Women: the bearers of all shame

I see a pregnant teenager walking down the street, stripped of her school uniform because what she has done is an embarrassment to her school. I see the pain in her eyes, the shame she carries on her shoulders. The shoulders that once carried no weight, that simply held up her head so she could walk with it lifted high in pride for the woman that she was striving to become.

There was a time when she had the whole world at her feet and then she fell in love and love took her to a place of ecstasy and jubilation. A place she had never been before but a place she so loved to travel to. The more she loved the higher up she would hover above the ground, the closer she would get to touching the sky. But then that fateful day as she was about to feel the clouds, a bolt of lightning struck her being and her joy was no longer. A life was growing inside her and she was in no way ready for it. She thought it would be okay because she would be enveloped in love. Love would protect her and carry her through this trying time but love turned around and became hate. Love walked away from her, left her in a pool of tears without looking back. She wept, for 9 months she grieved for love left her, never to return.

I see her, a young lady walking out of the clinic. Her eyes are sunken, almost hollow and without emotion but I can see she’s been crying. It’s almost as if she’s cried so much that she just can’t bring herself to shed anymore tears. Her heart has been bleeding since she told him of the life their love had created. He told her love would not try to trap him, love would free him and her from the bondage of that so-called “life” growing inside her. He told her to take care of it and she did, and he left. He left her, and took her love with him.

That teenager who was ridiculed at school. Discussed by teachers and peers alike. When all that was happening to her, where was the guy she created that baby with? What was he experiencing? Did anyone even know he had impregnated a teenage girl? Did anyone care?

That young woman who had to have an abortion, stuck with the emotional scars the experience left her with, where is the man who was there with her when that life was created? Did he understand that at any point in her life she would grieve the life of the baby she could have had? Did he ever consider the gynecological implications of his request?

There is a story in the bible about a woman who was accused of adultery. The people brought her before Jesus and they said she should be stoned. Many people know this story because it is where Jesus said “Let him who has never sinned, cast the first stone.”. What has struck me after hearing a few sermons is that this woman was accused of adultery yet the man with whom she had committed this act was not standing accused with her.

For years women have had to carry the weight of shame on their shoulders. For things that they have not done by themselves. Yes, we make conscious decisions to behave a certain way and we should be ready to face the circumstances that we may face. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could face those consequences with whoever you engaged in the preceding act with?

In the society we live in, I’m not sure that this is likely to happen anytime soon but I do hope that men will take responsibility and exercise love through the difficulties too. It’s simple for a man to create a mess and walk away. Maybe he gets hurt in the process but for how long? The emotional, psychological and physical bruising is encapsulated in every fibre of the woman’s being.

I weep for the woman who has been left in the lurch, but I encourage her to get up and realise that a man who leaves does not take love with him. Love resides within you, and Love created you therefore Love will heal you. When people hurt us we give up on love and on our own happiness. I’m sorry but never that! Claim your joy because we all deserve it.

You were not created to be a bearer of shame, let go of it and walk with your head held high.



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