Go to any random Instagram, YouTube or Facebook profile right now, you’ll see lots of women self-acclaiming the “I am a strong woman” idea. I do not oppose them, but by what standards do we measure who a strong woman is to who isn’t?
Does a woman need to achieve any social standard before we can label her a strong woman? Or is it only women who have scars, who have been in accidents, who are disabled but keep pushing on that are strong women? There is no such thing as “a strong man”. Naturally, men are expected to be strong, not to cry and to suck it up. So if we are okay with the “strong woman” ideology, who exactly is the strong woman?
It is quite unfortunate, many women have it upside down or the other way around. The society at large is not helping matters. Today, frankly speaking, our idea of a strong woman, of a virtuous woman is a woman who is weak and doesn’t know her worth. The mentality of the average Nigerian is that you are a strong woman if you are struggling in your husband’s house. You are being beaten to a pulp but you remain in the self-inflicted hell because of your kids. The idea of a good woman is a woman whose image is being shredded daily by a man but is not complaining. Our idea of a strong and good woman is a woman who is in the upgraded 21st-century slavery.
A strong woman knows what she is worth and she knows that her worth is not in how other people or a man validates her. She knows who she is, she has a sense of self-identity and esteem. You can’t beat her down easily with your words.
A strong woman is not the woman who says “I don’t need a man”. Women who are like that are actually weak, fearful and insecure.
A woman who is strong and mentally healthy will be open, she will let you know she needs you and that she will gladly put you away if you mess up or try to take advantage of her. No one wants to be with anyone who doesn’t need them anyways.
A strong woman is like the Holy Spirit, she is like a Dove. She does not fight for you to see her worth, she won’t chase you. She might put up with your wrongdoings for a while, but one day she will leave and never return to you. She will endure it for a while but she won’t put up with you forever. A strong woman can live without you because she understands that anyone and everyone is replaceable. A strong woman does not idolize people.
If you must be a strong woman or raise one. You have to understand that society is seriously working against women in every way. Men are considered for a specific job post over women, you are denied this and that because you are not a man. Never let your daughter feel your son is better than she is, never address her mother harshly, put the opinions of your wife in front of your mind. Let mummy make important home decisions and let your daughter notice that. Let your daughter decide what tie color you wear to work. Never let her feel a son is better than a daughter. These little gestures make up a whole in your child’s life.
Above all, I’ll suggest that dads should give their daughters a ring when they clock 16 years of age. Date them from 16 to age 18. Show your daughter what an ideal man is so that she will know what to look out for when she is finally on her own. Whether you like it or not, a dad is the daughter’s first husband. This is why you shouldn’t marry wrong, you are as well choosing your children’s spouse too.
It all begins in the family.
About The Writer - El Ifelola El Ifelola is a Law Student, Writer, Researcher, Life and Social Relationships Coach. Ifelola loves researching, talking to, enlightening and motivating people. He stands for self-identity, strength and Godliness.