What Makes a Strong Woman?

In this day and age, the cultural Zeitgeist is all about “women’s empowerment” and raising “strong women”. We think we know what these ideas should mean and have a mental picture of what they look like, but what really does a strong woman look like? Many cite qualities like independence, autonomy, assertiveness, leadership, etc… Many see her in some sort of high position of power, or with fancy degrees in some high-status career like doctor, lawyer, politician, some STEM field. It’s common to think of her being able to do “anything a man can do” with slogans like “girl power” and “girls rule the world”…

However the question is raised, is that what really makes a woman “strong”? How exactly does one define “strong”? Is it in her assertiveness almost to the point of aggressiveness? Her job title or her credentials? Her assertions that she doesn’t need a man for anything? Her ability to throw off traditional gender norms and clamor for all things masculine? The irony that many qualities she strives for in herself she would now label “toxic” in a man? The fact that she has liberal “woke” politics and ideologies unlike the “gender traitors” who are conservative women? They say a strong woman can think for herself, yet labeled those who stood by Kavanaugh or Trump as “gender traitors”. Is that what strong women are expected to do? Feel threatened enough by others whose opinions you don’t like that you have to shut them up?

Thing is, while many qualities above in moderation such as independence, assertiveness or leadership are okay, I argue our current concept of what makes a woman “strong” really betrays a type of weakness and vulnerability as well as implicitly sexist. The most problematic aspect of how we think of a strong woman is rooted in the implicit idea that she must be like a man, and throw off her traditional gender roles as a woman because male=empowerment and female=oppression. To truly be “equal” in this frame of mind is to be able to be and do anything a man does, but no mention of anything uniquely “woman” in her fight for equality. Whatever a man can do is better than what women traditionally have done. She must want a career, because her “dreams” must go beyond “mere” house keeping and child raising. She needs to earn her own way, or else she’s too “dependent” on a man thus virtually enslaved! Being a wife and mother apparently is not enough to foster her “personal development”. She must literally wear the pants, because dressing as a woman is the “uniform of oppression”. She is “empowered” when she can silence any man who dares speak his mind on issues pertaining to her, cry victim anytime she wants, be pushy and rude and call it “assertiveness”, shun a more feminine identity and reduce it to a “stereotype” and declare that the world is stacked against her. Now, many women who consider themselves as strong don’t feel they support this idea of it, however their attitudes implicitly support many of these ideas.

When you tell a girl “But what else do you want to do? You’re still young…” When she says she wants to raise a family when she grows up.

When you say “You can’t comment on this issue because you’re not a woman!”

When you tell your daughters “Never depend on a man for anything.”

When you say to fight “stereotypes” of women such as being married, home making, and wearing dresses.

You are perpetuating a distorted view of what it means to be strong. To me honestly, such ideas about strength betray weakness and vulnerability. The idea that being a traditional woman is a sign of oppression and that to have any worth in society, or to be considered independent is to take on traditional masculine characteristics belittles womanhood as a whole. Also reinforcing the sexist and misogynist idea that women are second class or lesser members of society, and must imitate men to bear a semblance to anything worthy of being called empowered, equal and strong.

What does it really say about society when the clamor for prominence and power in the public eye are valued far greater than the upbringing of our future generations? Just because a role is not as visible, doesn’t mean the job is any less needed. Motherhood, while more behind the scenes, IS a job in itself. A 24/7 job for life. Standing by your man does not mean you don’t have your own identity. Pants don’t equal freedom from some oppressed role and skirts and dresses don’t mean you’re second class. Wife and mother are just as important titles as CEO or PhD. Power and prestige are not all there is in life. Equal does not always mean identical; men and women can have separate gender roles and be equal in dignity and worth to each other. Putting men’s roles on a pedestal for women to be able to climb to inherently devalues traditional women’s roles even if cried for in the name of equality. Guarding one’s sexuality is not a form of coercion by the patriarchy when women have so much more to lose if she slips up. A woman’s purity is to be honored, not mocked and derided as “old fashioned”. A strong woman and a traditional woman exist side by side and are in no way mutually exclusive! 

So what does it mean to be a strong woman? A strong woman is many things in my opinion:

The confidence in her identity as a traditional women as valuable and meaningful in of itself without the need to be like a man to be worth something.

The ability to value her husband and children over any job title or credential she might earn.

Seeing her privilege, not her victimhood.

A self identity that is strong enough to not feel threatened by taking her husband’s name upon marriage, being “given away” at the altar, being called “Mrs.” or the idea of marriage.

