It is said that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. If women are so busy trying to prove that they are more manly than then men, then who’s teaching that baby about safety, love, compassion, and the beauty of a sunrise or the power of prayer?
The question “what is a woman” has many answers. A quick search around the net will tell you that most opinions about defining the word “woman” take a feminist view. Writers either launch into a soliloquy about how being a woman should not be defined by men, how womanhood is “always” being seen from the eyes of a male dominated society. Well, I beg to differ. Society has become more and more feminist, and where this has occurred there is no sudden and dramatic improvement in the status quo, now is there? It’s not as though crime has dropped radically or relationships last longer, now is it? Maybe in the past society and business has been dominated by men and maybe there are vestiges of that around; I don’t underestimate the monumental struggles that some women face in the workplace or in the home because they “wear a skirt” as my grandmother would say. Where I differ is that this fight for equality doesn’t make us women. We should be women first, acknowledge our uniqueness, and perhaps get on with being enough for ourselves. “Woman” truly becomes woman when she is seen by herself as she is, an individual, with a soft center and varying forms of armour for various situations.
Feminism in its traditional ‘burn the bra, take on the men’ ra-ra fashion is to my mind simply a weak imitation of male chauvinism, but in reverse, and I don’t have much time for that. That’s my personal opinion.
What makes me a woman may be my gender but what makes me unique as a individual woman is my individuality, what makes me a part of the Women group is my ability to love deeper, to see beauty where it may be hard to find. Women are not in a race to be better than men, at least they shouldn’t be. Because you can’t be better than something that is unique except in your own truthfulness to your own uniqueness, and in that being better simply falls apart because its just not applicable anymore.
There have been many studies conducted on the differences between men and women and it boils down to the fact that we are the same in our ambitions, but dissimilar in our emotional needs and response to the world. We are highly specialised beings that in their own specialisation as women are different to men. We don’t have to be better, we don’t have to be inferior, we should recognise our uniqueness and celebrate the joy of that. Celebrating that difference makes even the weakest women powerful.
Over the years I have met women in my professional life and in my home life and they come in as many shades of wild or timid, wonderful and dark, just as men do, but what separates them in an inner gentleness that they chose either to ignore or use in their favour, in an unmanipulative, balanced and beautiful way. What makes men unique is to my mind their wonderful sense of practicality, the Mr Fix-it way in which they see the world. hat makes women unique is that they can see something broken and resonate with the beauty in it. Each side has its strength, each side has its joys, why settle for being more of what the other is when you can just be more of what you are and then your sky has no limit?
(There is an exception to every rule and there are women who run with the dogs rather than the wolves and they discredit only themselves, but this blog is not devoted to the exception, it is dedicated to the beautiful.)
A woman is the mother of the human race, the wife to human society, the one who weaves into life the dreams of her family, the daughter of our past and the sister of every tear that gets shed on the other side of the world. To see yourself as anything less is to limit yourself.
Go be the woman who run with the wolves, that wildly creative, never tamed, always thrilling powerhouse. Many of the women I’ve met that are this way are nonetheless gentle, nonetheless waiting and watching when the sun makes a rainbow out of the rain and many can see through the eyes of beauty into the soul of things. But some have lost themselves in the race to be a better man and forgotten they should simply be better women. Some of these have told me “I don’t need someone to take care of me, I can do that myself, I just want someone to love me.” Well what is love without letting someone care for you and take care of you even if you can do that yourself? It’s a vote of trust that your loved on needs, to be allowed to take care of you even if you can do it. No-one can claim to love outside of care, it just isn’t love then, its commodity. Men certainly can respect a woman who can stand on her own two feet but they live their life in constant competition and constant fear of being seen as a failure, why not let that man do what he in turn was born to do – fix it so you’re cared for.
Usually, in my experience, women who are too determined to be totally self sufficient are lonely ones. Why? Because self sufficiency leaves no room for giving, and giving is the language of love, its got to be a two way street. When you love someone you want to and need to take care of them, and in order to feel loved you need to feel taken care of. Care, attention, giving, that separates love from the comfort zone of “married for the sake of the kids”. Even a woman can bring home the macon, the potatoes and then some, she is true to her womanly self when she allows her man to feel needed, loved, and appreciated. Because the eyes that see to a soul understand that in receiving you sometimes fill a need in the other person whilst you learn the humility of being loved.
I believe that as human beings we are created to love, created to serve one another. ‘No man is an island’ may be a cliché, but lonely islands and lonely towers don’t make for a happy world.
I’ve heard women tell me that “other women are enough for me.” Maybe they are, in many circumstances, like when you’re hurt, when you’ve had enough, or when you’re afraid, or even when not heterosexual. Then, to have only women around is enough. But every woman needs a father figure so that she can find her own strength reflected in the world, every woman needs to walk alongside a son figure for a little time, even, (even if its in another woman’s child) because little boys teach us to be unafraid because “the worst might not happen”. If you’ve reached a point in your life where you’re fed up of the male species, for whatever reason, or if you’ve made the decision to be alone and not have a man in your life, that is okay, but don’t for goodness sakes overlook the wonderful lessons that the men in your family have to teach, through their very example.
Life is a hard place. I’ve had to remove women from abusive relationships under police escort and I know there’s a dark side to men, but there’s a dark side to women too as I’ve learnt from the stories of abuse at the hands of women from someone very close. In fact, some of the worst crimes are perpetrated by women. The woman-hood is not necessarily the safest place to be. Spousal abuse by women against men is on a sharp rise, as is paedophilia and child abuse and the statistics don’t even cover the men who never report things because “big men don’t cry” . So if you think that sticking to your own gender and writing off a possible relationship is a safe place to be, then you are wrong. Ask anyone in the corporate world – women can be as dagger clenching as the worst man. We need to enourage our mothers, daughters, sisters to recognise and celebrate their inner ability to see beauty and to make the world beautiful. In a world that appears to value power over spirit and beauty the only way to do that is to be powerfully WOMAN, not overpoweringly male.
A woman is a human being of the female gender who remains an individual, with a tremendous capacity to analyse the world, to weep where big men fear to cry and to show compassion when love appears almost impossible. These things make us innately fragile, of course, but when we opt for our feminine side and stand aggressively for compassion (yes, even in men’s clothing) these things of beauty that lie within us are a source of tremendous power.
So woman, sister, mother, daughter, friend; it’s okay to be out in the corporate world and be a go-getter but what’s not okay to trample on the flowers of kindness underfoot thinking that the end justifies the means. We have a legacy to give the world, the legacy of love. Go climb a mountain and go kick *ss at taekwondo, go fight for your salary raise and go lead the next expedition to the bottom of the ocean but remember the pink shades of joy that make you the magnificent. It’s your ability to see the soul that makes you stop and help the sister that stumbles, stop and help the child that’s lost, stop and take in a stray cat, or stop – and give the husband you love so much that hug he needs … as long as the husband is yours, of course..
Go be Beautiful!