Saturday, January 23, 2010

Honor Her

I've wrestled with the word "Feminist" over the past year a lot. After getting out of a relationship where I felt very controlled and used, I quickly embraced, what I thought was, the idea that women should have the same rights as men and I wanted my strength and intelligence to be valued just as much as any man's. However, the more "Feminists" I met... the less I felt like their definition and my definition matched. Their definition seemed to be that they wanted the choice to act like men or women -- the freedom to choose power the power suit or be a stay at home mom. Not to have the same rights and value as man, but to BECOME man. However, I never wanted to be a man because, imho, a woman pretending to be a man will only be a shallow copy and is ignoring the glorious being that she is meant to be.

I feel almost as though the life of a woman is somewhat like the Olympic marathon resulting in the great torch lighting at the Olympic opening ceremony. It's as if at birth God hands every girl a torch and says "run the race and hold this high so all will see."

I see myself holding my torch high, running my race... only to watch other girls and women not only having their torches taken from them (whether by an abuse, societal injustice, or distractions), but I see SO many girls WILLINGLY put down their torches. I am baffled by this. Why is it that we as women think that the less we are, the more attractive or more acceptable we are? Whereas I'm sure some of the Feminists I've met would attempt to go after any man with a torch and push him, I'm equally if not more distraught over those of us who think it's cute to toss their torch aside and skip and/or beg to be carried to the finish line.

Can't we find balance? Do we have to domineer? Do we have to feign unintelligence in order to be accepted? Virginia Woolf spoke of "The Angel of the House" with whom she often struggled and eventually had to kill out of self defense. This angel was that voice which whispers into every woman's ear from time to time, if not always, discouraging her to be anything other the the perfect little girl or housewife. However, as a Christian with my eyes fixed on Christ, I am trying to also remove my angel. Not to embrace anything "bad" but to embrace my search for who I'm meant to be--other than a doll on the shelf.

I'm not saying that traditional roles of women are anything to sneeze at, however! I love my boyfriend dearly and someday I want to get married and have kids. Should I be so lucky financially, it's part of my dream to be a stay-at-home-mom for part of my life. It's not a bad thing, but why can't we be strong and glorious through the God given abilities we already possess instead of hiding who we are? I see so many women take the easy way out and settle for so much--professionally and in the home. Don't settle ladies.  Stretch yourself! Grow intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically. Be the WOMAN God created you to be and honor her.


Laura said...

great post, nicole. it's so interesting what i learn at fellowship about women and our role. It's not less important at all, it's just different. And I wouldn't want to try to play the men's role anyway. I'm happy to let my husband lead, even if sometimes it'll be hard, because I want to be what God created me to be.

plus who would ever want to be a yucky BOY? ;-)

lovejoy.jennywren said...

Amen Dear Sister :)

It is so vital for us to value and honor God's creation.

Lamoi said...

that was an awesome post. it's true many women give up at being the woman God called them to be, not knowing how vitally important we are to his kingdom.

Lauren @The Little Things We Do.... said...

i love this post.

i completely agree. i think that women should obviously be given equal rights and be treated as such, but i also think that men and women are inherently different and i don't think that's a bad thing. i think that being a woman is a beautiful thing, and i'd love to be a stay-at-home mom, but i also think i could just as easily have a high-powered career. i think what you said was so on-point. thanks for sharing this.

Jean Ramon said...

Helen Reddy couldn't have said it better! Love your post! Rawr!

Hillary said...

Please don't give up on the F-word altogether! Feminism has really gotten a bad rap lately, but there are so many different ways to be a feminist. What you just wrote is one of those ways! The third wave is all about diversity of thought!

kathleen said...

I like this post and like that you're asking yourself these questions. I am, undoubtedly, a feminist. However, that doesn't mean I fit the definition of others. Remember that you define what being a woman and a feminist is. Xoxo