A women's Hustle

“We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists,(2014).”

Not so long ago, women marched, fought and did their best to achieve better conditions of living, globally, by advocating for women's’ rights and equality amongst genders; Others out of necessity - for instance, the appraisal of women leadership, in Rwanda after the Genocide (Netflix, 2018). But how have we improved as a nation and a society to comply with those same rights and equality so many dreamt of? From the early 1920’s suffragette protests to the mandatory paternity leave held by Iceland’s Government, the world has certainly had a 180 degrees turn and, fortunately, it seems to keep on going in favor of an equal and non-gender discriminating environment.

The implementation of women in roles based on cultural norms, back in the early 20th century, such as, “women are less intellectual”, “women should be homemakers”, or even “women should raise children”, has had a major impact on the disparity between men and women, resulting in social issues that somehow still linger, or live, on today's society, and still mark the character of women across the globe and, even amongst themselves.

The requirement of a cultural swing proclaims its’ place heavily; Stereotypes and stigmas imprisoned upon women subject an introspection at matters like breast ironing, FMG, wage pay gap, motherhood penalties (Coughlan, 2018), sexual/domestic abuse, unachievable beauty standards, housing discrimination (most prevalent amidst female minorities) and inequality (Explained, The Racial Wealth Gap Netflix, 2018).

Much has improved and expanded, indeed, but then again, when we stop and look at sexual abuse claims held in Brazil, for example, which are accounted every 11 minutes and 33 seconds (Leao, 2018); Was there an actual and truthful “improvement”? Not really. We’re clearly still struggling. But why?

In an era, where black women represent the leading numbers at death at childbirth, across the globe, due to lack of medical efficiency and support (Healthline, 2018), the world remains an inherently blatant silent towards this sensible topic; another matter where we  can also hold accountable - women's struggle and deprivation of freedom - is the systematic racism and discrimination surrounding the judicial system, mainly, in the USA or the UK which detain 5 - 64% of the female BAME population behind bars (Dodd and Bowcott, 2018, Frazier, 2018), perpetuating mass incarceration and its strong concept of neo-slavery all together.

Other affairs which focal point are disregard, disdain and mass incarceration, amidst women of color, are the unsolved and the taciturn mental health issues, the discredited domestic violence, the feeble drug abuse, the burdensome poverty, the cycle of sex trafficking or exploitation and the tough upbringing that appear impossible to be considered, in order to assess and monitor whether or not, they should follow a life incarcerated or proceed to receive adequate treatment namely counseling and psychotherapy.

It's clear that a fresh trim is needed by all genders so that we can provide the new generation a healthy, safe and thriving abode. We, as women, we stand a chance! If only we keep on championing for egalitarianism and freedom by ignoring society's prospect of the “ideal woman” and breaking the chains that have been holding us, hostage, in order to succeed, prosper and hold an outstanding footprint on the earth. “The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are.” (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We should all be feminists, 2014).

Published By: A Consciência Social

Aristides Mandinga