Ok, hear me out. Technically she can. A woman can raise her son up from being a child to an adult man. She can teach him things about being an adult and what her version of a man is. So, in that since, yes a woman can definitely raise a boy into a man. But as a woman, do we really know what it takes to be a MAN? What the essence of a man really is? As a woman,we really know what it takes to be a man? For me, the answer is NO. Being a man, especially a black man in 2019 is a challenge in itself. Men are faced with all kinds of trials and tribulations that a woman will never, ever understand. Their are things that children, especially boys, have to learn that can only come from a man. I, as a woman can teach my daughter to be a woman because I know how to be a woman. I understand through and through what it takes to be a woman physically, mentally, emotionally and otherwise. I understand the femininity being a woman. There are things that only I can can teach her about womanhood because I’m a woman. The same goes for men. There are things that only men understand that can be taught to a male child. The masculinity of men, his thought process, his entire being, can only be explained by him. A woman can only give some perspective which can sometimes be biased based on her personal interactions with men.
Men are vital pillars of the community. Every community. They are the foundations of all things strong and stable. They are the protectors, the stabilizers, the peace makers, the noise makers, the head and the tail. Men (in my opinion) can make or break the family unit. They are the strength and the weakness of a foundation. Men are one of the only beings on this Earth that can evoke such strong emotion from a woman whether it’s good or bad. Only men hold such power.
I say, let’s begin to appreciate the essence of what men bring to the world. To our surroundings. Not just your man, or your father, but men in general. Now, someone may be reading this and will say, ” where is he because I haven’t seen such a man”. Well sis, this isn’t for you then. But I’m almost positive we all know a man that we can appreciate whether in public or private because of their greatness. Tell a random man, Happy Fathers Day (if he’s indeed a father) or even if he acts in place of a father. (Many men do) Let’s give men the same energy they give us on Mother’s Day!! They deal with enough!!! At least we can let them know, that they are appreciated!!!
Cheryl “Salt” James recently shared her sat down with The Jasmine Brand and shared about her divorce after 28 years of marriage. Here is a quote that stuck out to me.
“It was me trying to fill someone else’s void. And I didn’t realize that I was doing that. Sometimes we make ourselves small to fit in someone’s box and accommodate them. A lot of times we do that with men. And when I was coming out, it was a long process of me coming out of the dark part of being divorced.”
The reason this resonated so well with me is because I have been through this. More than once. I was this woman. Always willing to be accommodating to my man to help build him up even though I was feeling tore down. I was always willing to make sure that he had all of his needs, or what I thought were his needs, met, but never requesting any of this for myself. I played myself small. I did what he liked and strayed away from what he didn’t like for the sake of the keeping him happy and content. Many conversations weren’t had for the sake of the contentment and peace in the relationship. But I was not content. I was suffocating. I was pouring from an empty cup. (I have a post on this.) That monotony of the everyday processes of the relationship caused me to not realize what was happening. I was unhappy and didn’t realize it. I had gained a massive amount of weight, I just wasn’t caring for myself in the manner that I deserved. I lost myself for the sake of his happiness. My soul was weary and I just didn’t know it. It had been so long (12 years) that it all seemed absolutely normal. All I knew was to be there for him as much as possible despite working long hours every single day and care for and rear my children. No room for me. No one looking out for me.
12 years is a long time. Over a decade of life dedicated to another human being that did not come out of me. One would think, it’s been 12 years, you may as well stay and work on it. Are you really going to throw 12 years away? I really despise that mentality. So, do you stay in a place you don’t want to be because of time? Or do you take the learned lessons and move on? Salt walked away from a 28 year relationship because it didn’t serve her any longer. 28 years. Ladies, we must do away with the “may as well stay because it’s been X amount of years” mentality. I refused to stay for another 12 years simply because 12 years had passed. I cut my losses and I made a decision to spend the next 12 years and beyond being who I need to be for myself.
Moral of the story: Never, ever, play yourself small!! And remember, if the man in your life is the man for you, he won’t allow you to be small in the relationship. He will always boost you up and inspire you to be the greatest woman that you can be! And he will encourage you to be YOURSELF!