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Monday, April 04, 2011

Like A Queen Never Crowned

Recently I attended a talk, and the man (in formation) giving it spoke of his work in ministry, work that focused on women, specifically. He spoke about how women have been treated and continue to be treated; how we deserve to be treated as Queens, to be respected, and yet, that is not what happens in today's society.

I have to admit his talk brought tears to my eyes, because, of course, YES! That is what we not just want, but need. Sure, I've had boyfriends my friends said "treated me like a Queen", yet they weren't there behind closed doors to see what really happened and what was "expected" of me.

I still recall, back when I was 19 or or 20, going with my boyfriend at that time (he was 26, I think)  to his older sister's home. She was sweet and gracious and I liked her immediately, but it was a hot, humid day and although she and her husband grilled a lot of food, I simply couldn't eat much. Still I enjoyed what I had and thanked her for it, complimenting them on the meal.

My boyfriend, though, snapped at me, accusing me of eating more when we were out, suggesting, outrightly, that I "had a bigger appetite when he was paying for it."

I stared at him, shocked, and so did his sister, as I mumbled my embarrassed, self-conscious reply that it was good but I was full.  His sister, taking no slight, clearly insulted not by my behavior but by her brother's, said, "Well...she ate a full plate, and in a restaurant, that's what you eat...a plate."  I was grateful for her diplomacy and her commiseration, for I realized she saw and experienced what I did, and was trying to both make me feel better for the abuse and gently chastise her brother for dealing it out. I'm sure she was more direct when I wasn't there - she had the air of being a good older sister, and I'm sure that had he and I remained together, she and I would have been great friends.

That said...thank God that relationship ended. He didn't love or respect me, even if his family did.

Several years later, I got into a serious relationship with a guy I thought I wanted to marry and was convinced wanted to marry me...and sometimes, I still dream about him. I always wake up aching for what was lacking.

That guy is married now, and has children, and yes, I'm happy for him. I'm grateful not to be married to him, my own personal King Henry VIII, and I pray he raises his own daughter to be respected in a way he never learned; I pray fatherhood makes him vigilant, knowing that his baby is not a member of society's harem.

Society's Harem

Although I grew up Catholic and with a certain knowledge that sex and marriage are bonded and sacred, I also grew up in a society that expects women to be part of a cooperative harem and men to be members of a pool of donors.

So  it was that I gave in to the culture, desiring to be "treated like a Queen" yet having to give in to the expectation that I act as a member of the King-Of-The-Moment's harem, for really...that's all I was.

That guy I'd wanted to marry? Yeah....he would have assumed I wasn't "interested" if I hadn't been willing to offer him everything within a month.

That was his reality, his expectation, which he'd been conditioned to understand.

I remember being shocked, and I remember, over the term of our relationship, trying to describe the importance of....waiting. every other guy I'd ever known, he wouldn't listen, he wouldn't hear, and he didn't care. If I wouldn't give it over, he'd find someone who would.

So much for being "Queen". Welcome to the Harem.

Just Another Member of the Rejected Harem

Sometimes I wonder if my struggle to know my Vocation is based not upon hope, but upon abuse. I honestly don't know what it's like to be treated well, to have a "healthy relationship", to know that being, and remaining  a Queen is not based in being lottery-winning member of a harem.

I honestly feel like my entire dating life was wasted, like a bug under glass, an experiment for some impersonal scientist who cared nothing for me as a person, but wanted me only for my pleasingness to his eye, my ability to satisfy baser "needs".

I don't know what it's like to receive flowers "Just because", or an invitation to dinner simply for my company. I don't know what it's like to have potential in the eyes of another, and I've long given up potential in the eyes of myself.

Yes, we women, we want to be treated like Queens so that we can treat the ones we love like Kings...but there are so few princes.The Princes of this world know only depravity, leaving us abandoned.

Sometimes I wonder if I only ponder a Vocation because Jesus is the only One who has not and will not abuse me. Do I suffer from not responding to a Vocation, or am I a Vocation rejected by my secularized peers?

I am not a Queen, and don't want to be so, but for the one to whom I am pledged. Life is short and my years are getting longer in the teeth...I am but a Queen never crowned, and I'd prefer to remain in this limbo rather than to give into the depravity of our society.

Indeed I am pursuing a Vocation, but I admit a huge obstacle is one of mistrust: who would EVER want me? The men I've met have rejected me, or wanted something I'm not willing to offer without eternal commitment.

They'd rather relegate me to their societal harem, along with the women who fought for freedom but found only sexual slavery in our culture of "tolerance" and "equality".

I wonder where I can find value as a human being in a society that relegates my value to be that which is contained by the pleasurable usefulness found in my chemically suppressed yet sexually enhanced reproductive organs.

How can I, as a woman, find value in a culture that pushes "female hormones" upon me to suppress life, tries to mindbend me into believing life is bad for society, and then tries to sell me on the idea that I should have self-esteem? How does THAT work?

How does ANY of that make me feel like a queen, to accept any type of crown?

I haven't been allowed to feel like a real  human in our society for a very long time.

It'a a good thing the pursuit of holiness isn't based upon mere "feeling", isn't it?

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