"Let us not be ashamed to speak what we shame not to think."
-Michel de Montaigne
-Michel de Montaigne
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Backstabbing. Fake. Judgmental. Uptight. Two-faced. These are some of the words I have used to describe the majority of my relationships with women in the past. Or at least, they are the words I associated with being intimately connected to a woman outside of my family. I have always held other women at a distance, prided myself on being someone who "tends to have only male friends," as though this were a rare and special trait. The fact is, I think there are more women than not who go out of their way to avoid other women. There is some sort of residual middle-school angst that keeps us from extending our true selves to other women.
I am currently reading Captivating by Stasi Eldridge, and while I don't agree with everything in the book, I do believe it has some vital things to learn about the attack placed on femininity. History relates centuries of repression and cruelty, and modern man continues the trend of the assault on Eve. Stasi Eldridge makes the point that Satan attacks Eve, not Adam, in the garden not because she is the weaker sex, but because she is the pinnacle of creation. There is something threatening about her beauty, her goodness, her reflection of God in the feminine that is too much for Satan to bear. He makes it his personal mission to disarm God's most beautiful work of art. It is easy to see how this has come to pass in the form of sexual slavery, clitoradectomy, foot-binding, burkas, and $0.70 to the man's $1.00.
But a more subtle and innocuous tool of evil is the assault on female friendship. If one woman was too much and too powerful, how much more then is a group of women together in friendship and love? Women are the bearers of peace, a reflection of God's beauty, the creators of life. Imagine the potential we have to radicalize the world if we could learn to stop being sexist against ourselves, and embrace one another en masse. What could we achieve if we stopped giving the world permission to cut women down by NOT participating in gossip, criticism, and exclusivity ourselves?
God has sent me some amazing women. He has given me an opportunity to lift them up, and thereby myself, by loving on them as He intended: as my friends, my sisters. There are some things that can only be gained in a friendship with another woman, and I can't wait to see where it takes me. Even if it means making myself vulnerable. Even if it means they won't like the fart jokes I reserved for my male friends. Even if they don't like my throw pillows or approve of my parenting. Love is vulnerability, and you cannot get anything worth getting in this life without a heavy dose of it.