April 7, 2011 by Dayo Benson
Ever felt frustrated being a woman? Ever felt like men have it better and easier. Ever felt like you are undermined, not taken seriously, messed about, and Bible-bashed (the whole ‘shut up and submit’ thing, etc) because you are a woman. Well, I have bemoaned being a woman. It’s like life on the female side is just all about:
– pain: period pain, pregnancy pains, labour pains
– and instability: hormonal fluctuations, and emotional imbalance due to the hormonal fluctuations
– and insecurity: am I fat? Have I got bingo wings? And of course the hair drama characteristic of a woman’s (and especially a black woman’s) existence.
And of course there’s the good old menopause that will greet us with hot flushes and hormonal imbalance once we hit the older part of middle age.
I have seriously wished I was a guy. I have been seriously fed up of being judged on:
– how I look (when guys can just rock up in the same tired get up they wear week in and week out and still be treated normal)
– how I behave (women should be like this, or women should be like that)
– what I do (women should/shouldn’t do things like that, that’s is/isn’t a woman’s job/role/position/ministry)
Four things made me realize that my attitude to the whole thing was wrong. One, Job 1:22 talks about how Job did not charge God foolishly, neither should I. Two, if God wanted me to be a man He would have made me one. Three, my husband says he’s very happy I’m a woman. Four, I don’t actually want to be a man. I just want woman to be treated fairly (Note, I did not say equally. There is a huge difference between fair and equal. I would hate to be treated equally to a man, treat me like a woman please).
Woman Thou Art Loosed
Jesus specifically said these words and they are highly symbolic. A woman who had been in bondage for many years stood before Him representing women in general who have been in bondage for hundreds of years. Jesus came to set us free. Notice that this woman was not in this condition because of any man but because of the devil. Likewise, the captor who has bound women for centuries is the devil, not men. The devil wants us to feel inferior and to think we are not allowed to do anything other than stay home with our kids so that when God calls us into His service we will resist the call as a result of the many years we have been brainwashed into thinking that women have no place or ministry outside the home.
Being a woman has lots of advantages. I will proceed to list some of these:
We are needed
In the creation story there was only one thing that God said wasn’t good: man without a woman. It was not good for man to be alone, he needed a woman in his life; and research shows that married men usually have better health than unmarried and divorced men, they live longer too. (This is just in general, there are plenty of exceptions to every rule).
Women are needed not just as wives but as mothers too. A woman’s emotional quotient (EQ) is usually higher than a man’s and this enables her to ‘feel’ a baby’s unspoken needs, perceive a child’s emotional and psychological (and if she is saved, spiritual) state.
Women are needed economically. Women produce more than half of the world’s food, (believe it or not).
These are just a few examples that illustrate how a woman’s touch is essential to the general health and wellbeing of men, children, and society at large.
We form fab friendships. We can be ourselves with our girlfriends, laugh, cry, talk, shop, etc. Our friendships generally go deeper. Our bonding is not limited to ‘what team do you support’ and watching football together.
Well, last Sunday was my first Mother’s Day as a mother and it was awesome. I tried to count my blessings and found that they are innumerable. Motherhood is definitely one of the greatest blessings ever. Before you become a mother you don’t realise how fantastic and rewarding it is. It’s a chance to practice unconditional love. A chance to give without expecting anything in return. If my daughter gives me just one of her adorable toothless smiles it is more than enough payment for all my labour and interrupted sleep. Unthankfulness (if there is such a word) makes you see childbirth and motherhood as pain and hard work. Gratitude makes you call it delivery (not labour) and recognise it for the miracle that it is.
Only a woman can carry a child for nine months, push s/he out (almost as hard as a camel passing through the eye of a needle; and c-sections count too by the way), then shower him/her with love, attention, appreciation, and encouragement for the rest of their life. A man has neither the physical ability nor the hormonal requirements. (Neither does he have the patience or the pain threshold, lol).
Come on now, women’s clothes are awesome. Shopping for my husband has taught me that once you have seen one men’s suit you have pretty much seen them all. There’s not much variety with the shoes either. But we can wear a whole host of colours, materials, and styles; and there are a whole variety of shoes to choose from with differing heel heights, yay!!
Note: although variety of attire is something a woman can celebrate that a man can’t really celebrate, God ordained it that way for a reason. A man that matches his shoes with his ‘man bag’ has a problem.
“But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering” (1 Corinthians 11:15).
It’s great having long hair, although in my experience the longer my hair the more the stress. In fact, I admit to leaving home without an umbrella and praying all day that it wouldn’t rain. Because of my hair. God usually answers though, lol.
Freedom of Emotional Expression
We can cry without anyone thinking we’re weak, spineless, ridiculous, or gay. In fact we usually find it easier to express how we feel than our male counterparts.
We live longer
Research shows that women generally live five to ten years longer than men, and 85% of people over 100 years old are women. (And it’s not because we have an easier life because we don’t).
Women have not one but two X chromosomes. We are the double X factor. X factor squared, in fact!
It’s great being a woman. We need to ignore what society says about womanhood and all the derogatory things we’ve heard and just be glad that we are what we are. If there was no need for us we wouldn’t be here. God placed us here because He wants us to be here.
Yes, it was Eve that led the way with regards to the Fall. Yes, they say we are the weaker vessel, but it was a woman that gave birth to Jesus, it was a woman that He first appeared to after His resurrection, and it was the seed of the WOMAN that bruised the devil’s head.
Women, stop feeling inferior and less than. God doesn’t see you that way at all. Sin is sin, whether committed by a man or woman, and salvation is salvation, whether you’re a man or a woman. He loves you and esteems you. Let Him give you beauty for your ashes, love for your labour, and recompense for your pain.