Our modern feminists trumpet a proper maxim:
Women have worth.
Vigilant entrepreneurs and money-hungry Hallmarkers capitalize on our craving to be needed, valuable members of society. They prescribe little flip-calendars with happy mottos. And like a faithful Catholic daily fingering a beloved rosary, we repeat our little mantras. We post them on the fridge, write them on door mats, frame them in embossing: “I am lovable,” “I am valuable,” “The world needs me,” “I make a difference.”
But I submit that personal value is better understood through relationship. Last week I grumbled something to my little brother about the unfairness of being a girl. For years a certain 'Mr. John Smith' has been hassling one of my Dad’s daughters. And expecting him to arrive for a confrontation, Dad shooed all the females out of the house, and called in the reinforcements. So I left and my brother came. So did four other serious guys. When I returned that evening I found them still steaming over the confrontation. Mr. Smith was showing his hand, and it was just a few fries short of a happy meal. My Dad and his entourage weren’t going to let the nut near us girls. I sat down and listened to their animated replay of the encounter and their plans should Mr. Smith return. I felt very safe. Very loved. Very valued. No calendar involved.
The feminist world-view pumps the female mind with ideas of equality. “What a man can do, you can do. And you can probably do it better.” They assure us that we have the same worth as the men around us: if you can do it yourself, demand to. Carry your own books. Defend your own self. Open your own doors. You are a capable American woman. You are independent. Prove it.
Huh? When I shove the door open for myself, I make a statement about myself, maybe even to myself. When my brother holds it open, he‘s the one making the statement. Relationship. Clearly we’re both aware that I’m capable of the menial task. The president is too. Even the King of England knows how to open a door. It’s my brother’s little way of acknowledging honor and respect. He values me.
You can keep your flip calendar! I’d rather hear it from my brother than myself. I find him easier to believe anyway. And I don’t need to be independent. Last Saturday a group of guys made a strong statement that pounded past my ears and into my heart. It went beyond ‘You’re equal.’ I saw my Dad - any of my guys - ready to take one for me. Loud and clear they declared: ‘You’re worth more.’ ~ Naomi