Who’s That Girl? (Remix)

During the first iteration of Goldinwords I believe,  before the Great Purge that forced us to rebuild this blog from scratch, I wrote about a few characteristics I believed the quintessential woman should possess.  Seeing as today’s International Women’s Day, I decided to go over the original piece and see how a few years could/would change how I would rephrase or polish up this piece. It turned out…well, you decide for yourself… 😉 

 

A Lady is a woman who makes a man act like a Gentleman…lady - women

I honestly don’t remember where I first heard that nugget of gold but it’s been one of my central beliefs ever since.

So this’s basically my answer to a question that bugs me when I hear people indiscriminately dropping that term left and right…especially in our social setting in Ghana. One would even ask if it’s still relevant enough to bother about nowadays… is she a Lady?

Just like her counterpart’s, the term ‘Lady’ has been gravely abused to the point that we declare every woman – usually whom we don’t know by then – a ‘lady’ by default. It’s sad…unfortunate…catastrophic! even, on some occasions, to misuse the term. I guess it’s because we mostly see it more as a term than a qualification. You know it is, right? A Qualification, I mean. It’s kinda like the way doctors would feel if there were short 6-month online courses to attaining your MBChB…or if the President were to be elected to Office based on a carefully planned game of eenie-meenie-miney-moe…or what your parents would think of you choosing your fiancé based on a phone call after a Crusade…lol.

My point is simply that it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, come cheap to anyone. Because it isn’t…cheap. And if you need any convincing, let me assure you that just walking about during your normal day, or even flipping through Facebook pages, will convince you once and for all that ‘the Lady’ is a dying breed – it should be a priority that she be revered, protected and (dare I say) loved for it. 

Our contemporary Women’s Lib. advocates would have one believing that the man of today (or any other day!) would love more than anything else to see the woman of today subservient and cowed to his will. I’m not saying that there exist no such er…’backward’ individuals today, but that’s not the whole picture. Newsflash: even (especially?) the man of today needs a Lady!

Since I don’t have a shortlist of the attributes of a Lady, this format of mine should help me draw at least a rough sketch for you – so bear with me a while longer.

A Lady is Strong.

lady - booty call
the only ‘acceptable’ booty call…

The Lady is a woman who does not need to be reassured of her femininity. She already revels in it. She is beautiful as she is, and she knows it. She seeks no meagre acceptance by bowing her head to indignities that do not become her. Booty Call?? Are you INSANE?! For your information, her ‘booty’ is not on call! It has never been, and will never be at your whims and caprices – it has value. Nude pics?? Boy, are you high?! Who do you think you’re talking to here?! Does she seem like that kind of woman?! Step back yo! But because she knows it could all get to her head, so she controls it masterfully. You say she’s beautiful, she agrees with you, laughs about it, and points out that you’re a wonderful person too – and she’s got a new friend, you! She doesn’t need your unsolicited-for support to feel like a Person – she’s good, thanks.

The Lady is very aware of her limitations but rather than deny them or just be scared of them, she prepares for whenever she has to face them and makes sure that though they may remain to mar her beauty, she’s never afraid of them. Forget about her selling herself short! She knows her worth and if you’re not willing to match her in might, you’d just better hit the road because better will come along – she’s not buying! A side effect of this is how difficult it becomes for you to make her feel ‘less’ –  she’s stared into the darker recesses of her attributes and abilities and has come to terms with her shortcomings and is all for improving on them now. If you have a problem, with that then…too bad.

