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Posts Tagged ‘woman’

Part 1 – The redefinition of words to create something else to control and be offended by.

Feminist. You probably have strong feelings when you hear/read this word. What image comes to mind when you think about a feminist? Chances are, this word conjures up either the image of a social justice warrior, fighting to defend the rights of the oppressed women of America, or a fat and ugly free-bleeder who eats men for breakfast. Whatever your opinion in this, I want you to know two things:

  1. I support women’s rights to equality (not that women are the same as men, but should have equal opportunities.)
  2. I do not call myself a feminist.

feminazis

The Redefining of Words

There are many reasons why I do not call myself a feminist, but one that has been on my mind recently (and is fairly easy to address) is that modern feminism relies strongly on the redefining of words and manipulation to encourage young women to view all their problems as a result of oppression and misogyny and not due to any other factors.

Some words that have been modified recently:

  • Friendzoned – I do not know who decided that this word was somehow an attack on women, but it is not. The word itself simply describes when a person (typically a man) has invested time/money/emotion into a girl and has discovered that the girl is only interested in friendship. It is my personal opinion that women tend to invest more in relationships with men that they do not intend to become romantic (“just friends”) than men tend to. A girl might simply think that the guy who stays up late texting her, goes to the mall with her, listens to her cry, and buys her snacks, is just doing what any other friend would do. In my experience, guys do not tend to do things like this for a girl unless they are at least mildly interested in her, and if they start out that way, they will at some time be interested in a relationship, even if he never admits it. Girls, on the other hand, tend to like to talk and can be very comfortable investing time and energy into a friendship with a boy they have no intention of having a romantic relationship with. There is nothing wrong with these tendencies. Girls should try to be more considerate and realize that they may, in fact, be unintentionally signaling to a guy that they are interested when thay are not.

  Somehow, modern feminists have come to the conclusion that a guy saying he was “freindzoned” means that somehow the woman owes him something. What? No. Just no. The concept of wooing a woman may be foreign to Americans, but the idea is that you spend time with someone and do nice things for them in an attempt to get them to like you, not to say that they owe you anything! If you are reading this and thinking “Well, I had this one guy who was like, you need to sleep with me because I was there for you when you were sad!” etc. then that speaks VOLUMES to the type of man that YOU choose to spend time with. I have placed several interested men in the friend category (some without realizing they were interested) and not once have I had someone act as though they owed me anything. Could it be that they were upstanding and respectable guys? No! Never! Men are pigs! But really, if this happens to you, it might be that you lead them on (perhaps unintentionally) or that you make terrible friendship choices.

  • Slut – I saw this one described the other day as “attacking a woman for her right to say yes.” *blinkblink* Just because you have a right to say yes does not mean you aren’t a terrible person for saying yes to every guy who asks. Generally the term is used to describe women (and sometimes men) who are easy (as in, have had sexual interactions with multiple non-serious partners, willing to kiss any guy, etc.) OR who dress to show off far more skin on a regular basis than is generally considered socially acceptable. We live in a society where telling someone that they are wrong is taboo, and heaven forbid a young person ever have to feel shame for their actions.

    It’s like that Kaepernick guy; he has a right to sit for the anthem, but I also have a right to say he’s a dingbat for doing so.

  • Bossy – There is actually a campaign to ban the word bossy. Really. The website for this campaign says “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.” Bull. Crap. I taught middle school and I have not experienced this phenomenon, it is quite the opposite, in reality. When leaving notes to substitutes, or appointing leaders in my classroom, I usually have to make sure that I have at least one boy on the list, because there is an abundance of girls who are able and willing to lead. I can think of maybe 7 or 8 boys (our of 180 students) who would volunteer to lead or do something. Usually only one in each class.

