My vagina can lift weights
Once a year we come together as a nation and focus on the ghosts that haunt women, being careful to run through all the plagues of femalehood. We roll them out one by one, campaign by campaign: gender-based violence, female genital mutilation, economic disempowerment, lack of representation in higher structures, access to education and the ever-present glass ceiling.
This year we are encouraged to #WearADoek. Priceless.
This is not to say that being a woman is easy; it sometimes takes Spartan endurance to be a lady – the world can be a social, physical and mental minefield. But there are times when it really is quite spectacular a fact rarely celebrated during this (or any) time of the year. The list is extensive, and includes the fact that female sexual organs can do weights, as well as:
Keeping the human race incubated is not easy (and we do it well)
The miracle of childbirth – picture a serene mother who rubs her belly. This visual is followed by another as she contentedly holds her newborn child. This image is based on a myth that makes it seem as though childbirth is akin to having a picnic in the Kirstenbosch Gardens.
It is not a miracle; it is precision production at best. Do we call a Ferrari a miracle? No. If you have ever seen a production line, you will know that making things is rough. We women are built to perfection to create one of the most complicated things on Earth: a human being.
For nine months, we work tirelessly 24/7 to create, build and put together something that can function for the next 60-plus years in some of the harshest conditions. Even Apple cannot claim to do that.
Also, anyone who has watched a birthing video knows that the miracle of childbirth is less miracle and more Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Therefore, thank you for the sperm contribution – your effort has been noted.
Growing and building the human race is practically a war on your body and We. Are. Sparta.
Multiple orgasms are a reality
For many a year, there have been statements that speak of “the myth of the female orgasm” and of this “myth of female ejaculation”. Yet both are very real and explosive.
If the woman in your life is not having orgasms, it could be one of two things: either she suffers from a condition called anorgasmia, in which she cannot have an orgasm, or it could just be you.
The idea that sex is only for a man’s benefit is an age-old phallocentric legend that has led to, at best, some men being lazy in bed and, at worst, practices such as female genital mutilation where they cut off the clitoris because, hey, she just doesn’t need it.
We do need it and can make extremely good use of it. The clitoris is a matrix of 8 000-plus sensory nerve endings, which means that, although men are plagued with being sexual one-hit wonders, we are like Beyoncé and, under good management, can produce hit after consecutive hit.
We can be a chief executive officer of a company or run a home, or both
The number of women in higher management has risen and this is in a South Africa where single-parent households are more often the norm than not.
With many of these households being run by women (or the oldest female child), I do not mean to point fingers but it would seem like someone is slacking, and it might not be us.
Unlike men, we have been told that if we cannot stand the heat then we must go back to the kitchen, so we have made it work. We have pushed forward despite the fact that the ability of women to run a household is not intrinsic, no matter how much the world is convinced that women are filled with “maternal yearnings”.
No one is born knowing how to be a parent in the same way no one is born knowing how to be a professional of any kind. It takes time, dedication and probably a spreadsheet or two. We can balance budgets and babies and this should be lauded and celebrated and never forgotten.
It is important not to forget that, although it is sometimes difficult being a woman, there are a number of ways in which we are not “lesser than” and we do not need pity.
I, as a woman, can do any number of things besides being a victim of social ills, one of which is to lift weights with my vagina.
Kagure Mugo is a founder and curator of the pan-Africanist womanist website, HOLAAfrica!.