Commentary: Strength is Spelled with a ‘W’ for Woman

Photo from www.niashanks,com

Photo from www.niashanks,com

By Frederick Howard, Student at Laney College, Oakland

I have come to believe the word strength is not spelled with the letter “S” but rather with the letter “W” as in woman.

I did not come to this observation by chance, but it is based on the realization of watching the women in my life demonstrate strength. Often, these women at the time of their greatest strength felt they were weak or too passive, but in actuality, they were stronger than the ones were trying to dominate them.

The first woman to start me on the road to recognizing a woman’s inner strength was my mom –Marsha Howard. She demonstrated the quality of being strong in many different ways.

My dad was a very abusive spouse and an alcoholic who never felt any real remorse for beating his wife or his kids. So for the first 10 years of my life, my mom humbled herself and tried to conform to the idea of the “perfect wife” my dad had in mind.

According to the stereotype, a perfect wife never talked back, always had a hot meal on the table and never acknowledged any other men. She walked with her head down and only spoke when she was spoken to.

She was abused mentally and physically.

My mother’s case is not unusual. In fact, the Chicago Women’s Foundation cites recent testimony given to the U.S. House of Representatives that most women try to conform to their abuser because they “are ashamed and believe that the violence (the beating, rape or the various forms of abuse) are their fault.”

In the same way, because of my mom’s upbringing, she could not seek the help she needed.

My mom’s ability to humble herself to the will of a domineering, self-centered, egotistical, and abusive man changed her and changed our family. During this time, my mom sacrificed and showed an inner strength that I believe is unique to women.

See, I believe women have the ability to give mentally, spiritually, physically and emotionally to any person, place or thing they desire without ever receiving anything in return – sometimes knowing their efforts will not be reciprocated.

Even though most women know the object of their affections could never match their love, dedication or loyalty, they are willing to give and put out, many of them stay – until they have had enough.

After eight years of constant beatings and terror, my mom’s inner strength transformed into physical strength. My dad was 5’11” and 190 pounds, and driven by alcohol. My mom was 5’1”, 110 pounds and driven by a desire to protect her kids.

For two years, a battle raged in the home where each claimed the right to supremacy. Taking all the pain and anger my dad inflicted on her while trying to fight an enemy she still loved, my mom showed an ability to finally stand up for herself – something she wasn’t taught growing up.

Even though my mom was battling the enemy, she knew, win or lose, she’d be hurting someone she loved (my father, or the family).

There is an epidemic of women around the world, like my mom, who are being controlled, abused and terrorized with no end in sight. By coming to understand who they truly are and what kind of inner strength they possess, I believe women can realize that being strong sometimes means letting go.

Only through an awareness of self can women find it within themselves to walk away. My mom, Ms. Howard, won the battle and overcame the violence, but the fact remains that many women don’t overcome it.

My mom proved to her children that the strength of a woman lies inside of herself.



  1. Edna Gates


    My name is Edna Gates from the cat Island of the Bahamas,i want to quickly use this period to tell you all, how i came across a Herbal prophet that cured me from HIV AND AIDS WITH HERBAL CANNABIS OIL,i had this sickness for close 4 years with no dame help from anybody, i was on the internet on a blog that very day some time last year when i saw a comment of a lady called Mara from Brazil sharing her testimony about how this very prophet cured her of herpes and cancer virus, i just decided to give it a try and i contacted this Prophet Bolivar, so he told me all i needed to know and what to do to get cured and free from my issues, so i went further and make provisions for the herbs items which he used them to prepare herbal medicine for me,i applied the medicine on my self and just to see that the exact day which this prophet said i will be cured i was felling good and healthy at a time, my strength was regained i went for checkup in the hospital and our family doctor confirmed me i am free from my sickness and that am now back to my normal being, this was the greatest miracle that has ever happened to me in my life, and i promise prophet bolivar that i will be sharing his goodness to the world, these are few words i can say about this Prophet for a good work Weldon. I also like you to contact his private email Address on GREAT SPELL CASTER THAT CAN HELP YOU CURE ANY OF YOUR DISEASES THAT YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM.he can also cure Herpes and cancers.

  2. jessica butler

    HELLO EVERYBODY IN THIS BLOG,A good spell caster that help me brought back my husband is here for your notice !!!
    My name is Mrs Jessica Butler am from UK,my husband left home for 3 and a half years to Dubai for a vacation,he meant a young lady there and he was enchanted by this lady all because she was wealthy, my husband refuse to come back home again to even pay a visit to our kids he left behind i cried all day and night seeking for help till one good day i was reading a magazine when I stumble on a page titled (PROPHET BOLIVAR the spell caster). I quickly contacted him to help me get back my husband to me and he ask me not to worry about it that his gods will fight for me.. he told me by mid-night when all the spirits is awake he will cast the spell to reunite me and my husband together and he did it, in less than 48hours which i use to contact this prophet my husband called me on phone started begging me and shedding tears of reuniting that i should forgive him and he later came back home just a couple of days from Dubai. i,m so happy for what this great spell caster did for me and my husband..You can also count on PROPHET BOLIVAR on any problem u can think of like:

    You want to heal yourself from any sickness or diseases,
    Win visa lottery to any country,
    Losing your weight spell,
    Money spell,
    Long life spell,
    Get a huge loan without paying any fee spell,
    Help you get pregnant(pregnancy spell),
    Get your spammer back within 24hours,
    Help promote you in your office,
    save you from hiv\aids and cancers spells
    make you rich and famous worldwide both in music and sport spell,
    Love spell,
    High blood pleasure\temperature cure
    if you want to stop your divorce And make your wishes be grated spell,
    Help you get famous and rich both in music and sport,
    Help you win Any Court case and Avenging spell,
    Do you want to become a mermaid spell?
    Get six packs even win an election spell,
    Any kinds of difficult situation you find yourself in he can solve it because so many people have witness his wonders just as i have also did now.He is very nice and great,contact him anywhere in the globe on•He is the best spell caster worldwide.

  3. Thanks for sharing this well written story. Thanks for having the strength to communicate on a story that was/is so close to home. Happy to learn there is a positive ending. Many women are not as luck (if this is considered lucky)

  4. What a touching and moving story. I hope “all” women in an abusive relationship read this young man story. The writer speaks from his own experiences as they relate to his own situation. Writing/sharing his story was not only a spiritual healing, but an emotional one can be most destructive.
    Abusive comes in different forms, the most destructive is that of mental abusive. Thanks for sharing such a personal experience. You are an example for all.

Post a comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *