I have become a fan of Star Trek, Avenger and other Marvel as well as space movies such as Interstellar, courtesy of my children. I first watched them to keep abreast of my children and have intelligent (according to them) conversations with them, but became interested in the physics aspect of these films. One scene in the last Avengers Endgame movie touched me much – the scene where Captain Marvel is about to carry the sleeve of stones and all the women warriors including a female ironman join to escort her as team together in her task.
It made me emotional to see a band of women stand shoulder to shoulder, not just one of their own when she needed help, but participate in this task while the men were engaged in battling the strong man directly. Their partnering together with the band of men as a band of strong women to complete a crucial link that would turn the fight around enthralled me. Their rising up to say, here we are ready to help you as team together to preserve life as we all know. They rallied around to do their part, not content to simply stand on the sidelines as spectators, but stepped in to fill the gap that had fallen in a crucial time. What a picture of togetherness, oneness and commitment to the mission on hand!
Many women today somehow think and feel, despite being capable, like china dolls and dainty darlings needing petting, pampering and preserving. Mothers, especially, are in the dangerous profession of turning out inspid weak daughters rather than strong women capable of spearheading a family, a company, a society and a nation. Out there in society around, women are rising up to showcase their mettle, not as a challenge to or in competition with men, but as those complementing them to complete vital goals and projects.
A glance at our nation’s history throws up a number of names who, where when men either failed or were killed in action, rose up to preserve their homes and hearth. Remember Rani Laxmi Bhai, Jhansi Rani, Chand Bibi, Razel Sultan, Rani Mangamma, Velu Nachiyar and others who took up the reins when their men fell. According to history, women during the Vedic period enjoyed equal status with men in all aspects of life. Independent India has also its share of women who have been pioneers and path-breakers as well as firsts in many fields thought to be the bastion of men. Women in India were allowed to vote right from the first general elections after the independence of India in 1947 unlike during the British rule who resisted allowing women to vote.
Savitribai the first teacher, Kadambini Ganguly and Anandi Gopal Joshi the first women trained in Western medicine, Sarojini Naidu the first Indian born female president of the Indian National Congress Sarla Thakral the first to fly an aircraft, Amrit Kaur the first female Cabinet minister of India in the country’s first cabinet, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit the first woman (and first Indian) president of the United Nations General Assembly, Anna Chandy first woman judge of a High Court, Kiran Bedi first IPS officer< Bachendri Pal first woman to climb Mt Everest, Priya Jhingan first woman cadet of Indian army, Karnam Malleswari first Indian woman to win an Olympic Medal, etc., and most recently Hima Das the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal at an international track event all testify to the potential of the Indian woman.
In the Bible, we note the important role women played in propagation and progress of the gospel. They ministered to Jesus with their substance, were last at the cross, first at the grave, first bearers of the good news of the resurrection, they opened their homes to the apostles for the church to be established and so on. The Old Testament also has its share of women such as Deborah who led Israel into battle as a judge, Abigail who with her quick thinking saved her husband, Jehosheba who preserved the kingly line, Esther who stood up to save her people and many others who, according to the writer of the book of Hebrews, received back their dead, raised to life again. It is therefore clear that women have been traditionally, culturally, socially and biblically warriors rather than worriers.
Women of today have either a lethargic and lackadaisical attitude or a fight-for-the-sake-of-fighting feminist stance. There is a lack of of sober judgment based on sound thinking, critical analysis and intuitive discernment. There is either a clinging-on-ivy-like attitude or a totally stand-alone demeanour, both of which are neither productive nor constructive. The beauty of woman is her innate ability to nurture, motivate, bolster, affirm and build up others even at great cost to herself. Balancing this is her automatic militant reaction to any threat, not to her person, but to whatever would hurt or harm her loved ones. Watch a mother hen bristle and rise up against anything that would come against her chicks. She runs to the defence, not caring for her ownself, without any ideas for self-preservation, to take on a foe bigger and larger than herself, just so her loved ones may be safe. Nature and instinct for battle to ensure protection is so ingrained in a woman, whoever she may be!
Why then in the church do not women rise up to done the garb of a warrior to battle for those worthy of being preserved and protected! Why do we whine and cry, being a damsel in distress expecting some knight to rescue us like Queen Guinevere of Camelot who sat in her tower waiting for Lancelot to come charging! Or like dancer Sivagami who waited for the Pallava King to save her honor by waging a great war that cost many lives!
We are the daughters of the Most High fashioned to be ‘pillars carved to adorn a palace’. The Bible declares that The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng: Kings and armies flee in haste; the women at home divide the plunder (Ps 68:11-12). We are warrior princess, not wrestling or fighting with people, with principalities and powers of darkness that scare, torture and enslave the weak and defenceless. We are not meant to throw up the towel or cover our heads and lament with wailing and weeping. We are called to rise up and battle for our own on our knees and in our minds
One of the favorite TV shows I used to love watchin was Xena the Warrior Princess and I love the concept of capability vested in Superwoman. I love reading about Jhansi Rani, Rani Laxmi Bhai, Indira Gandhi, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Christine LeGarde and Michelle Obama, about women who have impacted all around with strength when needed and with quietness when warranted. They did not sit around rueing their lot, but when adversity hit them, they rose to the occasion. They were not content, as the nursery rhyme Curly-locks, Curly-locks, ‘sit on a cushion and feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream‘, but rise up in action to lay hold of their destiny.
No one likes trouble or problems, but life has a way of littering our paths with thorns, not roses. It is better not to sit around worrying about what you cannot change, for worrying only saps your energy and makes you useless to tackle the issue. The better option is to use the opportunity and the opposition to our advantage, which is to put on our war mode and lash out the enemies that war against our soul, our family, our church and our nation.
It is better to be a boon than a burden or a bane to be borne or bailed by others!