This is a follow up to the previous post. A young man on the internet wrote a thoughtful piece called “Where Have All the Beautiful Girls Gone?” In an effort to highlight the differences in the ways we talk about women and men, I swapped the genders of his essay (and made no other edits) and posted the result here. Today he posted a follow-up piece directed towards men, found here. Below is the result of swapping the genders that essay as well. My purpose is not to be antagonistic; merely to analyze the way we talk about females and males differently, if at all, especially in the LDS Church.
Where Have All The Women Gone?
[Original paragraph from the author: Yesterday I wrote a piece about women. It drew far more flak and debate than I ever imagined. I was going to wait a week to write the follow-up, however, due to the massive response I’ve gotten from it, I decided to not wait, but to write my thoughts about men today.]
Where have all the women gone? This to me is a more pressing question than my previous one. Why? Because women are charged with the safeguarding of manhood. They are charged with protecting masculinity. And where are those women who do? Around me I see a degradation of the role of men in the world. This is due partly to men’s efforts to become more like women, but a lot of it is due to women not doing their duty and protecting men.
A real woman understands the divine role she plays on this earth. She understands that she is to protect and cherish men. For this she must be strong. She must be physically strong. Women are endowed with a greater physical strength than men. Too often this strength is used to control men. This is unacceptable. Women need to be gentle with men. With greater strength comes greater responsibility. A real woman is gentle and kind. She will protect men physically and emotionally. She does not “play” men.
Women need to be mentally strong. She needs to develop her mind and cultivate intelligence. She needs to learn to think critically and engage in teaching herself. Not everything can be learned in the classroom. The woman will understand this and engage in learning many things on her own to improve herself. She will listen to the opinions of others and weigh their merits objectively. She is not blown about by the opinions of the world. She can anchor herself, but she is flexible enough to change when it is expedient.
Women need to be emotionally strong. Life is hard. They need to be strong enough emotionally that they can hear the problems of others and be empathetic. They are even-tempered. They do not get angry easily. They can handle disappointment and hardship. They don’t project their anger or disappointment on others.
A real woman knows humility. She is not God’s gift to men. She recognizes that she has much to learn as well. She knows her imperfections and she is striving to be better. She accepts correction and counsel without getting defensive or angry. She thinks not of herself, but of others and how she can serve them.
A real woman is refined. She practices courtesy, especially towards men. She will be chivalrous, though she will be understanding to those men who may not appreciate chivalry. She has good manners and she practices them. She is refined in a cultural aspect, too. She appreciates the arts. She can see beauty in both woman’s creations and in God’s creations.
A real woman has integrity. She has high standards and she will not compromise them. She is honest and forthright. She understands the power of a good name and she will strive to preserve her good name. She does not keep secrets that can damage relationships. She strives always to live so that those around her may trust her without reserve. She does not get involved in pornography or any other activity that degrades men and destroys their trust in her. If she does get involved, she gets out and fixes the problem. She will not objectify men, but will see them as divine sons of a Heavenly Father. She will treat them how their Father expects her to treat them.
A real woman is loyal. There seems to be an ever increasing number of women who are not completely faithful to their husbands or their sweethearts. There are many who do not stick around to raise their children or provide for their families. There is more to providing than just money. A real woman will give her time to her children. Her children will know that she loves them and loves their father. They will never fear her. They will never dread her coming home. She knows that her family is her first priority and she provides for them not just monetarily, but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. She will never compromise her marriage. She will not have a “roving eye”. She will give herself fully and completely to her husband and there will never be a “someone else”.
A real woman knows balance. She understands that there is a time to work and a time to play. There is a time to go out with the gals and a time to be at home with the kids. She knows how to manage her time and she knows that the most important things in life are not things. The most important things in life are people. Her relationship with her husband comes first, as also her relationship with her kids. She knows that the marriage relationship is between a wife and husband and God. She makes certain to keep God as a partner in her marriage.
Real women strive to emulate their Mother in Heaven. They are Her daughters and they know their role in this world. They cherish and protect men and fulfill their duties. They strive to develop a close relationship with their Mother so that She can guide them in how they are to be better women. They are never ashamed of the gospel. They are never ashamed of the Priestesshood. They use the gift of the Priestesshood to bless the lives of those around them. She obeys the commandments of her Mother and heeds the counsel of Her prophets. She lifts where she stands.
A real woman is always striving to be better and actively develop these attributes. Where are all the real women?