Thursday, August 9, 2012

What makes a woman?

The fashion media will tell you that you became a woman when you bought your first pair of heels, applied make-up for the first time, wore sexy lingerie or bought a designer handbag with your own money. If you believe this then that’s just shameful and you’re probably quite ignorant and empty inside.

Being a woman is still a constant struggle to be taken seriously, to be employed in a position of power, to be paid more than a man, to be strong and not be called a bitch, to be spontaneous and not be called a dumb blonde, to enjoy being single and not be called a slut, even the term "housewife" is so disrespectful.

We are so used to this second rate treatment, that we often don't realise to what extent we have been side-lined in this country. 

Our men still don't give us the respect we command, our President himself doesn't even know that having unprotected sex can lead to HIV Aids, let alone really make any difference to this disease and the total annihilation this has on families, women and children and the future of our country. Our Government allows rapists to walk freely in our society, dispensing shorter punishments and sentences after their heinous crimes against our women and children.

What does that say about us as a nation? Do we tolerate sexual abuse; do we hold our women in such low regard? It’s in the smallest actions too, the lurid stares, the drunken ass grabbing, the inability to understand what the word “No” means.
The women of South Africa need far more recognition for their efforts, for their unconditional love to our people. The hours of unpaid labour they work towards helping our abused, sick, HIV ridden and uneducated children, starting NGO’s, crèches, Rape Survivor Units all without the support of our Government.

We are so well protected by our media, by our biased newspapers and national broad casters; we are BLIND to the sheer magnitude of the suffering of our women and children. And our patriarchal government clearly doesn’t give a shit about our lack of state medical care, education and basic human rights. They believe it’s their ‘traditional’ right to enslave their wives, their daughters, ensuring that they never become independent, that they have no place in our economy, in business.

I believe you become a woman when you command your place in the world, when you stand up for your beliefs, when you are selfless in your actions, when you are strong in times of hardship and when you speak out about the injustices of our people.

Women’s day is not enough for us, we want more.  When you strike a woman, you strike a rock.

*And please don’t think that I’m being ‘dramatic’ because I’m a woman and its Women’s Day.

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