It has and always will be womandla, above everything else, above the apartheid, above Ubuntu, above slavery, above western colonization-it will always be the mighty roar of womanhood
First of all let me thank the strength that never deserts me or any other lady out there, I see you working on me girl-I see you. And again, this is for my girls, my ladies, abo-mama, the grannies; heck, the whole lineage of the wonderful and immaculate Eve.
Yes, we see it, but we don’t talk about it-but a woman, strongly the black woman, but allow me to generalize this one as it does not choose-
A woman is tired by Tuesday, and by Thursday, holding on to a mantra hoping to make it through the weekend. By Monday, eye bags all over, superglue that failed to stick long enough and a body so drained from all that it has been carrying in a single lifetime. This one lifetime we are allotted, it is too little to absorb the drama, work, colorism, feminism, people, parenting, society standards, instagram likes, academic progression, friendships, relationships-all of it. Sometimes we wake up and we realize just how much a day means for us to start over, to write off failed attempts, to reconstruct crooked smiles. But with each day, awaits more intensified heartbreaking and gut wrenching situations.
I want to believe that the most belittled human in the world, in Africa per say is a woman, and yes, that other word that just came into your mind after you read that phrase is exactly what is missing-a black woman. I won’t talk about equality because I’m no feminist and it is so over spoken that it has become so redundant in the 21st century. I will talk about everything people don’t choose to talk about because they still want to feel good about themselves even after turning their backs on certain things just because they don’t affect them. That’s how humans work, as long as it doesn’t kill me, I don’t have to worry about it, even if it’ll kill the person next to me.
The world has internalized how and when a woman should feel good, feel okay and be absolutely satisfied. This will never stop because we are not the ones who get to choose trends, what is it, and what is not. Take for instance, we never get to choose that now natural hair is the in thing and black girls can start to accept their curly hair. Someone other than us, has to do it for everyone to start liking it. Celebrities came up with this crazy idea of lip filling. I call it crazy because girls with thick lips grew up ashamed of the size of their lips. There was a boy I liked when I was 9 and all he could see was my lip size and not my stupid undeniable crush for him so he kept on teasing me until I hated the idea of having big lips. But then, all of a sudden, Kylie Jenner gets her lips plumped up and everybody now loves thick lips. What about us-girls with the thick lips, we are expected to adjust to them loving and worshiping our lips. Sick, isn’t it. It is of you ask me-we didn’t get to decide that brown could qualify for a nude lipstick shade, we didn’t get to choose to embrace cellulite until a picture of Serena Williams on the beach went viral, we didn’t get to decide that all bodies are equal-big, thick, skinny because someone other than us, women; decided they liked it and so it became. But look at us, the measures we take to hide those that haven’t reached the acceptable criteria for society, and my, we are actually good at it- can you begin to imagine how hard that is? Hiding? But it is part of our daily routines and it is normal for us until decided otherwise.
It took so much for women to be heard, since the era of Queen Victoria all the way through Coretta King and Winnie Madikizela Mandela. The world has become so used of placing us in the background that it has no idea it has extended to other problems. Rape culture will never end as long as we are expected to look over our backs even when we are with the people we trust, so even after it happens, we hide, we are afraid of the shame and the pity party it brings. We carry another man’s lust dirt around us, quite because if we talk, the very impression of being a woman strikes as a weapon. How are we expected to live if our bodies are seen as arson sites? Prostitutes can’t be raped, a woman wearing a skirt can’t be raped because she was simply asking for it( But even if I’m naked, doesn’t mean I am asking for it), I can’t be raped by my own partner because being together means I have sold my soul to the devil for a piece of affection. Insane. But we survive. Rape and assault victims, even those who are afraid to come out, they wear that invincible cloth and learn to look over their bra strap, but here we are soldiering on, even though our fathers taught us best to take care of a man than fend ourselves when they attack.
The world is not responsible for our losses, we know this line more than any other that has served to direct how we are expected to conduct ourselves after fall outs. We over analyze everything, loss will do that to you. We are sensitive, loss will do that to you. We even fail ourselves most of the time, knowing everything about over trying and nothing about giving up-bear with us, bear with you friend, your mother, your sister, your daughter, your wife, and your girlfriend that balmy days don’t always come. Bear with them that grief demands to be heard at some point in their lives. Yes. Bear with them that some battles are fought alone and maybe they just need a helping hand where they see fit.
Our love, it’s the kind that sticks for a long time so it gets hard to acclimatize to hate even after inflicted pain. Pain we feel at a much heightened level that we lose ourselves while searching for answers in the process. We are insecure, we have the world to thank for that -unsexy as it is, and it is how we are built, (woman)– holding this crappy world with the amount of love we have left, the stapled scarifications and nursing maggots that foam at the mouth of our sanities.
Being a woman all in all should be celebrated. We even have to fight for academic prowess and boulder shoulders in the corporate world.
“Woman” does not mean easy, cursed, forbidden, and crazy. It is a privilege, one that the world has apportioned us unwillingly. Man, we get to play God and give off life, love without expectation of reciprocation.
So a big shout out to all my girls, my mama, your mama, home girls, sisters-we killing this!
By Palesa Khotso