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Sunday, October 16, 2005

To be valued as a woman

I was watching “Pretty Woman” for the umpteenth time tonight, and it struck me…the pull of this movie is not the belief that this fairy-tale could come true…but it is in the timeless beauty expressed in what it means to be feminine and in the ultimate respect between a man and a woman.

I have come to realize that I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO BE A WOMAN. All the time spent by my Mother in teaching me how to be a woman, a simple woman…all for naught. The world around us, dominated by “feminists”, has actually destroyed the meaning of femininity. They have taught us that we do not need doors to be opened for us, we do not need to dress in such a way so as to accent our natural beauty, unless doing so accents only our “curves”, the better to ensnare an unsuspecting man. Feminists have taught us to be predatory in “love”, and to use only our outward sexuality in order to obtain power over others...both men and women.

A few years ago, I was in a relationship with a man for over 3 ½ years, and I really thought I loved him and wanted to marry him. Then I got a new job and the company sent me to another state for corporate training. There, I met some southern gentlemen from Georgia, and they changed my life.

No, there was no romantic interest…one was happily married and pining after his family, and the other was engaged and looking forward to his upcoming marriage. But just the same, even amidst all of our verbal jousting, companionable ribbing and friendly insults, they treated me like a lady. They opened doors for me, they pulled out my chair for me at appropriate times….and when they spoke of their loved ones, I could see the love in their eyes.

They helped me to realize that what they displayed for their significant others was not displayed towards me even when I was in the presence of the man I thought I would marry. It was after 2 weeks in the presence of these men that I found the backbone to end the relationship with the man who had no respect for me.

And now, just the other day, I went to dinner with a man from New Orleans, another southern gentleman. He opened the car door for me, he opened the restaurant door for me and in all things, he treated me like a lady. We had wonderful conversation and there was great respect there. I have to ask…do men respect women only if they are raised in the South?

This man, also, is only a friend…and yet, he still saw it necessary to recognize my femininity.

I apparently owe a huge debt to all you southern gentlemen for having learned your manners so well. I owe a debt, no doubt, to your mothers…because I was never treated so well by a man brought up in the North, whether as a date or as a friend.

So that brings me back to “Pretty Woman”. I watched in fascination as Vivian struggles to first purchased the appropriate clothing…how many times have I entered a store in my jeans and flannel, only to feel the same way? Then she went to the hotel manager, expressing her dismay in that she didn’t know how to act at a fancy restaurant. And the respect shown to her, a woman of the “lowest” caliber, still recognized her femininity. There she sat, at the table, attended to by men who served her as she tried to learn how to be a lady. Boy, can I relate!

She next went to the fancy restaurant, and when she arrived, she almost immediately stood to go to the ladies’ room. All of the men present stood as well, in respect for her. This scene, in particular, reached me….those men knew nothing of Vivian, and yet they stood in her presence out of respect for her very person…because she was a woman.

Personally, I wouldn’t know what to do if all the men in my presence stood up when I did.

I saw Vivian, the street prostitute, treated like a queen…and isn’t this why this movie is a cult classic now? Because we women are tired of being ignored. At heart, we still want to be treated like queens...and in turn, treat our men like kings. Manners are a two way street, and is it any surprise that our society shows no respect to either gender anymore? There is no respect anywhere…not from children for adults, for the elderly, of men for women and women for men. It really says a lot.

How has it come to the point that we woman do not know how we should be treated? The rabid feminists tell us it’s insulting to have a door opened for us…but I argue that it’s insulting to be disregarded when I would hold the door open for anyone, man or woman, rather than allow it to be shut in their faces. The rabid feminists tell us that we women are really men without the exterior equipment and with extras which are not needed…and therefore deny our very reason for existence.

Yet, somehow, in spite of all of this, Hollywood, for once, has managed to bring about a move which does enhance rather than degrade femininity. I realize that some would look at this movie and see only decadence and degradation...but I would argue that there are lessons to be learned.

Being a woman is not about being involved with a wealthy man. It is not about the silverware or the expensive cocktail dresses or formals...it is about respect for one another.

