(Picture By Laura Patrick Photography.)
Today as I watched my kids play happily in the warm sunshine, digging in the dirt, and chasing balls, I couldn’t help but think what the miracle of their lives represent — the miracle of motherhood, the miracle of womanhood.
We live in a day when staying home and being a mom seems mediocre or insignificant. When asked what we do as women, the expected response is often for something of worth or significance — something beyond being a homemaker. The proper response of our worth or measure being that of some noteworthy career, where we can demonstrate our equal or superior intelligence, status, and capabilities with that of men.
There is nothing wrong with a woman having a good career and being educated. The point is a good career and several degrees are not necessary to prove the worth of a woman.
Why do we as women feel that we have to compete with everything a man does to demonstrate our own worth? Why do we feel that we must do and be everything a man is to prove that we are equal or superior to men?
What is at the root/heart of this competition? Could it be insecurity? Could it be a reaction to past history?
Women are of equal value, equal intelligence, and have gifts that equal men in significance! Yet, in all our striving to prove something are we actually proving the opposite and degrading our own species and value?
If our value is in the variety, diversity, and distinctions of our particular genders, why do we strive to be like a gender we are not? By trying to prove that we are like the other gender, do we not reinforce the image that our own gender is weaker, less significant, less valuable than the other? If our gender has distinctive value in its differences, why do we try to operate as if we are the same as the other gender?
Motherhood, the demonstration of the uniqueness of our gender as a woman, is one of our greatest gifts to society. Yet, it is often scorned, ridiculed, or viewed as subservient. What enlightened/educated woman wants to be viewed in this modern culture as “merely” a homemaker? “What honor is there in that?”
Motherhood is a distinct gift to society — perhaps the greatest contribution we can give to this world! It is the gift of life, the continuation of the species, the formation of a character and life, the extension of the life cycle, the hope of our future, the potential for benefits to all of society through ingenuity, creativity, and new inventions produced by the next generation.
No other gender can create, bear, and nurture life! No other gender can protect and bear life within its own body. Motherhood is a unique opportunity — distinct from the other gender!
Distinct differences with women are their unique gifts to perceive, feel, nurture emotionally — not just physically, create, and color the world with passion, creativity, and a unique perspective.
The femininity of women is not a weakness! Yet, modern society portrays attractive, sexy women as being as strong or stronger physically then men, aggressive, tough (emotionally and physically), and sporting clothing that decries hints at femininity. The only hints of femininity is to continue to portray the wrong view of women: as objects of sexual gratification and lust. Thus, these modern women are portrayed in sexy clothing, that is as raw in its design as in its message: women are meant to lust after, to be a sex object.
This view might illicit strong reactions. Modern women will react to the idea of men lusting after them, which they rightfully should. Yet, women have bought into the error — continuing to dress with raw, provocative clothing as if their only value is in being a sex object. Why else would we put so much undue attention on sexual attention? Is it to feel powerful? Do we think by dangling this hold over men and then yanking it away, we control them? Does controlling men somehow make us strong or stronger? Does control ever demonstrate true strength?
Does control ever demonstrate true strength?
Does avoiding being a sex object mean we reject any intimation of our femininity or womanhood? Does it mean we wear unattractive clothing that cover any hint of our feminine form or any hint of our distinct attraction to the creative, colorful, softer, more nurturing sides to our nature? Would that also not be a disavowal of our womanhood, a perfidy of our distinctions as women?
To be a woman means you must be strong — a strength with its own distinctions and uniqueness! The singular differences of our own gender requires a strength of character, strength of purpose, strength of physical endurance, strength of emotion. As women, we expressly create, nurture, sustain, and contribute to life like none other!
Not many men would readily volunteer to undergo the challenges that women must in order to preserve, nurture, and sustain life. Most women would rather endure the challenges of pregnancy, child-birth, and raising young children rather than hear their husbands whine and suffer through it. (Not that all men would be whiners.) The point is that our womanhood proves our value because of our unique contributions!
Women are not valuable because they can be just like a man or be superior to men. Women are valuable because of who they are! The essence of womanhood is the very distinction that gives value to women.
If we want to be respected as women, then perhaps we should stop trying to prove we are the same as men — as if the distinctions of manhood are the only specifications of worth and value — and start walking with confidence in our own dignity as women. We are not mere sex objects. Our strength is not in our ability to manipulate or control another, including the opposite gender. Our strength is in our singularity as women — not as women who haven’t recognized their own worth and thus are in the awkward state of trying to function as a man when they are a woman.
The diversity of the two genders is what makes them both uniquely special and independent from each other.
As women, let’s embrace our womanhood and femininity, stop believing the lies, and walk with dignity because we are distinctly women!