Have her Back!
Nahu asked me to blog on the topic of “men who support women” after our “Menelikish Men” event last Thursday and I excitedly accepted the challenge to look within myself and write something to continue this conversation with my fellow AWiBers and readers. I looked at my screen for over two hours and couldn’t come up with anything. I mean nothing guys! I kept going back to the presentations our speakers made and listening to their conversations over and over again but was stillstomped as to where to start. All this time I’ve gone through life without once considering this topic. Or, in my particular case, it could just be that I was not mature enough to realize my surroundings and appreciate my situation.
So I took a moment away from my laptop and decided to go breastfeed my son as I texted my mother to wish her a happy anniversary. She was celebrating, not the day they got married, but they day they met, 27 years ago, imagine that?! And then it hit me, aha! AWiB; always the challenger! Where to start? As AWiB will have you know, you must always start with yourself! With my son in my arms, I began to reflect, I thought of just how lucky I am to have a husband that is so supportive of everything I do and believes in the dreams that I am sometimes too scared to even dream of for myself. A husband who is a friend I can find console in, a brother I can take advice from and, of course, a lover I can truly enjoy. And I thought of the man who has consistently supported my mother throughout her entire life journey as a mother of six and a businesswoman in the world of men. A father who is my true symbol of what a man must be like to his wife, A man confident enough, in himself and in his partner, to be willing to take a step back and enjoy the his spouse’s vibrating energy and success in all spheres of life. What else to blog about but my own experience, find myself through the process and hopefully create more dialogue-invoking literature?
Of course, it obvious I can’t be bias and oblivious to the fact that there are many experiences out there of men that didn’t, and don’t, support their women, be it their spouses, their family members, their friends or their co-workers. We all know women in our lives that have had to go through the pain, suffering and even shame caused because of this. We also know of many men who didn’t have the support of their women as well, but this blog is about supporting women, so let me stick to that reference and not go out of bounds here. For those of us that have had to experience the ignorant and sexist ways some of the men in our lives could treat us, it is a topic that may be difficult to digest; even difficult to believe. And for those of us that have had the support of our male counterparts, family and friends alike, the topic is almost senseless.
Alas, though ignorance is not a crime, not sharing the right knowledge and attitude about the matter is, and so we must talk about it. Especially those of us that are unmindful of the matter, as it does not pertain to us personally. As for me, the support of a man comes as second nature, nothing to be asked for, discussed or debated over. I have always had the support of all the men in my life and so I believed it to be the norm. As I mature and learn to better observe my surroundings and my community of females in my personal and professional sphere, I now see that, that is not the case after all. No wonder AWiB seemed it fit to make the topic one to be discussed over.
I’m not really sure to whom I was referring this blog to when I first aimed to write it. Could it be directed to men? Though seeing as my readers are most likely women, I think at the end of the day, man or woman, I know that we need to have her back. I guess it is up to those of us blessed enough with supportive men in our lives to continue to encourage our friends and family to believe that there are seasoned men out that are supportive. It’s also up to us to make others understand that it should not be a question, not an obligation, but a natural way of life to support a woman. When I say, have her back, I’m talking about all the “hers” out there, close to us or not. Have that girl’s back that’s trying to make something of herself. Have that woman’s back that seems a little timid during meetings but has much to voice about, much to offer to the table. Have that female’s back that is trying to fight for her rights and is struggling through the status quo of our male dominated world. Even have that woman’s back that, even with an attitude and no sense of humbleness, has much to provide our society. Bitterness is curable, and some women are bitter because of what they have had to go through due to the lack of support they have endured in their journeys, it could simply be because no one had their backs. So in all sense of the word, why don’t we just have her back! Whoever she is.