In my article in this very same journal on 25 September yesteryear titled, ‘Love toward women should be the next pandemic’, I powerfully quoted Patricia Noah (Trevor Noah’s mother), who once said: “A man is not determined by how much he earns. You can still be the man of the house and earn less than your woman. Being a man is not about what you have, but it’s about who you are. Being more of a man doesn’t mean your woman has to be less than you. Make sure your woman is the woman in your life. When you look at a woman, acknowledge her presence, notice her, and show her that she exists.’’
What is it about our Namibian society that makes it hard for us to appreciate the women in our society? Both the young and the old, the employed and the unemployed? Do we psychologically lack self-love, and as a defence mechanism, we pull others down to make ourselves feel better?
Nigerian author, in his book, Capitalist Nigger, concluded that it seems like in our societies, each and every one of us has a PHD (Pull Him Down/Pull Her Down) and that’s the reason we label others with detrimental and in most cases, false tags. The most used tags on ladies, to paraphrase what Monica Geingos said in the women empowerment video, who quoted from the Misogynist Playbook are: fat/ugly, stupid/unqualified and slut or gold digger. But for how long are we going to torment each other psychologically, especially on social media?
It scares me to see that even the most respected women in the country go through social media bullying and gender insults. If the first lady receives those insults, then it must be worse for the young and unemployed ladies in this nation. We must do better as a nation. We must learn how to love and respect again. We are not a generation of Pull him/her down. We are capable of loving and loving we should.
Also, we must always be careful of what we hear about women. Rumours come from either a man who can’t have her or a woman who can’t compete with her. Ladies too, must learn how to fix each other’s crown instead of competing. Let’s educate the girl child to complement and stand for each other. After all, “when you educate a man, you educate a man. When you educate a woman, you educate a generation.’’
Lastly, I hope all the women gather strength to deal with the pressure that the society put on you. You are beautiful, smart, classy, and fabulous.
Keep your heels, head, and standards high. Most importantly, love yourself just the way you are and there’s no need to fix the melanin colour that God has painted you with his paintbrush.
Also, we are not painting all men in the society with the same brush. The true gentlemen must join in helping the women in their struggle for equality as it is a collective effort for all those who care about human rights. After all, until everyone is free from physical, social, and psychological bullying, no one is free!