Friday, April 20, 2012

"It's not easy being a woman"

My latest contribution to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's new blog is online today.

Kermit once said, “It’s not easy being green.” Such is no longer the case. Green is “in.” Green is hip. Green is as convenient as purchasing the cloth grocery bag, conveniently located right next to the convenient scan-it-yourself aisle. Green is available at farmer’s markets and specialty stores and even regular grocery stores. Green is loudly touted by the media, by the teachers, by the government.

But, you know what’s not easy? It’s not easy being a woman.

This thought struck me as I opened a new bag of bread on Monday morning. As I untwisted the tie, I realized that staring back at me was a bikini-clad beach volleyball player. My first thought wasn’t about how many crunches I would have to do to try to look like her. Instead my first thought was, “Poor woman!” Here she is living as an athlete, and a view of her body that only her husband should see is plastered on plastic bags holding bread. Men, women and children throughout the country are being treated to her body while they make their daily sandwich, and her dignity, her mystery, her treasure is completely disregarded.

I managed to swallow my sandwich before heading back to my computer. Good thing too, because I next came across this story about a new app that tells its users about nearby women. The app, “Girls Around Me,” is in a bit of trouble for not seeking permission to share information from Foursquare and Facebook to alert men as to what women may be within reach.

Some may read these stories and rightly cry, “Objectification!” But sadly, many, many women view these as compliments. Many women today find their sole value in how they look, what they wear, how many catcalls they hear as they walk to their school or their place of employment. There is a lost sense of sacredness.

It’s why we see women of all ages running errands in tank tops and spandex. It’s why there is such a sense of competition between women regarding their clothes, makeup and hair. It’s why we view our treasure as our salary, our GPA, our ability to be Superwoman, instead of as being a precious daughter of God.

Read the rest on Being Catholic.

1 comment:

  1. Good points, as usual, Emily.
    I think there are two things to remember. One of course, is the most disturbing. These things like GAM app and the pressure put on women to display bodies are symptoms of a much deeper problem, as you point out. So many of us women don't know who we are. When we don't know who we are, we are much more apt to take suggestions from AnyBody, and lose our dignity in the process.
    The Second though, is that women can be at ease with their own beauty, and for some that athleticism isn't about objectification, but rather, a fulfillment of the way they use and share their gifts. It is a good thing when we as women have mercy and understanding for one another, that we don't shame other women for the way they embrace themselves, that we understand that modesty is not a rigid dress code, but rather an atttude about the human person.