This is the fundamental question at the heart of New Feminism. What IS wrong with being a woman? We are in a culture where feminists scream out for equality of the sexes on the one hand and yet demean and disregard that which is female on the other. (If you haven’t read my previous post http://www.newfeminismrising.com/2012/03/irony-of-world-which-considers.html, please read that first.)
The feminists of the 1960s achieved many great things. Even the very tenacity and courage they must have had to stand up to the establishment and demand rights for women is remarkably admirable. Yet, it is the shift to what they extracted from Marxist philosophy (that our bodies are not a part of our nature) that created such a fracture among women.
The tragedy is that in their pursuit of equality, they unwittingly perpetuated the very prejudice they wished to overturn. Because they believed gender did not matter and was, in fact, a sign of our oppression, they quickly found ways to brush aside the gender specific qualities. Their goal was commendable: they sought a fair society where women and men shared an equal role in the raising of children. They desired a society where women were respected and given just as much opportunity as men. But instead of demanding that men respect feminine traits, they tossed gender aside and said, ‘See! We’re strong too! We can do anything you can do! See?! We are exactly like you!’
Today, it is often the woman who chooses to be a mother or chooses to embrace her womanhood that is mocked by men and women in our society. A young girl who does not engage in sexual activity is a ‘prude’, a ‘goodie two shoes’, or a ‘tease’. When a woman stands up for her feminine traits and demands respect of herself and her body, she is belittled. How did this happen? Wasn’t the point of feminism to elevate woman? This is where knowing philosophy comes into play. Some feminists see our femaleness as the result of oppression and therefore disregard it as a subservient position. They see anyone who embraces that subservient position as obviously out of touch with what true equality means and is clinging to a lower level in society because they have been brainwashed and suppressed by their religion. Obviously….right.
Here’s a better idea: it’s time to finally elevate woman. In all her emotions, in all her passion, in all her love, in all her intuitive insights, in all her beauty, and her ability to bear life, she is greatly to be extolled! Why should we have to conform to the man’s way of thinking, acting and being in society to be equal? A woman ought to be given dignity and merit for her femaleness, not just her ability to act like a man. She has a way of thinking that relationally connects all her concerns. Some have compared the difference to food: men think like waffles; women think like spaghetti. Men compartmentalize everything and even have an empty compartment where their minds can go to just blank out. But just as one cannot only pull one noodle from a plate of spaghetti, a woman’s thoughts are totally interconnected at all times. (This is not a personality reflection but the relational love of women.) This relational interaction with others (and the world around her) pulls upon her emotions. Her heart goes out to so many that sometimes it is hard to hold back the tears. God has gifted woman with unimaginable strength coming not from muscle, but from her love.
Women and men were created so uniquely different, yet equal. Do you love one child more than another because they are different? No, of course we don’t! We love each of them equally yet in their own way and love them because of their differences. Women are a creation formed from the heart of God. He has gifted women with His very own rich capacity of love. For millennia, force has been equivalent to power, but we are in a time where words can overcome. This is what New Feminism is all about. It is about looking at the dignity of woman in all her glorious femininity and elevating her because she is woman.
There is much more to come on this in future posts, but knowing philosophy or not, most women relate to "being woman" as the most authentic reflection of their human experience. Most women are proud of their femininity and recognize the contrast between women and men. It’s time our society does too. Women are magnificent beings, enriched with such strength! And God has even empowered women with the divine ability to bring new life into the world. Whether women become physical mothers in their lifetime or not, the capacity to bear life reflects the very nature of women. They have the ability to create and enrich life daily through their profound love of those around them. Our female bodies, our blood, our very selves are the life force of the human race. We hold the future of the whole of humanity in our wombs and it’s time we get the true respect we deserve...
Wait a second, now, who is waging a “war on women” again? hmmmmm …
That’s my view of it, and I welcome yours. Please comment below!
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