There’s an old phrase that used to drive me crazy as a young bride, and that is that women are the “weaker sex.” It’s a phrase from the Bible, and I have since learned that it by no means meant that women were substandard to men, but rather generally incapable of developing physical strength compared to men.
I have, however, been told by men in my life that I am a subsidiary, that I must follow men because they have a penis and not because they are a leader. I have been told that I simply need to accept the fact that I’m inferior to them, and that my role here on earth is to serve them and their needs. Perhaps one day I’ll write about that, but for now, suffice to say that it was nasty back then.
Thankfully, my husband has helped me heal from some of the crazy talk in my past. He and I are equals. I follow his lead is some things, he follows mine in others. He’s resident pro on some topics, while I’m virtuoso on others. And all other areas can be decided by a good arm wrestle or scrabble match.
The craziness still surfaces from time to time, though, and I need to remind myself of the incredible strengths, talents and intelligence that I hold.
I stopped to read the following poem on a friend’s facebook some time ago. A good reminder of how my differences, how my innate abilities, are valuable commodities and are not to be ignored.
Woman has Strengths that Amazes Man.
She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens
She holds happiness, love and opinions.
She smiles when she feels like screaming.
She sings when she feels like crying,
cries when she is happy
and laughs when she is afraid.
She fights for what she believes in.
She stands up against injustice
She doesn’t take “no” for an answer when she can see a better solution.
She gives of herself so her family can thrive.
She takes her friend to the doctor if she is afraid.
Her love is unconditional.
She cries when her kids are victorious.
She is happy when her friends do well.
She is glad when she hears of a birth or a wedding.
Her heart is broken when a next of kin or friend dies,
but she finds the strength to get on with life.
She knows that a kiss and a hug can heal a broken heart.
There is only one thing wrong with her:
She forgets what she is worth.