Lady - women (2)The Lady sees no gain in scrabbling to grab the pants out of the sluggardly man’s hands. So he’s lazy: that’s his cross! She recognises the true purpose of her position as his Beacon – so that whenever he gets lost she can keep on shining so he makes his way back. She knows that it benefits them more if he keeps his throne, instead of squabbling with him over ownership. Simply because she knows (and if he’s blessed enough to be wise, he knows also), that the reins of power lie within her hands, no matter the relationship! Husband-Wife; Boyfriend-Girlfriend; Mother-Son; Daughter-Father – it’s always the same. Just think about the number of these alliances that have been destroyed by the woman…and complex it against the number that have been utterly saved by this woman known as the Lady. The man may have all the power by his nature but it never achieves whatever it sets out to do without Focus: a woman, no, a Lady. In a good relationship, the woman is the neck that supports the head (the man) – but remember that the head faces whatever direction the neck turns!

lady - princeThe Lady has had her fill with fairy tales of Prince Charming and Briar Rose during her youth. She knows now she was never meant to be swept away (perish the thought!) by his love and with loving him at the cost of scorning her original God-given brains and wisdom. She also knows that he was never and will never be Prince Charming. But she is absolutely convinced that providing he’s the right man for her – her Gentlemantheir love and laughter, pains and tears together could, and would, leave real princes and princesses gnashing their teeth with envy. She dreams with her heart and mind.

And the Lady knows how to rev him up or calm him down. She knows the exact strings to pull to set him off at a run or to hold him to a halt. She knows exactly how to manipulate him when he just can’t see in front of him. But she has learnt when to apply her arts. She has also made herself strong enough to let him make the mistakes he has to for himself. But she always has his back, and he knows it. She knows she is his last defence and does not abuse it. For she realises that he’s always wanted someone who can help direct his path, but will only submit to one who does not go mad with the power over him that he originally voluntarily gave up to her.

But the Lady is trustworthy. She’s the Ear that keeps on listening even when she wants to shout. She can be counted on to build up when everyone around breaks down or just doesn’t care enough to help. She doesn’t entertain malicious gossip or anything that would divide friends or family. And the ironic thing is that the gossips become her most ardent followers – for good and bad – until it reaches a point that since they would starve if they relied solely on the bad information about her, they end up spreading only the good about her to other people instead!

Fatalist555 @deviantart
Fatalist555 @deviantart

By no means is the Lady incomplete on her own! She doesn’t need a man to validate her existence; but wisely doesn’t need to condemn or look down on others who might have men in their lives in order to ‘bear’ her own solitude. She’s realised somewhere along the line that it’s better for her to stay alone and happy than to bow to the pressures of society and against her better judgement link herself to a man who (no matter how wonderful he is) will never satisfy her because she was just not made that way.

She’s not an angel, thank God no! But you remember I said she was strong? She is strong because whenever she is afraid she tries to be just a little bit brave. And that’s enough. She’s strong because she doesn’t hide her fear, weakness or tiredness by sweeping it under the rug. She’s strong because she lets you soothe her when she’s tired. She acknowledges that she’s just human and cannot always have all the pieces. She knows she can’t do it all on her own and knows when to ask for help.

Every woman has all this power in-built as part of her original programming, it’s the choice to express it…

In my final analysis, I guess it all comes down to being aware of it and choosing to use it to build, and not destroy: that’s what makes a true Lady.

…all in my own humble opinion, of course…

 

…Tele 😉

[subscribe2]

14 Comments

  1. Adzo said:

    I totally love this, very insightful as always. Thank you Ben

    March 10, 2016
    Reply
    • Tele said:

      Erm…uh…it’s Tele this time o, Adzo…
      You’re welcome tho, lol 😉

      March 11, 2016
      Reply
      • Adzo said:

        Oh my bad…I guess you all are so remarkable it’s like one and the same😊

        March 13, 2016
        Reply
  2. Maame Serwaa said:

    Everytime I click on the link to read your posts, I brace myself for something that is going to blow me away or make me rethink certain decisions I have made or I’m about to make. I understand these are just your opinions but man, you speak to my soul so much that I even get scared of reading from you sometimes. You are too good.

    March 10, 2016
    Reply
    • Tele said:

      Awww Maame, ɛre freak me out! 😀
      Thanks for the kind words

      March 10, 2016
      Reply
  3. Oye said:

    Tele, I think this piece has a lot of valid points. I also think the framing is someway.

