We live in a society whereby, if you are a feminist, men feel insecure, they feel that they are being insulted. However, if you fight towards women empowerment, many of the men will stand with you and support you, but those are the same men who go home to their wives and children and make sure they know that he is the “Man of the house”.
Men would sit in public places and talk about how amazing it is that women are standing up for themselves and fighting for their rights, but those are the same men who go to their offices and sexually harass that new female intern.
Men would talk about feeding families, learning how to cook and spoiling yourspouse, but when they get home, they expect their wives to have the food ready for them, the house should be clean and the kids should be asleep or studying. They talk about sending girls to school and giving them an education, but when those girls become women, they are blackmailed into leaving school and they are forced to get married. And when their daughters get pregnant and go into labor, they say “we want a female doctor”.
Men talk about equal pay in the workplace, but they make sure to remind their wives that she is just there to please him, that only the man can work and the wife should stay at home and look after the children, yet they boast about employing more female staff?!
Sometimes it’s not just these things that make a woman feel insecure, but there are other little things. I recently attended an Indian wedding, the night before the wedding they had a mehndi night, this is when the girl’s side of the family dances, sings, has little fun and games etc., but it is also when the ladies put henna/mehndi on their hands as part of the celebrations. As everyone was deciding on their henna/mehndi design, I noticed a few women sitting on the side not paying much attention to the rest of us, I decided to ask them if they had any designs in mind for themselves, and when I did ask, their answers were all the same, “my husband doesn’t like mehndi, so I can’t put it on”, I asked them if they liked it, and if they wanted to put it, and all of them said yes… but alas, at the end of the evening those women unfortunately did not go home with any henna/mehndi on their hands.
I understand that marriage is about making your spouse happy, doing what they love, but it is also about making yourselves happy, I keep wondering, maybe one of them didn’t like the way her husband’s hair looked, or maybe another didn’t like the way he dressed, maybe the other one didn’t like it when he put on a certain cologne, but did they tell their husbands to stop wearing his hair that way, or to change his clothes in order to make her happy, or did she even ask her husband to buy another cologne.
By making your wife not do the things she loves, you’re already oppressing, you are making her feel unworthy. Why don’t women tell their husbands what to do, what to wear, why don’t they stop them from doing the things they love?
Why is your son allowed to stay out until whatever time he wants to, and yet if your daughter comes home a few minutes late, you’re angry with her?
A boy is allowed to bring a girl home, introduce her to this parents, take her out etc., but when a girl does the same thing she is immediately scolded, insulted, and married off. Men are allowed to get married at any age, but as soon as a girl turns 22, everyone starts questioning her, they keep asking her “when are you getting married?” Why is she not allowed to make her own choice in marriage, why does she have to get married in her 20’s?!
If you treat your son the same way you treat your daughter, it would teach them how to be equal towards one another, it will teach them how to respect each other, and when they get older, they will know their worth.
When a woman is raped by her husband, no one believes her, “you’re married, there’s no such thing as marital rape”. Almost 20% of women have admitted to being raped by their husbands, small statistic right? Just 20%, but this statistic was taken from women who were interviewed, there are many more who choose to remain silent.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that all men are like this, there are a few good ones out there, those who actually practice what they preach, and help fight for equality. But I am saying this to all the women out there, why do we allow men to make decisions for our daughters’ futures? Why do we allow them to dictate to us if we should work or not? Why do we give them the right to be superior? Don’t be another statistic.
If you are physically, emotionally or psychologically abused, please report it, speak to someone or ask for help, if you are being sexually harassed, take charge, take control and speak to your managers about it! If you are getting married against your will, file a complaint at your police station, tell a close friend or family member and ask them for help. Just know that you are not alone. There is always someone out there for you.
I ask each and every one who reads this blog, please help women, if you want your wives, daughters or mothers to live in a safe environment, then you have to help them by CREATING a safe environment. Stop disempowering women!
Treat the women in your life with respect, love and appreciation. Show them that it is okay to put henna/mehndi on your hands, even if you hate it. For once, allow her to put it on, and the joy and happiness on her face will make you feel a hundred times more of a man then you are right now.
Today is August 8, 2018. Tomorrow, on August 9, 2018, it is national women’s day in South Africa. Let us remember those heroes who fought for our rights and our freedom, those women who never gave up. Let us make them proud to see that women are still standing together, supporting one another, but this time, they have the men of their society to back them up. Let us stand together!
Happy National Women’s Day.
1.People Opposing Women Abuse:
- Telephone: 011 591 6803
Fax: 011 484 3195
Web address: www.powa.co.za
2. Lifeline S.A:
- Toll-free helpline: 0800 150 150
- Web address: http://www.childline.org.za/
- Toll-free helpline: 0800 055 555
4. Child Welfare S.A:
- Web address: http://childwelfaresa.org.za/
- Phone number: 074 080 8315
- Web address: http://www.famsaorg.mzansiitsolutions.co.za/
- Phone number: 011 975 7106/7
6. TEARS Foundation:
- Web address: https://www.tears.co.za/
- To access the database via USSD: *134*7355#
- Phone number: 010 590 5920
7. The Trauma Centre:
- Phone number: 021 465 7373