Being a woman is hard. We fight daily for equality and respect. We want to be viewed as strong, capable, and independent–seen for who we are and not compared to the fantasy woman media exploits.
Being a mother is hard. We sacrifice, nurture, and take care of every need and demand. We work 24-hours a day and are responsible for how our little humans turn out, hoping they are decent with a natural compassion for others.
The difficulty we face as women is not news to anyone. We have fought from the beginning of time to be heard, seen, and valued. And don’t get me wrong, I continue to support this fight. However, culture is eager to take this fight a step too far and distort the truth. Our views of men have become almost hostile.
We are told men are unjust and want to tear us down. The ones who don’t, we view them as dumb and incapable humans who sit on the couch all day with the expectation that we need to serve and submit. We believe we don’t need men around at all! Society encourages us to believe that what men have to say isn’t valuable because women already know everything, and men have “no idea” what we go through or “can’t do anything right.”
I have many times adopted these beliefs. I have caught myself rolling my eyes on more than one occasion when my husband graciously offers a word of advice. I see myself resenting him when he doesn’t come home and immediately take the weight of the world off my shoulders. Here I am covered in baby drool and loneliness— how dare he take the time to get out of his work clothes and take a second to switch roles from employee to husband!
But why is it that I don’t feel empowered while I’m putting my husband down and throwing daggers at him with my thoughts? Why do I lie in bed many nights tossing and turning with a feeling in my gut that something just isn’t right?
It’s because something isn’t!
Women want equality, but instead we fight for our gender to surpass. We bash and knock down to rise to our “rightful, deserved” position. We laugh at the shows that portray the dad as the background guy who gives a good laugh but isn’t competent enough for more than entertainment at his expense. Men are portrayed as either jerks or the gender whose sole purpose is to give the woman everything she wants.
It’s easy to fall into this trap and jump on the bandwagon of “women-power,” only to leave men powerless. We force ourselves to become isolated and defensive developing a hard exterior to protect ourselves from these negative beliefs we see and often believe to be true.
Looking ahead to Father’s Day, I am reminded of the importance a man’s role plays in the family. A woman is perfectly capable of providing for her family alone. Women do it every day, and I’m in awe of the bravery and strength it takes. But men are capable too! Men are strong, protective in nature, and offer a parallel sacrifice. They carry responsibility and want to raise children who positively contribute to this world–just like we do!
Why do we set the standard for men so low? We are beginning to build a generation of young boys who won’t know how to live up to their full potential. This generation of men will be afraid to take care of the women in their lives because it might “step on her independence.” Fear will be behind every piece of advice because of the familiar phrase: “What do they know?” Finding their voice will be harder than ever.
But I desire TRUE equality. I desire to embrace what deserving men have to offer and to cheer husbands and dads on for their effort and contribution.
My husband and I are setting the example for our son and daughter. Both of our influences are valuable. We will establish a dynamic early on, and I want it to be of high value, equal honor, and deep love. My challenge comes now to turn a listening ear when my husband may have a solution to a problem. To welcome him with open arms, embracing him for the man he is and wants to be. And setting the tone of grace and respect.
For the men who are dedicated, devoted, and present: Happy Father’s Day. You are valuable, and you matter. You make a difference every day, and we are honored to unite in shared power and mutual respect.
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