On Tuesday I heard someone say what I have heard others say now for years:
There is no war on women.
I realized, for the first time, hearing those words felt like being kicked while I was down.
Yes, I am grateful for what has been accomplished.
All this I understand and appreciate. I respect the matriarchs who have come before me. I pray for those who do not have the freedoms I have. I realize I am walking on hallowed ground when I do things previous generations had to really sacrifice to achieve.
That's why it hurts so badly when I feel beat down by those who use previous matriarchs in order to get me to shut up. It feels like I am being told, "Whatever you are feeling, just stop talking about it. The fight is over." I guess that is difficult to grasp, especially considering my history and what I am aware of.
I been through some stuff. (And I would substitute 'stuff' for another word which is more PG-13.) I watched, as my mother was almost killed by a drunk and abusive step-father. (Domestic abuse against women still exists in the United States.) Young girls are still being kidnapped and put into the sex trade. (It happens every day, right in front of all us.) Men are not judged even nearly as much by his body. Women cannot be on camera- film or photograph, without being manipulated on some level. Make-up is only the first level of taking away the natural female face. Photoshop is overused and turns women into meat. Eye candy.
This alone lets me know the war on women is alive in well in subtle and dangerous ways. But, if I am wrong another war has taken it's place. The war on standards.
I know some excellent women. By excellent I mean excellent. These women are mothers, wives, and/or sisters, and work full time. Some of these women work full time at home, cleaning, raising, and doing some totally awesome things like making quilts and other amazing crafts for the home. They take the kids to practices. They use their limited funds to put together meaningful birthday parties. I am humbled by their skill and creativity. Some of these women work full time in an outside job. They set the standard for their work incredibly high. They go above and beyond the specified task and do everything they need to do at home. If the war on women ended, women took the next step and set the standards incredibly high. They became teachers and gave 60 hour work weeks. They became ministers and took on a full time pastorate with the christian education position. Perhaps some stayed in the home, but took it to the next level. All these women, whether in the workforce or not, have been told, who they were or were not supposed to be, and ignoring it. Because, no matter what they were told they had to be, the most important was exceptional. And quite honestly, they put many men to shame. They raised their standards while men kept theirs.
I know today there are no scriptures or flashy images. It's just, I've been kicked one too many times and I finally had to cry uncle. OK, you say the war on women is over. The war on standards has just begun.