|Women should be more assertive|
|Saturday, 26 May 2012 00:00|
I wish women were more assertive. In my view women are a powerhouse by God’s design. I think the gift of bringing life into the world and nurture it makes a woman very resolute and determined. I think it is the power that comes not from physical strength or the many words we speak but from “quietness and trust” as the book of Isaiah in the Bible says.
Women are influencers and very versatile. Women can be very kind or can be very cruel. I think we have heard or know stepmothers or some women who abuse children under their care.
Some are denied food or other necessities, they are not allowed to be children and/or they are physically abused.
Some of the stories are so horrific and you wonder whether these women have a heart at all.
Let me throw in a digression and say what I was told by a niece who had a very abusive husband whom she finally divorced.
She said that the man grew up with a father who abused his mother who (the father) in turn was abused by his stepmother. This means that the father took it out on the wife whom he could subdue so as to get even. How sad it is that our actions feed the domestic violence cycle. I urge my sisters to take heed and act in ways that help to break the domestic violence cycle.
Anyway I think enough of this for now.
Think of the influence that the biblical Eve had on Adam. In the story of creation we see Eve’s influence and Adam’s vulnerability that have us telling a different story about humanity today.
I believe that the story is still the same today as women still command a great deal of influence on their husbands. The secret is not about shouting from the top of the mountain but in a gentle nudge. If this competence could be harnessed and used positively so much can be achieved.
Unfortunately, for a long time women have been made to believe that they are not good enough.
If women were more assertive the world will be a better place for them and humanity in general.
When I talk assertive I am referring to self-confidence, self-assurance and firmness. I am referring to assertiveness and not aggressiveness although there is a thin line between these two words.
Women and girls should be more assertive and take initiative so they can live their potential. I have seen girls who surrender themselves totally to the will of the boys they will be dating.
Some of them have the course of their lives changed by someone who later dumps them for somebody who is firm, more self assured and confident.
Women also need to be confident and asset themselves in the marriage relationship.
I, however, think that people should not just walk away from a marriage but weigh their actions so much as they affect other relationships.
There are some women who become very docile in their relationships. They confuse submissiveness with docility. There are women who are always saying that they cannot do this or that because their husbands do not allow such.
In my view men and women have God-given purposes that should be fulfilled and therefore spouses have a responsibility to support each other.
I am not urging sisters in situations where they are put down to fight but to take initiative while working on getting a buy in and support from their spouses.
Dear reader, I think you have heard some men complain that their wives are laid back. They ask their wives why they can’t be like other women. Sometimes society reinforces docility of women by branding them obedient woman.
If it is a man who defers decisions to the wife society says he was given an overdose of the love portion (mupfuhwira). Really, are there no men who cannot make decisions?
I am reminded of a story that my brother told me about a man in the area where I grew up. The men in the area used to have their indaba/dare where they would come together to discuss and resolve issues affecting their locality.
My brother said that there was this elderly man who spent most of the time dozing off while discussions were in progress. One time, I am told, an issue was raised that had a bearing on him and his family.
According to my brother the man could only say “bvunzai mai” (ask mother) referring them to the wife.
What this means is that this man had no opinion of his own. Other man ridiculed him and said that he was a victim of an overdose of a love portion. Yet if it were a woman society will call her a good and obedient wife.
As Shoya Zichy says assertiveness comes from self-knowledge, self awareness and self management.
These characteristics enable one to be self-controlled and be on top of a situation. Self-knowledge is about knowing yourself well enough to be aware of your emotions at any given time thus making it possible to regulate these feelings.
Assertiveness goes along with emotional intelligence which is the ability to recognise, understand and control your emotions. It is said that people with emotional intelligence maintain good social relations because they are self controlled and consequently can control emotions of others even of groups of people.
Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist came up with five elements that define emotional intelligence and these are: self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
I believe women are high in emotional intelligence because of their nurturing role. They are able to understand better how others feel and therefore relate with them at the right level.
They feel for others and tend to be more considerate.
Women also tend to stand out as a pillar in times of adversity. They have the ability to endure and therefore keep the family motivated. I believe women are highly favoured. What is needed is for women to be more assertive.