Thursday, 14 July 2016


If someone walks up to you and asks you, "what is the meaning of the word WOMAN?", what will your immediate answer be?
It is easy to define the word Banker, Aunty, Girlfriend, Husband, Cup, but how easy is it to define WOMAN?

People have tried to describe her, label her, understand her, put her in a box, handle her, fix her, measure her, define her and some have even tried to recreate her?

As simple as the word WOMAN is, everyone has a different definition.
Some of us might need a few seconds to gather our thoughts before we answer the question "who is a WOMAN?".

Who is a WOMAN?, has become more challenging to answer especially in the world of today where people come with different theories of who they think a woman should be.
Does that mean that WOMAN has become difficult to understand or has the word become so complicated?

My next question will be, "how will you define a woman? Is it based on her anatomy, roles and responsibility, belief, culture, background, qualities, education, mental state or race?

When you are done answering the question, I will then move on to ask about the word FEMINISM. Is it a negative word, or is it positive?

Some say it is an empowering word, while others say it breeds defiance and arrogance.

Do we define FEMINISM as a state of mind, personality preference, a chosen cause, a passionate representation, or pure female support?
Is it a word to be used boldly and proudly, or with apologies and fear?
Are we able to encourage our daughters to become FEMINISTS, or do we ask them to avoid the word? 

My next question is, "what is EQUALITY?"
We have all heard the word so many times and now we think we fully understand what it means or what it stands for.

How would you define the word?

Will you describe it based on money, value, respect, knowledge, authority, power, rights, hierarchy or a conditioned mindset?
What will be the right path to take in defining the word EQUALITY?

After that, we can move to my next question which is, "what does the phrase INDEPENDENT WOMAN mean?"
Will you define it based on the words or feelings of a single mum, financial status, background, education, environment or circumstance?

Is there a difference between being an INDEPENDENT WOMAN and having an INDEPENDENT MIND?

When you start differentiating between both, will your response be based on being independent from a MAN, or is it based on the bar you have raised  for yourself?
What or who are you INDEPENDENT of?

When I ask these questions, I find that a lot of women give me basic and general answers ( passed down from person to person, book to reader, article to audience) without thinking for themselves.
They give me dictionary definitions without any given contexts

Until women begin to honestly and carefully answer these questions from their own point of view, we will continue to pass down the issue of GENDER from one generation to the other.

If we don't know exactly who we are as opposed to who society says we should be, then we really don't know exactly what we are fighting for. We all just join in a fight without knowing how it affects us and the generations to come.
All of a sudden everyone has an opinion about things they have no personal view on.
We get into unnecessary debates just because we hear others talk about it. We are quick to defend titles and labels not because we know what they truly mean or represent, but because we feel the need to sound intelligent or belong to a group of people.

Another question is WHAT IS BODY SHAMING?
By whose standards can your own body be shamed?

Is this word BOSSY based on general attitude, relating to the opposite sex, running your own business the way you know how, being in authority or your style of leadership?
What is the criteria used in identifying a BOSSY person and one who is a BOSS?
Are we all supposed to lead or manage people the same way?

Why have we become so scared and so defensive because of these words?
Why have we set up campaigns that shed light on things that are not as crucial as killing young black men, because someone called us a name that is not even supposed to bother us?
Who magnified these words?
How and when did these words become STRONGER than our WILL POWER and emotions?
Why do I want to be equals with anyone when I can be more, I can be bigger, better, faster and richer?
What are my priorities in this case?
Do I want to get the exact thing someone else is getting or do I want to work hard enough to get more than what others are fighting for?
Do I want to teach my daughter to keep fighting to be paid an equal salary with her male counterparts, or do I want to teach her to OWN her own business so she can employ these counterparts?

What are we teaching the young girls?
How many words are we going to fight about or against?
How many rallies are we going to engage in?

Do we realize that there are so many important issues facing our gender? Things like DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, GIRL CHILD EDUCATION, EARLY MARRIAGES sex trafficking, sexual assault, rape, child mortality, MENTAL ABUSE etc.

These are causes that we can help with as opposed to wasting our time, fighting about words and phrases.

If you know who you are as a real WOMAN, you will know what to FIGHT for and what to STAND for.

I would like to know your thoughts. Please subscribe, comment and share. Let's start a conversation.

Thank you for stopping by.


  1. I like this post. I'll really love to experience a time when issues faced majorly by girls and women (especially gender violence and intimidation) will be given the priority they deserve. Until then, awareness like this should be a "job" for all.

  2. Hmmm this a big one! Interestingly enough I was thinking along this line this week, the woman, feminism etc. What led to my thinking was something I walked into over the weekend.

    So over the weekend I came across these black men (who I later found out were 'Black Hebrews', who basically is of the opinion that Jesus Christ was black, they don’t agree with churches based on their posters, they believe the Jews are not really Jews but ‘fake Jews ‘etc. They read from the Bible and Apocrypha book). Now I have never been in contact with any black Hebrew, so I was horrified at what came out of these men and the insult I received and just simply because I was a woman. I was shamefully embarrassed just because I wanted to ask them one question and I had insults thrown at me and scriptures completely taken out of context. I was so mad that even I surprised myself the way I responded to them knowing I was in public.

    Anyhow I got home and recounted to my husband what happened. In our discussion about it, I made a statement that caught my own attention. I said I guess I’m a bit of a ‘feminist’ and I have a problem with this, a problem with that. The fact that I addressed myself as a feminist without even thinking or considering what I was saying, caught my attention, and I stopped and asked myself, am I really a feminist? It has nothing to do with whether it’s positive or negative, but do I really know what a feminist is, and why was I referring myself as one without careful thought?

    I stopped and asked myself this question because I had come to a point in my life where I was not going to own another person’s opinion any longer. If it’s mine and it came from me, I will express it as my own, however if like you said SD it’s a definition giving by others and I did not necessarily come to that conclusion myself, why should I accept it and own it?

    As a result I started to think about woman in the context of religion due to encounter with these men, and the idea of feminist, what did feminism really meant? And am I really a feminist? I am still working on this, can't conclude on this overnight.

    Notwithstanding for now, I did conclude that I am just someone that hates injustice… that’s me for now, I don’t need to label myself per se to stand for that. So I say no to treating anyone badly (male or female, young or old), negating their right as a human being who have the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves or abusing those who for whatever be the reason do not have the mental capacity to make decision on their own.

    Nice article. It’s thought provoking.

  3. My sentiments exactly SD. A while ago, my husband asked me what my thoughts were on feminism. I told him I hadn't formed an opinion because I truly truly believe that there are more cause-worthy fights like the ones you mentioned here than to loose sleep over what has nearly been turned into a propaganda. So yes please, let's give more voice to the really really BAD things happening to our kin other than the somewhat edification of ourselves.

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