The Guardian
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WomanOne question that keeps bugging the menfolk or perhaps humanity as a whole as even the women themselves are yet to come up with a gratifying resolution is “What does a Woman really want?” As comical as it can get, I have seen an artiste impression of this being played out with a man looking at very massive book almost half the height of a full grown adult and it bore the title “what does a woman want” VOL 1. Right next to it was “What does a Man want?”…A pocket-sized book! Is that an indication that what a woman wants requires quantitative and qualitative empirical research?

Why does this question even arise one might wonder? Isn’t what a woman want really simple and straightforward? A mere peep at the theme of the women’s conferences alone gives us enough clues to the desires of women:

“Be all you can be”
“Breaking Barriers”
“Game Changers”
“Making a Difference”
“Ain’t No Stopping Us”
“Beyond Limits”
“Yes We Can”….to mention a few.

Yes, after so many years of male dominance, women are standing at the threshold of a true feminine era. They now want to rise to their true prominence. Women today are more determined than ever to break forth from their domestic and traditional roles and realize their full potential and become equal partners with the menfolk in development of the society.

The religious doctrine, written laws and social customs asserts women’s subordinate position. Women are to marry, tend the house, and raise a family. In marriage, she also loses the limited freedom she enjoyed as a single adult. And in the case of divorce, women lose custody of their children and any family possessions to the man.

In modern times however, women around the world have organized movements to obtain the same social, economic and political rights that men traditionally enjoy. Therefore women have demanded and achieved:
• Equal access with men to education and employment opportunities and benefits.
• Top Executive positions in the Boardroom
• Top Government appointment and an impressive quota or portfolio allotment in Government.
• Equal participation in all spheres of social and economic justice.
• Policy and Decision making roles in the society.

These feats are most commendable, as it has greatly impacted on the lives of women globally. The laws of many lands have changed to prevent discrimination against women and to provide them with equal opportunities in all aspects of life, including education, employment, equal representation in government and unequal gender/social relations.

After all said and done, women nonetheless unwittingly rob themselves of this privileged and much desired equality status they have assumed. The same women who say they are equal to men will demand that:

The Universe should excuse certain idiosyncrasies such as bad driving skills, untamed tongue and temperament just because they are women. As a matter of fact, it is common to hear both men and women say, “Don’t talk or don’t drive like a woman”…. like it’s an accepted norm for a woman to talk or drive anyhow.

They expect special treatment from the men such as the door being opened of them, picking up of their bills even on a date, a man giving up his seat for them, being given priority or unfair advantage over the menfolk on a queue just because they are women!

They would not change their car tires, fix a bulb or carry out certain technical or mechanical duties because they are women.

When driving, the Policeman is not expected to stop and search them because they are woman!

In some organizations, they are at liberty to decline certain job functions and overtime hours because they are women!

Many would not consider certain jobs like Bus/Cab driving, Automobile Mechanics, join the Army and go to war just because they are women!

Certain things like jobs or products labeled “women friendly”

These perks and demands from women has inadvertently blurred the equality lines. True equality comes with no exceptions! So, one wonders…what do women really what? Do they really and truly want to be treated as equal to men? This is a very sensitive issue. Even the men do need to know and understand what women want exactly…if women want equality which implies they want to be treated like men!

The truth is, men don’t treat each other all that well. I don’t know a single man who is kinder to his fellow men than to women. Men are tough with each other and much more likely to fight with each other than they are to fight with a woman. Men rarely compliment each other, they seldom encourage each other and when they shake hands, they grab each other firmly and look each other in the eye without smiling. I have long believed that women are, socially, higher developed or designed than men in some ways. They seem to understand the true language of humanity.

My question for the women now is:
Do you want to be treated like men in every area of your life? If “NO”, wouldn’t it be confusing for you to want to be treated more kindly and tenderly in a social area but more straightforwardly in the sense of political, economic and cultural equality? Can women handle the responsibilities that come with being equal to a man?

It would be profitable to get to the root of the disorientation; we need to learn about what it means to be a man or a woman, about masculine and feminine energy. Every human being, man and woman, was created for the same purpose — to bind body and soul in order to make themselves and their world a better place. Therefore, men and women must be themselves, realizing that each of us has unique abilities with which to pursue our goals and that our primary responsibility is to take full advantage of those abilities.

Our focus in life, as man or woman, must not be simply to satisfy our own ego or needs but to live a life of purpose. The way to achieve this is not for men and women to try to be alike. Rather, they should understand their respective equal roles and strive to complement each other in their shared struggle to improve life.

Men must concentrate on using their dominant qualities for good. They must use their strength to protect and preserve the feminine character, helping women realize their true potential, which the world so desperately needs today.

Women on the other hand must understand that true women’s liberation does not mean merely seeking equality within a masculine world but liberating the divine feminine aspects of a woman’s personality and using them for the benefit of humankind. It is also involves learning to live up to your potential, to balance energies and to lead a productive and meaningful life.
A word to all, learn to appreciate and respect your male or female counterpart.
And to my womenfolk, I know how tough it is to be a woman in today’s world so I leave you with this lovely quote:
You must think like a Man
Act like a Lady
Look like a young girl
And work like a Horse!

Mercy Makinde is a speaker, writer, coach and entrepreneurship advocate. She owns an online radio Station, Iaspire Radio, Nigeria’s first motivational radio Station; and a motivational and inspirational blog;

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