WOMEN RUN THE WORLD
I think the problem with trying to maintain traditional gender roles is that we are now at a place where almost everything has been turned on its head. Apart from majority of the households in South Africa being run by single parents, those single parents are women. Now, where in the past a man was expected to be the head of the household, that no longer happens, or is no longer expected rather. But this issue is not only applicable to South Africa, but to the rest of the world. Secondly, the divorce rate is high, and this is obviously a contributing factor to single parent households. Now, traditional gender roles say that the man is the head and the woman stays at home and becomes a domestic goddess while her husband brings home the bacon. That’s cool and everything but we have gotten to the point where there is so much more for a woman in this world.
There are so many more opportunities which are now open for women to exploit that it is now okay and encouraged for women to want to be “more”. Women can now for example, go and get tertiary education, or pursue being a career woman. Not that it is encouraged completely, but it is no longer frowned upon when a woman goes to University than it was long ago when all a woman was expected to do was grow up, hit puberty and then become a baby making machine. This was your job as a woman. But that is no longer applicable. Well not in the society I live in and I’m just so grateful for all of the women and all of the men who actually played a factor in changing that. The reason why I include men in this is because in all honesty, the people who contributed to women’s dis-empowerment are men. So in order for women to conquer this they need some men to come on board and give women a chance. Because if you think about it, you’re a career woman and you are now making your way up the corporate ladder and then the time comes where you feel like fuck it; it would be great to make partner. Now if you are up against men and it is also men who have to make the decision, don’t you agree that the last person they are thinking of electing is you? There is no way as a woman that you are going to make it in there without changing the mind-set of a man if the man still has power. So we need a revolution of the mind with men as well and this is why I have included men by saying thank you not only to the women who continuously strive to break the boundaries on inequality, but also to the men who are just like “ I’m going to give her a chance.”
WOMEN’S MONTH PROVES THE RAPIDITY OF OUR EVOLUTION
OK so as you know (or may not know) August is women’s month in South Africa and because of this a lot of women-orientated activities are happening. So now when I hear things or read things that address a woman’s strength and associate it to “her ability to be silent and know her place in the household”, on a platform which has been made available exclusively to women and mainly to celebrate women this month, I’m just like…. WE MUST HAVE LOST HER ALONG THE WAY. If there are still some women who believe a woman’s strength lies in her ability to be silent in the face of adversity and inequality, you obviously can’t possibly be a part of the movement. You must have missed the train because you are a sister wife and you are too busy being a domestic slave and do not have time to read my blog. How can it be OK for a woman’s strength to be measured in silence (lol yes I know you just imagined pouring some silence in a measuring cup? No? Okay…) But a silent man is seen as being weak and not assertive? Because we all know the Alpha male makes his opinions known ad that’s sexy right? No man actually no wonder why women are told we don’t know what we want and I hate that because people are not used to us speaking that even when we do, our opinions are undermined. So this is the one thing that really disappointed me on Women’s day because I believe that we have evolved. As I have said, we are no longer living in a society where TRADITIONAL gender roles can work. We are not and we should not fight for that. Just because now we as women are “permitted” to pursue a career or to be individuals in a relationship or in marriage, it does not mean that because now I am a Chartered Accountant and my husband is one as well that I have an equal say in what happens in the house. Yes, I do have an equal say but it was not and should not be brought on by my personal achievements. That’s ego and we both know that the ego has no place in a relationship. Buuuuut we also know that men who discourage women from achieving anything are just plain insecure.
Let me paint you another picture to prove that traditional gender roles are a thing of the past. We will continue on the ability for a woman to attain tertiary level education. Let’s say you now meet this gorgeous woman. She is multi-talented, the perfect package. Because her parents were not narrow- minded and wanted the best for her, they sent her out to the world to be great, she winds up a respected professional and meets a man who would like to marry her. Both of them may be in the same demanding field. Now let us take a look here… It is late for the dynamics of traditional gender roles to take effect because of the following reasons:
1. She is not only educated and informed
2. SHE IS INDEPENDENT
3. SHE IS OLD ENOUGH TO DECIDE WHAT SHE WANTS TO DO WITH HER LIFE
4. SHE FEELS SHE VALUES HER CAREER MORE THAN HAVING CHILDREN (FAIR)
5. THE WAY HER LIFE IS SET UP, YOU MAY JUST NEED TO BE THE HOUSEHUSBAND (NO SHAME IN THIS BY THE WAY)
6. THE GUY WAS NOT WITH HER WHEN SHE WAS DECIDING ALL OF THESE AMAZING THINGS FOR HER AMAZING LIFE
7. BECAUSE THE GUY SHOULD BE A SELFLESS MODERN DAY MAN, HE WILL NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT HE FOUND HER WITH THIS AMBITION AND WITH THESE GOALS AND THAT IF STARTING A FAMILY IS THE NEXT BEST THING, EQUAL DECISIONS NEED TO BE MADE
So you see, with all the change and exposure, things cannot possibly stay the same. Change is good! A woman achieving does not mean she will not be submissive to her husband. Perfect submission is not brought on by laws, roles or rules; it is not a result of oppression over another. Where there is mutual respect there will be perfect submission. And the eradication of traditional gender roles just means that gender roles have been upgraded; and what wrong has ever come from upgrading something? * That was a rhetorical question :)*