Wednesday, November 9, 2005

When Women Were Women

By Judith

How the men must be laughing. Not the "laughing with you" but contemptuously "laughing at you." Yes, men are certainly getting, if not the last, at least a good laugh at the goings on with the Panther cheerleaders.

In trying to become more like men, that is, more assertive, more aggressive, more free with our bodies and attitudes, women become something less than human, a weird kind of monster not recognizable as man or woman. Since the dawn of modern feminism in the 70s, feminists have insisted that men take women more seriously, to command respect for their minds and intellects. These women took themselves seriously, too seriously most of the time. Now it seems that in vying for equality we've swung the pendulum so far the other way that we've fallen off it altogether and don't take ourselves seriously at all any more.

Women having sex in a public restroom is a perversion that, at present, is limited to a small percentage of participants. But what about ordinary, everyday things. Let's just take women's clothing as one example. Try going into any Penney's, Kohl's, Macy's or Bloomie's and finding modest, stylish, well-fitting apparel. Your style choice is homeless or hooker. Clothing is so clownish that it isn't even a question of whether a women can wear tops that don't go down and bottoms that don't come up far enough; there just aren't a lot of options.

It used to be said that women were the civilizing force on men. Now, we want to speak, act and party just as hard. Harder. We're Girls Gone Wild. We tatoo our bodies. We kiss other women in front of an audience of millions. We use language in every day conversation that used to make even men blush. We box, we're soldiers in combat zones, we fight in bars. We're children acting out. How can we expect men to take us seriously when we dress and act in a manner that invites ridicule.

Should we then cover ourselves from head to foot, never speak unless spoken to, hide our talents under a bushel basket, or allow ourselves to be abused? Certainly not. While women today chafe under Saint Paul's admonition to women to "be subject to your husbands," (Ephisians 5:22) they forget that three verses on he tells men to "love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Remember, Eve came from Adam's rib, not his foot. Nor his head. We're not better or worse, just different. And we don't have to act like something we're not in order to claim our place in the world.

When did it become dishonorable or lowly to keep a household running and be a full-time mother? For these are full-time occupations whether we work outside the home or not. And they are dignified and worthy of respect.

When did we come to the conclusion that we had to sacrifice our children's lives and welfare for our own pleasures and desire for material wealth, instead of sacrificing these things for our children?

When did we decide that we had to run out into the world and take it over in boardrooms and legislatures, giving up the influence we had in much larger, but much subtler, ways in the home?

Are we better off in the modern world of feminism that pushes us to be more like men, less like women and, ultimately causes us to remain as children; never growing up, sloughing off responsibility, eschewing sacrifice, and living our lives with a vague, unsatisfied feeling of having lost more than we've gained?

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