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A toast to womanhood By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

I am an expert at ignorance.

I do not know why just one day should be set aside as the so-called International Women’s Day or why the different churches deign to celebrate Mother’s Day on specific Sundays.

All the days of the calendar ought to belong to women. I have spoken!

To be a woman is to be a god. Not a goddess, mind you, for gendering the creative force in life amounts to a diminution of her immense powers.

A woman ought to be celebrated as a god, period.

The Bible says that the woman came after man, from Adam’s rib, to wit, a side issue, but when we talk of the responsibility carried by women we have to place them ahead of man and very near to God Almighty.

What with literally creating life, conceiving and nurturing human beings, and thus making sure that the wheel of life and civilization never grinds to a halt.

Just imagine what will happen when all the women of this earth decide to cross their legs, saying no creation.

Of course, bad things will ensue: death, perdition, extinction.

Any wonder then why African traditional lore salutes women with such maxims as “mother is gold” and “mother is supreme”.

Also, all wise men celebrate women and womanhood.

Great poets have waxed eloquent on this phenomenon: from Shakespeare to Senghor.

My late great friend, the South African poet Dennis Brutus, during a visit to Nigeria back in time, was walking with me in the University of Calabar campus and we were suddenly accosted by a melee of beautiful girls such that the lionized poet instantly penned the following words in his arresting calligraphy that he left in my care:

African woman

With your stately walk

Your flowing garments

And your graceful form

You make my heart sing.

The irony of all this is that after all their acclaimed importance, women are still under the thumb of men.

Why?

The answers are embedded in religion, myth and history.

The sexist domination of women is propped up by the male supremacist myth of the fairer sex being naturally weaker and inferior to men.

In Ancient Greece, the first woman, Pandora, was the source of evil.

Among the Hindus, a virtuous woman was rewarded by being born again as a man.

Western law, as enunciated in the early Roman statutes, saw women as man’s possession. In Islamic orthodoxy, a woman is either a perennial prisoner in purdah or a faceless masquerade in the street.

The barrage of sexist insults has over the years somewhat conditioned women into a helpless acceptance of hokum.

Even so, committed people have been struggling to redress this inequity in the march of civilization.

From the Renaissance era, growing human enlightenment has helped to shatter the blinkers of sexist domination of women.

The Industrial Revolution helped the cause by taking women away from the kitchen and the bedroom into the mills of the many factories where they competed with men.

The Soviet Revolution and the general growth of Marxism back then went a long way in destroying the myth of male supremacy.

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) movement in the United States helped to put women on the same platform with men by addressing such issues as equal pay for equal work.

The discovery of the contraceptive pill in the 1960s essentially liberated women by allowing them greater control over their bodies and lives.

Feminism as an ideology has come to stay.

Our darling sister Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is truly on song: “We should all be feminists.”

Pitifully though, to understand ideology is one matter, but to triumph over the forces of biology is a different matter entirely.

In its most banal depiction, a fire-eating feminist may fall in love with a foppish hip-hop singer only to start playing tango with suicide when the singer dumps her.

Fact is the individual woman is a product of her society.

In our materialistic world, a woman, whether called god or whatever, would still be thrilled by the good things of life: the car, plasma TV, iPhones, gold and diamond, glamour.

Call it false values or what you will, but the fair lady may be won over not by the brilliance of your brain but by the shine of your wristwatch.

To return to our thesis: a woman is a god.

To conquer a god ought to make a man surrender his soul and spirit, no less.

But that is not so in the scheme of matters here as some of the gods are won over by crude muscle or big members!

It makes a worse than useless man to feel somewhat special when he realizes that often what he needs to ensnare this god is a ride in a car or even the gift of a phone or a pair of panties.

That is the tragedy of this deity called woman.

 

 

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