WOMAN TO WOMAN
By: Nontokozo Khumalo
No… It’s not a song. It’s an intimate call for women even at the end of your stretched imagination. This is the man’s world…the tune blares from a passing Cressida Sedan. Its better days are behind it. The same cannot be said of the fate of women the world over.
The world cries of women abuse by men, no one talks about abuse of women by women. This is the harsh truth surrounding us around the world. How often have you heard women beating each other down? I knew you would recall Kuli Roberts. One Eugene Nyathi once said in the 90’s, “Until women are angry enough, we will start to see movement in the direction of their emancipation.”
The year 2014 sees the days of the South African democracy end – as a teenager – yet we as women are still not free. How many times do you hear wives and girlfriends alike berating their men for keeping phone numbers of their girlfriends? Sadly, it’s woman who gets into an affair with a married man knowing exactly that what she is doing will hurt another woman and it will boost a man’s ego. It’s a woman who keeps a man from supporting his children from previous relationships just because she is spiting that other woman. It takes another woman to train a child to hate and scheme against a stepmother just to destroy dad’s relationship with the new woman in his life.
Yes you… if you are not guilty of any sort – none whatsoever – of woman bashing, you are not a woman. Yes I said it. We oe phela bona balala nama boss that’s why bethola izikhundla… (They sleep with their bosses, that is why they are getting higher positions at work.). Women do gang up with men to pull down another woman, such as nominating men over women in a power position. If you ask the reason you get nothing other than ukuthi uzenza ngcono (she thinks she is better). It may provide you with a good temporary justification for your mediocrity but it can never develop to anything more than that, maybe less. Kill a woman and you have just killed the soul of the very existence of human kind.
It is a woman who sent away her own daughter to live with relatives because she dared confide in her that her step-father, who was her boyfriend, had raped her. She had chosen nights of passion and sweet nothings whispered in the ear – than her own daughter. And we continue to hope that we are raising a generation supposedly better than ours. In your dreams…The young woman that is the daughter, has been violated not once but twice. Maybe the violation by the excuse of a stepfather is not any worse than the trust betrayed by her only hope, the woman who is supposed to protect her, her sanctuary.
It’s the female teacher who sends a girl child to clean her house, be her child minder and her slave while other kids are schooling. Yes it the same female teacher who perpetuate the school principal to chase away a girl child that was impregnated by the teacher or boy child from school. It’s the fellow women who say ubevele efuna kona uku reshwa (she wanted to get raped) when a young women is raped after a night out with friends. Women tell other women to stay in an abusive relationship for material things that men provide instead of encouraging her to fend for her own.
Woman leaves her family to start a new family in marriage and she gets to in-laws, guess what, it will be female in-laws that will be cruel to her, yes mother in -law and sister in-laws. They will make her life miserable to the extent that they will gang up with the ex-girlfriend or baby mama to frustrate her until she opts for divorce, leaving her husband and father of her children. If you ask why again you get a lame excuse “wazodla imali kabhuti,uzibona engcono (she just wanted to spend our brother`s money, she thinks she is better)” and you ask yourself why father-in-law and brother-in-laws don’t see that. When she goes back home it will be her mother again who will chase her back to her in-laws.
Its quiet clear that women are not free as yet, we are still tied on the shackles of pull her down syndrome, insecurities and living under the shadow of men.
Men ought to change their ways and treat women better, no doubt. What are women doing about it…? What are you doing woman? It starts and stops with you…
Mrs Nontokozo Khumalo, ANCWL Zonal Secretary, Decisions for Life (Young Women, Labour & Gender issues) Provincial Gender Co-ordinator, Owner of NPO called It’s For Women By Women