 The word bossy is defined as: “inclined to domineer (dictatorial), liking to order people around.” A LEADER does not simply tell people what to do; a leader leads by example, encourages and inspires those around them to follow their example, and generally takes the initiative to do something about a problem. A bossy person simply tells people what they should do, “We should play THIS game!” or “No, no, no! When I make my doll say this, you’re supposed to say…” or “Give me some of your candy.” Now, I know that this word is most often applied to girls and I am not entirely sure why, but here are some similar words boys get called: insolent, pushy, arrogant, domineering, aggressive, controlling, cocky, cocksure, high-and-mighty, patronizing, pretentious, pompous, and pig-headed. The connotation of the word bossy indicates that the person thinks they are smarter or they know better than others, and want everyone to do as they say. For a boy, in a world where girls tend to outshine them in the classroom from an early age, putting forth the effort to speak up and risk embarrassment takes a lot of courage. A student who leads and says, “I think this would be a good way to do X” is using their skills and trying to do the best they can, whereas a kid saying “No, we have to do it this way!” is bossy. There is a distinction. Banning the word “bossy” is not going to help a little girl’s self-esteem.

Do you know what would help women boost their self-esteem? If girls’ magazines were not strictly geared to looks, getting boyfriends, and being sexy/sexual. Instead, why not fill magazines with things like: how to be a good friend, how to dress in ways that flatter your body type, how to succeed in male-dominated careers (or tips on careers that might be difficult for women due to physical limitations), health care tips, what colors complement your skin tone, manners, easy and healthy recipes, tips on job interviews, crafts, tips for young mothers, how to be a good wife, how to spot a man who might not be good for you, quick/easy household organization tips, etc. As a youngun, I LOVED the American Girl magazine. It was great! There were stories, crafts, paper dolls, tips on manners and advice on how to handle tough situations. It was a wonderful resource; they also published tip books, stories about courageous girls (Felicity was my favorite), and had dolls for sale. Unfortunately, few magazines these days are like this.

Instead of redefining words, why not redefine our culture? How about we teach women to respect themselves; that they don’t have to wear five pounds of makeup, have sex, or show off their bodies to be beautiful. Or that it’s ok to say NO to a guy who is interested, and that not having a boyfriend at age 13 does not mean that there is something wrong with you. Or that just because you are waiting for marriage to have sex it does not make you a prude. Maybe we should honor those women who choose to be a stay-at-home-mom or housewife as much as we honor and respect those who choose to pursue a career. Perhaps we should stop insulting women who actually enjoy domestic activities like cooking, and at the same time encourage/empower those who are not great at those domestic activities so that they know they don’t have to be, and know that they have help if they want to learn.

When I was in middle school I was bullied badly. I was chubby, I was (and am) a Christian and did not do some of the things other kids did, I liked reading and nerdy things like Star Trek, and I did not dress like everyone else (partly because I could not afford it, partly because I was modest and not so interested in what was fashionable). I was made fun of for not having a boyfriend; kids would tease me and try to ask me who I liked, or who I would go out with. If my response was “I don’t know him” I was told “You get to know him, that’s what having a boyfriend is for.” I was called fat and ugly, and lost “friends” because I didn’t dress popularly. I even lost friends because I chose not to lie to my parents: I went to a friend’s house and she wanted to watch the movie Stigmata, something I knew I would not have been allowed to watch, but I also did not want to watch it anyway (still don’t). “Your parents won’t know” was the only response my friend gave to my objections. Our friendship pretty much ended that day. In college I was occasionally called a prude, mostly by guys who I was friends with where there was mutual interest, but not the compatibility necessary to justify starting a relationship. Just because two people are attracted to each other does not mean you MUST date, or that you would be good long-term, or that you need to make out. In the long run, I think I have gained respect because I did not have dozens of boyfriends (went on a few dates, though only one lead to a relationship), did not dress immodestly, and held to my standards. Have I made mistakes? You betcha. Many things I wish that I had not done, or had done differently. Did I sometimes compromise? A few times, and I regret it completely.

Changing the mindset of Americans will do far more for young girls than it will to change the words that we use to describe the mindset. The Bible definitely got it right: Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Changing the words we use will not change the hearts of the people that use them.

Check out this article on 8 Ways Fascist Feminists are Ruining America’s Women.

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An article I found on http://www.marrywell.org The website had lots of useful articles and other resources, maybe you should check it out! I originally shared the article on Facebook and then stumbled across it again today as I was sharing a new “note” on facebook (the poem “Creed”, by Steve Turner). Enjoy!

Growing in Biblical womanhood

by Candice Watters

 In our culture, it’s become accepted that men, by their nature, are brutes, jerks or buffoons, while women, by their nature are loyal, smart and admirable. Men, bad. Women, good. That’s the underlying worldview of the majority of the entertainment, education and even public policy (laws) that surround us. So it’s not surprising that even Christians believe men — even Christian men — have to become biblical while women who know Christ already are.

The reality for both male and female is that we were created different (Jesus said, “Haven’t you read … that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’”), we are all sinners (“all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”), and we all have the potential to be redeemed (“whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus”). Accepting Christ’s gift of redemption is a decision that begins the process of sanctification. It’s this process — this pilgrimage — that requires both male and female to actively work at becoming who God originally created us to be.

It’s not enough to have the body parts. Or even to be saved. That’s where it starts. But biblical femininity requires first, understanding what God designed woman to be and second, deciding to become that woman and living it out.

Several years ago I studied the Bible through a course called Five Aspects of Woman by Barbara Mouser. It not only answers the question — What is biblical womanhood? — but also gives lots of practical applications for being a biblical woman. Far from the stereotypical head-covered, docile, kitchen-bound caricature the media so loves to spoof, this is a serious study that embraces the complexity, creativity and beauty of God’s design.

 The Five Aspects, as described in the study, are:

 Mistress of the Domain (Genesis 1) — Woman, like man, is created in God’s image and has authority from God to rule, subdue and be productive. Because of sin, however, she both “abuses and abandons” her call to stewardship (characterized by manipulation, pride and domination, biblical example: Jezebel). As she is sanctified, she reclaims, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the areas of responsibility God has given her (her home, her studies, her work, her marriage, her children, etc.) to God’s glory (characterized by humility, hope and productivity, biblical example: the Shunammite woman).

 Helper-Completer (Genesis 2) — “Woman, from the man and for the man, completes him in his person and his work. As helper, she provides partnership in work, fellowship in body and spirit and membership in marriage.” In our spirituality, at the foot of the cross, man and woman are alike. Both are in need of a savior, both able to accept salvation and find fullness in Christ. But in our humanity, male and female are different. Under the curse of sin, we are competitors. Once redeemed, we are complementary: a man, by God’s design, needs help. A woman needs to give help. We fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

 Lifegiver (Genesis 3) — God created women uniquely to literally bring forth new life. The ability to bear children is the obvious mark of His design. Women are also designed to nurture (this includes married and single women). Marred by sin, women despise, neglect or smother their children. The extreme example being abortion. The redeemed woman “does all she can to alleviate the suffering of others … and eagerly seeks to have children, both physically and spiritually.”

 Lady of Wisdom (Proverbs 1-9, 31) — “Wisdom is the body of God’s creation principles.” In the book of Proverbs “she is personified as a woman.” As created by God, she is the “inviter and hostess, reprover and teacher, counselor, protectress, patron and friend.” In our fallen state, women model not wisdom, but folly. They deny Truth and do what feels right, rather than what is right (biblical examples: Eve, Delilah, Potiphar’s wife and the Proverbs woman of folly). Once redeemed, women can become wise by mastering skills and studying to develop their minds. Skillful and intellectual women are in a position to influence their world for God’s kingdom (biblical examples: Proverbs 31 wife; Ruth; Esther and the wise woman of Abel).

 Glory of Man (1 Corinthians 11, Ephesians 5) — As created, woman “glorifies her husband and her heavenly King with submission, adornment, purity and love. She emulates the Church’s membership, as her husband emulates Christ’s headship.” In her fallen state, woman makes her beauty an end in itself, leading ultimately to ugliness (shame, lust, pride and sexual perversion, for examples; see Isaiah 3 and Ezekiel 16). Once redeemed, a woman is free to use her beauty for the benefit of her heavenly father and when married, for her husband.

 Because this trait is so interdependent on created man, a godly woman must “find a man who commands her respect and wins her love; to please, be beautiful for, desired and cherished by such a man.”

As you can see, becoming godly is no less a process of learning and practice for women than it is for men. In summary, we must as men and women, strive for spiritual strength and maturity, “full of the basic virtues, if we are ever going to be a glory with the opposite sex…. Masculine authority does not limit [a woman’s] giftedness; rather it increases the effectiveness of [her] labors.”1

NOTE: Quoted material, other than Scripture verses, are taken from Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman, (Waxahachie: International Council for Gender Studies, 2002).

Copyright 2007 Candice Watters. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

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