I recently made a statement that was intentionally inflammatory. I said something like all she wanted was to be a wife and mother. No ambition whatsoever. It obviously hit the nerve I was going for, though I kinda regretted saying it… only because everyone then felt sorry for me because I am so bitter and stuff.
Of course we can’t help but think that not going through the act of child bearing is intrinsically being less of a woman because those are the parts that MAKE you a WOMAN. So does not having a child make you not a woman? Of course not. Just cause you have a match and a bunch of flammable materials doesn’t mean you HAVE to build a fire. (Although it would probably be fun and, depending on where you are, completely appropriate to life at that moment. i.e. camping. or at a book burning.)
I’m actually not that bitter. I chose to run away from growing up and popping out kids. I chose to be immature and do whatever I felt like doing without the “burden” of a spouse or offspring and knowing that when I get home there was no one there waiting for me. Well, except that one time a stalker broke into my house, but I digress. It was my decision and I feel everyone is entitled to judge the people who make different choices in life.
But seriously, I don’t judge anyone. Trying to raise a healthy, well adjusted kid into an adult who will be useful to society is pretty ridiculously ambitious and anyone who says otherwise either hasn’t had kids or isn’t doing it right. You could talk to my parents and they will say how they tried to do everything they could as parents and for awhile there, they had to settle for 2 outta 3 wins. (And before everyone goes, awww you aren’t that bad… trust me. There was a day you would have told my life story as a cautionary tale to your church youth group. In fact you still can and the good news is that you get to give a relatively happy ending now.)
Anyway, just as I can’t relate to just how difficult it is to be a mom, some people don’t relate to how difficult it is to have a career. Or to juggle multiple jobs and conflicting responsibilities. Some of us don’t juggle. We just figure out which balls will be ok on the floor for a bit to be picked up later. Or bowling pins. Or flaming swords. whatever.
What strikes me as the most interesting in the woman choice thing is that we will forever be going back to motherhood. It seems fitting. The book of Genesis tells us basically we were created to keep men company and to help him in life. Oh and to populate the place. So the fascinating aspect of this, to me, is that woman was cursed in what way after the fall? Child bearing! What we now call “labor” because it is. The very thing that makes us women was cursed by God to teach us a lesson about our distrust of Him (God doesn’t really know what He’s doing and He’s trying to keep us down), our tempting of the man (hey Adam, come eat this), and our very role in life (you’re going to want to dominate, but guess what – dude comes first).
I have written a lot about women’s issues and my general reluctance to have a man over me. (no comments from the peanut gallery, thanks in advance!) The very idea that some guy was going to “rule” me and tell me what to do used to really piss me off, to say the least. I am pretty capable though not without flaws of course. And my pride gets in my way far too often when it comes to dating. I tend to hold someone I admire on a pedestal and then when he does one thing wrong, he comes crashing down into a million pieces and I move on. Or conversely, I spend a lot of effort with someone I know is quite possibly the worst person for me so that I can feel superior and take every opportunity to belittle him. (This might have happened… at some point… in the ancient history realm of my love life… )
Women are strong. No question about that. we have our ups and downs, also no question. We have the general notion, societally based, that we contribute beauty (and here’s another blog for another day – if a woman isn’t “beautiful” does that make her less of a woman??) and grace and kindness and nurturing and well, in a word, femininity (which is a really dumb word btw… always makes me think ninny and then nincompoop which is a great word).
But then we get images of Rosie the Riveter flexing her muscles, not without exquisite mascara and perfectly groomed eyebrows mind you, and we are reminded how when women get it together, we can dominate. And there’s that dominate word again.
My brain goes all over the place when thinking about this stuff.