May 9, 2007
If you educate a man, you educate a person; but if you educate a woman, you educate a family.
This is an African proverb that I first came across in an article about one of the founding women of Malaysia. The father’s justification for educating his daughter along with his sons was based on the above, especially when his colleagues in the then mainly-male circle asked him. There is a certain truth in it. All life begins in the mother’s womb. Before conception, what happens to the mother affects her child, especially when he/she was conceived.
The fact that only a woman can carry a child brings the idea of what it brings to be a woman very close to her body. In many aspects, the idea of infertility or sterility by choice is something that most women cannot comprehend, as it would seem that she is then not a real woman. The psychology effect of infertility is more than simply an emotional inability to cope; it’s an assault to a woman’s identity in many aspects (Honestly, my female readers, given that the circumstances are right, would you choose to have a baby or not?). That’s why the idea of female sterility hits a woman much harder than a man.
It is said that women play a nurturing role in nature. If there is an orphan in an elephant herd, the other mothers would take turns to suckle the child. Tales of adoption between different species happen all the time, especially when the parent is a female. There are generally more women in the communications field than there is in most sciences. A woman, it is said, is better able to communicate with people in general.
Mothers must be the ultimate communicators then. As a child, most of us can remember her conveying her emotions by a raised eyebrow, a frown, a quick grab/pinch of the hand… Mothers were excellent at showing us what they DIDN’T like us to do, but not what made them proud, etc, etc. (Well, not mine at least). Yet, deep within, they showed that they were proud of their children by comparing what their children did to others. Still, they are the very shapers of their daughter’s identity. John Mayers says this very aptly in his song about daughters:
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers be good to your daughters too
So what am I trying to say?
Happy Mom’s Day, Mummy.