Why has our culture so lost the ability to understand and carry out actions which acknowledge respect for another person? Why has it taken me to my 30’s to understand that I have no idea how I ‘m supposed to be treated? Why am I not the only one, for I know plenty of women who feel the same way? I would like to hear from you! Men and women, both! What has happened? Why do we not know how to treat each other with respect?

And to all you Southern Gentlemen who have taught me though your friendship what it means to be valued as a woman...thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

God bless you all,

6 comments:

Jman said...

Wow, I never really looked at it that way before.

Both men and women need to do a better job. Women need to understand how special they are, and make sure they are treated the way that they should. Women are often the heart of the family and community. Women are the ones who set the tone for the society. The sad this is it seems the feminist seemed to go after nominal power while giving up their actual power.

Men need to make sure they treat women as they should. It is good for them, because it forces themselves to lift up to meet those high standard. It seems that alot of the men who have gone on board with the radical feminist wanted the lazy way out. I'm not exactly for a seperation of everything of the sexes, but it shouldn't go to the extreme of making men and the women the same.

Jman said...

One more thing.

I think it is always important to keep in mind that we are all royalty. We are all prince and princesses.

When it comes to our houses we are king and queen. The queen mother should reign over her subjects. For a good queen that means to rule with love. A man must lift himself to be the king of the household. One must remembe the power given is really just a stewardship and is not ment to be abused and should be used to help the little ones. The man must learn to be worthy of being a king and being married to the queen and not stoop down to being a tyrant. If so watch out for the Lord.

It seems unfortunant that so often you hear of men who try to use any power are cast as some patriarach that tries to dominate everyone. Then again maybe they don't understand power and where it begins and ends. They have no idea what true fatherhood is about. I guess they should spend some time with your southern gentlemen.

Adoro Te Devote said...

Jman, thank you for your responses. Not only do we all have to pay more attention to each other but we have to recognize that we are all memebers of the royal priesthood. As such, we are all valuable, and each and every one of us is here to fulfill a specific purpose ordained by God.

Of course, naturally, I speak more about women, but it is equally important that men be respected and recognized for their value. Feminism has not only harmed women, but men, as you so eloquently pointed out. Neither should bear any shame for their sexuality.

True power lies not with gender, but with fulfilling the will of God...and when feminism derailed and became Nazi-like, they undermined the dignity upon which they were originally founded. Tney have attacked everyone, especially that very soul which they purport to uphold.

They only place to go from here is up for our societies are currently in their resting place in the downtrodden gutter.

I'm tired of feeling like the floor of a taxicab.

Isn't it time, we men and women both, rise and meet the challenge God gave us?

Adoro Te Devote said...

Jman, thank you for your responses. Not only do we all have to pay more attention to each other but we have to recognize that we are all memebers of the royal priesthood. As such, we are all valuable, and each and every one of us is here to fulfill a specific purpose ordained by God.

Of course, naturally, I speak more about women, but it is equally important that men be respected and recognized for their value. Feminism has not only harmed women, but men, as you so eloquently pointed out. Neither should bear any shame for their sexuality.

True power lies not with gender, but with fulfilling the will of God...and when feminism derailed and became Nazi-like, they undermined the dignity upon which they were originally founded. Tney have attacked everyone, especially that very soul which they purport to uphold.

They only place to go from here is up for our societies are currently in their resting place in the downtrodden gutter.

I'm tired of feeling like the floor of a taxicab.

Isn't it time, we men and women both, rise and meet the challenge God gave us?

WICatholic said...

Excellent post. Many of us found ourselves in the same position. The 'feminazis' as they are called by Rush (a friend of mine always reminds us of that fact) had taken over and ultimately did great damage to us, and to men.

Merdecranz said...

St. Paul equates us all: Male AND Female, with the "Bride of Christ"! We need to discern the characteristics of femaleness that will help us become desireable "Brides" of Christ, Who, St. Paul predicts, will come to claim us as our Bridegroom!