21 May I’m every woman, but should I be?
” I’m every woman it’s all in me. Anything you want done baby, I’ll do it naturally.”
These lyrics by Chaka Khan ring true to every woman and self-proclaimed feminist out there. Through them, women have felt empowered and thrived to be the best they can be. In fact, we have witnessed over the years, breakthroughs taking place for females. All confirming that there are indeed strides being taken towards the emancipation of women. However, I feel along the way, the true meaning of the song got blurred and lost thereby causing women to exert unnecessary pressure on themselves.
Through this song, women have felt the need to live up to unattainable standards. Stay at home moms for example have felt inadequate due to the notion that being a career woman whose juggling family and business projects while looking like a supermodel are all attributes of an ideal woman. So ideal, she can do all this “naturally”. However, is there such a thing? What is an ideal woman? What group or groups of women deserve being celebrated? Do we need to be every woman to impress men, the world and most of all ourselves? Can we not be worth celebrating as women with all our flaws and incapabilities?
Evidently, we need to see a shift in the world and it can only come about if we as women change our mind-set. We constantly fight for equality but somehow have become the ones driving the numbers of young ladies with low self-esteem through the roof. In a bid to see women being viewed as equals we have sold a dream that is unattainable. One that proves to be a cause for a migraine for whomever tries to make it a reality. This needs to stop!! With May being the month we celebrate Mothers, I believe it is also the time to reflect and picture the kind of world we want for females.
Cue in the role of mothers.
Mothers need to be the driving force towards educating their daughters that whilst the world is their oyster, they will be celebrated regardless of their career choices, fashion choices, body type, skin type, relationship choices and religion choice. Daughters need to be taught that they need not to conform or settle. They need to be educated that they do not have to trash something in order to validate an opinion. One does not need to trash weaves to promote natural African hair, nor trash talk curvy women to promote the slender ones, find fault in Christianity in order to promote being a Muslim or trash talk the boy child in order to promote the girl child. That blowing out another’s candle will not make your candle burn brighter. They need to understand that each and everyone is special in their own unique way.
“We need women who are strong so they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.” – Kavita Ramdas
Kudos to all our mothers and future mothers for the great job they are doing and are yet to do. Let us however, take it a step further by helping mould a future that we desire for the next generation. One where we will see a decrease in self-esteem issues, a future where the girl child can set out to be whatever and whomever she sees fit without going an extra mile to fit in.
We can achieve this as mothers by laying a foundation for a bigger, better and brighter future for our children. This foundation entails being a strong woman as a mother, believing and living the culture we seek to instil in our daughters. If we get this right, in that future, mothers will be celebrated, remembered and cherished with the chant “I’m every woman it’s all in me. Anything you want done baby, I’ll do it naturally.“