I Know a Woman by Petru J. Viljoen

I know a woman who has had to let her successful business go so her husband could feel better about himself.   Their house wasn’t clean enough according to his dictum.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who is involved in a relationship with a married man; separated from his wife but not divorced.  I don’t think she realizes.  He does not include her in his plans for the future.  She’s grateful for the time she has with him.  She said so.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who is happy with the thought that she should be subservient to her husband.  It’s what the bible dictates.
She deserves better.
I know a woman, who was forced to give up her child because her new boyfriend did not want to bring up another man’s child.  Her economic situation was such, she felt she had no choice.  The father of the child was a drunk and abandoned her.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who admits she is not trained for anything else but being a man’s wife, mother of his children and the cleaner of his house.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who is in an abusive relationship.   She feels she has no recourse.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who is in denial about the relationship she had with her abusive husband, who is now diseased.  He died an alcoholic.  She does not admit the relationship was abusive.  She says she loved him.  It’s her way of coping.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who has to ask her husband’s permission to pay me a visit.  She thinks this is right.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who has been raped by her brother’s friend.  She was told to keep quiet, the shame on the  family is too much.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who was raped by a relative as a child.  She was told to keep herself in place, she now knows what sex is like and she will be watched by her mother, grandmother and aunt so she wouldn’t go looking for more.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who was raped when she admitted to being happily single.  You must have a man.
She deserves better.
I know a woman who neglected to report a child’s abuse, the child in her care.
They both deserve better.
Please find more writings of Petru J. Viljoen at http://www.pviljoen.wordpress.com

14 thoughts on “I Know a Woman by Petru J. Viljoen”

  1. I believe that every woman should raise strong women who will eventually attract strong men who will not be intimidated by her success. Every good woman should raise sons who know that are men and can’t be intimidated by a woman’s success but a support system for her to strive..

    1. Yes. After years of un-learning what my mother taught me from what she knew from her mother, I pray my girls trust their intuition. And build that from the best of every woman and man they know in the village.

      1. Well, I come from a family of strong women who know their rights…and I have always been fortunate to meet men who encourage me and even dare me to do more…If a woman radiates the right energy, the best men come her way…if a woman is outwardly successful but inwardly timid, she will meet men that will easily erode her self confidence. I avoid such men like poison…

        1. This is great observation and why our She narrative is so important. The operative words in my opinion are “strong” and “rights”. “Strong” within what? The women in my family are strong as Christians and faithful in finding the good in something cause ‘something is better than nothing’. As I got older, the things I was taught to be strong in I didn’t want to accept. I loved the blog Petru wrote because at this very millisecond someone is both embarrassed and empowered her voice has been spoken.

          I am so glad I was moved to start She Chronicles for dialogue like this! Thank you madamsabi!

        2. I am very excited too…Am Yoruba and in Yorubaland, traditionally women have a say in their family,’ father’s families, in the community. We inherit properties from our fathers..I think this ‘respect’ for women has enabled many of us to blossom without fear or shame at the same time making some of us extremists. I grew up to knowing that am at par with my brothers and that am the head of my father’s house as the firstborn. It comes with its advantages and disadvantages..I had to learn to be submissive and learn someone take the front seat, until I learnt that, God did not let me get married..I had to be broken in all ramifications..( a long story)

    1. I knew your post would spark conversation! On LinkedIn, someone simply commented, “wow”. We don’t realize how absent our voice is until we write it and read it on a daily basis.

      1. Didnt know you are on Linkedin. I’ll connect with you. I’m in the group ‘One Billion Rising’. I regularly post links to articles to do with violence against women (and children). There’s never any feedback. People don’t know how to respond. Don’t want to get their hands/minds/lives contaminated, as if it’s a disease that can be infectious.

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