Throughout history women are suppressed. They are either a commodity, a prize, or even a curse to a man. Though men are to rescue them and rally war for them, women are kept silent. They are to obey their father’s wishes when they were young and to obey their husband’s command when they are old and married. And throughout history, we can see how some women rise up and stand for themselves. These women were not afraid to face criticism from their family and friends. And because of these women, we are now free to live the kind of life we are meant to live.
Still, there are those who are afraid of their own light. Women who prefer to be on the background supporting a man. Though this might be considered noble and admirable to some, I believe it has to be done with the total permission from the woman. Because like a man, a woman has her own purpose in life. She has her own needs, her own desires, her own fantasies. And to neglect these these that make her an exquisite creature to behold, she will lose the fire, the passion, to continue nurturing the earth. And to these moments of confusion, I offer these encouragements as they were my own encouragement in my moments of despair and disappointments.
By Maya Angelou
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Maya Angelou, a woman who inspired millions of people despite being a black woman. On this poem, she showed how woman can be phenomenally for just being who she is. I love the lines “When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud.” because it reveals that we are not be competing with each other but rather become proud of who we become as a woman.
A prayer written by Marianne Williamson on her book Enchanted Love shows how strong a woman can be. We can pray for someone’s happiness even though that happiness did not include us.
I pray for the loves of my past,
those who chose me and those who did not.
I pray for their happiness,
their growth and their good.
May their hearts be filled with light
and their desires fully satisfied.
May they find what they are seeking,
although it could not be me.
And to those women who decided to live an ordinary life because it is easy and comfortable, may this message from Nadine Stair encourage you to stand up, wear your bootstrap and continue living an adventure-filled life.
If I Had My Life to Live Over by Nadine Stair
If I had my life to live over,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax, I would limber up.
I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I’d Have fewer imaginary ones.
You see, I am one of those people who has lived sensibly and sanely,
hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I’ve had my moments, and if I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else.
one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle,
a raincoat and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.
If i had my life to live over,
I would start bare foot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daises.
And one last thing my dear friend, don’t forget that you are never alone. A man might not understand your mood swings and your unconditional love but remember, there’s always a woman willing and ready to listen to your stories because all women know and understand how lonely it is to be in the world.