Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Feminism and the line it draws {part 1}

What started out as a post about feminism with several real world examples, became way too lengthy for one post.  So in the interest of length, this will become a series and this post, part 1.
Please come back and read the subsequent followups, the number of which is currently uncertain.  I welcome your input and real world examples too.

I've been feeling all sort of out-of-sorts lately.

There's been a lot going on, but what else is new, right?

It's in those times when I really "don't have time" to think deeply about anything that I notice a pattern.

The repetition of a subject in my life.  

A subject that's almost impossible to think about because it's so convoluted, indefinite, and, in some cases, downright ugly.

And I get anxious because the recurrence of a subject like this means it's probably the next thing I'll write about, or worse, be forced to defend my opinion on.  I don't really know how to write about this one for all the reasons I stated above.

But here it is: FEMINISM.
My stance on it is certainly not going to make me popular {as if I, or my opinion, ever was}.

It all started with my daughter and an issue at school over a week ago. 
At the end of last year, Sweetpea auditioned for a coveted spot on the school news team and she got it.
There are two teams, but she earned the first spot on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday team putting her on camera 3 days a week.
This is right up her alley, because she loves to perform - sing, dance, act - you name it, she loves it! Especially if it involves a stage or a microphone!

Then one day she tearfully tells me that she "might have to switch to the Tuesday-Thursday team." When I asked who told her this and why, she told me the name of another child. 
A child who, unfortunately, we have had several problems with starting in Kindergarten.

This other girl wanted to join another school activity that met at the same time as her own commitment to the Tuesday-Thursday news team.  

And, I'm sorry, but how did that become my child's issue? 

As a matter of fact, my daughter wanted to join two other clubs at the school.  Because of her commitment to her travel dance team and the news team, she had to decline.  It was too much and I am trying to teach her about commitments and priorities. 

For the sake of time, I won't give more details, but I handled it.
She didn't ask me to, although this other little girl has since called her a "baby" for getting her Mom involved.
I took it upon myself to go into the school and nip the whole thing in the bud before it got out of hand.
The end result is that she did not forfeit her spot that she rightfully earned and the administrator in charge was in complete agreement that she shouldn't have to.

As a Mother, I think one of the most challenging things is to teach my kids balance.  I want them to be kind and compassionate and treat others as they want to be treated instead of as they so often get {mis}treated.

But I have to tell you, we have been dealing with "girl-drama" since she was in kindergarten.  While my child creates plenty of drama at home, I can say with absolute confidence that she is not the one initiating this drama at school.  And, now, beginning the 6th year of school for her, I'm just DONE with it.  There comes a point when you say to yourself that "mean girls" learn to be mean from someone and it needs to be stopped.  

They learn it either because the mean, catty behavior is modeled to them, or because a parent/guardian sees it but doesn't correct it or punish it, allowing it to continue.  I can tell you that without a doubt, if I found out my daughter was saying and doing to other girls the same things that have been said and done to her, she wouldn't forget her punishment for a long, long, time.

Now I can't go and wage war against other 10 year old girls {or even their Moms}, but I can certainly become and advocate against female competition and comparison.

Here's something I came across in my research of what the Bible says about feminism and I happen to agree:
Modern feminism is a counterfeit solution to the real issue of the inequality of women in a sinful society. Feminism arrogates to itself the right to demand respect and equality in every aspect of life. Feminism is based in arrogance, and it is the opposite of the call to the born-again believer to be a servant. The modern, militant feminists call women to rise up and rebel against the order that God has given to mankind. That brand of feminism seeks to impose humanistic values in direct opposition to the Word of God. Feminism was originally a positive movement, focused on giving women the basic rights God intends for every human being to have. Tragically, feminism now focuses on destroying all distinctions in the roles of men and women.

Read more:

So what does feminism have to do with Sweetpea and girl drama? Isn't the big feminism war between women and men?

Here's my take on it...

Our society has started teaching girls from a young age that they are inferior to boys.
This comes in a variety of ways ranging from sports that girls aren't allowed to play to careers that boys are encouraged to pursue while girls are discouraged from pursuing them.

I realize that's a very simplistic view, but stick with me.

The insecurity that results from feeling inferior trickles into all of a girl's relationships.

She feels that everything is now a competition she has to win; that every situation is a need to prove herself. Even at a young age, girls feel the need to assert themselves to gain the better position.  The concept of being happy for your friends' accomplishment is quickly taking a backseat to avenging one's own disappointment.

Girls begin acting out against any other girl who has something she wants but has yet to achieve.

Unfortunately, I think little girls have witnessed too much female competition and comparison between "big girls."
That's where the problem starts, but I think it's also where the problem can end.

In my opinion, Feminism draws a line in the sand; which side are you on?

Come back for part 2 of this series tomorrow and be sure to add your thoughts or experiences in the comments.

Further reading and source list for this series (other than noted above):

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