Re-Defining Womenhood

Exciting things are going to happen on the blog this summer. I will make a list of my ideas:

  • Guest posts from people who are living exciting lives and don’t usually blog
  • Random interviews from celebrities…that is, my friends pretending they are of celebrity status (this is already in the works)
  • Fashion? Maybe. Or I might resurrect I Don’t Buy Clothes and add more diverse posts there
  • Video blogs
  • Book related posts, such as “what classics you should read and what classics are too boring to bother with,” and “what to read if you hate reading.”
  • Fiction stories

Please leave a comment telling me if you would like to see any of those things. I’m not going to be very busy this summer, so its a perfect time to get some blogging done.

However, right now I am very busy, working on two finals, and so I only have time for one quick rant.

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This little girl is named Sophie. This weekend, at church camp, she ran around in a silky leopard-print skirt, barefoot, picking caterpillars out of the sandbox.

She brought one to me and I said, “would you like to hear the story of the Prince and the Caterpillar?”

She nodded eagerly. I wove a fairy-tale heavily plagiarized from “the Frog Prince,” and she ate it up.

Sometimes I would pass her in the woods. I was on the paths, she was venturing off into the muddies areas. I called her “Princess Elana.” She grinned, a happy mud-covered princess.

Some people would label her a girly-girl. Some would call her a tomboy. Some would call her a strange mixture of the two. I would say she represents everything wonderful about girlhood.

I am a firm believer that men and women are different. I think that the world works best, and people are happiest, when men embrace their manhood and women embrace their womanhood. Some women rebel against the idea of “being womanly,” and I think the reason for that is that the definition of “womanly” is all screwed up.

Being a woman is about a lot of different things. Motherhood. The love of pretty things. Creativity. Longing for adventure. Bravery. A keen understanding of emotions. Hard work. Some of these things, like motherhood, women hold exclusively, while others, like bravery, are present in both a strong man and a strong woman.

Sometimes things like “bravery” get cut from the list of “womanly attributes,” since men possess the same attribute. Then, if some woman wants to go bravely swing her sword and save a life, she is seen as rebelling against womanhood, and caring little about more “womanly” things such as fashion. Characters are either painted as “girly-girls” or “tomboys.”

Where are the real girls? Where are the Sophie-like girls who climb trees and pretend they are castles?

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I don’t like the term “tomboy.” I don’t like it, because it presents the idea that boys get to do all the fun things, and a girl can’t do fun things and still be girl-like.

Girlhood, as well as womenhood, needs to be re-defined. If girls and women want to be men and boys because males have all the fun, the world misses out on the amazing things real women have to offer.

End of rant.

P.S. Be sure to comment on my future blog post ideas, and feel free to add ideas of your own!

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5 responses to “Re-Defining Womenhood

  1. In a couple of ways you and I are kindred spirits-the one I’m thinking of now is our love of retro dresses. The one you show is like one I wore Sunday. I like to be girly girl, but am always breaking fingernails because I do what meeds to be done and am cosixered a “tomboy”. I’m no boy. I kept up with my tree climbing brothers, learned to do my own car maintenance as well as being a mom.
    Thanks for jogging me towards thinking differently!
    Looking forward to more fashion posts!

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  2. I’m interested in the book one, and the fiction one. Looking forward to hearing more from you! Good luck on finals

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  3. Emily Alexander

    hmmmm. good thoughts on womanhood Emily! i appreciated the rant! 🙂

    the other Emily

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  4. Definitely the “Book related posts, such as “what classics you should read and what classics are too boring to bother with,” and “what to read if you hate reading.”! I start some classics and then wonder if it will actually be worth going to the end. 🙂

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  5. Yes. I used to be called a tomboy. It stings. And with 5 children, I feel very much like a woman–a mother. But it takes a lot of bravery to parent special needs. It takes a lot of something to travel to foreign countries to adopt or do mission work with orphans, especially when you sometimes have to go alone. So God gives us what we need to be the people he wants us to be. I rejoice to have a daughter who not only likes to sew and cook, but also likes to play the violin AND go rappelling and canoeing. I would never tell her that it is too boyish. God has a good plan for her, just as she is–a multi-faceted girl.

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