The mystery of woman
As I was saying…The woman question will, for a long time to come, intrigue the world. Debates upon debates will be held until the world understands the women and they are given their rightful place under the sun. The women themselves will not keep quiet until the battle against men is won and the system that has kept them down is dismantled.
The psychological trauma is incalculable when a person feels or is made to feel he is second rate in a social system. There is a loss of confidence and loss of personality in subjugation or a feeling of inadequacy and discrimination. How instructive it is to hear many a woman say how she wished she had come as a man. Marriages that ought to provide security and confer a sense of self-worth on women are breaking down like a pack of cards. The clan of single parents resulting from marriage collapse is multiplying by the day.
Studies show that divorce rate in the United States peaks at 40 per cent, varying from one socio-cultural group and educational background to the other. The statistics also reveal that 50 per cent of Black children are living with single-parent mothers; Hispanic, 28 per cent; all groups, 24 per cent and White, 19 per cent. In all these, it is women who are often at the rough end of the stick. Take Australia as an example, a country that can be said to be saner, the percentage of children living with single-mother parents nearly tripled from eight per cent to 23 per cent between 1960 and 2016 and the percentage of those with single parent fathers rose from 01 per cent to 04 per cent. Now, given women’s level of education and exposure, their access to the mass media—social media, print and electronic—and all kinds of literature within reach in the global village in which we all are, the iron resolve by the women to throw off the accustomed yoke is understandable and deserving of support.
In the last one week, there have been three major conferences to advance the cause of women, namely the 8th Arise Women’s Conference, 17th National Women’s Conference graced by Dolapo Osinbajo accompanied by wives of some governors—the two in Lagos; and the conference of National Council of Women Societies in Abuja. There was a visitation by a group of Roman Catholic Women to the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, in Abeokuta, to express their appreciation and gratitude to him for the opportunities he has given to women in his domain, surpassing the UN Affirmation Action of 35 per cent placement of women in government. I am sure women will always remember Stella Obasanjo as well as Patience Jonathan for their drive for women’s inclusion at a very high level of governance.
However, the arrows being fired by women under whatever guises—in movements, protest marches, conferences and seminars or outright rebellion—are often aimed at wrong targets. Dr. Azikiwe said in 1969 upon returning from exile during the war: “I love to fight but only when the enemy is clearly identified.” The enemy the women are fighting has not been clearly identified. Who is the enemy? Is man the enemy? Are women their own enemies? Is it the social system or plain ignorance? Are women in bondage really—designed or self-inflicted? The answer lies in first unraveling the mystery of woman. Who is she? Why does the world revolve around women even when they do not utter a word?
A woman can be defined as the female aspect of the human species, distinguished by her nature and the nature of her activity. She radiates her personality which is manifest in her make-up as well as her unseen, but strongly felt and perceivable features. Some of her features which the society indeed, human beings generally, hardly notice any longer or which they take for granted, are those things which reveal a lot about woman. When woman is discussed these features are regarded as too obvious to deserve mention.
A woman is fine and delicate. Charming and graceful. But these days it is women themselves who do not want to see themselves in that mould or characterisation as they dismiss it as patronising, and socially, economically and politically inhibitive. The sing-song therefore, is “what a man can do, a woman can do, even better.” This contention stems from the misunderstanding that their subjugation derives from unfair political, cultural and economic power wielded by men. However, hard as they may try, they cannot throw out of the window those physiological characteristics without which a woman will not be a woman.
It is instructive to note that, simply from the differences in words, which in any case express meaning, woman cannot be the same as man. For that reason, their roles must be different, although complementary. For that reason also, their roles must have a purpose distinguishable from those of man and subversion or abandonment of which can bring only grave consequences. Neither man nor woman created himself or herself. As such neither created and assigned the role, implying that the answer to the gender question lies beyond their wish or will.
The nature which distinguishes a woman is not a biological accident. The woman is tender, fine, gentle, sensitive and perceptive. The man, on the other hand is dense, rugged, coarse and aggressive. The nature of each gender is a reflection of what it is inside. The science of radiations has proved, at least, that every tangibility is a coarse manifestation of finer essence. In other words, the outward physical differentiation of man and woman merely reflects what must be substantial differences in the nature of their core, their being, their nature.
