BreakTheBias: A holistic approach needed.
By Tanatswa Divine Dzindikwa
This is dedicated to the woman who is not comfortable in her own skin because the world painted a different picture of what is defined as beauty. The woman whose image contrasts with what has been deemed as ‘sexy’. Now her insecurities suffocate what the potter moulded, fogged by the fake images the internet has rooted in her eyes so she fights to blend in with the rest not realizing that the uniqueness of the colours on the rainbow are what make it beautiful.
This is the for the lady who is afraid to spread her wings and fly because she has been told her wings are more fragile. She is scared of allowing her flowers to bloom and beautify the world for she was told someone might come and pluck them out, she would rather remain a weed, dull and unrecognized. She chooses to be meek because she expects her garden to be watered by those who disregard her ability to make changes.
This is for the woman who acts stoic but deep inside she is frantic, constantly cultivating rage because her boss refuses to perceive her as a candidate eligible for promotion putting her gender before her hard work. She seeks validation from the same people who are willing to pull her down at any chance they get. She hopelessly wants them to believe that she too can rise up and build her own empire.
Tell you what? The world is evolving dear, women are tip toeing in high heels and sashaying their way to the top because in a workplace with misogynistic individuals, they know they are the Alpha female.
I can dedicate my strength to every woman but my inspiration is not of use if there is no affinity, mutuality, a common understanding. We stand with the notion #Breakingthebias but if we have vile and hostile mentalities we are hypocrites. A change of perspective starts from within, pointing fingers to the external influence will not solve the issues of gender bias, racism, stereotyping but having a robust character that is unshakable will. The question stands, how do we fix what’s on the inside to change what’s on the outside?
It starts with instilling positivity and empowering affirmations by educating and discovering yourself. A strong sense of identity is contagious, it inspires other people to perceive themselves for who they are. It spreads positivity and love because hatred is the backbone of our biases, not being able to accept other individuals reflects upon our inability to love ourselves as individuals so if we can’t appreciate ourselves how are we ever going to accommodate other people? It’s fixed by reflecting upon the things we say to people, are we using our voices to build others or destroy their self-image because energy reciprocates and no one wants to receive harsh words no matter how much they use them.
It goes on to the values society places upon people, with us being deeply rooted in patriarchy, where men dominate everything besides the kitchen. #Breakingthebias should become a mandate lifestyle. It should be constantly reinforced not just in March on Women’s’ day but the boy child should be groomed to honour and respect women and himself as well. We want a society of men that adapt to these changes so that we can go against all odds and build empires with them, without them deeming their life partners as subordinates, their sisters as house keepers, their mothers as slaves and their workmates as incompetent because they are glued to the practises that deprived women of reaching their full potential. We want groomed gentlemen who are repulsive to rape, gender-based violence and sneering ruthless comments to squash a woman’s confidence.
In conclusion, I hope #breakingthebias doesn’t just become another Instagram trend for popularity but it becomes something with a deeper meaning rooted with visible actions. Yes, change doesn’t occur overnight but it’s the little progresses that build on to become greater achievements and this can be achieved by a people that builds on towards one goal until the end goal is achieved.
As we end this women’s month, let’s continue to remind ourselves that it is not the end of the battle for equality, equity and empowerment. This year’s theme was Gender Equality Today for A Sustainable Tomorrow, we all have a big role to play in achieving our goals as women!