They accept multiple layers of crap from men and they teach their daughters to do it too. They chastise other women who try to rise above the gender ceiling. Worse, they ardently defend men who live as if their penis is a king’s sceptre.
Many times this ‘males are better’ attitude comes from religious beliefs, archaic traditions or out-dated cultural dictates. Thankfully though, in the 21st century - the ICT age - knowledge is beginning to dispel outdated beliefs, sexist practices and gender myths. Shockingly, rather than running along the Information Highway towards more enlightened views, it is often women who throw up road blocks against other women.
My father and mother told me that any woman completely dependent on a man for her existence (emotional and physical) has made herself a victim-in-waiting. Coming from a matriarchal extended family, full of role models of high-performing, intelligent, wealthy, loving, successful women, it never occurred to me that I should follow a man like a sheep, just because he is male.
I was taught to fight for success side-by-side with my man, while sharing love and strength together. I was taught to judge someone based on the content of their character, not their gender.
My point is that men who fear gender equality could never maintain their stranglehold on the rise of women without the help of other women.
How many women know that our sons, nephews, husbands and brothers are thieves and yet, we happily take their gifts of money?
How many women put down other women seeking professional advancement, in deference to a lesser qualified man? How many women easily and diligently accept a male boss and yet challenge our female bosses every step of the way?
How many women are out there committing adultery with other women’s husbands, disregarding the sanctity of marriage and wrecking another woman’s home?
How many women have multiple baby-daddies as if the only thing they think they can do is have sex and give birth? Experienced women are failing to teach young ladies to love themselves enough to make discriminating relationship choices.
How many women know that their husbands, fathers, brothers or sons are sexually and physically abusing children and yet, they say and do nothing to defend those young souls?
How many women know that their male family members are beating the crap out of their wives and girlfriends and yet, ‘keep quiet’?
How many women family members of the men who murder women, saw the warning signs of this disaster years ago, yet and pretended everything was OK?
How many woman pressure their single, career/education-minded daughters into getting married or chide them for not having ‘a man’ or children?
How many older women use younger girls in their homes ONLY as maids, babysitters, field hands, laundresses, errand runners, and cooks instead of allowing them to help domestically AND study, play, have personal time, grow socially and be free thinkers?
How many women pat an errant man on the back, give him a warm meal and say that his adultery, thieving, lying, domestic abuse, drunkenness and drug abuse is ok? These women enable men to wreak havoc on other women’s lives.
Namibia has a great constitution. Women are protected under the law in many ways, yet so few know this and even fewer have the courage to demand what is already theirs.
There are still women being ‘locally’ disinherited after the death of their husbands, while the law forbids this! In many cases, it is other women leading the deceased husband’s clan in stealing from his widow. It is the wives of the deceased man’s brothers who sit back quietly and greedily and watch their husbands abuse a grieving woman.
None of what I have written should be interpreted to mean that ALL men are useless; not so! What I am advocating is gender equality; women must value themselves and stop attacking other women in favour of men.
Women must read the constitution of Namibia and know our rights. We must own them one by one; it won’t be a quick or easy process.
Slowly begin the difficult change with a hug and tough love for our sons. We must teach all males in our homes, that women and girls are equal in value as themselves.
Women must call out men and boys for bad behaviour, even if other women attack us for it (and they will!) Women must stop joyfully serving and feeding misbehaving men at our tables while they beat their wives, rape women and girls, make extra-marital babies or have babies with various women, drink too much, or steal from other people’s homes.
We must find effective ways to fight inequality and stop holding women down.