Today March 8 is celebrated worldwide as International Women’s Day. It’s the day we celebrate the blessed gender sent as a blessing from God from time immemorial.
But my topic doesn’t sound like one for International Women’s Day and that is partly true. Partly because today, I want to take the opportunity of International Women’s Day to talk of something deeper and partly because it relates in every way to Women in today’s world and this age of ‘wokeness’.
This present age of wokeness and social awareness and correctness has brought with it a lot of challenges and a lot of questions about identity. From the struggle for LGBT rights and other sexual(ity) related struggles to the struggle for Feminism, there is a lot going on and a lot of confusion. The confusion also comes with hatred and disgust and gradually in an era where humanity is most connected and should be more united, divisions and dislike are springing everywhere. Why?
I think it has to do with advancement and comfort. Unlike previous generations, this generation is not in a serious quest to make discoveries and inventions. I also think it has to do with intellectualism. This is also a generation that is smart intellectually beyond others. We have achieved a wealth of knowledge so immerse and have decided to be thought changers and creators. This is also a generation that doesn’t want to keep silent but wants their voice to be heard. And thanks to the internet and social media and free publishing sites, anybody anywhere can say anything. This is the age of freedom.
Finding out why we have identity issues though is not the crux of this article. What I am driving at is tolerance and acceptance.
It is agreed that we are a woke, smart, socially aware generation and that is good in many ways. And we live in a time of freedom where we have the right to express ourselves. What I am advocating is to let people be who they want to be.
“To Thine Own Self Be True,” said Shakespeare many years ago. If you decide who you want to be, who are you to discriminate against someone else? If one decides to be LGBT in any way whether gay or homosexual or bisexual or decides to be a traditional woman (mostly in Africa) or a career and success driven woman or both – I don’t see the need to discriminate. Why? We live in an enlightened age where we have been taught to think for ourselves not just take knowledge given us down our throats. I seriously doubt anybody will make a decision on identity without thinking it through. If someone’s understanding is different from yours, so be it. The abundance of ideas is what makes the world better as we rub minds.
Now I’m aware that this issue is very culture and religious sensitive especially in Africa and this is in no way an endorsement of LGBT or what I term mainstream Feminism – in fact, my personal ideologies are very conservative, biblical and orthodox – but my focus here is not the thing but the person.
We are all human beings and we should love, accept and care for one another. That is my message – That everyone doesn’t have to be like you and everyone should be allowed to be who they want to be.
Sure I have another message I will soon write extensively about which talks about knowing your actions affect more than you but for today put on love.
In relation to International Women’s Day, I’ll say to the women out there. If you want to be a woman driven by success in her career and don’t subscribe to the ideas of marriage especially being the highest achievement of a woman (more prevalent in my Africa), Fine! Be who you want to be and don’t let anyone look down on you. If you aspire to get married and let everything else be defined by marriage, family and a man you trust with your life, Fine! Do it. If you believe in marriage but your independence as a human being to do whatever you want, Fine! Do it and find a partner who agrees with your ideology.
The question who is a woman is one that has a simple answer – whoever she wants to be. I’d recommend you read an article by a friend which inspired me to do this. You can read it here.
In conclusion cheers to all the women everywhere! Ya’ll are the real MVPS. Keep being the best wherever you are and whoever you decide to be.
Heres a poem by Kyenpiya Bala for your reading pleasure.