Blessers: modern day ubuntu
by: Kamaria Balkisson - 19 May 2016
When women are forced to marry for the sake of economic stability there is no outcry. When women are denied access to education and well-paying jobs there is little complaint. When women are looked down on as brainless homemakers despite their achievements there are very few men on our side.
We all know that “blessers” and the concept of “blessings” is nothing new. It’s just the ancient practice of patriarchy evolving to embrace modern capitalistic-consumerism.
From birth, girls are taught to be submissive, look pretty to attract the attention of men and nurture children. On the extreme opposite of the spectrum, boys are taught to take control, be aggressive and provide. These behaviours are not instinctual, they are taught. So, if we are able to learn gender roles they can also be unlearned.
In our global culture “blessers” and “blessees” are simply modern re-enactments of the roles we are conditioned to perform. Why then are we so repulsed by them?
As our nation fought to abolish Apartheid and the racist ideologies behind it, the fight for gender equality was left in the lurch as black male patriarchy dominated the political sphere. The Apartheid structured economic system has been left unchanged forcing black women to remain heavily economically side-lined.
While it’s important to note that, not all blessers are men and blessees aren’t always young women, the concept of blessings is still very necessary. Aren’t blessers simply playing a vital role in sharing and distributing wealth?
Assisting women with their education and providing the finances for their basic needs – living is expensive – is empowering. If blessers choose to enrich the lives of their blessees until they are able to be self-sufficient, these blessees can then go and bestow blessings upon others. Using the influence that blessers have, we could change communities – and even our economy – by using this concept of modern Ubuntu.
However, it’s unfortunate that our patriarchal brainwashing is so severe that we view blessings as sexual transactions instead of good old compassion and altruism.
Patriarchy affects us ALL negatively. We’re all expected to perform designated roles based on our genitals. Instead of complaining about gold-digging blessees, perhaps we should be asking ourselves why our society disapproves of generosity and kindness in the first place #2X