Contrary to the widely held notion and conception in modern times, women are not men, not just in the biological differences or connotation, but in the nature of the gender of each group of the human family. Similarly, contrary to generally-held belief, especially in modern times, it is not society that assigns roles to woman, or man, but Nature. In most mobile creatures, we see male and female. And in plants, we see that each part has its own roles which are akin to the different roles the genders of the human race perform. The root of a plant, for example, is coarse, like man, and like him provides the materials, that is, the ingredients and water for the plant’s sustenance. The leaves prepare them to feed the whole, to nurture the whole, to beautify the whole. The leaves, because of their finer nature, collect fine rays of the sun which provides energy. They also collect carbon dioxide and turn them into oxygen through photosynthesis. These are all fine activities. Fine as a woman’s caring and tending. But the roots battle with tough, coarse, not fine activity; with rocks under the ground while at the same time, together with the stem, protects the leaves, the delicate part of a plant.
Women are closer to Nature than men are. This is as a result of her inner make-up which contains a part of higher spiritual essence which is lacking in men. With the higher spiritual make-up, she is put in a situation that she is a firm link and channel of radiations and influences from higher and purer Light Realm, indeed, Paradise. She is thus blessed with richer intuitive and perceptive faculties to sense the Will of God at all times and in every situation so she can guide. She is put in the position to readily distinguish between right and wrong, between good and evil. Thus in women are converged the rays of love and the rays of purity. Woman, therefore, becomes the storehouse of power. With her fine nature coupled with the fact that she stands half a step higher than man even psychically by virtue of her make-up, she is able to absorb the rays of power and mediate them to the dense man, thus passing strength to him for use in his coarse activity.
Man senses some power emanating from woman, and he feels drawn to protect this inexplicable treasure. He also feels overwhelmed by woman. Man, through science, has encountered this overwhelming power in nature but has been unable, up till now, to relate it to the nature of the female species in whatever form in all levels of being. In the tiny atom, a storehouse of power, the nucleus, holds the activity-prone electrons together in orbiting the shells. In the gigantic solar system, the storehouse is the sun. The galaxies and the universes, too, have their own storehouses of power and so does humanity! That storehouse of power for humanity is woman! For all species of life are subject to Law, the Will of their Creator which affects every species according to its nature. The woman, as the storehouse of power, is to keep the society, the family, etc. moving and active, a role that can be likened to the nucleus of the atom. The nucleus is a passive core surrounded by rings of electrons at various distances from the core which are open to various activities subjected to chemical reactions and changes.
It follows that, with this peculiar endowment, a woman who is a mediator of power to men cannot be said to be the weaker sex. Man is only stronger physically to protect the woman and fend, but the woman is just as powerful in her own nature and tasks. Man and woman (male or female) represent the state of necessary balance all too evident around us: equilibrium in the activity of the positive and negative forces of life; negative not in the derogatory sense but as a designation of a passive, unobtrusive, complementing equal role. Doctors worry when the blood system is out of balance, which is when the Ph shifts from neutrality towards alkalinity or acidity. Soils similarly not in tune are infertile and are even prone to restoration of balance by natural forces such as earthquakes. Woman as a counterpoise to man is the bridge on which he must journey back home, by which is meant, without her he is lost in the world of matter. It is obvious that deliberately, Nature has endowed woman with a finer essence, which her body mirrors so that in the ensuing homogeneity with the finer and purer currents of life, she may easily link up with these forces, and absorbing from them, mediate strength to her menfolk, who being coarse and alien to these forces, cannot reach out to them on their own. On the other hand, the studier man is to reciprocate, for balance, with her protection and sustenance through the facility of his own coarser natural gifts. Where either forsakes its role and duty to the other, this structure inevitably collapses as in the chaos that follows an uncontrolled splitting of the atom’s nucleus. Could the distress in the world today not have arisen from such imbalance in the weaving of the human species?
