It is Monday, so here is my first post in my what’s on my mind Monday Series.
The past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about who I am today, and how I got to where I am today in terms of the life experiences I have had and what I believe.
I grew up in a fairly conservative environment, yet I went to public school, grew up with my mom having had a career her whole adult life, and having grown up with two grandmothers who were both strong women, yet were amazing Christian women at the exact same time. One of whom had to be a single mother and finish raising two girls on her own after my grandpa got sick and then passed away. My grandma held full time jobs, supported her children, kept house, and was active in her church. The other grandmother was a pastors wife, who was good at what she did and at least at one point in time had a job outside the home in addition to her responsibilities as a Pastors Wife. She was also a strong woman, personality wise, from what I remember she and my grandpa were well matched and each was what the other needed to bring to do what they were called to do.
Even though I saw my grandmothers and mother hold down jobs, I also saw them do the normal, cook/keep house and raise kids like they were “supposed” to do. Women are capable of being wives and mothers even if they need to work outside of the home.
So growing up I saw that, and saw that women could think for themselves, and could make their own decisions (which were good decisions), and they were completely able to take care of their own business out in the real world. For me, between how I was raised and where society was and is, there was never any doubts that I could do anything I set my mind to. I got my drivers permit at 15, my license just before my 17th birthday, I went to college, had my own apartment and had paid bills all before I turned 21. I graduated from college after 4 years, at the age of 22, I then went to New York on my own at the age of 23. I have a full time job, I pay my bills, I can balance my checkbook, I have travelled on my own, all in my 20’s and without being married. Marriage may or may not happen for me, but if it doesn’t I know I can take care of myself and am not reliant on my father/brother/other male relative to support me like I would have been years ago, or would be in other countries. I still believe much of what I was taught growing up, as far as being a Christian and all of that. I have also seen how real life can be and that things happen, like getting married later in life if one gets married at all, or a spouse can die and you don’t get remarried. Being on your own as a woman isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even as a woman, it give you the time and opportunity to grow closer to God, and the other women (Married or unmarried) in your life and to learn from them.
Even with how far we, and by we I am meaning women have come in the past 100 years in the country, it still isn’t without its flaws, and the inequities are still ever present. Like the fact that we are still only earning $.79 to every $1 a man makes, of how here in the US we don’t have a paid maternity leave system for women in our own country, women are lucky if they work for a company that offers any paid maternity leave let alone 3 – 6 months of paid maternity leave. We (the United States) is the only westernized country that doesn’t have some form of national laws mandating paid maternity leave.
Then there are the issues of Slut Shaming and Victim Shaming. Both are poor excuses if even that for men to try to get out of taking responsibility for their actions and make women responsible for the stupid, idiotic, irresponsible behavior. I believe in modesty, but I also believe some take it to the extreme. Modesty goes both ways. While it seems that females are more the focus when it comes to modesty, but guys can be immodest as well. Responsibility also falls on both sides. I also be live that slut shaming and victim shaming is a scape goat and an excuse for guys to be jerks and not take responsibility for their actions, like why should they when they can just blame their irresponsibility on a girl for how she dresses or how she is acting. Those guys aren’t men, they don’t deserve respect because they haven’t earned it. Degrading and demeaning women for how they dress is also wrong, even if you never lay a hand on them, how you talk about them, how you talk to them, and how you treat them/ act toward them is also your own responsibility, not theirs. Guys, if you want our respect don’t blame the girl for you raping her or beating her up because you are a jerk who thinks you are all that because you can cause harm to a woman or a child. Do I think women should dress modestly? Yes, but that doesn’t mean you have to look, think or act like the Duggar girls, there is a middle ground. Guys, you can learn some self control, and expect more from yourselves and take responsibility for your own actions and choices. Respect and trust is earned, not demanded.
That’s all I got for tonight all. Thanks for reading, and check back next week for another what’s on my mind post.