I have always maintained that women should have the right to choose what they want for themselves, as far as their lives go. I believe that if a woman wants to work and focus on her career, she has every right to, and where possible, I believe a woman should be able to stay home and focus on her family and home, if she so chooses. If a woman wants to remain single all her life, so be it. If a woman does not want children, I say “more power to [her]“.
I think that where “modern” women go wrong is when they take their right to make their own choices too far. There is a new breed, for lack of a better word, of “modern” women who are destructive to themselves, their children and their communities. These are women who think that standing up for women’s rights means nursing a nasty and malicious hatred towards any and every man. Some “modern” women think that being able to choose what you want means hopping from one man’s bed to another and then onto yet another. Yet others, think that it is okay to speak and behave like drunken sailors. While I respect every women’s right to make her own choice, I think it’s important to recognize that these choices have consequences.
Sadly, the outcome of this new “modern” woman is that we have a lot of women who have children with men they don’t particularly like, or worse, with men they don’t really know. We have young women who say that they don’t think that having a man in the home is necessary. We have become so individualistic that we make self serving decisions and isolate ourselves from the community structure that many of our mothers and grandmothers grew up in. I think that it is really sad that we have evolved to a society where some women would rather judge and criticize another woman, as a wife and mother, rather than offer her a helping hand. It’s also sad to see women who say that they “can do bad” all by themselves while they shortchange their children because they were not ready to have them, or they had them unexpectedly. The list goes on, but the short story is that we are moving in the wrong direction.
I would love to see a new kind of modern woman who respects herself and her body. I would love to see a modern woman who understands that she has the choice to do what she wants to do but makes those choices wisely. We can not say that we are concerned about “our people” while we actively contribute to the destruction of ourselves, our families and our communities. How about we teach our daughters to have a strong voice without acting like their voice is the only one that matters. How about we teach young women that men are not their enemies, but are instead potential life partners and providers and protectors?
Before anyone jumps in and says that some men are scum and low lives etc., lets consider that not all of them are. Also, I’m often curious about women who say things like “all men are dogs”. We draw to ourselves that which we are, so when I hear a woman make such a statement, it causes me to wonder what kind of a woman she is…
As we approach a new year, how about we make different choices? Let’s start with closing our legs-yep, I said it! And if we do decide to “open” them, how about we do so responsibly? If you’re a woman with a lot of hurt and disappointment surrounding a man, whether it is your father or your past “lover”, how about you take some concrete steps towards healing those wounds?
I see too many women who just want a simple life; a good man to love, some children and a peaceful home but they have given up hope. Instead of being honest with themselves about what they want, they launch an attack on anyone who dares to suggest that maybe they have some healing to do. Theses women launch an attack on anyone who dares to suggest that they have a little bit (or a lot!) of work to do (personal development) in order to get what they want. They would rather blame and criticize all men or the person gently suggesting that they need to take a look at themselves.
Let’s use the new year to do a new thing. Remember, one way of recognizing a crazy person is that they do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Do something different and if you continue to have the courage to travel that path, your life will change and the change will be for the better.
Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at successfulblackwoman.com