International Women’s Day.
Here we go. Cue the self congratulatory Instagram posts and “fight the patriarchy” bullcrap.
Oh friends. Every year, this “I am woman, hear me roar!“- day comes around, and every time, I feel just completely put off and saddened by this glorification of toxic femininity that has seeped its way into every corner of society, poisoning our belief and thought systems, and negatively impacting the foundational fiber of our culture.
I’d like to pause here, because it is important to note that there is one aspect of IWD that I do appreciate and support wholeheartedly, and that is the collective celebration of important women in our lives: our moms, sisters, bosses, friends, leaders, daughters, co-workers; as well as the celebration of the contributions and achievements made by women to society. That’s great, and I think it’s important to give young girls positive role models in their lives. Fabulous.
The undercurrent of toxic femininity that has overwritten this day…which paints women in a victim narrative to a dominant and oppressive patriarchy, whereby needing to #ChooseToChallenge (the 2021 theme) this fabricated gender bias that is “rampant” in such a “hostile” environment towards “female-identifying people”, frankly makes me want to throw up.
Not only is it completely unfounded, but it is the exact antithesis to what true femininity actually is.
These toxic feminist rabble-rousers might be blaring anti-men, pro-abortion, girl-boss battlecries, but all I can hear is the sound of desperate, domineering women who are pleading and lashing out, out of their brokenness.
That’s all I can see today: the writing on the wall.
The uncomfortable truth of the matter is this:
Women are broken.
Women have been lied to.
Women are hurting.
And it is all on display now, more than ever, on International Women’s Day.
But this brokenness is not because of some tyrannical patriarchy.
But rather, the brokenness that came from a fallen people, stemming all the way back to Eve in the Garden – The Fall that introduced feelings of inadequacy, competition, dissatisfaction, comparison, jealousy, distrust, disordered attachment, selfishness and vanity.
And believe me, I am guilty of every single one of those.
But we’ve lost sight of our true femininity ~ our feminine genius ~ and have instead internalized the lies whispered to us by the enemy: lies that we’re not beautiful enough, not smart enough, not successful enough. That we’re less than, lacking, and just plain, not good enough.
Satan has made us believe that who we are at our very core…at our womanhood… is flawed and incapable.
And it is that core of brokenness that has manifested into domineering, desperate, desolate spirits, that are out for blood, and out to “Challenge” whomever and whatever stands in their way.
It frankly makes me incredibly sad.
Because at our core, that’s not who God created women to be.
The exact opposite, actually. The feminine genius makes us uniquely equipped to bring our distinctly feminine qualities into whatever we do – from the classroom, to the boardroom, to the home, to the social gathering. Yes, it makes us different from men, and that is a good thing.
The Feminine Genius was coined by Pope John Paul II, as a reflection on the spiritual and moral strength of a woman, and the importance of women harnessing the four aspects of their feminine genius to battle evil and work for good, while upholding humanity: receptivity, sensitivity, generosity and maternity.
Traits that are different from men’s inherent aspects, and are equally important. God made men and women to compliment the other. Fitting – quite literally – perfectly together to produce life in all aspects.
We were created to go together. For partnership. For unison. For side-by-side teamwork. And feminine and masculine attributes can only be fully understood in relation to the other.
Receptivity is the core of the feminine genius and spans this meaning physically, emotionally and spiritually. And we can most clearly see it demonstrated through Mary, the Mother of God: when she says “yes” and carries Jesus in her womb. She welcomes life. She welcomes God. It is her gift of self. One that can play out in all areas of life. (Which compliments a man’s inherent nature to protect, and give of himself in that way.)
This receptivity bears sensitivity towards others and their needs, springing forth compassion and empathy, love and charity. And through her generosity, she acts on those needs — whether as a mother, in her family, community or profession. Culminating in maternity — which embraces the divine destiny of woman as bearer of life, and spans all aspects of motherhood: from biological, adoptive, cultural, or spiritual motherhood. There is “inestimable value “(- JPII) for the maternal instinct inside women to nurture, to love, to foster development and take personal investment into furthering society. (Which compliments a man’s inherent nature to provide.)
These are the qualities that make women uniquely feminine. Uniquely she. Designed and created by God as the Crown of Creation.
Why are we fighting to plateau all differences and make men and women exactly the same? The fact is, women are powerful, uniquely qualified individuals, without whom, there would be no human race. Without whom, the love and compassion and generosity and sensitivity, compassion and charity in this world would be greatly stinted.
Yes, of course women should have all the same opportunities and privileges as men…but newsflash, people: we do! Women account for 59% of college students. Women can do every job a man can do – including running for President, and being the Vice President of the greatest nation on earth.
Women can do anything they set their mind to. And adopting the feminine genius doesn’t mean that a woman should spend her life vacuuming the house in pearls and heels all day.
It means that whatever that woman sets out to do with her life – be it a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a CEO, an actress, a stay-at-home mom, a business executive – wherever that woman is called, she can bring her feminine genius with her, and implement those uniquely feminine traits, blessing those she encounters.
That is the power of woman. That is a true feminism.
#ChooseToChallenge? The only thing I want to challenge today is the toxic femininity that is snuffing out and suffocating those beautifully feminine qualities, in an effort to “be one of the boys” and overtake a so called “patriarchy,” that – if it was real – couldn’t exist without the life giving contributions of women.
So there you go. IWD, in my mind is now over and done with, in the rear view mirror. Until of course, next year, when we’ll have to revisit this mumbo jumbo once again.
Lord, have mercy.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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