My sophomore year of high school, I had this literature teacher, Mr Ayres, who would each week post questions and if we answered them in a forum then we would get extra credit. One of the questions was who has it easier boys or girls? (Side note: I don't think I ever responded to this question and I rarely did post because I didn't like sharing my opinion, but look at me now, commandeering my own blog.)
And really that's not the issue either. I don't think either sex has it easier or harder consistently. I think both are faced with their own challenges at different stages of their lives.
However, I just wish I was a boy so that people would think I'm strong without having to prove myself. Basically, once you get to know me, then its like oh yeah she's strong and capable and good at soccer. (Had to throw that in because I really can't seem to shake that one.)
So where is all this coming from? Just the comments that people make. The other day I was at South Hills and I went to the office with Darrick to get some papers. He apparently got a whole lot of copies made that filled up a whole box. When we walked in and he saw it, he must have said something because then one of the office workers said "I told you to bring someone strong."
I stumbled upon this exerpt from a book on Donald Miller's blog. Its taken from a book called "Bitter sweet, thoughts on Change, Grace and Learning the Hard Way" and is written by Shauna Niequist:
"My friends Brannon and Chris have a little girl named Emme, and before she was born, Brannon and Chris declared their house a princess-free zone. There could be pink, there could be dresses and lace and babies galore, but no tiaras, no wands, and no princes coming to rescue any little princesses.
I love this. I think maybe we should all live in a princess-free zone. I think the current cultural messaging that tells women it’s attractive to play dumb and fragile and hope that they’re saved by their beauty is incredibly destructive.
I’m not anti-feminine. I operate, in many ways, within squarely traditional gender roles. I love to cook, I hate to drive, and I’m terrible with technology of all kinds. I fit squarely within the stereotypes, and then also not, largely because I was raised by a strong leader who recognized aspects of himself in me. I wasn’t raised to play dumb, or play cute, or play princess. I learned to work hard, to develop my skills, to contribute on a team and in society, and it drives me bonkers when women depend instead on their sexuality or their fragility. I think there’s a better way.
If you’re a woman, and you get what you want by batting your eyelashes or faking fragility, and then you wonder why you’re not taken seriously in your career or given responsibility in your church, I think you may have believed the reigning cultural lie about what makes us attractive. And if you’re a man, and you celebrate femininity only as it presents itself in beauty and tenderness, please consider widening your view of what it means to value women. Consider strength, intelligence, passion, and compassion.
I want businesses and government systems and certainly churches to be led more and more often by women. I believe that men and women would both benefit from it in dozens of ways. But if that’s going to happen, I think we have to declare a princess-free zone. No tiaras, no Girls Gone Wild, no pretending we can’t carry things. No fairytales, no waiting around to be rescued, and absolutely no playing dumb."
Now, I have always liked the idea of Princesses and Queens and Kings. For a while growing up, I was obsessed with Queen Elizabeth I and her father King Henry VIII. I loved learning about everything of that monarchy.But I also agree that some girls let themselves get consumed in this idea and they don't even realize it. Its society bearing down on them that they must fit this mold to be the defenseless one.
My roommate and I have a bunkbed. Because of circumstances, it took us a while to put it together. Basically because we didn't have time. During this time of not having the bunkbeds made her boyfriend told us "Do you want me to put the beds together?" And he asked it in such a condescending way that it immediately made me think that he thought we would not be able to do it ourselves. So I took the defensive. And brushed him off that he didn't need to do that. (P.S. I may be down playing this exchange and may have said other things.) All he had to do was to ask if he could "help" us put the beds together and I would not have been so defensive.
And did her boyfriend really think we were too helpless to put the beds together? Knowing him, probably only a little. But he also just wants to be the guy in the relationship and be there for his girlfriend. And I can respect him for that.
And no matter what guys say about not wanting to have a dumb girl in their life, there is some part of them that subconsciously searches for that. And that's good. Guys should protect the girls in their lives and strive to take care of them. I just don't know how to be that kind of girl yet. I'm learning though.