Sometimes it sucks being a woman in a religious town.
I can sense the times when I make men uncomfortable. I would like to host a public showing of Yentil and let everyone know this shit is still real. I can’t tell you how many times I identify with the scene where she’s taping down her breasts.
What is it that’s so terrifying about women? Wild men like us. Of course, some just see us as meat that make them salivate. But some men look us in the eye and see strength and value and worth and want to get to know us.
I love men. I love their strength, and that sometimes they call me up into more than women can. Not always, but sometimes. My favorites are the men that let me be me and have my back no matter what. I guess those are my favorite People overall, not just my favorite Men.
I have strength that I enjoy sharing with men. I think the men who can only get strength from other men are missing out on at least half the story. I have nothing to support those claims…100% biased opinion is all you’re getting from me on this topic.
That and the creepy feeling I get sometimes when I’m around a group of conservative christian men. Get them around feminine beauty and they don’t know where to look. They can admire a sunset, the river, but the beauty in women makes them sweat. Sometimes I can tell my tank top makes them uncomfortable, which makes me uncomfortable, but I’m workin’ on it. It’s the same suffocating religious thing as in other countries: “Cover Up.”
How many men in this world are scampering around insisting that women cover up rather than walk through the process of the mess of what’s in their hearts? HEY! THERE’S FREEDOM ON THE OTHER SIDE. PLEASE, QUIT INSISTING THE WE STAY FAR AWAY SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH YOUR HEART. You’ll never get to freedom without going across to the other side. Your boxes will grow increasingly smaller if you try to control your life (and others) with the hopes of controlling yourself.
I enjoyed the perspective of Jon & Staci Eldredge in their book Captivating. They suggested when men are interacting with feminine beauty they can pursue wisdom by asking, “What is she trying to tell me about god?” (my paraphrase) I also believe that for something to become living and organic, it needs masculine & feminine strength. So there’s that.
But no, instead of exploring…and yes, possibly getting into the mess we must
“Cover Up The Women!”
Lest you look into her eyes, look into her soul, and see the frightened, lonely animal hiding inside yourself. She offers comfort. She offers her beauty. She calls to the strength, buried & forgotten. There is a depth to her love that goes beyond romance. Contemplate the fierceness of her love, (is it okay?) the beauty, (is it good?) and don’t forget the scandal, that god clothed himself in humanity: male & female.
We have equal roles to play in this grand story. We both are allowed swords. We both have a fire burning in our chest. We are not on the front lines because of, or in spite of, our gender. Our love determines the rank.
I am on the front line because I am faint with love. My forehead is like flint. My face is splattered with blood. My hair is down and I’m wearing a tank top.