14 February 2004


Aside from all of that medical stuff, I read last night that problems with the ovaries are indicative of problems with jealousy, which I've been noticing more and more recently in myself.  Furthermore, the cysts on the left ovary are indicative "of the wounded feminine in this culture (the right ovary representing to more analytical "male" side)."

"Many women try to imitate male ways of being in the world that don't always fit their inner needs."

When I read that last line, I started to cry - a lot - like I had suddenly released.  This, I think, is tied to my jealousy of tohers.  I find that I am often jealous of women, but it is moreso the male approval that I am seeking.  Not so much anymore, but especially when I was young - I was often mistaken for a boy and sometimes wished that I was a boy, just to save myself the hurt of trying to "prove" that I was a girl.  I think in this way I learned to value the male standards more, and in fact remember a time when I was gleefully beating the pants off of one smarty fellow in my social studies class' version of Jeopardy.  I had proven that I was better than him, and therefore worthy of my womanness (of course it didn't come out like that in my 8th grade brain at the time).

This greater valuing of 'male qualities' (don't ask me to define that idea succinctly, it is more of a feeling) is especially apparant to me when I look at cultural trends.  My mother taught CPR when I was in high school and I often tagged along.  One of the things that the medical community is now noticing is that women are experiencing increasing rates of heart problems, directly realted to their entrance into the workforce.

If you think about it, since there are possibly twice as many people in the work force as there were before women left the home (now both parents work), there is simply more competition.  Even though we are as a culture slowily overcoming the glass ceiling effect, I think that girls who have grown up in this time learn to devalue their own intuitive natures in favor of a more aggressive and competitive outlook.  We are having to PROVE that we are worthy of merit.

I sometimtes feel that those tasks that I do around the house that are traditionally female chores are not really that worthy.  I should be doing them anyway since I am a woman.  It's not a big deal.  However, the more I sit with this idea, the more I realise that those things ARE a big deal - they are worthy because they take a lot of work and skill that I've developed over 23 years.  Some may scoff at the idea that housework requires skill, but I know it does.

Anyhow, I'm sure that I've come to a conclusion with this idea yet, so there may be more in the future.  For now, I'll just leave it at this.  I value the work that I do.  I don't need to prove to anyone that I am noble.  God created me that way.


Michelle Tashakor said...

I was really touched by your comments on women and housework... I agree that these things take skill and diligence and are so very important. I know that I have struggled alot with how to not rebel against wanting to do these traditionally women type things (cooking included) but I think I figured out that I had to get over the idea that b/c they were womanly tasks that I thought they were "easy" or not important. But in fact these were the things that were the foundation of order in the world (literally and figuratively). I am still struggling with this issue but have found my current issue being keeping up with the housework I should be doing (ie struggling against my own laziness rather than against a feeling of not wanting to fit myself into a category). I know that I am a much happier and productive person when I am in a tidy environment so it supports all of the other productive things that I do in this life to change the world.

Bahiyyih said...

I so agree. It's taken me all my life so far to realize that I couldn't just skip over my 'feminine' qualities as being unimportant or take them for granted. Kindness and motherly love change the world! And cooking and cleaning and crafting and making a beautiful home create community and family health. I came to realize that these things, far from being on the fringes of societal importance, were central to life. This is where it's at! I learned so much growing up when I was sitting at my kitchen table, or in the kitchen of the other mothers that I grew up with. So now I too find myself just pushing against my own limitations of energy or will instead of worrying if what I'm doing is important or not.