“It is a naïve sort of feminism that insists that women prove their ability to do all the things that men do. This is a distortion and a travesty. Men have never sought to prove that they can do all the things women do. Why subject women to purely masculine criteria? Women can and ought to be judged by the criteria of femininity, for it is in their femininity that they participate in the human race.”
― Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me be a Woman
A few weeks ago, Rep Emanuel Clever ended his Congressional prayer with amen and a-woman, as if the word (because it has m.e.n. at the end) is somehow a gender-derived word. Ignorant at best, but I’d say his comment fell in the just-plain-dumb category. [Amen is derived from a Hebrew word that translates, “let it be so.”] The House also decided it was worth their time to dismiss common familial terms and get rid of gender pronouns in favor of diversity and identity sensitivity. So, in an effort to be unbiased, they have swapped sense and science for confusing inclusion. Despite feelings and preferences, the reality of our existence has not altered with cultural tides. You are either a man or a woman. You may not like it, but if you have a penis, you are a guy, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman.
With my personality and physical struggles, being female hasn’t brought ease or comfort. I detest the female cycle and all the ways estrogen and progesterone imbalances wreak havoc on the female body. Did I enjoy puking my guts out the first three months of every pregnancy? Or how about labor and delivery? Did I cherish breastfeeding? What about sleepless nights, nursing? What about my maternal role to nurture and attend to my kids 24/7? No. It’s not easy, nor is it coveted. But let’s not make the mistake as females by negating the great unique quality and duty we possess that no one else can.
I don’t know who this Sydney Watson is, but she’s got it about right:
“People don’t get periods. Women do.
People don’t get pregnant. Women do.
People don’t breastfeed. Women do.
Being FEMALE is not a “feeling.” It isn’t a frilly dress, high heels, long hair, or make-up. I’m sick of seeing my sex erased and trivialized to accommodate everyone else. […] Stop calling FEMALES that all the things that are unique special to us can apply to everyone.
They CAN’T and they DON’T.
It’s offensive and demeaning.”
Of course, the feminists’ movement started the explosion that eventual led to backfire. To say we can be just like a man negates the unique quality that we can do and be something special only to us.
Larry Crabb goes even more personal in his analysis. “Physical femininity is centered in the capacity to receive and give, a body opened to be entered and to bring life through procreation, and breasts released to pour out nourishment that sustains life.” And relationally, we can demonstrate an aspect of God’s nature that is also unique. “A woman is feminine when she relates in a way that invites others to see something about God that is irresistibly attractive, something about the relational nature of God that she was created to enjoy and reveal. Relational femininity is a way of relating that both invites life-giving connection from another and nourishes life-giving relating in another.”
In an effort to make any and every preference and feeling substantiated, we have muddied the water so that we can no longer see our reflections rightly. We are gazing into a brown swirling pond and declaring our distorted vision beautiful, when the true reality is depressing and downplayed identity. Our existence was and always will be determined by our loving Creator, not by our feelings. If we pull up our anchor point, “Who am I?” and say it’s all subject to preference and whim, then we have lost the very substance of our security.
“My hands, head, face, legs, hips, hormones, private parts, voice, feet, fingers, feelings, were all made by Him and for Him. Apparently, this body was never mine to begin with – it was given to me from Somebody, for Somebody. Somebody who’d made it for glory and not shame. Until I got to know Him though, my identity would be made up of whatever dust that flew up from the devil’s feet as he ran through the earth.” ― Jackie Hill Perry, Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was, and Who God Has Always Been
We are never more fulfilled, joyful, content, or at peace then we are being exactly who God created us to be. Feelings flip and flop and pull us through fickle fields of fancy.
A guy may wake up and say, “I feel like a woman today.” Or a person may say, “I wish I was a mermaid, or a bird, or a fish,” but obviously, that person was not designed in that capacity (either in body nor in soul). Our hearts deceive us (Jer. 17:9), so we can rest in this fact: any time our feelings pull us away from the truth of who we were created to be, we will stretch under the strain of the ever-widening gap of our false identity. And who we are created to be isn’t up for debate. It’s already predetermined by our loving Creator.
John Piper says that “true womanhood is a distinctive calling of God to display the glory of his Son in ways that would not be displayed if there were no womanhood.” To read the whole article on powerful women and their God-ordained role, go here.
The dilemma is not a choice between strength or femininity. Our femininity is our strength. He gave us a one-of-kind design. Let’s embrace it, utilize it, and celebrate it!