Strong, typical 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, but with the death of my Dad, I wasn’t too sure about how I would handle certain situations, and then I had an arb experience:

We went to my cousins wedding in Welkom, what was supposed to be a stress free morning when we arrived as probably one of the most shocking experiences of my life. I 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 though I’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 my uncles had 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 realisation 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, as a female, I have seen many fall into the submissive role when they’re around family or even in a group of male friends.

It’s something that was 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.

Sometimes the traditional male and female roles are a necessity to keep a balance, as long as both understand that each role has it’s 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.

Co-Written with: Sadie Rhode ( @SadieWiggles )

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9 thoughts on “Strong, typical woman.

  1. This got me so emotional, I recently lost someone that I later realized I had deeply fallen in love with because he felt I was “too strong” for him. I didn’t understand what he meant until i read this piece. I was in that relationship for over 3 months and not once did I get vulnerable with him, I failed to even call him “baby” because I was too afraid of getting too comfortable or weak. Its a Stupid story but thank you for this piece. It really made me aware of what my problem is.

  2. LOVE THIS! As modern women, sometimes we try so hard to fight against the “norms” or to modernize them as much as we can, not realizing how beneficial they can be. This piece has definitely opened my eyes 🙂

  3. I totally agree with you. I think as women we get too caught up in this being independent thing and it ends up becoming done as to prove a point. I really do think we can be both, independent and ‘submissive’ not play-the-fool-submission, but respectful submission. I am never at ease if I am at home and my father makes his own food, it just doesn’t feel right, the same with any elder male figure in my life. I’d gladly make sure that they are well taken of first before I can relax. I think these are the things that made our mothers so strong, this is the strength we see and we admire in them, they are able to take care of home while being working wives/mothers. I completely agree with you that, sometimes the traditional male and female roles are a necessity to keep a balance, as long as both understand that each role has it’s strength’s.

  4. Interesting Article Lee.
    I like that the article, it borders on traditional vs contemporary chains of thought.

    Just a spanner into the works…
    Why must there be a distinction between the two? We each have our morals and values that were passed down to us by our elders, whether we choose to acknowledge them or ignore them is a choice that we as individuals make.

    However, make no mistake, respect of others traditions is also vital and at times requires compliance, but compliance with understanding.

    I for one, come from a traditional family, and enjoy tradition as it has its place in society, but, I was taught to be a self sufficient man; to cook and clean, do house chores and other tasks that are deemed traditionally “pink jobs”. Why? because I had a mother that believed one should learn to fend for oneself.

    But, as my (traditionalist) grandfather says, “a house is not a house without a woman love”

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