Feeling as empowered and capable in a dress or skirt with long hair as in pants and short hair.

The strength to know she can depend on others like a father, brother, husband etc… for her care and safety and still be independent and strong in her own right.

Taking pride in the fact that she has the choice to give life, not in the choice to take it.

Who can handle words like “mankind” and “man” in the general sense without feeling excluded and microaggressed.

The fortitude to hold the family together in times of trouble, but also let a man take the lead and be the rock when she is given the chance.

Being a rock in her own unique way, as a moral compass of virtue, elegance, and grace for all to see in her family and in the world.

Dressing modestly as a sign of her inner worth and dignity, and having no need to flaunt her body for all to see for her to be “liberated”.

Who is strong enough to think for herself and not feel threatened by another’s opinion nor the need to force other women to think as she does.

Recognizing her ability to achieve her goals not in spite of being a woman in an “oppressive” society, but because of her determination, work ethic, and perseverance as a person. 

The strength it takes to be uniquely feminine, in her own right.

To me those are some things that make a strong woman 🙂

Strong woman

(I made this graphic myself!)

My Womanhood is NOT Your Costume…

Transgenderism is a hot and contentious topic for the Left, with many angles at play! The part I want to focus on in all this lunacy though, is on the premise the Left has put out in that since gender is a mere social construct, it justifies the legitimacy of recognizing transgender people, especially women, as being entitled to be treated as if they were actual biological women (or men, but I’ll focus on women for the scope of this article)! Their argument is that gender is a social construct, something society raises you to be, rather than an innate quality. They further add the confusion that the undeniable biological aspect is now written off as its own separate thing as one’s “sex”, but “gender” is the purely social aspect, such as wearing certain clothing, or liking certain things over others. In essence, it really comes down to a nature vs. nurture debate, and how fluid these concepts really are.

Now, I will say up front, I don’t think that many people who label themselves transgender are being insincere or that they just want to be say, a woman on a superficial whim. I think many truly do feel they were born in the wrong body, and have sympathy for how much that must hurt and how utterly confusing that must be. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone! However, society deciding that this is normal for a person to feel about themselves is absurd, not just a normal biological variation! I also argue that the idea of “gender as a social construct” brings with it many detrimental and frankly insulting implications that many take for granted and completely overlook!

First off though, what are we really saying when we say that? It’s not just a neutral statement of a proposed fact. No! It’s the logical flaw that by implying it’s not a natural trait, and it’s not innate, it doesn’t matter at all. The real idea behind this is that gender should be obsolete, and because it’s not something we consider natural anymore, it’s completely outdated and irrelevant! What we really mean by “gender is a social construct” is that “gender is something artificially imposed and needs to be gotten rid of”.  That statement is loaded, and carries a very heavy value judgement! If it were natural, in Left’s mind, they couldn’t undermine and de-legitimize it as easily..

But, you know what also is a “social construct”? Race! That’s right, the Left now says race too is not grounded in biology, but in society’s whims! However, can we be trans-racial??? Heck no! Just ask that woman who was ousted for being biologically white, but identified as black! If a white person tries to do so, they are automatically being racist, and appropriating someone’s race! One may argue, “but racial differences are very obvious, so you’d know someone cannot be another race…” but don’t men and women look different? And not just clothes, make up and hair! Men grow beards, women don’t. Men’s bodies are bigger, stockier, stronger, differently shaped. Not to mention what’s down below! 😉 Humans after all, are a sexually dimorphic species! The argument against racial appropriation by the Left, that especially if white, you can’t just wear say, a black person’s styles, appropriate their music, their traditions, their food, their heritage and claim you’re one of them, is based on the idea that you haven’t been through their struggles. You want the “fun” aspects of being them, but you haven’t faced their hardships. Haven’t faced their struggles, their obstacles, and to add insult to injury, you’re part of why they have those struggles. Yet, you want to claim their unique heritage as your own??? The nerve!

