Strong, Typical, Cultural Woman
The age-old debate about submission has for me, brought many things about my lifestyle to the forefront of my attention. I’ve found myself doing things, instinctively; because that’s how I was raised, and even though I am a modern woman for the most part, I do still tend t do certain things in the “old-fashioned” manner that they were taught to me.
See, I’ve noticed this trend of women saying that they will never be submissive to any man, hell I’ve even stated that a couple of times too, but with the death of my Dad, I wasn’t too sure about how I would handle certain situations, and then I had a weirdexperience:
We went to my cousins wedding in Welkom (Free State), what was supposed to be a stress free morning ended up not being one. Upon our arrival, we were met withprobably one of the most shocking experiences of our life. We walked into a kitchen, filled with women and not a single pot on the stove. It was a slight culture shock for me, almost as if we’d walked into an alternate universe.
Women - in the kitchen, not cooking? My cousin and I; found ourselves walking around the house trying to find out whether the familyhad eaten, only to find that they hadn’t. For us, that was so horrific, but instinctively we fell into the roles of preparing food for everyone in the house and making sure that the men had eaten and could go on about the rest of the day and ensuring that they would handle their roles outside of the home.
It took that experience for me to realize that my entire life, I had been “in training”. I’ve since started watching my actions a lot more, and I’ve come to the realization that I am submissive, maybe not to a boyfriend – but even that is problematic because I was raised to believe that a long term boyfriend, fiancé or your husband deserve that privilege.
I’ve found that even though I am for the most part, a modern woman, when in a situation where family is around, I tend to automatically fall into the “traditional female” role.
Submission isn’t something that is only done by women in relationships for their partners; it is also something that women will for the most part do around members of their family. However, let it be stated that for a relationship of any sort to thrive, I do believe that naturally both partners will somehow submit to each other. That is what fantastic relationships are made of, the ability to submit without feeling like you’re “weaker” for doing so. It’s something that has been instilled in us, and it’s not something that is easy to switch off.
What I learnt in the last year? Being submissive isn’t a weakness, if anything it is a strength, you can still be a strong woman, loving partner and still willingly submit to the important men in your life from brothers to uncles to cousins to the man you’re building a future with.
Sometimes the traditional male and female roles are a necessity to keep a balance, as long as both understand that each role has its strength’s.
The way I see it, all the pressure society puts on women to be both submissive housewives and independent women does nothing but benefit us. If men found it unfair that society has high standards for women and expects so little from them maybe they should change it. Until then, I will gladly fetch my kids from school; prepare Sunday lunch and chair a board meeting all in one week because that’s what society thinks I should do.
I’m not a weaker woman for accepting that we live in a man’s world. I will use the double standards to my advantage. While men are groomed for entitlement and success, women are groomed for hard work and multi-tasking. Lucky us – believe me on this.
You can follow me on twitter: @MzLee_
Co-Written with: Sadie Rhode ( @SadieWiggles )