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I learned from the news this morning that fashion giant Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld turned his highly anticipated show at the Paris Fashion week into a faux demonstration for feminism. Yes, the same man who once declared, “No one wants to see curvy women” has suddenly decided that feminism is a cash cow that he wants in on. So he planned a show stopper demonstration in the middle of an industry that is known for its unfair treatment of women, objectifying of women, and its power to poison the minds of young women. It is no wonder why most of us women are left cringing once more.

You see, the original mandate for feminism, in its purest form, was to achieve equality for women in a male dominated society. Almost any woman would whole heartedly support such a mandate. We are thankful to the brave women who have, over the years, put their lives and dignity on the line to pave the way for equal rights. We believe that every woman should be treated with respect and handled with non-condescending gentle care.

Matters of fact, most women understand that we are outsized by the average man and we love it when we see men using that extra bulk to stand up for injustice, against us or anyone else. We know it is a man’s God-given instinct to protect and lay down his life in honor of another, especially for a woman and most especially if she is his wife. This does not intimidate most of us, but makes us feel honored.

There was a time when this was proclaimed and understood but today men and women alike seem afraid to say such things, lest some warped feminist give us a verbal lashing. Unfortunately, the stories of cruel male domination have been highlighted from our past and the true stories of Charles Ingalls and other men like him, have been overshadowed. These men lived their lives preferring the happiness and protection of their wife, over their own comfort, and I do not believe they were the minority.

When James Cameron produced his block buster movie, Titanic, the sinking was depicted as an all-out war between selfish men and women. Floating around in the frigid, cold waters were many women and children. And the heroin of the story, Rose, threw herself into deaths grip refusing to let her man die alone -and our society loved that. But did you know that in reality most men willingly gave up their lives for the women and children on that boat? Only 18% of the men on that boat survived, even though the majority of passengers (805) were male. Seventy four percent of the women survived, even though there were only 402 on board. Why then, did James Cameron find that fact too offensive to depict? That really says something about our culture.

Another fact most of us women understand is that just because the average man outsizes the average woman does not make men better than us. We know there are many ways we are just as strong, or stronger, than the average man. One of many examples of this would be our sense of communication. Many women who have been married for a long time will testify that they can easily run circles around their husbands verbally, so they need to be careful that they do not crush his self-worth in the heat of a tough conversation.

For most of us, it is not offensive to hear a general statement, such as “A man is stronger than a woman.” Most of us get the generality of that statement as referring to average physical structure and don’t feel any threat by it, unless we are still recovering from an abuse of such power. (That tends to change the lens we view the whole world with until healing has taken place.)

Most of us women don’t want to be viewed the same as a man in every way. We want to be paid the same if we do the same job. And we want the freedom of safety and respect as we go about life. What I am describing is equal rights. But most of us don’t want to be the same size as a man and would rather a heartfelt genuine hug or handshake than a way-to-go man slug on the back, any day.

We love being equal to but different than men, the way God designed us to be.

I am not going to get in trouble for stating the obvious there, am I? And yes, God intended us to be equal. All the way through scripture he radically challenged the thought patterns of the day to push the equality and protection of women. He introduced many women’s rights that had never even been considered before. Jesus continued to do so in the New Testament and the early disciples continued to do so as well. But they also laid out many differences, and taught how to reconcile those differences. There is much advice scripturally about when to respect differences and when to put a boundary in place, both in general relationships and in male/female power struggles. He knew we would have a hard time understanding each other and He knew the women were often getting the short end of the stick. Jesus worked toward fixing that without emasculating men. We should do the same.

I realize that there have been generations of cruel male domination in many societies. I realize there have been examples of that in our own culture and there often still is. So we rally, and educate, and fight for equality. We fight for the dignity, education, protection, and self-worth of every female on earth. And many men fight with us.

But this is not the kind of effective impact that most of us associate with today’s feminism. All too often the feminist movement only adds to the objectifying of women by prancing around nude in the name of “freedom”, and we do not agree. We cringe. That is not freedom and empowerment. That is cold nipples and sunburnt skin.

Most of us don’t want to be remembered for pushing the sight of bare skin any more than we want to be remembered for dressing in head to toe with thick layers on a summer day. We want to be comfortable, feel beautiful, and be remembered for our minds.

Most of us want to run and cover our young developing girls, not with a burka, but with a tasteful, fun, outfit that flatters them without flaunting their delicate new form. We want to wrap them in unconditional love and tell them that they are worth more than sexual attention. We want to tell them that their mind is so great they don’t need to be known for their body. We long to tell them that they are priceless and teach them how to not advertise themselves as cheap.

Something else many women feel is that many self-proclaimed feminists are only adding fuel to the war of the genders by bullying all men. And we cringe again.

This is not okay. If equality is the cause than fight for true equality and stop using your platform to unleash venom; stirring more war. Like it or not, both genders need each other. God has set it up this way. We would literally cease to exist without the presence of both. So, without sounding like a playground monitor –Can we just learn to get along?

If some men need to be fought or jailed for their injustice towards women then do it. By all means, do it! But don’t go around bashing every other man just for the failures of some.

The other day I saw this post on Facebook: “If a man speaks in a forest and there is no woman to hear… Is he still wrong?” It had been posted by a radio station in hopes for a moment of humor. Can you imagine if that statement was reversed? Can you imagine the outrage it would cause? We would be discussing the implications of it and the flaws of a culture that laughs at such things –and rightfully so.

What have we done to our men that they feel this kind of joking is deserved, or that they are not allowed to stand up to it? 

What most women want is to be at peace, even with the men. What most women want is a better understanding of each other and true equality between the genders. We want to be known for strength; not bitterness. We want for our strengths to work in harmony so we can all enjoy a more powerful outcome.

So men, on behalf of any mislead feminist bullies, I am sorry. You don’t deserve to be treated like a second class citizen either …and most of us women cringe with you.

 

 

 

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Posted by: Anna Wozniak
Posted on: 10/6/2014 at 8:42 AM
Tags: , , , , ,
Categories: Feminism | Marriage | Media Influence | Relationships
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