When my now 6 year old son asked me when he was 4 that; ‘Mommy, who is a woman?’, I was not sure what to tell him. I was tempted to use an academic definition and indeed I did. I told him that a woman is a grown up girl who has boobs. Showing off the amount of knowledge he had, he added that a woman has hair under their arms, and that they have grown hair and wear high heeled shoes.
I giggled, but this took me to my book titled ‘Stop Complaining! and Bring Back Involved Parenting.” In that book, I explained that before I became a mother I admired every woman around the grown up me. I described a mother in pages 16 and 18 as role models and relate their roles to that of a woman. The woman I aimed to be.
While the women in my time as a child seemed to toil un-end and for seemingly no gain, while most of them always looked sad, tired and suppressed, the modern urban woman in my time as a mother seems to have, and enjoy successful careers, they seemed all married or happily single, those who were mothers adored parenting.
I also had the urge to tell my boy about the different types of women that I have come to know, who have made impression on me as women. But he was too young for this knowledge. When I thought deeper, I realised that even though they are women, some of them are unmarried, have no children, at the beginning of their careers, others at the top of their careers; enjoying work as stay-homers, shoppers or just consumers, some young, some old, and some, somewhere in between, possibly others nowhere anywhere.
I will explain to my son better soon. But as we celebrate women’s day this 2018, I will tell you that many of these women have different perspectives on their womanhood. A woman is a diverse bread. Some have different philosophies on how to go about living like a working/nonworking, healthy/unhealthy, happy/unhappy, married/single woman. Because of this, I find myself wondering: What exactly does it mean to be a woman?
I will one day tell my children that being a woman is more than both biology and society had defined it. I will tell them that being a woman is sometimes similar but sometimes different from being a man. My children will understand that being a woman, starts with being a human and continues with recognising the complexity that comes with just being. I enjoy being a woman, and I enjoy being the woman I am becoming. Do You? Will your daughter? Will the next girl?
Happy Women’s Day to Women of the world.
By Victorine Mbong Shu
Victorine is in education and training since 2002. She is the CEO of Profounder Intelligence Management Services, Publisher, Editor, Researcher, Transformational Speaker, Mentor, Material Developer, Facilitator, Assessor, Moderator and TV Talk Show Host at Children Television South Africa (CTVSA). She and Dr. Fru are raising 4 bubbly children, including Africa’s youngest multiple award-winning author of chapter books, Stacey Fru. Victorine is a respectable Involved Parenting Conversationalist with a Master’s Degree in Communications.
She is a BrandSA Ambassador and Awards Winning Author of the following books:
- ‘Stop Complaining! and Bring Back Involved Parenting,’
- ‘Trapped in our shadows,’
- ‘Proven habits for financial freedom,’
- ‘Not too late: Stop Complaining and Bring Back Involved Parenting.’