Last week I was meeting my business advisor to talk about classes, and I overheard part of a conversation in the hallway. Some guy was responding to something his friend (who was a girl) said, and replied “Haha, really? That is so girly.” The tone of his voice was so negative. I have a question for you. When did it become a bad thing to be feminine? I was having a conversation with a friend and I had mentioned my hairstylist after which I immediately said, “that sounds so girly,” essentially apologizing for having a hairstylist. I do it too! I feel like I do my best to tone down my feminine qualities so they aren’t noticeable, because I feel like society has attacked the idea of being “feminine.” Society has done its best to sweep womanly influences under the rug and now if you are “too girly” you become an image of the stereotypical “dumb blonde.”
Now many girls feel pressured to take on masculine qualities in order to “attract” men. We feel like we have to be athletic, even if we don’t like sports, we should know what kind of car we want, down to the make and the model, and know the rules of football to get a guy to notice us. I’m not saying that girls can’t like sports or cars and I’m not saying that men never fall for women who are 100% “girly.” I’m saying that society is telling us that all women should stop their “girly” behavior and become more assimilated to men. I know personally when I was growing up, the girls who were noticed by guys were good at playing football and dodgeball. And so, in spite of being the extremely self-conscious 13 year old girl that I was who didn’t have an affinity for anything that involved moving balls and the application of my reflexes, I played them anyways. It took me being hit in the head with a football by my star quarterback of a crush who was simply trying to include me in the game, even though I happened to not be paying attention, to realize that that simply wasn’t me. And that is fine.
Society sends the message that being overtly feminine is wrong. I admit, there is a stigma of being “too girly,” and even I tend to shy away from more peppy, bubbly characters. We are women, but we don’t have a free pass to talk non-stop about boys and nail polish. This stigma that society has for feminine qualities comes from the vices that women are more inclined to rather than the virtues. Women are meant to be loving which can turn into a vice of being clingy. We have a talent for hospitality, but that can turn into the vice of exclusivity and gossip. We also have a deep appreciation for beauty and details, which can be turned into vanity. All of these beautiful attributes that God naturally gives to women can be distorted by the devil and turned into vice. The same can be said of men.
But because of the feminist movement, society has focused on women’s vices and rejected their virtues. Vulnerability is a quality that should be nurtured in both genders, but is more natural, I believe, for women In today’s world, it is not considered a good thing to be vulnerable. I don’t believe that. Opening yourself up to be vulnerable leads to great humility and to the gift of connecting and relating to other people. If you refuse to be vulnerable to anyone, it sends a message that you don’t have weaknesses and that you are stronger than others. It can also be a form of pride not to share what you are struggling with. It is a lot harder to relate to that person than it is to someone who admits they have weaknesses.
And if you are or know any women, you know we love relating. All the time. For a long time. And mainly in the form of sleepovers. Myself and the women that I live with had a sleepover the other weekend, even though we live in the same house! Also at our house there is never a lack of chocolate, in any form.
Men and women are different. It might seem pretty obvious, but society has been attempting to undermine that basic truth and replace it with this: men and women are equal, therefore they are the same. I recently read an article saying that the army has started allowing women into combat battalions. I don’t know all the details, but I do know that President Obama made a comment saying, “Today, every American can be proud that our military will grow even stronger with our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters playing a greater role in protecting this country we love.”
Am I the only one that feels weird about the statement? Now I’m supposed to be happy that our moms, sisters, and goddaughters can fight for us. Don’t men go to war in order for their families, their wives and sisters, to be protected? If men have nothing to protect, they will have nothing to fight for.
While I do believe in equality and I’m happy that we as women have the right to vote and have careers, the logic of that statement that men and women are the same does not make sense. I’m going to pull out a math reference.
Okay, here it is.
Yes, I know you’re now all thoroughly impressed by my math skills.
The point of this, besides showing that I can apply Quantitative Analysis in Business Data (a class I am taking) to my life, is that both sides of the equation equal 10. But how they both got to 10 was a different way, with different numbers. In this way men and women are different – they are both equal, but the way their minds work, the attributes that are uniquely theirs differ from each other.
Please, rejoice in the unique femininity of women and all the quirks that come with it, like believing that chocolate most likely has healing powers and the weird phenomenon of women needing to go to the bathroom together. If you’re a woman, use the characteristics that God has given us and turn them into virtues instead of vices.