• Lorna Ilena Bussue

What it means to be a woman

Updated: May 4

The way women are perceived throughout the world is generally reflected in cultural practices. For example, practices of genital mutilation and sex bias demonstrate that women in those regions are seen as subservient and of economic value only to the family. Although efforts have been made by some countries, to legislate against practices that affect women's health, they are often interwoven in the fabric of society. This makes it difficult for such practices to be obliterated.

Psychologically, women may be viewed as enigmas as they do not openly display their feelings to society. From birth various stimuli have programmed them to withhold emotional responses in an effort to protect their sensibility. For example, based on the religious sanctity of the marriage institution, a woman, in a chaotic state of mind, feels compel to keep her experiences a secret. She sees it as her religious obligation to remain in a relationship where she will never know the warmth of having a soulmate nor the happiness of two individuals having a mutual understanding. She bleeds internally and lose herself in a world that she creates as a buffer. Under the guise of marriage she suffers mental and physical abuse. She lives a life of ambivalence in which she loves her family wholeheartedly while living in a dysfunctional environment. In this classroom she learned to assert her worth as a human being.

Some women internalize their pain and live in a world of incoherency while others become explosive causing harm to themselves and others. Then there are those who although psychologically scarred, willed themselves to be healed. These are some of the women who form society. They are the educators and mediators who bring awareness to archaic customs and unquantified, immeasurable situations based on their experiences. They are the reckoning force of society with the unique roles of nurturer, educator and arbitrator.

Some view women as inconstant, incontinent beings. Those are the ones who have never experienced her overwhelming love which once given is not hers to give to another. This fragile, able woman is symbolic of forbearance, resilience and forgiveness. She enables society to be a functional unit through her ubiquitous influence.


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