Articles

Understanding the uniqueness of a woman

  • We have centred the controversies over the uniqueness, role, position, and rights of the woman over the years on vague, conflicting and evasive perspectives of men and the society. Can the world’s negative perceptions of the woman change? Can they see them as different but not inferior nor superior? We have not allowed women to develop their full potentials. They are being frustrated, manipulated, misused and abused. The persistent devaluing of every woman’s uniqueness continues to hold back progress, and they are being treated in every way except in the way they should be and in the way God intended it.

    Every woman is unique because she is God’s idea. He designed and built her in love and particular care. Her uniqueness reflects Gods purpose and design for her. I want to believe that Adam hadn’t even imagined the woman, but God had her, particularly in mind. While Adam was fumbling around in the bush, thinking up names for every animal, God had already planned for what would be good for him and to him. The woman was and is still the good idea of God to man. Regardless of how you feel about yourself, you are God’s perfect idea, and that makes you valuable to him any day, anytime.

    The female is what she is because she came out of what the male is. I find it overwhelming when men say they do not know or understand what makes the woman. God made the woman of the same material with the man. Grasping this knowledge will help create a better world for us all. Do you know why marriages, relationships and society aren’t working? It is because people are refusing to acknowledge and accept each other for whom and what they are.

    If we do not understand our positions, we will function in ignorance, and the result will be pain and destruction. While growing up, amongst my father’s music box was the song by James Brown entitled, It’s a Man’s World”. I didn’t really understand the essence of the song but as I grew to gain knowledge about who I am and what I am; I understood.

    James Brown was singing about an attitude that pervades the nations and cultures of the world. That attitude is, in effect saying,Even though women are here, they made this world for men. It’s designed for males. Women are just filling in where needed. You women stay in your place; this is a man’s world.

    “If the world belongs to the men, what place do the women hold in it?”-Anonymous

    In our ever-changing and dynamic world, one of the most controversial issues of our modern times is the role, position, and rights of the woman. We have debated this topic with discussion and dissension. In nearly every nation and country, we have regarded women as inferior to men, holding a secondary place in the world.

    For example, according to the United Nations’ human right domestic violence report by Helen Clark: "violence against women occurs on every continent and in every country, making it one of the most pervasive human rights violations around the world. The statistics are disheartening: 1in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner. It is therefore of enormous importance that the elimination of violence against women and girls and of all harmful practices against women and girls is part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is inducted in specific targets in the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals. Together with UN partners, we provide policy advice and support to countries to adopt and enforce national laws addressing and punishing all forms of violence against women and girls.

    Depending on where you live in the world, you must have heard that women deserve abuses, considered as domestic slaves, too desired, regarded as inferior to men, an object for sensual gratification, weak and incapable of strength, lacking in intelligence and have nothing to contribute to society, personal property of men, domestic servants whose purpose is to meet the needs of their masters. I have heard these remarks, and I find them offensive and abusive. If you haven’t heard these words before, they may shock you, offend you, or serve as a painful reminder of what you are enduring. If you live in a developed nation, that has a significant improvement in the status of women and the numerous opportunities open to her, you may not consider these negative perceptions of women apply to you or your relationships between the males and the females in your society.

    The underlying assumptions behind them persist in every nation because they are not so much influenced by legislative and societal changes; they are firm attitudes in the hearts and minds of men and women. I understand we degrade women around the world, and it is causing them emotional, psychological, and physical stress at all levels.

    Related article: The Yaba women market march: A fight for bodily autonomy

    What accounts for this devaluing of women? For this degradation? For this abuse of women? Why has it become a universal problem? One reason the plight of women has been such a problematic issue to remedy is that it’s difficult to change a man’s idea about a woman’s place in the home and in society. Change is nature and vice versa, but it’s difficult changing the mind of any man. That it’s a man’s world as I earlier sited is deeply entrenched. Even though there are laws repealed to ease the suffering of women, you still can’t change a man’s mindset.

    This internalized devaluing of women is the reason women continue to get discounted and exploited in almost every society in the world, regardless of certain social and political advances. All over the world, the plight and exploitation of women persist. It does not exclude the girl-child. It is tragic to admit this, but the reality stares us all in the face.

