What is a woman’s priority?

“We should all be feminists” has become my mantra as I slowly observe where my generation is heading.

It is no secret that women have been oppressed to an extent that it has been normalised, especially in this society. The woman is to blame for the majority of problems that exist as we are defined as the “weaker sex”.

When people talk about patriarchy, they treat it like something that does not exist within this society – it sounds like a system from the past. Meanwhile, the matter has taken on a more insidious form as men and women are contributing to the patriarchal society we see today.

“Everyone falls pregnant these days,” a woman posted on Facebook. She was awfully proud of her update as I read her replies to the comments. A few weeks later, a man wrote something like “What’s wrong with these kids of today”, followed by women praising his status update.

The moment someone says the word pregnant, whom do we picture? A woman is seen as the one who should stop falling pregnant, who is to blame for not being cautious when getting involved with a man.

Just as I thought that nothing in this society can amuse me anymore, people started sharing memes on how women can’t even keep the father of their children.

Since when did it become a woman’s priority to keep a man? When do we start to talk about the man’s inability to take responsibility for his actions?

Why do we raise our daughters to dream about a wedding, being a good housewife and being an incredible cook for a man one day? Why can’t we raise men the same? Why should a man’s opinion define our worth as females? Why do women feed on what they get told by men in order to make an existence?

I believe in breaking that school of thought and want women to believe that they are enough; we are enough. We should be able to define our own worth and break the chains of oppression by saying, I shall not be undermined nor shall I believe in the stigmas attached to being female.

Tasneem van Rooyen

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