BEING A WOMAN

The reasons why I am sharing my thoughts with readers on this site, is to join in the conversations and issues about gender. It is with sincere hope that by doing this, my words may add clarity on what it is to be a woman from a specific cultural background, making every attempt to connect with the wider world. I was born and raised up in what is often described as a closed community, a place where large groups of people live in extended families. With mutual values and similar beliefs, we share all that life has to offer together. Accepted without questions as our way of life, our traditional cultural practices are naturally within us and is lived as a daily habit in the modern world. 

Comparison with different lifestyles and contrast with other communities, began after I received the opportunity to study in Europe and started to live there. On reflection of that time, it seems as if I was looking into a mirror, watching myself respond to the demands of a new environment, including being surrounded by all the varieties of strange things within it. I was constantly adjusting daily, making attempts to behave and function in what I thought was the right way. It was during this early period that I started to become aware of who and what I was, as a person and a woman. 

I am not exactly sure how my soul remain intact, but I was often overwhelmed with stress and anxieties after the daily bombardment of signs, symbols, subliminal codes and diverse messages projected in the media. I was caught up in the relentless domineering forces of new and unknown cultures. I can only describe it now, as a being like an acrobatic balancing act, walking on a thin tightrope above a deep void.  Many others that I knew from a similar background were not so lucky as me, they went through a reluctant process of completely unrecognisable changes in a short time.    

I refused to be alienated from my true self, I had no intentions of becoming a hybrid persona. A type of clone internalising and mimicking the basic norms of an alien society. I wanted to remain true to the things I was taught by the elder matriarchs in my village. I was determined to remain undiluted and pure to my ancestral traditions, yet still participating and functioning within the communities and onslaught of the one world global modernity. How to achieve this turned into a minor obsession over several years.

Now, after decades in long periods of soul searching, calm introspection and realisation, listed here are a few of my conclusions on being a woman in the world: I am not from Venus, and I know nothing about the people from Mars. In that world I was not sculpted in marble, placed on a pedestal and worshipped. Neither was I adored, idolised on the silver or golden screens. Always busy working somewhere, I have no reason to rebel, fighting to be unchained from the kitchen sink. I am not Eve, offering temptations for the sacrifices and death of you.

I did not become your concubine by night, a simple container for the sperm you indiscriminately discharged in the mist during your real concrete imaging. Gold, silver and jewelled trinkets flung at my feet, do not glitter and shine for me. I am not a slave to promises with agreements written and signed in ink, in bondage true love will never be found. All egotistic men embroiled with chauvinistic masculinity are not my enemies nor fiends. I love my father, brothers, uncles, nephews, cousins, grand and great grandfathers.

My true form is elasticity, I mutate change and is forever transforming anew. I am like the fertile soil of the earth that gives life to all healthy seeds planted in her. My womb is a sacred space, a universe and gateway from which all human soul exit and enter this physical material world. How do we solve the ancient puzzle, finding the equation for two becoming one without any form of loss to each? Using the mathematics of nature, half plus half is one. I am only half a woman without the man. I am bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh. I am ISHSHAH NUBIA.