While I've been toying with theology a good while, and pondering the vocation of woman, I admit my blind spot is the popular culture which I avoid as much as possible. Thus, I admire this writer who has slogged through a vulgar rant to find some jewels about those who misunderstand femininity. The piece she read was called “The Case Against Female Self Esteem,” and the man who wrote it was fed up with the women he encountered. She summarises his response here:
In a nutshell, the author lists reasons why strong and confident women are repellant and unattractive. Women should be insecure, he argues, because insecurity is integral to femininity. Insecurity leads to vulnerability and vulnerability is paramount within relationships. Tell your feminist ideals to shove off! You ladies know that all this independence and confidence is not for you. He concludes with this quote: “There’s no such thing as a strong, independent woman, only shrews pleading for taming.”
The writer, Sarah Gould, then goes on to dismantle his caricature, highlighting three categories of women: the post-modern feminist (who seems to despise both masculinity and femininity) and the Jersey Shore babe (who only needs men for "sex and admiration"). Is it any wonder, she asks, that faced with these two monstrosities that he opts for the third type, which Ms Gould calls the "needy leech"?
If you are a woman and you see a little bit of yourself in each one of these stereotypes, don’t be alarmed. I see a bit of myself in each of them too and that, as I came to understand, is precisely my point. All caricatures contain a fragment of reality wrapped within scads of exaggeration. Real femininity, as God meant it to be, is a bit like all of these women. But only a bit. Women are meant to be hard and soft... I do believe that women are meant to be vulnerable. But vulnerability should never, ever be based in fear, self-doubt, or insecurity. Vulnerability should be anchored firmly in the Lord.
She has excellent insights and illustrations. I love seeing Christians take on their contemporary world to show--even in the unlikeliest of places--the ubiquitous thirst for God and for authentic companionship.
[Crikey! Looking for a modest picture of the JS ladies wasn't easy...]