I ask this question to cause thought and prompt responses from you dear readers for my own pondering ………
I’ve recently been considering “what makes a woman a lady?”
I’ve reached that phase of life where I could become a grandma at any time and that has reminded of my own Grandma and Nanna, who they were and what they stood for.
Both women were beautiful, elegant, kind, loving, well spoken, well dressed, to a degree ….God fearing and most definitely, both were true ladies. Both women taught me practical life skills and spiritual lessons. They had the classic traits, I would say, of real ladies.
They came from a different era though, their only concern was to keep a good home for their families and attend to their working husbands. Once married these women did not work outside the home any longer. Their work then involved house chores, making clothes, being frugal with limited funds, cooking nutritious meals and educating their children on how to survive in the real world. Most importantly – they made happy families and they were admired and respected by their children and grandchildren. They had TIME to perfect all aspects of their feminine ways.
I ask myself:
“Were women more ‘ladylike’ then?”
“Were families more stable when women were at home to raise children with morals and guidance?”
“Are women less ‘ladylike’ now that they have to compete in the workplace, sometimes struggling to be heard and recognised as equally competent as a man?”
In the modern world women have to hold down successful careers, manage our homes, share the raising of our children with other care givers, look after our husbands and all whilst being amazingly fit and well groomed. The Pressure is on us ALL THE TIME.
Women have fought tirelessly to be recognised as equal to men both in the work place and in the home ……..and quite rightly so. We SHOULD get the same pay for the same job, we SHOULD have the same rights. We SHOULD work if that is what we choose for our life.
Does that so called equality come at the cost of being a real ‘Lady’?
Should we even be concerned with being a ‘Lady’ in this day and age?
Are children suffering because women are working just as long and hard as our men?
From my experience:
I have worked nearly twenty years in the construction industry………. I have had to be hard faced and constantly had to push myself forward for responsibilities as a ‘feeble’ woman, I have had to adjust my behaviour to be more like ‘one of the lads’ in order to be accepted and listened to and I have constantly been referred to as the ‘the bird from Charter’ – I have forsaken my ‘Lady’ at times in order to fit in.
My Children spent more time with other care givers than with me, ergo other people’s views and behaviours have had a major influence over their education and world view rather than my own.
I was tired and stressed most of the time when I was at home because that was when the chores needed to be caught up on. As adults both of my children said they missed me when I started working full time. I thought I was setting a good example but all my children wanted was for me to be there after school for them. I thought I was teaching them a work ethic but what I actually taught them was that work is more important than being with my family……. And I can’t go back and change that now.
As a young woman I wanted ‘equality’, I wanted the same rights and the same pay as men. I wanted to be super woman, super mom and super wife. I wanted to be the perfect example of a modern woman.
As a middle aged woman who’s raised her children, I now reflect; what I’m left with is a sense of sadness.
I’m sad that I put so much effort into being accepted in the workplace because, I am in actual fact, no more equal to men in the construction industry now than I was twenty years ago, my children went without my love and guidance and instead took that from other people, my health suffered because of high stress levels and among all of that I have mental health issues that have come with me from childhood and been exacerbated by happenings in my adulthood and my continued desperate need to fit in, to be accepted and to be loved.
I feel like I sacrificed my most precious offering of feminine nurturing and care for my family, in order to fit what the modern world expects of women. I feel like I was less of a lady because I was busy trying to be equal to men…..when I already am!
If I could tell my younger self anything it would be:
“Stay home while your children are growing up, be a real lady, set a shining example of love and femininity in the home because there is NOTHING wrong in that”
Is a woman less equal to a man because she is feminine, or a stay at home wife/mother? Hell NO!
Whilst I am all for women’s rights I also recognise that the natural role of men and women is clear. Women were made to be the nurturing ones, women were made to be the child bearers, the care givers, the teachers, the home makers; physically, emotionally and psychologically women were designed to do these things and we do them best. Likewise; men’s bodies are stronger for working/providing, they are designed more toward logic and physical work. When you bring the two energies together………. then perfect balance and harmony is possible.
When both parties are clear on what their role is within a relationship there is less discord and confusion. Without the blurred lines of what is expected from modern men (metrosexuals) and women then a lot of tension can be removed.
We’re not less than men, we’re simply different from men, we should be PROUD of the differences.
I’ve come to believe in my journey and experience that the natural order seems to work best: Families work best when ‘mom’ stays home and has the time to fulfil her role of care giver, teacher and nurturer and is not taken away from it by the pressure of having to work.
Likewise a ‘man’ can go to work and earn the money and come home, relax and enjoy his family time because he’s not being ‘hen-pecked’ to do chores because his wife is tired from work also.
I realise that this may seem to be a controversial opinion in this modern era and could inflame some sensibilities. However I strongly believe that women are NOT LESS THAN anyone, especially men, because they choose their natural orientation of being a mother and a wife.
I wish I had chosen this route instead of believing that I had to be ALL things.
Maybe my children would be more balanced, maybe I would have struggled less in life; one thing is for sure though, both I and My children would have been happier if we had followed a traditional family situation.
I essentially would feel more like a feminine ‘Lady’ had my role of Mother and Wife been prized and valued above the male energy oriented role of being equal bread winner……..a role that societal influence made me believe, as a young woman, was the proper ideal of a modern woman.
In other words the ‘in your face’ feminism and ‘Women’s Rights’ beliefs adopted from media as a child growing up, actually made me feel less than a lady, in fact made me feel that simply being a woman is not enough when ALL along being a woman has been my most precious gift to the World.
I don’t have to work a particular job or earn a particular amount to be equal to a man because quite simply: Women and Men are already equal in their birth rite to existence and following the natural roles of who we were designed to be does not make us in any way weak or less than.
We work best when we work in unison and we each have clear understanding of our role.
What are your views?
I’d love to hear thoughts that are opposing to my own (to open my mind) and indeed I’d also love to know if others agree
Love & Peace – As Always
(Please note: This article is written from a heterosexual viewpoint but the crux of some arguments could be the same for same sex relationships where there is female/male energy dominance in the partners)