Well, guess what? This should apply to gender too! If what the Left says is true, about women being disadvantaged, then what gives a man the right to appropriate what belongs to women? If women are living in fear of being assaulted by men, raped by men, paid less than men, devalued as lesser, then why on Earth should a man get to appropriate their unique heritage, in other words, as women? If it is true, as many Leftists believe, that men have male privilege, just like whites have white privilege, then isn’t it privilege to be able to just pick and choose to express one’s self as the female gender but have the option of going back to being a man when convenient? It’s just like a white person wearing blackface! They can take off the color at the end of the day. A person of color has to live with it, and the stigma it allegedly brings. Well same for gender! A guy can take off the dress, the heels, the make up, shave his head again. A woman, however, cannot just transform into a man and all her troubles will go away! She cannot take off her “costume” so she won’t be assaulted, raped, paid less, devalued. She has to live with the struggles too, not just the perks. The man in the dress can punch the attacker, throw off the rapist, while she is helpless to throw off someone twice her strength! Even if he decides to never live as a man again, he still can get the upper hand with his physically stronger body! Also, in line with the Left’s concept of privilege, isn’t it a form of privilege to be able to just throw away your privilege??? A man choosing to be a woman gives up his “male privilege” and swapping it for vulnerability and scorn. However, as “oppressed” as he then makes himself, he chose to take on that. A real woman didn’t. She was born with the fact she would have far greater chances of being assaulted, raped, devalued. She does not have the luxury to throw away privilege wantonly, nor gain it by becoming a man!

No. It’s NOT a two way street. Transgender men are not just “one of the guys”. They do not have extra “privilege”. However, a transgender woman now must be treated as a full woman by Leftist decree! Even if he genuinely feels like he wants to live his life as a woman and never go back, he can. That’s the thing. And that he had the choice to give up his “privilege” of being a man in the Left’s allegedly “patriarchal” society. Real women never have those luxuries. Just like a white person can impersonate, and maybe even genuinely feel like a black person, but has the choice to go back to being white and on top, to take off the “costume”. If a guy wanting to be a girl wants to wear the pretty dresses, the heels, curl his hair, go to the girl’s nights as one of the girls, hang at the mall, do all the fun things women like to do, he should also have had to face her struggles. To be afraid to walk alone at night. To carry pepper spray. To know the fear of being harassed on the street. To be held back on the job. Underestimated, viewed as weak, a victim. Why should someone get to reap in the rewards, without having to go through the struggles? Do I believe the world is really so bleak for women? Not as much as the Left certainly does! But by the Left’s own logic and views on women being oppressed, this is a logical argument…

Also, and less obvious, is a quite insulting implication inherent in this argument: That womanhood, as a social construct, is merely just a superficial costume that anyone can put on… The idea that all womanhood really is, is putting on a dress and heels and make up, styling your hair, and doing “girly things”. As long as you do those, you’re a woman! However, I and many other women would disagree! There’s so much more than superficial looks or going through the motions involved in the intangible parts of womanhood.  The sisterhood all women share together in their deep experiences, and very natures runs far deeper than our make up, our heels, or dresses and hair. Liking shopping and fashion and traditional womanly things is not all there is to our very essence, our unique humanity as women. See, also like one’s race, one’s sex does indeed affect how you perceive the world, and how the world perceives you. Women do not have the same upbringing, the same experiences as men, not because there’s a mass conspiracy that half of humanity wants to oppress us, but because of the simple fact we are NOT men!

Our trillion or so cells speak the plain and simple truth: we are different in our very core. Study after study shows girls consistently play in a more nurturing way than boys. We evolved to nurture, to be more gentle, to be social. We evolved to be the child bearers, and experience the wonders of motherhood, which no man will ever experience. Even the Left acknowledges this in its anti-man “you can never have an opinion on women’s issues because you aren’t a woman!”. See? Even they know, deep down men and women are innately different! That our experiences differ. Our challenges differ. Our womanhood runs far deeper than any costume, any “social construct”, yet, the Left argues implicitly in the idea that a man can put on a dress, heels, inject some hormones, that he can be a woman through superficial behaviors alone, that womanhood is just an actor’s role to play and our feminine style a mere “costume” that can be taken on and off. Oh, and by the way, doesn’t the use of hormones help point to our biological differences too??? 😉  One can’t say hormones our bodies we’re genetically programmed to release upon puberty that make us different are a “social construct”!

Ladies, we are NOT just a costume that anyone can just put on and pretend to be! Our womanhood, our shared experiences, our challenges, the deep bond rooted in womanhood we share with our mothers from day 1 cannot be replicated in someone who is biologically, and socially, raised as a man! Even those who were raised to be men from infancy, but were biological women always felt “different” and not like just another “guy”… Same for girls who were guys inside… To say that womanhood is something anyone can be on a whim, on a feeling, is gravely belittling and insulting to women everywhere! It’s like a woman saying she can just experience every aspect of manhood, without his struggles, his upbringing, his innate nature.