    Growing up, I often hear men say, “I am the man. What I say is final! ", "Your opinion does not matter!”  What are these statements talking about today? It’s saying,There will always be male dominance. Stay in your place woman. You have no say in this, not nownever. You have no contribution to make. You have no sense”. This meaning has perverted our societies for many years and woven into every fabric of men.

    This prevailing attitude is the reason social and political advances of women (which on the surface seem to be victorious) can become burdens to women because they are in reality one-sided victories. For instance, women can declare that they are equal with men, can do what a man can do and much better, and society can try to enforce this equality, but the attitudes of men and other women may not be in agreement with this change in status.

    We have seen this to cause perplexity, stress, abuse, misunderstanding, and conflict of the woman. The confusion and misunderstanding of the uniqueness of every woman still exist today.

    Recently there has been movements arising over the need to stop the girlchild bride, every girl-child must be in school, stop girls trafficking, stop girl-child rape. We see this protest in many countries and in Nigeria.

    The Punch Newspaper has this to say:

    “It is unfortunate that rape, despite the recent increase in the campaign against it, has been on the rise. So far, I think the Lagos State Government has done the thing. It has passed a law that recommends life imprisonment for anybody convicted of rape. Replicating this at the national level and implementing it would serve as a deterrent. Relevant agencies need to encourage victims of rape to report cases of abuse. They should also make it easier for them to report cases. It is not enough to make the punishment severe we should enforce the laws".

    I agree with these statements. You would also agree with me that what stops people from committing a crime is not the law but the effectiveness of the justice system. The need to educate the girl child is becoming a major part of a discourse in academic, social and political spheres in Nigeria. Professors, politicians, teachers, non-profit organizations, and social media encourage the movement. The big question however is will the girl-child be as privileged as the boy child regarding the freedom to pursue their academic aspirations?  Will religion and traditions view them as viable and significant contributors to mainstream society? I can’t tell you! Time will!

    Also, read: Parent abuse: An unrecognised and silent suffering

    While many celebrate the idea to train every girl-child in Nigeria, quite a few still frowns at it, and their reasons seem relatable, but does that make it okay not to give them the chance to better their lives as provided to the boys? I don’t think so! By what standard can we measure the girl-child education? The need to educate every girl-child is critical.

    According to chapter four of the Nigeria constitution, it stipulates;Every child, boy or girl has the right to education.”

    Women are different but not superior nor inferior. There is no difference between both sexes, and we should respect them in their uniqueness. This doesn’t mean the man isn’t to be respectful at home nor in the society, but then women and the girl-child should not follow the bandwagon. This is not only a man’s world, but they are also here too.

    The principle of we all needs each other applies to everyone. For instance, if a man asks a woman for something, then the man is saying to the woman, you possess something I need.  If the woman asks the man for something, she’s admitting that he has it. If the man asks the female for something, he’s acknowledging that she has it. We all need each other.

    When women rise and say to the government, “Give me my rights”, they are admitting to the government, “You have jurisdiction over my rights”. Laws that delineate our rights can be good, but remember that laws alone can’t grant us our rights; they merely acknowledge the rights we already have.

    Every woman must decide that nobody has the liberty to control her rights because her rights are God-given and inherent. You are in control of whose opinion is important. There is a difference between demanding one’s rights from someone and displaying one’s rights already possessed.

    We can say there has been an improvement over how we treat women, but women are still suffering all the prejudices of the male against the female, and this bias continues to degrade women.  As much as we want to see the law guarding against women’s ill-treatment enforced, we remember that legislation cannot change a man’s heart, at least not all the time.

    People are still reacting and adjusting to the legislative and civic changes made over the years concerning women. Though the law says, Everyone is Equal” this doesn’t mean that men think so. As a result, women are still being confused, misused, and abused. They are being frustrated and manipulated.

    Related: Women according to Yoruba proverbs

    Can negative ideas about women change? Yes, it can. We need to discover what it means to be human again. We have lost what it means to be male and female. An understanding of the essential makeup of human beings has over the years ignored or forgotten and replaced with distorted views of humanity. Our various cultures and traditions have also contributed to the problem by perpetuating these distortions.

