A predominant discussion topic and mindset of society today is feminism.
What exactly is feminism?
According to Merriam-Webster, feminism has two definitions: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes and organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.
Why is this a problem?
I saw a picture on Pinterest that said the following two things: we’re so busy trying to prove women can do what men can that women are losing their uniqueness and that women weren’t created to do what men can; instead, they were created to do everything men can’t.
And I agree with the person who created the picture. Quick note: the picture below is not their picture. Follow the above link to Pinterest to see it.
But moving on.
Men and women are made differently. Women are typically not as physically strong as men. And I’ve heard that women are made to be more caring than men.
These two examples are proof that men and women were not created to be the same and were not created to be entirely equal.
What does this mean?
Both men and women were created in the image of God and are both highly valued by God. But this doesn’t mean that men and women have the same core responsibilities within society. Even though this is the case, there are some areas where the responsibilities can kind of overlap.
Let’s talk about the men first.
I think men were intended to be the protectors: for their family, their wife, their kids, and even the Church. Since men are typically stronger than women, it makes sense for men to physically protect their family. But they also need to be mentally and emotionally strong to defend their family and the Church when it comes to discussions. They need to be strong on every front.
But strength isn’t everything. Yes, men should be strong enough to defend and protect, but they also need to be gentle. They need to have a gentle disposition when interacting with their wife and their children. A man’s family needs to know that he will be there for them to listen, provide feedback or advice, to be truly present to them during their joys and sorrows, and to make good, quality memories with them.
Men also need to be a role model and an example for their children and for their community. They need to show their sons how to protect physically, mentally, and emotionally, as well as being a gentleman and being there for his family. He should also show his daughters how they should be loved, both how he interacts with them and with how he interacts with his wife.
Now onto the women.
Women need to protect and be there for their families just like the men do. But women do so differently. Women are generally more nurturing, so they can make sure their children are taken care of on a more domestic front. I’m not saying that men can’t, or shouldn’t, do this, because they can, and they should. But women are naturally more inclined to do this.
Women can defend their families and the Church, but they are more likely to do so in a mental or emotional way before getting physical.
Women also provide role models for their children. They teach their daughters how to act, hold themselves, and love. They also teach their sons how they should love their husbands and truly be there for their family.
Women typically have the qualities that I outlined in the middle paragraph for the men. They are typically more gentle and are more inclined to be there mentally and emotionally for her family.
You keep saying typically. Why?
I provided examples of men and women in the context of married and family life. Even just within married and family life, there is a wide range of families. No two families are exactly the same. There are families that do not fit into the example that I’ve provided. There are families where the woman provides for the family. There are families with a single parent. There are families where the parents are emotionally and/or mentally distant from their children.
Married and family life is not the only choice for people. Religious life and single life are also options.
Since this is not the vocation I think I’m being called to, I can only provide examples of the religious people I have encountered.
All religious (nuns, sisters, priests, monks, etc) are able to provide prayers and guidance for those under their care. But priests are a different case.
All religious can lead and provide guidance and prayers. But priests, bishops, and on up the hierarchy are able to spiritually take care of people in a deeper way.
Through the sacraments, the priest is able to care for people’s souls in a much deeper way than prayer or guidance. Priests are able to clean, nourish, bring life, and bind in ways that no one else can because of their ability to administer the sacraments. And we’ll dive into why only men can be ordained as priests in a later post.
But what about people called to single life?
Within single life, there’s more likely to be a gray area. Out of the three vocations, single life probably has the most similar male and female roles. Single men are still encouraged to protect, but also be gentlemen. And single women are still encouraged to be nurturing but also protect the Church those close to her.
Okay, you’ve given me all of this information, but why does it matter?
As I said earlier, men and women were created in the image of God and are both highly valued by God. But I don’t think God intended them to be exactly the same. Men and women both have unique responsibilities that can look incredibly similar. Men are typically more protective and physical, but can be gentle and caring. And women are typically the other way around: more caring and gentle, but are capable of being fiercely protective.
I’ll go more into detail with the specifics in tomorrow’s post. As a brief preview: I’ll be discussing what it means to be a gentleman and what it means to be a lady.
In the meantime:
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Until I talk with you again tomorrow, I hope you have a good Wednesday!