this ought to offend some folks… that’s why I’m both afraid an excited to post this in here… I like going against the grain, but I don’t like to cause disunity and anger amongst my sistas .
So I suppose this intro is my disclaimer… if you don’t like it, fine. But don’t take things personally. If you like it, fine, but don’t use this as an excuse to dig at those who don’t.
blah blah blah… on to the goodies
This article over at CT
Finally an article that says what I’ve been trying to think of for months!
It covers that popular book Captivating by the Eldredges. Many a thread has been posted about it, and all of them are positive. That’s cool, but here’s a different idea that I think deserves some consideration.
“I worry, though, that the readers of Captivating have been sold a finicky idea of femininity–one that disregards the wondrous complexity God breathed into them.
Beware of “the domineering women,” the Eldredges warn. They describe these vixens as the kind who “room alone when [they] travel.” Who “receive corporate promotions.” And who are “put in charge of our women’s ministries.” The gall! Ironically, the Eldredges scoff at bossy women just after they quote God’s words of lament to Eve, predicting that, in the fallen world, the man would rule over her. They wrap their pronouncements in pop psychology, sentimentality, eisegesis, and clichés borrowed from Harlequin paperbacks: “How does a woman best love a man? The answer is simple: Seduce him.”
The gist of Captivating is this: “Every woman longs for three things: to be swept up into a romance, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to be the Beauty of the story.” I used to want such thingswhen I was a girl who didn’t understand how her womanizing father messed up her heart and when I fed my imagination with soft heart-porn like Pretty Woman. But doesn’t there come a time when we must grow out of the kind of self-regard that was cute when we were girls?”
It goes on. I think the author’s opinion is valid and her concerns are as well.
Do we often fall into the habit of thinking of femininity in limited terms? this goes for masculinity as well, btw. But this thread isn’t going there.
I don’t like to pidgen-hole femininity because it’s always based on perception to me. And since we all have varying perceptions… the standard also varies. The same goes for men, feminists, and tomboys. The definitions are wobbly at best and I think they deserve more flexibility.
Take, for instance, the thread about being a tomboy. Even in there we found ourselves saying “kind of, but I don’t do ___”or “yeah, I love hanging out with guys and sports and ____”… those statements are both based on what we, in our minds, picture “tomboys” to be like. Is this right or wrong? No answer comes to mind. I don’t think there is one.
But I do think that books like Captivating which declare with certainty what women really want are missing many of us and leaving us in the dark feeling like we don’t belong or aren’t the idea feminine lady. And it may make those who strive for glorious femininity (in the Eldredge’s definition) feel like they can’t slip, can’t change. I’m not sure about these thoughts though because I avoided readign the book. The premise of it does not attract me, and I feel disconnected from the content I read when I skimmed through it and read reviews and quotes. So there’s the wekness in this post… I haven’t read it.
But I’m standing on the principle of my thoughts. Womanhood is not a three-step program. Femininity is not behavior-based. Feminism is not anti-femininity or anti-G-d’s design.
I just see much more overlap than the Eldredge’s seem to see.
Leave the definitions at the door and be who G-d created you to be. And enjoy!