I was recently talking with some friends at work this week about really wanting to win the lottery. Not just winning a small amount – I’d want to win big. The jackpot! Something like £65 million would be just right for me. Why that much? Too greedy you think? Not enough if you ask me. Just not enough.
When I think about winning the lottery, I’m actually thinking about all the good that I could do with it. How many people I could help – mortgages need paying off? Done! School fees need paying? Done!
But I actually want to help more than just friends and family. My passion is women’s issues.
Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram – remember them? Remember the world-wide campaign – let’s find those girls and bring them home. What happened? Some were found, changed forever, reunited with their families – what happened to the rest of those girls? I don’t know.
Sexual grooming gangs preying on vulnerable girls. Has it stopped? No – it hasn’t. How can it? Poverty, lack of resources, lack of guidance, lack of care, lack of aspirations – those girls remain just as vulnerable as ever. Who’s looking after them? I don’t know.
FGM, foeticide of females, child marriages, lack of medical care during childbirth – the list is endless….
The irony is that in England we have a Queen of England, we have a female Prime Minister – surely this should be the golden age for women. But in so many respects, women are still treated as if we’re in the Dark Ages.
I’m not ridiculous, I know that a mere £65 million wouldn’t solve women’s problems. But it would make me wealthy. It would make me influential. It would mean that I could raise awareness about things that mattered….for now, I’ll stick to being a keyboard warrior.
In today’s blog, I’m not really going to address any of the issues that I’ve highlighted above. Those issues that I’ve addressed above are grand aren’t they? They are the issues that you often see infomercial adverts for whilst you’re watching TV. What I’m going to discuss today happens on a daily basis to women. Day in, day out. Destruction of self-worth and self-esteem.
The women that I know and am surrounded by, are truly amazing. They are educated, working exceptionally hard in their careers, progressing, becoming homeowners, independent, self-sufficient, successful. Sadly, this list of achievements doesn’t seem to be enough for some men to treat these women with respect. The number of women I know that have been forced to lose weight because of pressure from their partners. The number of women who are told they aren’t pretty enough by their partners – or made to feel this way because of their partner’s roving eye! The number of women who are made to feel like failures, in spite of all that they have accomplished because they can’t keep their house tidy, or cook as well as Mummy dearest.
We are in 2017 – but for so many reasons you would not know it. You simply would not know it.
I have no solutions for the women in these situations – I can only say that I would not put up with it. But that’s easy to say isn’t it? Isn’t there a point though – when enough is enough? People often say that you get what you deserve. I don’t subscribe to that – I believe that you get what you think you deserve. When someone has worn you down, you lose faith in yourself. You forget that you don’t deserve to be treated in this way. The put-downs become a habit. You get used to hearing them. You believe them.
No one deserves that.
We all deserve to be with someone who makes you feel that you are the most important person in the world. Who loves you when you put weight on and sees beauty in it. Who loves you as you age, caressing your lines and wrinkles, smooths away your grey hairs. Who knows that you were born to achieve something in your life, that you are making a contribution to the world and to society with what you do – not thinking that keeping your house clean and his belly full is the sum of your achievements.
You can’t teach someone that is what they deserve. This is innate – you either believe that you deserve this – or you don’t. You either believe that this person who will treat you this way exists, or you don’t. And if you don’t – you won’t find him. This is the truth.
I don’t have sons, I only have daughters. The apples of my eyes. I know that if I did have sons, they would be raised to gentlemen. Respectful of women. Treating women, not as commodities or trophies. They would be taught to listen. Understand. Be self-sufficient. Successful. Independent. Then they would be deserving of a woman who has all these qualities as well.
I know that winning £65 million wouldn’t solve this problem. But it would make me wealthy. Influential. A voice worth listening to. Who knows? I might be able to make a difference to at least one person’s life? That dream is just a dream – so for now, I’m hoping the non-wealthy, ordinary me can help someone to know that they are wonderful. Don’t take shit from anyone. You were not put on this planet to be made to cook and clean and keep the house tidy. You were born to change the world! Remember who you are and what you have achieved – let no one take that away from you.