ON THIS DAY, International Women's Day, 2016, my thoughts naturally turn to the nature of womanhood, both in its traditional sense, and as it is gradually being reevaluated in modern times.
Our role as women is related, intrinsically and naturally, to our relationship and standing to the role of men, and for that matter other women. What these roles are, and what they are truly meant to be, is a question that has been in the air, humanly speaking, since the beginning. It's a question that, in all likelihood, will never be resolved to he bulk of mankind while time lasts.
However it is a question we each must ask ourselves, and one we must try to answer in our own heart. And so, it is a question I am addressing right now.
A common complaint is that women are told by their culture and society what they are expected to be. But it is ridiculous to claim that only women are targeted by this. Men are too. And furthermore society alone cannot be held responsible for constraints or expectations we may feel. Our psyche is shaped by our family, our upbringing,our locale and to a great extent our own conscience and constitution. External factors shape us, yes-but to blame them for how we choose to live is weak on our part. We all face presuppositions for better or worse- we must sift through them with prayer and wisdom, and ascertain which are good and which are ill.
The thing I notice is, people only chafe against certain constraints. And those only at certain times. And, still more, are much less likely to chafe when these constraints are against another to the betterment of themselves. In much the same way, we expect men to do certain things for us until we decide they are 'demeaning' or 'objectifying'. We want equality with men, all while criticizing them for the basic things that make them who they are. The purpose or this writing is neither to defend nor accuse men of anything. But I do think it is forgotten that, while trying to bolster ourselves, how much and often we demean them. Or, others who see things differently than us.
I'm all for just opportunity for women, and all humankind. But I propose that we do ourselves a disservice when we perpetually strive for a certain 'equality'. In always pushing for equal footing, equal standing, we lose in a way the very thing that is an equalizer- our aptitude for greatness as we are. When we think we must be men to be equal, we lessen our own worth. What is instead of fighting for equal 'rights' with men, we thought of it as equal rights for women?
A doctor doesn't consider herself lesser simply because she cannot have all the same skills and opportunities as an architect. No, she might not get discounts on building supplies and tools. No, her opinion might not be as sound in judgement when it comes to the construction of a skyscraper. But in no way does this lessen her worth as a doctor! It's the same principle. Just because we might not in some ways be equal to men, or even just other people, does not mean we're somehow lesser or subject to some kind of injustice.
To be told, however subtly, that we must be more to be enough, is exactly what feminists often seem to imply, even though in other forms it is exactly what they fight against. I don't think they mean for their message to sound that way. But, it can feel the same to a girl who both is content and wants to be a homemaker, to be faced by people claiming you must be strong, liberated and have a career- as it feels to a girl who isn't size 2, who hasn't got a perfect nose or the right clothes, to be silently faced with an accusation of 'not enough' by every supermodel and fashion magazine she sees.
So instead of calling for equality of gender or opportunity, lets call for equality of spirit. The realization that no one has to be the same, and that it is our beliefs and our hearts that give us strength, not our career choice or clothing size. That it is the fact that we are living Human Beings that gives us worth, not our job, our age, our size, color, race, or anything else. Our souls are all equal. And they are the only part of us that maters. For they are the only thing that lasts.
So that, I hold, is the true nature of equality and the true right of women and men alike. That of the spirit. The greatest people are often those who must fight against the greatest dearths of in-equal opportunity. This is how one becomes strong. In fact, I think even the idea of equality can be a deceitful one. It can only be had in math. And human existence is most definitely not math. Not rigid, unfeeling numerical computation. Life is much more. And the only equality we have is our standing before God. That of being sinners, in need of saving. That of creatures in the face of our Creator. And if more people contemplated that in silence for a moment instead of shouting causes from the rooftops, they might find their answers clearer.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
xxx I don't know if this is quite what I set out to write... Actually its quite not. And it sort of digresses from it's opening, to what I was trying to write from the get go. Hum. I may have to write further on the topic. I've just gotten a new notebook specifically for essays of this sort, so I'm going to be practicing them quite a bit. I'd love ideas for topics. It's a 3 subject notebook, so I'm planning on Worldviews, Specific Personalities and Issues, and Random. I'd love ideas, please, please! Thanks for reading, and happy just being alive day- men, women and children alike.xxx