YA books are rife with “I can kick a man’s behind and then some” kind of young women and it’s aggravating to say the least. Why, as a woman, do I feel this way?
Because in reality, we girls often tend to be less PHYSICALLY strong then men, and often times, more emotional.
But somewhere along the line, this lie, this message began to fester that because we women are different in those ways, we are lesser and so we must work our tails off to strive and be stronger in every way possible than a man.
It’s rather frustrating because we women have our own fortitudes and feminine nature that make us different and unique and beautiful and COMPLEMENTARY to our fellow men, not LESSER than. But because of the lie, we now despise those natural, complementary elements like nurturing, gentleness, often times beauty, etc., instead of embracing them, and we become wanna-be men–whether we realize it or not!
We are not proving we are better by trying to do everything they do, instead, we are showing an insecurity about our own identities and natural feminine design.
I think the most beautiful women are ones who are confident in their femininity and own it. They own motherhood, beauty, gentleness, etc. and rather than try and compete with and defeat their fellow man, they complement and support them. These women know it isn’t about rivalry because there’s nothing to prove: I am woman, beautiful as I am, you are man, different and I respect your differences.
I have to be careful myself not to cater to this mindset when writing my female characters, because truly, rather than edifying, I believe this message is hurtful to young women who already battle with enough lies about women, to now be all the more insecure about and loathe their femininity.
I love my long hair. I know I despise the gym and I don’t care. I would never pick a fight with a man, and if a man did try and hurt me, I’d pray there was a stronger one around to take him out on my behalf. Like this man I read about who helped a woman who couldn’t defend herself against another man trying to sexually assault her in broad day light with many turning their cheek. And this guy, who took on a group of vicious goons–apparently both men AND women–attacking an elderly woman.
I adore and respect man’s innate desire to protect, and I’m extremely thankful for when they do! Don’t get me wrong, I have a desire to protect my children and friends, but I know there are some foes capable men would do better at defending against than I. On the flip side, I know of many women who are better at caring for children than men. They have an innate wisdom and careful nurturing knowledge that many men seem deficient of. Leave a man with the kids and I’ll tell you, he ain’t better at it than mom. Again, we’re different, we complement one another, and that’s a beautiful thing.
What would man be without woman? What would woman be without man? But I’m afraid with the feminist message which, underneath it all, is truly anti-woman, there will be more and more imitation men out there and less and less genuine women.