African Women Voices
How is it that men are supposed to protect the undefended women of the world? Why do we need so many superheroes, as handsome as they can appear, to make sure no women is kidnapped in the middle of the street? After all, even men can cry.
Usually on Balobeshayi I talk about women, not men. I’m not making an exception now. The question of why men are not allowed to cry is really just an excuse to question the patriarchal structure of our cultures. Men are the fighters, the protectors, the brave, the defenders. Which translates in women being the weaker link, the surrenders, the fearful people. Is that the case?
The trigger to mention this, even in 2015, came from the presentation of Dean Peacock, an equality activist speaking at the 100th anniversary conference of the Women’s International League for peace and Freedom at The Hague.
Peacock made a good point when stressing that the patriarchal philosophy is not only implemented in daily culture but also in marketing and advertising.
What does that do to women? And not only how this challenge their image but more deeply what does it do to the perception they have of themselves and other women.
If you are a woman it might have happened that growing up your presents or other friends preferred you to go out with groups of male friends to feel safer, as if your female friends would not be able to protect you in the same way. That’s a bit offending, given the fact I can kick someone pretty hard and efficiently.
You see the point, right? The patriarchal society not only builds up expectations on men and strip them from the possibility of showing “female” feelings, but also it stops women from feeling stronger and empowered through each other. Men can very much cry and women are able to kick, protest, defend.