I never thought I would be a girl mom, let alone times two. There is such a difference when it comes to raising girls verse boys. I have already seen in my daughters’ young ages how they imitate me. Grace watches so carefully as I put on my makeup or curl my hair. She watches me as I look at myself in the mirror or tug at my shirt to hide the leftovers from my last pregnancy. I realize more and more the importance of modeling to them the dignity of women. The importance of censoring what I say about my own weight or image and emphasizing the beauty of the feminine genius.
This week the world celebrated International Women’s Day. Almost all of my solicitor email had the title in it, some kind of sale to celebrate or a special t-shirt. While certainly in other countries women are mistreated and not respected, not allowed to be educated and their dignity far from being upheld. These women need a voice and our prayers, as most of their voices are silenced and not heard.
When women are able fully to share their gifts with the whole community, the very way in which society understands and organizes itself is improved.St. John Paul II, World Day of Peace Message
Here in the United States “glass ceilings” are being broken, we have female Supreme Court Justices, female CEO’s, a female Vice President and the list goes on. Still the mantra is fempower, feminism and empowerment. In the Western world it seems there is a toxic notion of what it means to be a woman. Strength and power at all cost, the notion that women must become like men in order to compete. Girls rule, girl power, future independent woman, printed on t-shirts in bold colors and ingraining a construed message to our future generations.
As my young girls move through childhood, adolescents and into womanhood I also want to instill in them a message. A message that makes clear the truth of being a woman. I want them to never question their dignity. A dignity that has been bestowed on them by God. A dignity that is intrinsic to who they are and not because of what they do. Daughters of a King, a dignity that will radiate when that reality is fully embraced.
No matter what vocation and job my daughters are called to in life, I want them to always know that it’s not a title, position, salary or being in charge of a Fortune 500 company that defines them. It’s not what they do or accomplish, but who they are. It’s not about being first, independent or serving self. It is embracing God’s will and plan for their life. Living love and holiness. Serving and giving. Shining Christ to others and allowing Christ to shine in them. In there lies strength.
Equality of dignity does not mean “sameness with men.” This would only impoverish women and all of society, by deforming or losing the unique richness and the inherent value of femininity.St. John Paull II
I want them to know and recognize their irreplaceable value and worth in being a woman. Not a worth that is empowered by becoming more like men, but recognizing their differences as a gift, a strength and a unique way that they can change the world. To truly marvel and live out their feminine genius and the genius of women.
My husband’s grandmother came on a ship from Germany as a young teenager, her parents sending her in hopes that she could build a better life away from their impoverished war-torn country. My own grandmother lost her father as a young girl. Since she was one of the older ones in her family of ten children, she was not able to continue going to school past eighth grade. She had to leave home and work, sending the money back to help support her mother and siblings. Still, she was a strong woman, a woman who impacted and changed so many people’s lives. On their gravestones, there is no title after their names, no list of accomplishments recognized by the world, yet two women who embraced strength in the boldest form.
In a society where feminism is muddled, it is crucial to recognize the unique ability women have to transform the world. In both big and small ways, through various walks of life, fully embracing the feminine genius inherit to each woman.
Without the contribution of women, society is less alive, culture impoverished, and peace less stable.ST. John Paul II