Yes, I know people literally feel they were born in the wrong body, a woman’s soul/mind in a man’s body, but if you were raised as a man, are biologically a man, then no you can’t truly feel like a true woman, know what it is to be one, anymore than one can truly, intrinsically perceive the world like someone who’s a native speaker of a language can versus someone who happens to speak it fluently but was not raised from day 1, in the culture of the speaker! Yes, you can learn a language quite well, but you can never truly perceive the world and be a native speaker within their cultural matrix and have their exact perception of the world though their native tongue. That’s my analogy for experiencing the opposite sex’s world… You can play the part well, but you cannot truly be the real deal unless you are!

Look, I don’t demonize transgender people for wanting to be the other sex. What I do heavily criticize though, is the idea that they can be the exact same, and be entitled to the exact same treatment as a real woman in this case, because they never truly can be. And they know that themselves! Indeed! No matter how much they “transition”, they know in their heart of hearts they are not a woman in the same way as real biological women! They can come mighty close, even look like a woman, sound like one, like in the case of Jazz Jennings, maybe you can’t even tell just by looking. But do you honestly feel “women” like “her” truly, honestly, and 100% believe they are indeed women in every single sense of the word??? I’m not out to say she needs to switch back, or she’s out to hurt anyone personally. She’s probably just trying to genuinely live out “her” life as a woman.

However, she and the others set a precedent where society devalues our essence, our very humanity as women that only a real, biological woman can ever truly know. The inherent sexism in the idea that men can just be women upon their choice devalues our womanhood into a superficial acting job! If a person’s race is not your costume, a person’s culture is not your costume, why should a person’s gender or sex be someone else’s to appropriate? This is heresy for the Left to say, but I will say it loud and clear guys, : My womanhood is NOT your costume! 

Image result for transgender political cartoons but i say I'm a woman

The (New) Modern Woman…

The image of the “modern woman” has pervaded since the rise of all waves of feminism. She may be different depending on the era, the woman who could vote, the woman who could work, the woman who could wear pants, get dirty, own property, choose her husband, plan her family or chose not to have one, think for herself, be heard in the world, have a voice in society, etc..etc… The modern woman was one who could look to a bright future for herself, on her own terms. It’s a vision that all women like to think of themselves being able to be. However, like most idealistic visions, the reality often falls short. Am I saying that the “modern woman” ideal is necessarily bad, in the qualities listed above? No, not really. I want women to have autonomy, to get to choose her life choices, to decide who she deems worthy of marriage, to think for herself and be heard in the world, yes, all of those are not things I’m against. The problem arises though when this vision goes to extremes and becomes radicalized. The “modern woman” of today is not what our grandmothers and great grandmothers who fought for the vote pictured in their youth!!!

The “modern woman” of today is one who embraces vulgarity, loudness, and vitriol over the strength that comes from valid ideas and the feminine softness of ladies past. She is one who embraces sexual anarchy rather than sexual freedom through promiscuity and immodesty rather than tempered choices. She is one who will flaunt that sleazy vulgarity through “pussy hats”, dressing like vaginas, smearing fake blood to mimic menstruation as “girl power”, and shun all aspects of traditional femininity. To her, sex is a handshake not a milestone. A child is a burden personally and professionally to be cast aside and neglected emotionally, mentally, even physically lest it get in her way of being the “modern woman”. Motherhood is enslaving, not her highest calling as a woman. A man is the enemy, a hindrance and source of all oppression just waiting to force her back in the kitchen! Divorce is normal for the empowered woman, and marriage is merely dating 2.0. The honor and privilege of being a wife is now erased through terms like “Ms.”. Feminine dress is seen as enslaving and dis-empowering, as she must mimic a man in all aspects of her life to feel worth something as a person. She must have a career like a man does, earn like he does, dress like he does, think like he does, even talk like he does to feel worthy and empowered. A man in all but name! She must talk back, never compromise or acquiesce to her husband or father’s wishes, even partially least she be oppressed by the patriarchy! Protest male only spaces while entitled to women only spaces. Hate standards of beauty, decry make-up, bras, nail polish, beauty products, as part of the “patriarchy”. Mistakes bossiness and pushiness for healthy assertiveness and confidence. Sees perversion, injustice and oppression in girls being girls and embracing girl things such as dolls, dresses, fairy tales etc… Be the perpetual victim, damsel in distress when it suits them such as the #MeToo card, etc… etc…

