Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani
Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani displayed her acting skill as a hardcore warrior, fierce and powerful as well as the passionately, loving princess that fought for her survival.

Raising Warrior Women

What are you teaching your daughters?

Do you share your life lessons with your daughters?

We are all faced with challenges in life, especially single parent homes.

Did you ever wake up on one morning or many mornings not knowing how you will get through the day?

How you woke every day not knowing how you will make it to month end?

How you woke wishing your life could be different if only you were more educated, wishing now that you had completed matric or that college degree, didn’t give up that job, or set up that nest egg instead of wasting money on materialistic nonsense?

Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani
Deepika Padukone in Bajirao Mastani displayed her acting skill as a hardcore warrior, fierce and powerful as well as the passionately, loving princess that fought for her survival.

What are you teaching your daughters? Whilst you sip your morning coffee you watch the news … sisters, mothers, daughters, women. Somewhere in the world a woman is affected by fermicide, oppression, career growth is stunted because of her gender, fighting for equal pay, fighting against abuse. She is fighting to wear a hijab when the world is out to sensationalise women’s bodies. Men deciding still what a woman should or should not wear.

It does not matter whether you are Muslim, white, Indian, the girl next door; blonde, tall, curvy.

Women are soft targets why?

What do you say to your baby girl, tell her it was too late coming that women stood up for each other, that we as women need to stop looking at one another and demeaning each other? We talk about freedom, but we refuse to own it outright. We seem to constantly want to lease it from everyone else yet it’s in us; we own it, we blatantly desist in preserving it and exploring it to the fullest.

What are you teaching your daughters? I don’t have a daughter, but I know I would be raising a warrior if I did. Let me tell you what I teach my son

Women are not to be taken at face value. Women are strong bridges. Women are courageous survivors.

If you have a daughter, raise a warrior my son! I teach my son every single day, that a women is powerful, she carries herself with dignity, and she doesn’t need a wishbone, when she has a strong backbone. We need to teach our sons’ to follow the examples set out to them centuries ago, the lessons laid bare, of respect, of support, of education, of allowing women to be able to stand tall.

We praise our sons’ for their strength, we constantly stroke their egos’ about how physically strong they are?

YET what are we saying to our daughters’, you need to be able “to roll a perfect roti to make a good wife”, “my daughter can make every single sweetmeat”, “make sure you look good for the wedding, you never know …”

We tell our sons to simply make sure their shirts are tucked in and they look neat.

Shouldn’t we be teaching our daughters about strength, courage, about being able to stand up for the truth? Her own truth.

“Your daughter, for whom you have already gone through so much for, wants to know what you brought a gift to her life, which you refused to let that gift be simply tossed away. That you pass on a light to her, and you refuse to let you legacy become extinct.

“Soon your time will be up, what did you do with your daughter, what tools have you equipped her with in this ever changing world, which day by day seems to be getting more cruel and hard?”

I think the best lesson to teach a girl child, a teenage girl, a young adult, a mature woman is “You are enough.”

Believing you are enough, nothing in you needs to change to be loved or respected. If someone doesn’t see your worth, then they do not deserve a place in your life.

I read this quote recently and it resonated with me:

“I’ve often thought it unfair that women are expected to stay at home when there’s a fight to be won. If awoman has the strength to bear a child, she can swing a sword as well as any man.” ― Karen Hawkins, How to Abduct a Highland Lord

Happy Women’s Day

About Saffiya Ismail

Born in Pietermaritzburg, she now resides in Johannesburg and says her most important role in life is being a mother. Saffiya is a freelance writer. A contributing author in “Riding the Samoosa Express” (Anthology launched 21st March 2015). With a second chapter submitted for the next book, Saffiya says her passion is writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.