By: Andiswa Machanyana

My friend S invited me to a movie premier last Thursday – nice stuff. I totally enjoyed the movie minus the goody bag giveaways. I mean When I went up that stage I could have never imagined what she was about to ask me to do…Twerk really for what a goody bag? I mean I have done a lot of things in my life, I made my sister dance for a pack of candy for goodness sake, but I was 10 and stupid, to dance /twerk for a goody bag- in 2014 -in a theatre full of people? I’m sorry call me a party pooper but no thanks you can keep your bag, better yet give it to the guy with a six pack who by the way you did not subject to any of the twerking nonsense but hey. I could easily write off the behavior of the MC to being young and inexperienced, I mean she went from addressing women by their hair styles (hey you with cornrows, sit down) to the colour of their clothes (Yes you lady in yellow come get your prize) to their skin tone or not (No I’m calling that yellow bone right at the top).

I try not to read much from these innuendos or take them to heart, however it bothers me how ,from the time that little girls are born, society expects them to fit into a certain mold, a particular role and possess certain characteristics. The characteristics that are expected of them are assumed to be natural and inflexible. Little girls are always instructed on how they should look, how they should behave and how they should feel. Little girls should be beautiful, dainty, neat, polite, nurturing and well behaved. When she deviates from the identity given to her by society she becomes disillusioned about her self-worth and role in society. This is the root of self-hatred and low self-esteem for many women. I probably wouldn’t have noticed the Mc’s behavior had she been consistent in her treatment of both men and women, at the same perfunctory I cannot really blame her she lives in the same society as me, where we find it just easy to be mean towards women and be nicer to men.

While it is true that we are born into this kind of society, when we grow up we choose who we want to be. I was listening to the radio the other day (Breakfast eyondlayo ekseni kumhlobo.) Can’t recall what the topic was about, the guest host mentioned how women are naturally competitive. She made a simply analogy – Consider this conversation between two women at the clinic (health care/medical centre)

Lady1: ‘oh wow look at your cute bundle, she looks so cute how old is she?’

Lady2: ‘Oh thank you she’s 7 months, and yours?’

Lady1 : ‘Oh mine is only 4 months but look at him he looks way bigger than your 7 month old, oh but she still cute isn’t she’

Women compete with each other at a societal level, the criteria for winning is usually set by others and the results are subjective and intangible. This competition gets passed on to kids, I mean so what if your two month old baby looks like she’s 4 years old? Why should you make me feel like I am missing something if mine is a little petite or tiny(reference to the clinic conversation above) Women  usually judge each other  by characteristics that they have little control over; something that they did not create, and that exist outside of themselves such as their  offspring physical appearance.

I came across this the other day

“Her success is based on subjective, biased, external validation by others. She can’t see how to beat her rival because her rival is in no more control of the outcome than she is. How can you really be more beautiful than another woman, when the decision is nothing more than someone else’s opinion of beauty? “

Women are so busy competing with each other for male attention that they do not have the psychological, intellectual or emotional insight to change the social climate that is causing them to suffer from low-self-esteem. Women think of men as being promiscuous, unfaithful, lying, cheating dogs. But what most women need to come to grips with and understand is that research shows that a man is most likely to have a sexual affair with a….Genius aren’t you?

Tell me how can you change someone’s personal preference for a certain body size and shape, a particular eye color or a fondness for blondes or hour glass shaped women? How many people are needed to think that you are beautiful before it is a valid or meaningful finding? Who do you need, to tell you that you are beautiful before you can believe it to be true… construction workers, truck drivers, the man walking down the street, your pastor, the Pope, your boss? Women compete with each other for male attention and compliments as if it feeds their self-worth and self-esteem. Women try to dress sexier and have statuesque bodies than other women.

Women believe that they are superior to other women if they are physically more attractive. In a commercial for a diet pill a woman bragged, “I am now smaller than the woman my husband left me for.” This statement leads me to believe that she felt that she deserved her husband’s infidelity when she was overweight, REALLY???. Her motive for losing weight was to be physically smaller than the other woman that her husband left her for. She viewed the other woman as competition more so than feeling betrayed by her husband’s disloyalty. The wife’s motive for losing weight was not to improve the status of her health or increase her self-esteem but be smaller than her competition__ the other woman. The weight control commercial is blatantly telling women that they need to look a certain way in order to earn their husband’s love and fidelity. It doesn’t matter whether or not you cook his meals, raise his kids, and support his dreams… what matters most in a relationship is whether or not you are physically attractive enough to keep your man at home. There is an assumption that it is natural for a man to cheat on a woman who he feels is no longer sexually appealing. Many women believe that it is their fault when their husband or boyfriend cheats on them because they are not attractive enough to keep him faithful.

A woman’s perception of self-worth is validated outside of herself from others and this affects her internal psychological concept of her own value as a human being. Women compete indirectly with other women because they have not learned how to recognize and channel their internal desires, feelings and goals into physical, tangible realities. Once women learn that they cannot control or live vicariously through their children or the man in their life; they will stop hating each other and focus on their individual unique gifts, talents and assets…

As I drop the mic,,, need to wrap Xmas gifts.

 Read more articles by Andiswa

I learn, I mom, I cycle. I write, I slave, I Love… I could seriously live on coffee. Visit my blog and follow me on Twitter:@AndzMac.

1 Comment

  1. Good on you! Great article!

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