I just read a message that Jada Pinkett Smith posted to her wall and it really got me thinking how some of the meanest and hurtful things I have had said to me and about me and have come out of women’s mouths and then, at the same, time, I have also been loved, comforted and “filled up” by women. I too have used my tongue to cut, rather than build up, in my journey of evolution. As women, we are at times the “victims, and then at times, the “culprits”.
It takes time for a woman to really get to the point of knowing who she is and along the way, she will stumble. Unfortunately, there will be those who hold her hand as she stumbles and there will be those who give her the final push that causes her to land flat on her face. What Jada encourages us to think about is whether we want to be the kind of woman who views what is “right” under such narrow confines that we hurt, exclude and judge other women.
I am reminded by her message that I can not, on one hand, say that “I have the freedom to be…” while I bind another woman with my own judgements and assumptions about who she is or who she should be.
Be free and let others be free.
Here is Jada’s message:
Mother. Woman. Freedom.
A woman who is a mother does not have to lose connection to her body, her beauty, her sensuality, her intelligence, her purpose or her individuality in order to be a mother.
BUT…if she decided to let it all go…that’s her choice as well because a woman, who is a mother, has the right to identify for HERSELF what BEING a woman and a MOTHER means to HER.
What it means to be a woman…is subjective along with every other title she could possibly hold. So, when we, as women, band together, as a collective, to judge other women’s decisions on how they choose to live their lives, it makes me question if we women honestly believe more in freedom and equality for ourselves than the need to…fit in, play by the rules, be liked and accepted by those that govern the standards or having others satiate our need to be in control and to be…right. (We often use each other to simply be…right.)
Woman is vast, and her essence is made of a hundred million things so we will always encounter, through other women, aspects of woman’s nature that will feel foreign to us. I would suggest, we get to know that essence which may be foreign to us before we knock it. It could be that very essence which we would have knocked that may show us how to be more of the beautiful creatures we are or…it may create an opportunity to extend ourselves as sisters to share our wisdom, revealing alternative paths to assist our woman friends to get to where they are going. But we, as women, must practice honoring the freedom of one another if we are asking the world to honor the freedoms of women as well.
Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and Mrs. Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter