Today is International Women’s Day. Who knew? Did you? Have you heard of this before? I’ve been a woman for 33 years and on social media for many of those years, and had NO CLUE about this day.
While watching The Notebook on tv this week, I saw a commercial flick across MTV about “life without women for a day.” It confused me. Caught my attention, yet made me question, “What in the world are they talking about? That’s impossible.”
Apparently, women were supposed to “boycott” being a women and “protest” womanhood by refusing to work/taking the day off and attend protests and marches all around the world.
According to NBC News, these gatherings and protests happened in 5o countries around the world.
As the middle child of three girls, and raised in a rather “spicy” Latina family, I have always considered myself a strong woman. I’ve lived under the roof of three generations of women. My family cared for both my grandmothers as they aged. Womanhood was all that surrounded my “formation years.” I watched as my mother immigrated from another country, and learned a new language as I went to kindergarten. My sisters and I were all forced to study hard, go to college and earn a living on our own. By the age of 21, I had completed a BA with highest honors in my field and had job offers by Monday following graduation. Failure was impossible. It was not an option. Neither poverty nor prosperity would get in our way. My mother made certain. From lavatory cleaner to store manager, my mother showed me nothing is impossible for a woman willing to work.
I am a strong woman.
I was raised by a strong woman.
So I’m confused by a culture telling me a strong woman quits her responsibilities and demands respect simply because she yells for it?????
As I raise my tribe of boys, I want them to gain their understanding of womanhood from me, and not the media of today’s culture. I want my boys to value, empower, embrace, cherish, and fall in love with a strong woman one day. I want to set the example of a strong woman for my boys.
These are just my thoughts about what I’ve learned on womanhood:
A strong woman values life. Each and every life. From conception to the grave. Life is a gift and age not granted to all.
A strong woman is made stronger by empowering women not competing with them.
A strong woman is not made weak by a strong man. In fact, a strong man and strong woman together are a force to reckon with, for they will sharpen and enhance each other.
A strong woman lives out of abundance, not lack.
A strong woman builds community. For as she embraces the lives of other women in her world and grows their strengths, her world is enhanced.
A strong woman works hard for the respect given to her and treasures it once received.
A strong woman does not feel “entitled” to anything, but rather knows the sweet success of victory when accomplishments are achieved because she earned them by merit.
A strong woman lifts up other women in their time of need.
A strong woman speaks out of gentleness and not vulgarity. Do not mistake “gentleness” with weakness, for they are not the same.
A strong woman makes a stand for what she believes, even when culture tells her to believe something else.
A strong woman knows she has no need to be equal with a man. For a man can never fill the roles she was designed to fill woman.
A strong woman knows when life gets hard, she can let her heart become hard, or soften her world by her response.
A strong woman doesn’t fear the future, for she lives today to the best of her abilities.
A strong woman DOES NOT QUIT.
Today I didn’t “quit” being a woman. For I savor the gifts I am entrusted with in my womanhood. I love the honor of waking children to get ready for school. For being at the gym with girlfriends as we push our selves to be strong and healthy. For lunches shared with a girlfriend as I hear her heart and she hears mine. For phone calls with a woman walking a path I would love to walk one day. For laundry o wash, dishes to clean, homework to oversee, because all these things are borne from my power as a woman. These “everyday” tasks are the rewards of my work and honor in womanhood and I am proud to be a woman.
Most days are more challenging than easy. Womanhood is scary, overwhelming, and tiresome. But I was created by a Creator to be a woman. And I will strive everyday to be a better woman than I was the day before.
So sorry, MTV, modern culture, and mainstream news, you don’t get to have a say in my womanhood. You don’t get to tell me what I am “supposed” to think or believe or want as a woman. I have a brain, and a heart, and I already know what I think, believe and want. This modern feminist “women’s movement” screams choice for women. I can respect your need to scream and yell for something as you “protest” your own existence, even while I don’t agree with your points.
So hear my choice. Respect my choice. And stop trying to define my womanhood for me. I’m a capable woman and can define it for myself.
Let us be strong women.
Good night lovelies.