That said, many reasonable women who decry the hypocrisy, inherent sexism, condescension, and vitriol of the radical feminist movement would think the notion of the “modern woman” must be thrown out! However I propose the idea can be reclaimed for the positive. There is a way, I feel to reach a healthy middle ground in this desire for more equality, while also embracing traditional feminine virtues and our womanhood as is, not feminist imposed pseudo-manhood! I propose a vision where we can be ladies of elegance and grace, like our grandmothers, while also embracing some positive aspects of the desire for increased autonomy and independence for women of today. Being a lady does not mean you have to be stuck in 1918 in 2018 😉 For example:

  • The modern woman can make her own choices, but chooses them because she should, not merely because she can!
  • The modern woman uses her freedom to enhance her life, not spite others, such as doing something specifically to “spite the patriarchy”…
  • The modern woman has sexual freedom, but not sexual anarchy! She knows with freedom comes responsibility, and embracing hook up culture only leads to danger, unhappiness, STD’s, unwanted pregnancy, etc…etc…
  • The modern woman chooses her partner freely, without being coerced or forced by her father, but honors and cherishes the man she chooses and respects his wishes…
  • The modern woman can embrace a marriage of equals in dignity and worth, with separate but complimentary roles…
  • The modern woman can give her heart and her person to one man in marriage, till death do you part, be “one flesh” with him and give yourself to him without being his “property”, as he ought to do the same for you. She knows that she is forever his, and he is forever hers… She embraces the title of wife (“Mrs.”) as an honor, not a slave-name!
  • The modern woman is not “dependent” on a man, but leans on him, looks to him in times of hardship and vulnerability for him to be her rock and protector, with the knowledge she does so freely and that she will be his rock in his time of need. She knows she can share her sorrows and joys with him, without being “dependent” and “weak”…
  • The modern woman listens to the wise counsel and guidance of her father in her younger years and as a budding woman, so that she will not be lead astray by bad people and tricked by her own naivety to the world, without feeling her father owns her and micromanages her life! She lets him give her away at the alter, in the spirit of transferring the role of his love and support to her new husband, who when he passes, will be her rock as he once was. Not in the sense it is a literal transfer of property anymore!
  • The modern woman can be a leader without leading the same way a man might go about it. She realizes that the strongest people can be the most soft spoken and gentle in nature but rise to every challenge…
  • The modern woman can embrace traditional feminine dress and styles, and live her life unhindered by that choice without the pressure to wear pants just because a man does! Her worth comes from inside her, not what’s covering her legs!
  • The modern woman can be the keeper of the home, nurturer of the family, and be worth more than anything to her family and to a wholesome society of intact families raised in love and devotion.
  • The modern woman can have a career, but values the title of M.O.M. or M.R.S. over any degree or credential or title she might earn!
  • The modern woman can speak her mind and use her voice for the betterment of her society, but does so through facts, logic and reason, not vitriol, shouting and ad-hominem attacks!
  • The modern woman defends the wronged, not as a man should through physical strength, but in her own special way, through using her voice as a woman to advocate for wrongly accused men for example in this #MeToo hysteria, or the neglected and devalued child by the ideology of radical feminism as another…
  • The modern woman can think in a deep intellectual manner, but not forget her manners as a lady in her conduct and get heated and spew vitriol at the opposition!
  • The modern woman knows assertiveness and confidence is NOT snapping orders and domineering over others, rather the persistent, quiet and reasoned assertiveness and knowledge of her skills and her worth…
  • The modern woman is responsible for her actions, and accepts the consequences with grace and understanding, not crying victim, and blaming everyone but herself for her own transgressions.
  • The modern woman is not a victim, but empowered to stand her ground in the face of injustice and unethical coercion. She has the power to choose integrity over the superficial rewards coercion has to offer her.
  • The modern woman has a voice to be heard, but conveys her ideas with elegance and grace as a lady, not a “Nasty Woman”…
  • The modern woman can be a true lady, one of elegance, refinement and grace as her fore-mothers did before her, while also embracing the modern freedoms women can have….

Overall, the “modern woman” of reason, is a lady in spirit and character, while taking the best female empowerment has to offer such as increased autonomy and independence. She is bright, driven, a victor, not a victim, a leader, a nurturer, a devoted partner, a dutiful daughter, a loving mother, a person of integrity and accountability, a deep independent thinker, a person of refinement, has strength in her quietness, embraces her traditional femininity and is above all, a LADY!

Image result for the frauenstaat

A “Matriarchy” is NOT what I have in mind for empowering women!