There’s a saying that behind every strong man is a strong woman.
Let’s modify that saying.
How about, beside every strong man is a strong woman. And beside every strong woman is God.
Unfortunately, throughout history, women have been overlooked. Sometimes, they’re belittled because they’re seen as only the caretakers of their husbands or someone who simply prepared dinner for the family.
Or, they’re seen as loud-mouthed creatures who wanted equality, but was asking for too much.
No matter the view — no matter if it’s right or it’s wrong — it’s necessary to point out the active hand women have had in great movements and causes. It’s necessary to point out that women are the caretakers of their families.
It’s necessary to not only show one side of women, but all sides.
Women are nurturers. They are special beings. They nurture powerful male and female giants that our world needs. Nowadays, they also go out into the workplace or the metaphorical battlefield and fight for what they believe in. They delegate tasks to their employees, or carry out the day’s activities. They nurture the family, then nurture the cause.
We may not consider this, but Mary, the mother of Jesus, supported a cause. She gave herself to the Cause of God so that she could bear a son that would become a saviour for all of humanity.
The mothers of all of the prophets and messengers and disciples, whether they knew it or not, were supporting a cause by bearing the child that they bore.
Today, we see some parts of the world opening up to the many layers of the woman. They see, in the words of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, that the home is not necessarily her place, but it is her base.
Unfortunately, not everyone has adopted that view. It’s still a struggle for many women today as they try to assume leadership positions. But it was an even greater struggle for those in the 20th century.
Many women during the Civil Rights Movement made strides to get into leadership, but were sometimes overshadowed by men. Many of them experienced discrimination and sexual harassment within the movement.
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons was someone who endured unfair treatment. She was a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and one of three women chosen to be a field director for the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. She said respect as a woman in leadership was not a given, and had to be fought for.
“I often had to struggle around issues related to a woman being a project director,” she said. “We had to fight for the resources, you know. We had to fight to get a good car because the guys would get first dibs on everything, and that wasn’t fair…it was a struggle to be taken seriously by the leadership, as well as by your male colleagues.”
Ekwueme Michael Thewell, who was a student at Howard University and a leader of the Nonviolent Action Group, bears witness to the sacrifices women at Howard made to join the struggle.
“It is only in retrospect that I recognize the extraordinary price that our sisters paid for being as devoted to the struggle as they were,” he said. “It meant that they weren’t into homecoming queen kind of activities. That they weren’t into the accepted behavior of a Howard lady. That they weren’t into the trivia of fashion and dressing up. Though they were attractive women and they took care of themselves, but they weren’t the kind of trophy wives for the med school students and they weren’t—some of them might have been members of the Greek letter organizations, but most of them I suspect weren’t. So that they occupied a place outside the conventional social norms of the whole university student body. So did the men. But with men, I think, we can just say, ‘Kiss my black ass’ and go on about our business. It wasn’t so clear to me that a woman could do the same thing.”
Throughout history, women have always fought. Today’s woman fights to fulfill each part of her. She fights to be a mother, she fights to be a wife, she fights to be a boss and she fights to be an activist.
Through all of her trials and adversity, she learns to win each fight that she puts up.