Today is apparently International Womens Day and I would like to dedicate this one to my granny (oma Ellie). She is the strongest and most independent woman I have ever know.
Let me tell you a bit about her; She was born in Indonesia early last century. At a young age she met the man who was to become her husband. He was serving with the Dutch colonial army (KNIL) in Indonesia as a drill-instructor. A short while later they married and settled into a nice little house of their own. Soon children came along and it was all bliss. However WWII messed that all up in a big way. My grandfather took part in a number of battles against the Japanese invaders and eventually went MIA in the jungles of Timor.
My granny, who was pregnant with her 5th child, was a war widow in a country not to fond of Indonesian women who had “fraternized” with the Dutch. She ended up not only raising her own little family but she also provided for her extended family. All while living in a little house on stilts beside a river (kalong). At the end of the war she was offered to repatriate to the Netherlands as she was a widow of a Dutch soldier. She did and in 1945 she ended up with 5 children (my dad was only 12) in the Netherlands. As someone with dark skin this was a culture shock. nevertheless she spent the rest of her life providing for her family, working 2 jobs sometimes and making sure that her children grew up to become good adults. She never put herself first, never talked about “having a career”, the “glass ceiling” or having equal rights. She also never let anyone get the better of her and was extremely intolerant to bullshit. She just got on with it and in that was the strongest woman I have ever know.
I am aware that not every woman is the same but sometimes choosing *not* to have a career and to be a mother and a homemaker is also a choise.