I am surrounded by strong women. Strong, powerful, intelligent women.
Women who teach me to believe in myself. Women who teach me to trust my soul, my strength, my intuition, my intelligence. They teach me that my voice matters. And so does my mind.
They teach me, daily, the value of women. Our worth.
And I feel so bad for the women in this world who do not have women who tell them their true worth. Instead, they have women surrounding them who tell them yes, they’re strong, but their place is in the shadows. Beneath their husbands. Playing supporting roles. That that is their true strength and value.
Women sabotaging women. Sabotaging their own sex. It makes me crazy.
Just this morning, I was pummeled with social media posts telling me just that. Telling me that my voice doesn’t matter as much as my husband’s voice. Or really, any man’s voice.
I read one today — a letter that’s gone “viral” (it’s a virus, alright) — about how these days are surely the end of days because women are trying to be men. Because they want voices. And careers. And equal partnerships. And respect. And — dammit –authority. They want authority.
Hold up. Wait a minute.
First off, I’m not trying to be a man. I like my female parts just fine, thank you. More than just fine. I love being a woman. I have never, ever wanted to be a man. I don’t want their parts. I just want their rights.
And I want to have a voice that isn’t labeled “harsh” or “shrill” when I demand respect and equality.
Another post told me that every man wants to hear “I Trust You” when it comes to making decisions for their family. That he is the proper head of the household.
Aw, hell no.
I came from that sort of past. And yeah, that’s not happening again. Sorry, Mike. I love you, and I DO trust you. But that doesn’t mean I’m relinquishing my voice. Never. Ever. Never Ever Again.
I’m so tired of the patriarchy — especially the patriarchy that is being spoon-fed to women by women — little kernels of sage advice dropped onto newsfeeds through conservative memes and blogs. Sugarcoated with scripture.
I come from a place where scripture was used to dominate women. A place where the Books of Timothy were celebrated — books where the apostle Paul demands that women dress modestly. Where they’re told to be quiet and submissive. Where they’re denied authority over men. Where they’re blamed for introducing sin into the world. And where they’re told they can only be saved through childbearing.
My gorge rises.
So much so that when I was pregnant with the twins, I dreamed of naming a daughter Timothy. The irony and sacrilege thrilled me. I was finally ready to challenge the bearded patriarchy of my past. And the female fundamentalists of my present.
And then I learned that I was having two boys. And there was no way I was saddling one of them with the name. That would not have been ironical. It would have been pathological.
So instead, I decided to tackle Timothy and it’s patriarchy with my voice, my opinions, my blog. One comment after another. One written word after another.
And with my actions. And with my clothing. One ostentatious action and garment at a time.
And with one vote for female authority at a time.
And as far as women being saved through childbearing, that might very well be true. Because I have raised brave, strong, outspoken women. And they are unafraid to tackle the Timothy-touting multitudes of both sexes in this world.
And I’m raising brave, strong, outspoken men this very moment. And they will likewise be unafraid to tackle the Timothy-touting multitudes.
And there are hundreds of thousands more of us women — raising brave, strong, outspoken children ready to send Timothy into a tailspin.
Because we’re over being told our voices are harsh and that they don’t matter as much as the next guy’s. We’re over it.
Take that, Timothy.