Posted in Feminism

The Bible and the Strength of a Woman

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My friend and I were discussing my previous article ‘The Pains of the African woman’ and were all sad about how women around us thought that they neither have a choice nor a voice. He pointed out that the cause of all this is the bible since it is the most popular and yet chauvinistic book in the universe.

This got me thinking about the feministic themed mentorship program I ran awhile back. The girls and I looked at the women of substance-the women who made a difference in society both in history (biblical and non-biblical) and contemporary society.

These are just but a few of the names that came up from the Bible;

Esther (Esther 2)

Esther was the one who replaced Queen Vashti as wife of King Xerxes/Ahasuerus of Persia after she disobeyed the King. After learning that Haman, the King’s advisor had asked the King to authorize a royal decree to annihilate the Jews (her people) who had been driven out of Israel and exiled in Persia, she came up with a brave plan to stop it from happening.

Being the Queen, and after fasting for  three days to seek for God’s grace and favor, she asked the King and Haman to dine with her twice and on the second time, she who had hidden her faith from the King, revealed her secret and begged the King to spare her and her people’s (the Jews) lives.

Rahab (Joshua 2)

Though an Amorite, Rahab recognized the Jewish men who were sent by Joshua to scout Jericho as men of God and hid them from the king of Jericho. Furthermore, she understood that God had given the Israelite the Amorites’ land and was key instrument to the Israelites successful claim of the land.

The wise woman of Tekoah (2nd Samuel 14)

After killing his brother Amnon, David banished his son Absalom. This resulted to Joab seeking the help of the wise woman of Tekoah to convince David to lift the banishment and reconcile with his son.

The woman went to David crying and recalled how one of his sons killed his brother and the rest of her family were seeking his head. When David said that the son should be spared, she said so should Absalom. Therefore David lifted the banishment and Absalom returned home.

Abigail (1st Samuel 25)

She was the wife of Nabal from the house of Caleb. She is described as a woman of good understanding and beautiful countenance. And true to that, those are the qualities that saved her husband Nabal from death by the King’s hand for disregarding and insulting King David and saved David from blood-shed.

She placated him, reminded him that God will establish his dynasty and urged him not to have staggering burden of needless bloodshed on his conscience.

In conclusion, there is no book that has explicitly shown just how both intelligent and powerful a woman is like the Bible. So people, other than respect, I may not fully understand what else the Bible meant by ‘wives, submit to your husbands’ but one thing I know for sure is it doesn’t mean women should let their husbands oppress and suppress them.

Hit the comments box below for discussion.

 

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Posted in Feminism, Women

The Pains of the African Woman.

african women

Being an African myself, born and bred in Africa, I can say that I have had the displeasure of witnessing/seeing firsthand what the African culture/society has done to its woman.

Sure, I happened to be lucky enough to have a mother who made sure I know that my place isn’t the kitchen, that I can do anything and be anything I set my heart to, but that is not the case for every girl. The average African girl is brought up with the mentality that she is inferior to her brothers both young and old.

She has to serve her brothers as her masters. She has to serve them food and water even if they walk in when she is in the middle of her meal, and when they need a refill, she has to ‘pause’ eating and refill their plates. She doesn’t have a ‘name’ until she gets married and gets her husband’s name thus making marriage her biggest dream and highest achievement. Therefore, she learns how to be a ‘good wife’ from as early as she can walk; she learns to cook, fetch firewood, balance a pot full of water on her head cause, these are the qualities the man’s family will look at when the time for marriage comes.

If she falls pregnant while still in school or before marriage, she gets ostracized by everybody around her, while the boy, who made the same mistake as her, is treated with some sort of reverence because he has proved that he is a ‘man’.

When she gets married, she becomes her husband’s property. She is expected to just be seen but not to be heard. She can’t make any decision regarding the children, the family or even herself except what they are going to have for breakfast, lunch and supper. If the husband turns out to be violent, she is expected to receive every beating graciously because, well, there is no better show of ‘affection’ than a beating from your husband.

If the husband starts cheating and going around with other women, she is expected to stay put since men are not meant to be monogamous and after all, it’s her job to keep ‘her house’ together. If she keeps on complaining then she is told that she is the problem; she must be doing something wrong, otherwise, the man wouldn’t be looking at other women.

In the cases where the husband abandons her and the children, raises her children but at the end of it all, it’s said that the children belong to the man. If one or a couple of them end up ‘not doing so well in life’, then those are hers cause its assumed that they must have got it from her or she simply didn’t raise them well.

Video clips of cats drowning while trying to rescue their kittens, or dogs getting hit by a car or pleading faces of street kids begging for food are as sad as hell, but there’s nothing as heartbreaking as watching an African woman going through all this and so much more with a brave smile on her face.