tenderness & gentleness: reclaiming a love for our own gender

As a society we do not treat each living being as a precious, emotion-filled soul. We simply elbow our way through life, seeking our own desires, throwing tenderness out the window. Brennan Manning convicted many when he wrote the words, "Reverence for life is synonymous with reverence for the Father, the source of life. Human life is incomparably sacred because it mirrors divine life as no other life can."

Unfortunately, our disregard for the human heart is no more blatant than when we look at a woman's actions in regards to other women. Lisa Bevere, in her book Fight Like A Girl, pointed out that women have a complexing habit: the bashing of their own gender. No doubt we have all been in a room with another girl who complains that she hates women as a whole and only wants to spend time with men. She moans about the cattiness of women, their ruthless lack of compassion and claims men to be much "simpler." Usually, every other woman in that room will agree, nodding her head in approval as this spokesperson bashes her gender. "Amen, sister!" we say. Let's turn the tables, though. Let's say that a man is in the room and chimes in, "Well, I cannot stand other men! I'd much rather spend my time with only women!" It sounds very off, doesn't it? So why do we think it is okay to despise females?

Can girls be catty? Of course. But so can guys. Can women ruthlessly live without compassion? Yes. But just as much as men can. Are some guys simpler than some women? Sure. But some women are much simpler than other guys. So let us stop bashing our own gender and fight to become what a woman was designed by God to be.

In 1899 Edward Sanford Martin had this to say about the female gender: "There is nothing the matter with girls. No large, general mistake or miscalculation has been made about them. They are a good invention of the kind, and the kind is indispensable and has never been beaten. If you don't think so, there is something the matter with you."

Why can't we, as women, feel the same way about ourselves? Why do we feel the need to bash our own gender, claiming all women are rude and, for lack of a better word, bitches. Let us arise to our destiny, ladies. Let us claim our feminine heart as beautiful and live up to the calling set upon us.

Many women, as a result of feeling as if every woman, save themselves, are only out to stir up drama turn to men to fulfill their need for relationship. As stated before many a lady has claimed that she truly only enjoys the company of males; that women are too much and men are simpler. But, as my friends and I constantly say to one another, a red flag should go up when someone does not get along with their own gender.

Think in regard to guys: if a man's peers consist of mostly, if not all, women we instantly feel uneasy. We wonder why he doesn't have a solid group of men to spend time with. Does he not get along with other males? If so, why not? The same can be said of girls who seek out the opposite gender in friendship.

I remember having a conversation with an older male cousin once on this very topic. I was in middle school and struggling to make friends at a new school. I stated that I didn't really like spending time with girls and preferred to hang out with boys. He looked at me and gently said, "You know, normally when I see a girl who has a close-knit group of girlfriends I find it really attractive. It is a turn off to me when a woman only spends time men."

His words struck me and I have ever since analyzed and reflected on why, at the time, I preferred male company so much over female. I began to see stereotypes that had formed in my head over women as a whole, when really those stereotypes are not true of every living, breathing woman. There are some fabulous ladies out there, I soon found, and I have come to enjoy, adore and seek female friendships.

What needs to change is our putting all women in a box that names them spiteful. Not all women are like this. What is more, all women were made for better. We have simply been lied to, stepped upon and told to become ruthless and many have let this deception shape them. We need to be the essence of femininity and invite other women around us to join in the journey of becoming. Then maybe we can begin adoring our own gender again, claiming our womanliness sacred, beautiful and captivating. 

Do you tend to like guys more than girls? Analyze and access your own heart to find out why that is. How can you better treat and speak to women in order to invoke a love for our own gender again?

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