48 Dreams Left on My Way to Completing 101 Dreams Come Truewww.101dreamscometrue.com
Jennifer Sleeman, an 80-year-old woman, from Ireland asked the faithful women of her country to boycott Sunday Mass on September 26, 2010. She wanted “to let the Vatican and the Irish church know that women are tired of being treated as second-class citizens." Her call moved beyond her own country to a worldwide cry for women to stay at home and pray for change. She claimed that women were the majority of the church and that together they had the strength to tell the patriarchal heir achy that the power of the pews comes from women.
My Pastor was upset when he heard that women of his parish were considering walking out on September 26th. Our church is an open, loving community, where all people are accepted and treated equal. I could see why Father Anthony might be hurt when I told him that women, even in his parish, were angry, but he listened as I spoke. I told him that as women we are taught from an early age that we are second class and that the men of biblical times were important while the women were mainly whores, crazy, or simply unimportant. There are scriptures about women, but few are read during mass that give women a sense of pride. During mass on September 26th, he acknowledged the women of our church and the important role we play so that healing could begin. It was a step towards change with a long journey ahead.
I was born a feminist. By the age of five, I'd decided I'd never take a man's name. I didn't understand why I wasn't allowed to become a priest or even an altar girl. I wanted to know why professional sports were all about men. I was angry whenever I was told that I was a pretty girl and should marry rich. Even the women in my life, who always told me I could do anything, still instilled the idea that I needed to know how to cook and clean to be a proper wife someday.
As I grew into a young woman, I encountered feminist who ridiculed me for how I dressed and lived. They felt because I wore high heels, make-up, feminine dresses, and allowed men to open doors for me, that somehow I lessened the female gender. I disagreed.
There is a power in being a woman. It has nothing to do with hair color or breast size. It comes from the softness of being feminine, and within that softness is a power equal to, if not stronger than, the warrior spirit of a man. A man becomes speechless at the sight of a confident, sexy woman, who knows who she is. When that same woman looks at a man with love and the need to be loved, his heart belongs to her. Since the beginning of time men's Achilles heels have been women and the fear of women's power caused femininity to be suppressed.
Somehow in our need to find equality, women haven't turned to this power, instead they've tried to become more like warrior men. I think this has left many men wondering who they are supposed to be in relationships, in the work place, and in life. They've been asked to be softer, more emotional, and many are unsure if they are supposed to open a door for a lady and pay for dinner or if they are insulting the woman when they do so. It has created a generation of lost gender identities and many men have become what my friend calls, 'flow boys', I'll go with whatever you want me to be. A therapist once told me, "We are trying so hard to build our girls that we are burying our men." This leads to women being frustrated, men being lost, and no one being able to be who they really are. In our search for equality as women, we've somehow decided that men need to be less or different. How is this any better?
I was speaking to my friend Jane from Midlifeblogger, and she said, "The definition of feminism, is that women should be able to be whatever they need to be without judgment while being treated equal to their male counters. If a woman wants to stay home and raise her babies she can still be a feminist." Then she added, "You my dear, are the face of the new feminism. You can be independent, travel the world, like who you are, speak your mind, and still allow yourself to be a feminine, soft spirit."
The more I go after my dreams and seek a life where I believe I can have it all, the more comfortable I become with who I am. I've come to realize that I love being a woman and as I embrace my femininity, my softer side, I feel more power in who I am.
For many years, men have dominated. There are women who believe that it is our time to be on top and that men should be lessened in order for balance. In truth, women aren't conquerors and to become like men would only create more masculine imbalance. In our softness we need to see, that it is in accepting one another for the true spirits we are that we can find balance, equality, and happiness.