to walk home and that was the last time I saw my beautiful wine opener.
This is no different to what happened to the two young girls who were attacked and molested by grown men at the taxi rank because they were wearing short skirts. It is no different to how a young woman committed suicide because her boyfriend posted a picture of her private parts on Facebook for the world to see. It is no different to how men who pose as Godly or God-fearing continuously post pictures of naked women on social sites and if you tweet or retweet them you are just as bad. Would you respond the same way if it was a picture of your sister, your wife, your partner, your daughter or your mother? I don’t think so!
This is no different to the outrageous stories of how our sisters in the East are thrown with battery acid when they end relationships, refuse sexual harassment and exploitation, when they reject marriage proposals or demands of dowry. This even happens when they want to get an education or when they are not wearing Islamic veils. But what is even worse it that it happens even when they are seen as behaving un-womanly, for speaking too much or for laughing out loudly.
We still have to work twice as hard to get the proper recognition for our work because in this 21st century – women still belong in the kitchen or in non-management or non-executive level jobs. Don’t even get me started about the fact that most churches still don’t allow women to minister to a congregation because of their silly, egotistic rules that are based on their own insecurities.
It was WOMAN who not only birthed YOU but the Almighty Son of God Himself!
It was WOMAN who carried you, protected you and fed you in her womb – nine months without worrying about how you would one day turn on her!
Just yesterday (on the eve of Women’s Day), I heard a reputable DJ on national radio saying that the best way to slow a woman down is to get her pregnant. *you know who you are!!!*Seriously – this is beyond disgusting.
Are we asking to be your equal? NO.
Are we asking to take your place as the head of the house? NO!
All we ask is that you let us be WOMAN. Put us back in the rightful place where we belong. A place of love, admiration, protection and safety….
Because we are women, like a lioness…
WE ARE FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE.
Written by a Woman, turned DIVA!