When I was young, all I ever wanted to be was a boy. Yeah, I guess my reality was little obscured. You see, guys just seemed to have it all. I mean, all they ever did was sit around, and the woman was left to clean up their mess. I mean this literally and figuratively. All I saw was men sitting at the head of the table, engaged in meetings to discuss change, go out at night playing sport or whatever it was that they did, and the women would just pass along the tea or get stuck at home looking after the kids.
All I saw was women serving men and with women’s month ever present, I started thinking about this more and more. But, this paradigm that the women in the family and society created, just came crashing down as I started understanding what it meant to be a woman.
You see, my dad raised us to be strong, resilient, and made us understand the importance of gaining knowledge and the role it plays in growth and security. Then, during my undergrad studies in Islamic theology, the male dominant faculty taught me about the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him). In doing so, they taught me about the women that came into his life and while teaching me about a phenomenal man, they also taught me about the phenomenal women that etched their story of strength inside of me. In the final year of my studies I got married, and with my new-found knowledge of the role of woman I so much wanted to be just that. Regrettably, this just didn’t work out as I imagined. I was still young, naïve, and more so, unsure of my path and who I was. My husband as ill-equipped at the time to know the right thing to say or do. Despite all this, he allowed me to be. Then, while still not figuring out where I fit in, I got pregnant and my son was born. It was at this point, I sought to understand who I was, and I eventually I did…
It was through all this, I learnt something particularly important. I started understanding that while the adult women in my life tried to teach me that it’s my role to serve the man, it was men that taught me that my existence far outshines the role they played in this world. It was a man, that taught me the importance of education. It was a man that made me understand, that our stories are legendary too. It was a man that taught me what true love is. It was a man that taught me to be a mother. It was a man who taught me who I did not want to be and who I am to become. It was a man that pushed me towards personal growth and it was a man that pushed me to understand my strength.
So, while I am an advocate for crushing a patriarchal society, I do recognize that most of what I have become is because of a man. So, MAN, thank you for helping me break my chains. Because of you, I am super proud to be called WOMAN!