August is considered as women’s month in South Africa and with the end of August fast approaching I feel as though the essence of what women’s day is about is not captured well in the media. All the adverts, skits as well as activities that take place on women’s day all seem to cover a universal construct of what women are about and even go as far as listing why women are unique to men. All these universal ideas of who and what women are present us as God’s gift to man (which we are) but this takes away the essence of why we celebrate women’s day. We are viewed as sexual and sensual beings that are sensitive and carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We are considered the heart and soul of a country because of our tender touch and nurturing nature. All these traits I have mentioned are special and are true to our construct as women however they miss the fundamental point which allows us to be the beautiful queens that we are that come in every shape, colour as well as size and are still exquisite in every way.
All things that make women great need to be celebrated fiercely to serve as a reminder of why we were created however this should not be just limited to universal ideas of what Make women great because we are more than that. I state this as a result of society constantly finding ways to box us when we lack the universal aesthetics that women should possess. Why we celebrate women’s month in this country is simply because women do not have the right to exercise their AGENCY. God’s gift to man has been raped, tortured, treated as a sexual object, violated in every way possible and ultimately treated as the unwanted step child. The societies we live in have taken away our right to make our own decisions and we have been reduced to docile creatures. By taking away our agency our role in society has been blurred which is why we are considered as men’s better half’s rather than as human beings who should be equal to men and who are more than capable of making their own decisions.
The celebrations around women’s day commemorate women being phenomenal through exercising their agency. However even though they celebrate us being phenomenal they neglect to highlight the fact that in order for us to be phenomenal it is through exercising our right to make our own decisions. By reinforcing the importance of agency our society does not create a gap for women who do not fall under a particular ‘category’ to be discriminated against. An example of this would be butch lesbians who are seen as outliers when discussing the ‘Feminine’ universal construct. Thus bringing me back to the main point of when a women’s agency is openly discussed and celebrated she has the CHOICE to be as well as become anything she wants to be without society making her feel as though she is not good enough or that she should be punished if she fails to live up to society’s expectations. The way in which women’s month has been celebrated through activities and through the media needs to be re-evaluated for there is no universal woman because women are unique to their choices.
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