Society you have had your way for too long. You wonder how? Let me attempt to break it down and please, no need for you to justify yourself. For once listen. Genuinely listen. Listen not to respond, but to hear and understand a different perspective.
You have succeeded in making women feel they are not enough when:
A woman’s choice of childbirth is via c-section instead of vaginal birth. As society, you prefer the ‘normal’ delivery, as if this is a choice women have to explain much less your business to meddle in!
The pressure you put on women to get married in their twenties under the guise of your well-wishing words: “You are not getting any younger!”, but what happened to: “Everyone’s path is unique?” Marriage isn’t a prize to be achieved and hung on a wall like a coveted possession. Some get married earlier than others and that’s okay. We are all getting older anyway-married or unmarried!
Here is what you have dictated to us over the years, without necessarily asking us, African women, what we wanted: graduate from university, get a job, get married, and have children. If children do not come in a time frame that is acceptable to you, you label the woman barren, or even worse, cursed!
Let’s discuss the subject of ‘submission’ to her husband. Patriarchy has raised men who demand and expect women to be and do certain things while putting no expectation on the man as the husband and head of the household.
There is nothing wrong just because someone does not fit the mould, does not adhere to your plans, and wants to live as they see fit. Our paths are different. We will never ‘achieve’ at the same time. But we can achieve in our own time. Be genuinely happy for others as they have good things happening for them.
What pressure has society exerted on you as a woman? Let me know in the comment section below.
This article first appeared on Teakisi in 2017.