With the mystery of woman now revealed, it becomes necessary to draw attention to what flows out of the recognition as the passive force with all-pervading influence on man and children. With woman constituting the bridge and mediator of sustained power, she forms the support, holding the balance in the family. Her special attributes enable her to draw virtues from On High which she uses to beautify and ennoble her community as well. With her finer and deeper sensing ability she is more readily to tell the nature of wrong and right as evidenced in the dream of Pontius Pilate’s wife during the trial of the Lord Christ when the howling mob and the high priests wanted Him crucified. She said to her husband: “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of Him.”
Through this ability, she is said to have sharper sixth sense otherwise known as intuition which she uses to sense dangers readily even before they approach, and she alerts the man who gets ready to ward them off. She is able to notice fine points in a child and anything spot or untoward in his dress or his breathing, or even notice cobwebs or water on the floor or on the table which man in his obtuseness may not see readily if he sees it at all. With the gift of effortlessly knowing right from wrong, her sense of judgment is striking, direct and correct. She is in a position to guide her husband in business, who his business partners should be, in government as ministers, senior functionaries, prime minister or president. Through her intuition, the woman is to take decisions and the man is to carry them out.
In love and care she can be absorbed in the care of others, her husband and children to the exclusion of her own comfort. In selfless love she throws herself on the side of right with absolute disregard to personal consequences. To know a woman is when her child faces a threat of danger. Like mother hen she will throw herself completely into the danger with total disregard for her own safety, regardless of her level of education, her exposure or social standing. The leading role of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti cannot be easily forgotten in the history of Abeokuta or in the defence of her son, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. The woman is a lifelong educator, a moulder of character, the guide, the teacher, and the pace setter. She begins to educate her offspring from cradle, indeed from the womb until they are old enough to go their own way. Even then there is still a tie! Where she does it well, there is no anxiety later in life for her family or the entire community. If she sets the right agenda and tone, her society will not go astray, but prosper. Where a woman stands aright, the society has ennobling, uplifting practices and cultures. In the Elizabethan Age, through the instrumentality of Queen Elizabeth, Great Britain reached the zenith of her cultural flourish; or and at the time of Queen Victoria, it was the age of etiquette, propriety and prosperity.
Soothing words from a woman have healed wounds and ended hostilities between nations. In the same way, nations have fought wars over woman. Cultured men open doors for women and heads turn in gatherings at their approach, paying homage. Indeed, men begin to adjust their ties, their dresses to appear to be correct and approved by the woman. Before an upright and worthy woman, a man must bow—whoever he may be.
If women have fallen and become oppressed, it is a consequence of lack of understanding of who women are and the perversion of their own roles. So is it that women divert their energies to wrong and harmful pursuits, such as footballing, weight lifting, wrestling, crane driving, emulating men, excessive intellectual cultivation which block the outflowing of the prompting of their intuition . There is the craving for political power whether as president, governor or minister, manifesting today than ever before in cries for affirmative action to place women in governmental power and kindred executive activities which distort a woman’s nature, steeling it and thus causing imbalance in the order of life. By moving to a different sphere of activity, her volition changes and the womanly nature accordingly becomes dulled…the bridge breaks, and the natural structure collapses. Evidence of the creaking or collapsing structure which serious-minded people may wish to ponder is the gynecological difficulties more and more women encounter today. Do we wonder? Once the volition changes and the fine womanly radiations turn coarse, why will the reproductive system, the hormonal orchestra, no longer maintained of fine radiations not respond accordingly?
When a river deviates from its course, it ends up forming a stagnant lake, giving its environment filth and fouled air. Eventually it dries up, unable to reach the sea, its destination, its goal for development. Today, Nature has abandoned women to the disobedience of the laws that stipulate their roles. The penalty for this includes confusion in homes, in the society, in the world at large, in individuals and in failure of men to achieve enduring really great things. The penalty shows in the abandonment of children on refuse dumps, on the streets and rail lines. It shows in the emergence of child soldiers and the unbelievable aberrations we are all witnessing. It shows in brutalized man and lack of respect for women by men and for men by women!
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