    Men and women need to understand the inherent nature of the woman because most women have developed their identity from men, and they do not see themselves as God does. Women have technically become the products of the societies and traditions into which they are born and bred. I understand that as a woman, you might not like who you are, yet you must realize your self-concept probably came from the environment they raised you.

    I often tell my female students that one reason they are unique is that they are essential companions. God always tells you why he makes something before he makes it. The woman is a companion for the male so he won’t be alone. Gen 2:18, The Lord God said, it is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”.The word alone is up of two words, all in one. When you put the two words together, you see that alone means all in one”.

    God saw it isn’t good for the man to be all in one, having everything in himself. God made the female so that the male would have someone to give to, talk to, and share his dreams and visions with, someone to be a part of his life. Isn’t it sad that many men don’t see women in this way?

    She is unique because she is a helper, I know lots of men have abused women and belittled them for showing they care and offering to help; it doesn’t change that every woman is a helper. The woman is a helpful agent for the man, designed with many qualities and abilities that equip her to help.

    The woman’s purpose is to assist the man in fulfilling God’s plan for his life. The implications are that the man has to have a plan otherwise the woman is in trouble. It also implies that the woman must understand the man’s vision is connected to her fulfilment. Over the years, I have learned that when a wife decides she wants a different vision for her life than her husband’s vision, they will experience division.

    You can’t have two visions in the same house. That is why God created the woman to be in a helping position. Helpers do not take over; instead, they assist. This means that as a couple, you need to share the same vision for your lives. The woman needs to exercise extra wisdom when helping the man because the last thing many men want women to believe is that they need their help. They do not understand how God has designed women to help them.

    In our ever-changing world today, we grow up in societies where men don’t think they need help. Therefore, when the woman exhibits her uniqueness as a helper, the man goes completely off his rocker, blows his trumpet, and destroys the gift that’s in the helper!

    We can see the uniqueness of every woman in her role as an adapter; every woman has a built-in-energy and built-in circuits that enables her to adapt to her man’s vision. The woman adjusts herself to the source from which she came and absorbs nourishment from him. As an adapter, when a woman enters a situation or environment, she is more prone to become like it than the male is.

    Therefore, women have to be careful not to open themselves up to any and every environment. The woman is more emotional than the male because she responds more to environmental stimuli. A woman will always submit and adapt more easily to spiritual things because of her purpose and because of the way she designed.

    However, it is hard for a woman to adapt to someone who isn’t leading. Therefore, if a man wants a woman to adapt to him, he has to give her purpose and something to adapt to. It’s difficult enough to have nothing to adapt to, but it’s even worse if a woman has to adjust to something that isn’t right for her.

    Most men want women to adapt to a lifestyle they feel is contrary to their own convictions. Some men deserve no one to adapt to them. They are not worthy. They’re not giving the adapter that which is comfortable to adapt to. When this happens, you will find women changing to anger, depression, hate, deceit, and violence. That’s because something has forced them to adapt to something against their wills.

    Every woman adapts, born to adapt, and so she becomes whatever she feeds on. Her offspring also have their roots in the soil. They suck up whatever that is coming from the source, and they end up producing the same fruit as their source. For instance, when a father is prone to curse and swear, it’s only a matter of time before the entire family gets roped in. That is the power of adaptability. Though a woman adapts, she won’t adapt forever. Everyone has a breaking point, and so does women.

    Last, a woman is unique because of her characteristics as an enhancer. For every time she enhances life, she is also enhancing her own life.

    Eleanor Roosevelt-Women have one advantage over men. Throughout history, they compel them to make adjustments. The result is that, in most cases, it is less difficult for a woman to adapt to new situations than it is for a man”.

    Until men understand that the woman in his life is there to ensure that she enhances his efforts, deals, visions, goals, dreams, and family for growth and fulfilment, they will continue to misunderstand and misuse her.

    We all are equal to men and unique. This is not for the legislative, parliament to decide. God already did that in creation. When you allow others to declare who you and what you are, you are submitting your rights to them, and you must be ready for the consequences. Give nobody the right to say what kind of human value you have.

    To all the beautiful women out there, when you understand that equality is inherent and discover how it manifests in your life, then you can live in the fullness of that equality, regardless of what anyone says about you.

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