Deborah, the Game Changer

Womanhood | By Chiratidzo Chiweshe, Graphic Designer | 31 October 2014

Sometimes even ‘woman’ is a label, a ceiling you have been given, and unless you see yourself beyond someone else’s notion and vision of what you are you will never grow beyond that. Unless you see ‘woman’ as warrior, leader, influencer, one that transforms - and transcends - the norm, unless you realise that even the smallest action she takes is powerful and transforming to those around her, unless she sees that in herself, she is in danger of being defined by the world around her.

Woman must not apologize for her tears or her gentleness, for that gentleness can transform and break the strongest challenge. She must be wise and learn to use the power behind her gentleness, to recognise it for what it is - not frailty or weakness as the world attempts to define it; not a club with which she must beat a man and the world. She must realise that it takes great strength to be gentle, great power to be soft-spoken; she must become conscious of the tremendous power she wields, power that goes beyond mere sexuality. Oh woman, realise that it is not your sexuality that makes you so powerful, sexuality is merely the most direct way in which the world has managed to access your mystery. No, that most mysterious and incredible power that woman holds comes from uniqueness and the ability to recognise and pull out the uniqueness and greatness of those around her.

She must not apologize for feeling. She must only recognise that feeling and action must each have their place; and that those two together cannot be conquered - because the power to empathize and see beyond oneself will always be greater than the power to conquer and pull down others. The world would have you believe you are in a competition with men - if it were so, I believe we would both be defeated - we would both destroy each other - the man would be too brutal, too merciless, too strong, destroying the world with fists, and woman too, brutal, ruthless and unforgiving - stripping down the fabric of society with the power of her words, cunning and artful actions; we would be too strong for each other and rip each other to pieces - taking the world with us. But together - if you realise that it is together that we have much power ... but no, in the world you have to compete. How do you compete with yourself? Where does woman end and man begin?

The world would have you view your femininity as a liability, a curse, a weakness. Something to be despised and destroyed, suppressed and crushed, not cherished and nurtured, enjoyed and celebrated.

Well I say wear your femininity as an armour, learn its subtleties and its nuances, learn its clever strokes, its humour, its beauty, the perfection of its flaws - its honour. For it is an honour to bear the form and marks and character of woman. I will not apologize for it, I will rise to it. I will find my voice, I will speak - I will not be silenced. I will weep if weep I must. And I will fight for what I believe in. I will not be turned back or away from the goal, God-given and rightfully mine. And I will take my place in history. That is the place for women. Not hidden in some back room as defined by the ideas of world or culture or dictates of the times, but standing right here and in my own unique way contributing to the fabric of time and space.
I am Woman. I am Deborah* and I am here. Hear me roar.

*Deborah was a prophet in the Book of Judges. To me, she represents woman’s calling - she does not conform to the social dictates and limitations that normally may apply to others in the same society; she supersedes the times and the typical cultures of the time, she supersedes both men and women, and is called to have influence and is sought out for her wisdom, and she still fulfils many roles, her personal ones like her own calling, her role as leader of a nation/ community, mother, wife and all the others. She stands for divine direction for the people, and determines the course of the history of her nation by representing righteousness and communication the will of God to the people He wishes to speak to.