Sep 11, 2018 I Wish More Women Understood Their Power
“Consider this my reiteration
Miss I want to read into your nature
Like the deepest of liter-ature
Miss I’m trynna to be in your space without being in the way of your dreams and education”
– Wale Folarin
It’s not that we are unaware, ladies. Men know we can’t get through any of this life without you. The giver of life, the carrier, and cultivator of our children, the homemakers of even our ambition. Some of you saw “homemaker” and the horns immediately went up. This isn’t what some of you may think. This isn’t some self-absorbed hail mary pass to salvage the grip patriarchy that is being loosened by the minute. I want more than imaginable for women to not only have their equal rights honored but also have the peace of mind that comes with feeling like you’re not the only one that cares… about you. How we get there seems to be where the confusion is being instilled. I say instilled because it’s not a coincidence or an accident, this is systematic. This is intentional. This is genocidal. The separation of our community has always come through convincing us that we have to compete against each other; this is no different.
“I learned a lot about systems of oppression and how they can be blind to one another by talking to black men. I was once talking about gender and a man said to me, “Why does it have to be you as a woman? Why not you as a human being?” This type of question is a way of silencing a person’s specific experiences. Of course, I am a human being, but there are particular things that happen to me in the world because I am a woman. This same man, by the way, would often talk about his experience as a black man. (To which I should probably have responded, “Why not your experiences as a man or as a human being? Why a black man?”)”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The strongest people I know are women. It’s not even close. I know men who can bench press 500 pounds, take punches for 15 hours, and can build houses but their strength pales in comparison to the women I know. What I’ve observed of my mom, grandmother, aunts, and friends is a strength internally to endure. To stand up after things have been meant for their destruction, both intentionally and unintentionally. This is not an attempt to pander, acknowledgement is important. Women, in fact, taught me that. The fact that as a grown man, I still NEEDED to be taught that, is part of the problem. As I am in the process of applying it to my everyday life, I realize how much the lack of acknowledgment contributes to a lot of the disconnect. Tasked as being the “head of the households” or the “leaders”, it is so imperative that we, as men, began to really invest in understanding the full scope of our women counterparts. This was a step for me. In general, I had an understanding of how to date women, how to make them laugh, how to evoke emotion out of them, and even how to get them into my bed consensually but I wasn’t motivated to learn the full scope of them. How to use me as a tool to help them, to heal them, to even… lead them. As a young man, that wasn’t of my concern. It also wasn’t the concern of the society around me, to make sure I was concerned with it. Albeit no excuse, boys are trained to learn the things I already knew. This is generational. It didn’t start with me and my friends. Then what I’ve seen be taught to women is how much they combat men. Compete with men. This brings me to feminism. The quote above is an amazing quote. Like most amazing perspectives there’s nuance. The nuance here is, she’s absolutely right. On all accounts. She’s right that his manner of thinking is a product of oppression. She’s also right that he’s blinded to the specific needs of the black woman. And lastly, if it’s a competition, she’s right to quip back with her final thought. The actual nuance is that quipping back with her last thought completes the mission for the oppressor. We’ve watched the domino effect of oppression lead to a “Tit for Tat” community. It’s similar to kids saying “but he did this, mama”. That’s where we live. Somehow that’s what feminism has become, at least online, over the last 5 years.
“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”
– Michelle Obama
Women can do everything. Men can’t. Women can lift weights and get stronger. Women can acquire just as much knowledge, and then some, as any man. Women also have the capacity to care, inherently, like men can’t. For us, a certain amount of free-flowing unconscious compassion is just unattainable. Caring for us is normally a learned behavior. It’s a choice. You almost have to dare women to not care for them to even consider it in a lot of cases. Natural nurturers- that’s a POWER that God gave women. Not to get too preachy, but the very first woman was created to do for a man what he couldn’t do for himself. He couldn’t make it, with everything at his disposal, by himself!! While companionship, in my opinion, is a mutual dedication to helping another person solely through love, mutual doesn’t mean in the exact same way. It means the same intentions, not necessarily the same actions. Through efforts to separate the community, American patriarchy started a gender war (amongst other wars i.e. colorism, classism). That materialized into “Why I need to cook, I work too?” or “If I make this much and we split the money, we split everything too”. It just feels like a business arrangement or corporate meltdown, depending on which side you’re on, way more than it feels like love. I’m not here to say women should be maids or should feel their sole purpose in life is to find a man or please a man or take care of a man. Quite the opposite. I think a woman is multi-purposeful, more so than any species of being. I think a woman can be a loving wife, mother, businesswoman, lawyer, author, and philanthropist all at once (Scroll up if you need an example) My hope is that we can one day realize, one doesn’t devalue the other. A woman’s natural instinct to be at work, planning dinner, remembering the problem her best friend is having emotionally, knowing that her father is probably going to forget to take his cholesterol medicine, and planning how she’s going to get her hair done is a GIFT. Not a curse. Yes, companionship means her husband should definitely try to be as in tune as possible with helping physically or emotionally to lighten her load, I’m just saying it doesn’t come naturally to us. Women are greater than us when they tap into their power. When they don’t let the manipulation of society or their frustrations completely control their output, we can’t keep up with them with Usain Bolt’s running shoes.
“Let’s be very clear: Strong men – men who are truly role models – don’t need to put down women to make themselves feel powerful. People who are truly strong lift others up. People who are truly powerful bring others together.”
– Michelle Obama
Givers of LIFE. Through childbirth, through encouragement, through forgiveness, through compassion… women are the mortal givers of life. I asked a few friends while doing background information for this piece, how many long-tenured successful men do they know that haven’t been married? They couldn’t name many. I think out of 20 people asked, Drake was the only one that came up. Still relatively young, but he’s been successful for 10 years strong so I didn’t fight it. For all the promiscuity (and infidelity) that ravages through the press cycles of our culture, it seems that men still understand that they need women. More than we would like to openly admit but in case you didn’t notice, men struggle with vulnerability. Men struggle even with humility. What men have to learn to not struggle with is understanding that, these powers that women possess, have to be recognized and appreciated. I think, and I could be wrong but, I think women would love to be everything for us. I think, even with all the separatist rhetoric, they know deep down that they can be everything for us and still be everything they want to be. That simply requires us, men, as the laborers, to understand the hole in the boat that we need to fix. They are drowning in despair feeling like we won’t stand on the front line with them for their pay disparities, or their harassment injustices, abusive practices (domestically and professionally). They need to know that pouring into us fully won’t result in us taking all fruit of that labor to someone else. Knowing that we won’t forget the sacrifices they made in time, peace of mind, and rest to get 15 things accomplished in a 5 thing time span won’t go in vain. Sadly, in true male form, we won’t see the life in their power to do all these things, until they understand it for themselves. Until they take that understanding and show us how to count on our fingers unconsciously. Until they show that walking away whole, is an option for them. The power doesn’t lie in them doing everything we can do, we know they can whether we admit it or not, the power is in them doing everything we can’t. The power is in a well of love and compassion that lives inside of them that never runs dry. The power is in their ability to turn the same four walls into a home, the same toddler into a loving adult, the same idea into a partnership.
I wish more women understood their power
Just my thoughts,