Monday, September 27, 2010

My daily struggle

I lost today. Maybe I’m only fooling myself in trying to be an optimist. By the end of the day, all the mustered optimism has been drained into numerous disappointments (including in myself). I’m left feeling like a failure, but not in just what I hoped to do, but in who I am. I’m so tried of fighting against radical female ideals. Can’t we all just be who we are called to be, love who we are called to love, and help everyone in any way we can? Apparently, because I’m a woman, I have all these extra rules I must follow, just because that’s how it is!

I realized why I place human acknowledgments and praise so low on my priorities: I’ll never get it. I am just one of those people who are forgotten, or remembered for the wrong reasons. Truly this only bothers me when others point it out to me, or rationalize why being liked is actually a good thing. Their stance is along the lines of something like this:
When people like you, they will listen to you.
You can "win" friendships with them and influence them better.
If you are attractive, then you promote the Gospel and give glory to God in that. (aka, "Look at that beautiful woman God made!")

I don’t completely disagree with these, but if I made those my mottos, I would be a very unhappy person. I’ve never been the “sweet, well-spoken, lady-like Southern girl”, who wears cute clothes and just makes everyone around her feel great. It’s not that I think this is wrong, it’s just that it isn’t me. It is a struggle for me to be around people in the first place, and now I have to make it a priority that everyone thinks highly of me too? I don’t try to be rude and ugly, but I also don’t try to be doll-like. I’m not putting anyone down, I just don‘t think I can hear it being preached one more time.

Yes, women are beautiful. Yes, we should look feminine. But where I drawn the line is when you tell me people would rather have me soft-spoken, smiling pretty in a corner, only being used to inspire love for God by my well-accented figure and sugary compliments. I am no feminist, but when I start sensing a suppressment of women, I start to understand why people can think the church is anti-women.

The saddest part is, it’s women doing it to women. Absolutely none of my above statements have come from men. It’s the women who have all these ideas of how other women should be. This is what you get when women support each other, and it drives me crazy. (I also understand we are all very young, and have no clue what we are doing.)

I’ve always liked being friends with guys more (oh, and that’s a really big no-no). With guys, I don’t have to care if I’m “honing” my feminine skills, or crossing some useless line into inappropriate topics. We talk about interesting things, I laugh at what is funny, say exactly what I think (or say nothing at all), and I can serve them as I long to. And the best part is that they let me!! They appreciate me and let me try to make them happy. They don’t get upset at something that wasn’t meant to be insulting. They don’t try to smash me into a box labeled “good woman”. I feel more like a woman around guys than I ever have around other women. I will never be good enough around women. I will never be attractive enough for them to care about what I have to say (supposedly).

So I failed today in my fight of not caring about all this. And if I hear, “As women we…” one more time, I really am going to lose it. Please pray for me and my patience.

I sometimes wonder if this would be an issue at all if I went to a school just 700 or so miles more north.

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