I’ve read a lot of posts, comments, and Instagram handles where generally women have sent in their complaints and concerns seeking advice about various situations. I guess that’s why most articles written or sent in to BellaNaija are focused on women. Personally I’ve always written my articles with women as the objective, and I hope that one way or the other someone takes something away from it. I pride myself in being a feminist and I’m pro-women for most things. I absolutely love seeing women in power, holding positions, being captains of industries, calling the shots as CEOs of organisations etc
The British Novelist, Playwright and Poet William Golding said “I think women are foolish to pretend they are equal to men. They are far superior and always have been. Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she will give you a baby. If you give her a house, she will give you a home. If you give her groceries, she will give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she will give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!” This statement by itself is very empowering; as I believe women are all of these and so much more.
Let’s use Cleopatra for instance; scholars say it wasn’t so much her beauty that was appealing but her intelligence and conversation. She wasn’t the ravishing, sensual beauty portrayed in films starring Claudette Colbert or Elizabeth Taylor. She was a great orator, outspoken, intellectual and controlled her country’s economy, its fleet, its agricultural output. She was the wealthiest ruler in the Mediterranean, a powerful force, incomparable to any modern ruler or celebrity. Her silken presence and her powers of persuasion, unearthing the mysteries of Cleopatra reveals a woman who could be a modern day feminist. To some, she was a debauched temptress who manipulated both Caesar and Mark Antony to further her insatiable thirst for power; to others she was a great scholar and stateswoman who did her best to protect the country she loved from the powerful Roman State. Wikipedia states ~ she was the last active Pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, briefly survived as Pharaoh by her son Caesarian. After her reign, Egypt became a province of the recently established Roman Empire
Cleopatra was all of this in an era where there wasn’t social media, formal education, internet, training schools, training academies, degrees, masters programs, PHDs, open universities or online training portals. Her achievement was based on the sheer desire to succeed and be regarded as someone equally as powerful as her male counterparts. So tell me, what’s your excuse? I believe woman have so much more to give other than being just wives and mothers. Don’t get me wrong, getting married and having kids is beautiful and equally fulfilling but is that just it to being a woman? Do you not want to teach your kids how to be confident, goal oriented, self reliant, go out there and get it achievers?
Women have a huge role to play in the home, as William Golding stated “whatever you give a woman she makes greater” and to be greater you have to have it in you in order to pass it on. I visit a certain blog and when some people write in for advice a lot of the complaints centre around the boyfriend or husband not providing for them, we can argue this from the angle that men should be the sole providers and the woman stay home and look after the kids but to be honest, in this day and age, if your husband isn’t earning a heck of a lot in whatever it is he does, being the sole provider is a lot of pressure. You also have women who have remained in emotional, mental and physically abusive relationships out of love or due to the fact they’ve lost their sense of worth and feel no one else will find them desirable. I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave over people like that and trigger a brain reset so they realise how magnificently powerful they are and their happiness and fulfilment in life lies in their own hands.
Scholars also say that the Roman emperor, Augustus founded his reign on the death of Cleopatra. When he had a chance to name a month in his own honour, instead of choosing September his birth month he chose August the month in which Cleopatra died, to create a yearly reminder of her death. If that doesn’t indicate how much of a threat she was when she was alive I don’t know what will.
The power of women dates back to Biblical days, Adam was mislead by Eve. Samson, who was very powerful, surrendered to Delilah. David felled a nine-foot Goliath yet fell under the spell of Bathsheba. Solomon, who ruled over the golden years of Israel, surrendered to women; he had a record number of 700 wives and 300 concubines! Femi Fani Kayode wrote” Women are more discerning than men, more calculating, more thoughtful, more spiritual, more loyal, and more disciplined and they can handle emotional pain and psychological torture far better than men. A woman can suffer trauma, deprivation, shame, sheer cruelty and beatings from a man and still stay with him simply for the sake of the children. A woman can do anything and take anything for, or from, a man that she truly loves. A woman can be the most vicious and dangerous of all God’s creatures when she is hurt and scorned and when her love is not returned”
So women, why aren’t you doing more with your power? Channelling all this energy into being the powerhouses that you naturally are? I’m constantly celebrating women and a few people have inspired my journey in the film industry, who have taken advantage of this supremacy. People such as Emem Isong, who carved a niche for herself as one of the first female producers in a dogged male dominated industry; Omoni Oboli and Mo Abudu, some of the first female film producers who films broke Nigerian cinema box office. Chimamanda Adichie who is a MacArthur genius grant recipient and has been called “the most prominent” of a procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors. The genius grant is a prize awarded annually by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to between 20 and 30 individuals, working in any field, who have shown “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction”.
Finally, my own mother who raised three young women single handedly, without our dad – and till date it doesn’t feel like I didn’t have him around because she filled that void in everyday possible. We travelled the world went to the best schools and were constantly encouraged that we could be whatever we wanted to be as far as we applied our minds to it.
I’ll end with these words also from Femi Fani-Kayode “A woman will make you feel that you are in charge yet with sweet words and with guile and cunning she silently controls everything and everyone around you. Women are the shield, the defender and the foundation of the home. Even as the man is the head, the woman is the neck without which it would fall. The greatest mistake that any man could ever make is to underestimate or treat with levity the power of a woman. For it is only a dullard or a fool that could honestly believe that he can confine a woman to having babies and to simply cooking in the kitchen. A woman is irrepressible, unbeatable, unfathomable, irresistible and unknowable”