    Mind you, I saw the disclaimer about this being your humble opinion and I similarly come in peace – these are just some thoughts of my own think about together.

    1) “…the term ‘Lady’ has been gravely abused” – Lady receives different treatment in the dictionary relative to gentleman. Gentleman usually has “a chivalrous, courteous, or honorable man.” as one of its meanings, but lady usually has the colloquial class-based definition, and then just “a woman – used as a polite or old-fashioned form of reference”. This is important because what that means is that while there is a vague qualification for gentleman, there is no universal one for lady. As a result, may end up defining it as “insert characteristics of their ideal woman, or woman they really admire”. And when we go by that format, you cannot ask anyone to stop calling someone a lady who does not meet *your* criteria for the name. Or by extension, ask someone to stop calling themselves a lady for the same reason. Anaa?

    2) “A Lady is a woman who makes a man act like a Gentleman”. This also made me cringe because it’s a cop-out definition. Also, it falls to the same fallacy in (1). Even if we swallow the lump and accept this definition, lady becomes “do I like you enough to be a decent human being?”

    Finally and on a lighter note, on international women’s day, the bulk of the post on women was about men. We need to lash you for this. Going to soak cane in kerosene for when I see you.

    March 9, 2016
    Reply
    • Tele said:

      Oye dearest,
      1. (From the Concise Oxford English Dictionary 11th Ed.):
      Gentleman – “a courteous or honourable man”
      Lady – “a courteous or genteel woman”
      Ergo, laid-down definitions Do exist for both terms.
      I wrote out of being peeved at people around me including the word ‘Lady’ to describe someone just because she was a female – almost like how Ghanaians call all powder detergents ‘Omo’. Doesn’t that make you want to tear your hair out sometimes? lol

      2. I think any woman would cringe initially on hearing that saying because she might subconsciously start to feel the added ‘pressure’ of having to live up to yet another ‘ideal’ woman as set up by society in that context. As a man, I find it to hold more truth than most colloquial definitions of the word ‘Lady’ personally. One could critique the phrase, true, but that would be another whole essay now, wouldn’t it? There were lots and lots of sayings to choose from in truth, but it just so happened that that was the one which best suited my immediate purposes then That’s why I chose it.

      And finally, (can I borrow your lighter note pls?), as you can tell, I am a man and in spite of my aspirations to ever higher aspects of literary finesse, I could never truly write from the viewpoint of a real woman. I did try in what I wrote, but you’re getting the bulk of observations from the male viewpoint there – you’re welcome btw 😉

      Just make sure to give me a running start when you come to deliver those lashes, eh?

      March 10, 2016
      Reply
      • Oye said:

        Lol. No, my lashes will be a surprise. Otherwise, where’s the fun? As for the rest, I’ve accepted Tele is describing Tele’s lady and moved on 🙂 Also, like you said, I cannot blame you if the ladies did not write in on said day.

        March 20, 2016
        Reply
  4. Naashika Saka said:

    And again yu have out done yourself, insightful piece ladat, bless yu buddy.

    March 9, 2016
    Reply
    • Tele said:

      Amen, & thanks Naashika

      March 10, 2016
      Reply
  5. Jan said:

    “she’s stared into the darker recesses of her attributes and abilities and has come to terms with her shortcomings ” ……Hmmm. that’s deep!
    ” but remember that the head faces whatever direction the neck turns!”…….profound.
    Being aware of what truly validates us as women.
    Being able to support in whatever role God has placed us…
    These are indeed true gems . Thanks for reminding us all!

    March 8, 2016
    Reply
    • Tele said:

      You’re welcome Jan… 🙂

      March 9, 2016
      Reply
  6. Elorm said:

    stunner!
    thanks again, Tele

    March 8, 2016
    Reply
    • Tele said:

      Glad you approve Elorm

      March 9, 2016
      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *