LADIES: GET TO KNOW THE MALE HUMAN BEING
By: DUT staff member
I understand the importance and significance of Women’s Day to all South Africans from a socio-political point of view. That day so many years ago when women stood up and showed their strength and fearlessness against a great evil in our country.
I would, however, like to make a more personal response to what I see around me daily and what I have experienced as a South African woman.
I grew up in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s in Manor Gardens in Durban.
When I was nine my father fell in love with another woman, had an affair and moved out. My parents then divorced and my sister, mother and I formed another kind of family which was and remains a very female one. My, grandfather, boy cousins and uncles lived in Johannesburg and even our pets were female!
I am now in a different situation. I have been married to a wonderful man for nearly 20 years. I have been blessed also to have a son who is 12, and one of our pets is male!!
What this has done for me, apart from having a committed relationship to another human being, is to allow me to get to know a male human being through all the ups and downs of our life together and to realize that he is very much like me.
Yes he often has to open the peanut butter jar and he cares more than me whether the car is clean, but we are both scared by the same movies and we both get tearful when our children reach important milestones. We both are grumpy all day when we have had too little sleep and we both enjoy that cup of tea after working in the garden all morning.
We have many, many, more ways of being the same than being different. I tell you all this simply to bring the message that we should, during this month, use this opportunity to remind ourselves not to put each other in boxes. Let us enjoy the gifts our genders bring but not be strangers to each other as ‘being a stranger’ puts us all at risk. Boys who are told they are not allowed to cry may become men who believe they have to exert their physical strength against those physically weaker than them.
Let’s be reminded each day of the year of our sameness, so that compassion and understanding grow in our relationships and society.
Image From: www.sjjc.org