What does it mean to be a woman?

strong

There’s a blatant attack on femininity that’s lurking in society, and it is going unnoticed. Or at least untalked about.

It’s created caricatures of extremes and has turned women against each other and against the rest of the world.

The modern feminist movement has created a culture of marching in rallies, lobbying for equal pay, and fighting to prove we can do anything just as well as a man can. Which, last time I checked, we still aren’t physically the same as a man, so what exactly are we trying to prove?

To be a feminist we must put on a mask of strength and power – to fight, protect, and stand up and be heard – apparently that’s what it means to be a woman.

More, more, more. Better, better, better.

Stronger, faster, louder.

And while we’re at it, we must dress either as sexy as possible, or like we don’t care one little bit. No one can tell us what to wear!

Meanwhile, when that gets exhausting, it’s become socially praised to be as subpar of a woman as possible.

If you go that route, you must hide behind the mask of being sheepish, wear your emotions on your sleeve, over apologize for breathing, and crumble at any suggestion that you’re not good enough. 

Sit in the closet and cry because your kids won’t listen to what you say. Search for other meek women to comfort you, pat you on the back, and tell you that simply waking up in the morning is being a “good mom”.

In your throes of giving up, do whatever you feel like doing, don’t give a f@$k about what anyone else thinks. Wear your weakness proudly and lessen your standards, we’re told. Be as crappy of a mom as you can be and whine about your life on social media.

I’m so tired of looking around and seeing what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. 

Aside…it’s not hard to find examples of either extreme. Just start observing. As I was working on this post, I went into a single airport gift shop and it was littered with these messages.

What kind of just “ok” mom will you be?
What are we if we don’t throw our fists in the air in anger?
Only the best moms are crabby all of the time

The feminist movement started out as a cry for equality among men. I’m not saying women should be treated like they’re less than men, but the truth is that men and women were created to complement one another, not to become each other.

The feminine is something to be proud of and fully lean into, not do everything we can to pretend we’re men, deny the way we are created, or reject the fruits of our life. We’re mysteriously created and have super powers that can change the world if we know how to tap into them correctly.

But because we’ve lost sight of what true feminism is, we’re failing to show that our strength is what makes us DIFFERENT than men, and instead, much of the time we’re trying to be more LIKE men. Or, we’re downright rejecting ourselves and our lives altogether. 

We’ve also lost sight of what true masculinity means, so we have absolutely no idea how to compliment something that we can’t put our finger on.

History shows us how we’ve gotten here. As generations experience pain and trauma, if left unaddressed and unhealed, that pain gets transmitted just like a disease. The longer the pain continues, the more skewed our personal truth becomes.

When we gradually pay more attention to our personal truth because of the pain that was passed down from generations before us, it overshadows the universal truths that God laid out for us.

There’s a certain amount of bending of our own world view that is completely natural based on our individual experiences. That’s what makes us human and unique.

However, personal truths that go unchecked will overshadow a single source of truth every time. That’s just a fallen human experience.

It’s time to be the change we want to see

Here’s when we get to the good news. Even though we’ve tried to create a polarity of what it truly means to be a woman, the truth is that the ultimate modern woman is both strong and sensitive, not one or the other.

What if instead of battling to choose one side of that spectrum – to be a bullet-proof warrior, or a defeated mess – that we challenged ourselves to discover, refine, and tune into BOTH our strength and sensitivity at the same time?

What if we challenged ourselves to seek the universal truth of how God created us to be female? Not our own definition.

What if we learned to embrace all of our femininity – the loud, soft, ugly, messy, sensitive and beautiful parts – and not fight to wear a label, and find harmony within every part of ourselves?

What if we committed to rediscover our ideas about masculinity and hold our men to a standard that matches God’s design for them instead of molding our standard to fit what compliments our skewed version of ourselves?

What if we could find strength in our weakness?

What if we could find softness in our strength?

That is the true path to self-acceptance and becoming the best version of yourself. And living into the best version of what God created us to be as individuals is what will restore society to the original design of what womanhood is.

The true modern woman is confident in her sensitivity, and humble in her strength.

It takes extreme perseverance, honesty, education, waging war with the darkness in your soul, tears, community, and surrender.

And never giving up until you are so attuned to God’s call on your life that you have absolute certainty you are walking in it at all times.

The biggest shift we need to make as women today is to stop fighting for things we think we don’t have, and to start figuring out how to become more like we are designed to be.

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Kelly Garrett

Kelly Garrett

I'm a wife, mom to 4 kids, writer, and entrepreneur. I write about the journey of discovering yourself, learning how to love yourself, and to find your elusive self-care routine.

13 Comments

  1. Liz on November 3, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    I absolutely love this! It is so very true and resonated with me. As a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom, I have felt completely fulfilled in my role. But the message of the world says I shouldn’t be – that I should be doing more and being super-mom. Thanks for your post.

    • Kelly Garrett on November 8, 2022 at 1:50 pm

      I’m so glad this was helpful, Liz!

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