Letters To My Younger Sisters (Part 3)

Dear Little Sister

What I have oft admired about the territorial markings of beasts is that they signify a protective order; they are defensive marks [they let you know that you are about to enter a lion’s den ∙ at you peril].  Men display similar behaviour in that they are not overly suspicious of a potential-threat; but are shielding when a threat makes itself known.  Of great interest to me is how they deal directly with the threat, while protecting their domain.

I lack the understanding of the aggression in the protective-response in women; it is quite a distrustful [often misplaced] conflict.  Women do not seem to guard their territory defensively but rather offensively ∙ even before there is the whiff of a potential-threat, they are already growling at your heels [you’ll notice that by expending your energy on the threat, you lose sense of your territory].

We have to offer our forgiveness to the women that came before us and exercise a little understanding in the way in which they were brought up.  They are of a different era and they could only pass onto us what it is that they had been taught as young girls.  Whosoever gave us the notion that to have a man as your public companion did not mean for us to accessorise our lives by another human being.

There was a time in a woman’s life when her relationships to the men in her life illustrated how far along she was in her journey of life; and signified the value which could be placed on her as a contributing factor to the growth of a culture:

  • The man that brought her to life and or helped raise her ∙ he exhibits how she is treasured and cherished [she is a precious gift]
  • When her body begins to react to the boys in her surround; they teach her about desire and instil in her an ability to withhold or be charitable with the self
  • When she comes of age, the men who court her; they illustrate how her demeanour is priced as a way that can inculcate a new generation [she becomes mother ∙ teacher]
  • In her maturity, the people who gather around her (usually her mentees in her society); they show her value as laying in her wisdom ∙ she is prized for the years she has lived of her life

So you can see our “status” in society as being linked to a male-individual is obsolete.  A young woman’s status is no longer pre-determined by factors outside of herself, she has the capacity to make her own means and she can buy her own protection (if that is what she sought).

We live in a time when we can carve out our own way and make our own realisations of ourselves.  No longer do you need to judge your social standing by the male figure that appears beside you on your avatar (and the gods-willing, you do not need place judgement upon others by the lack of such an apparition).  For all the growling and tearing of the flesh you may apply to a potential threat, know that you hold no dominion over another.  Let that marinate for a bit.

And when the dust has settled, and the aggressive drool long evaporated, they will gather around a bar table and call you crazy.  No one will tell the tale of what you came to teach, of how you have helped to advance a human being, or your impeccable sense of style.  All that remains are tales of crazy [sprinkle your own expletive here].

Writer: Tebogo Serobatse        Photography: Nokulunga Msomi