I absolutely have to respond. The video I saw on the news yesterday really angered and saddened me. The little girls dressed in princess gowns were so beautiful – until they opened their mouths.
Earlier this week, a for-profit T-shirt company based in Ohio released a video advertisement called “F-Bombs for Feminism: Potty-Mouthed Princesses Use Bad Word for Good Cause.” The ad features five angry girls, ages 6 to 13, who express outrage at society’s sexist treatment of girls and women while decked out in princess attire. The ad was actually banned by YouTube, but has since been reinstated.
I have something to say about “F-Bombs For Feminism.”
If there is anyone who could have been a poster child for the “modern woman” or “feminist movement,” it would have been me.
I grew up a bossy girl. The oldest of four children and the boss of my mother (or so I thought), I was too big for my britches. I had a lot of opinions, a demanding presence and an outspoken mouth. While “bossy” may have been classified as “leader” by well-meaning people who loved me despite myself, no one really wanted to follow me. I had few friends and no influence.
Then, I joined the Army. I was in my element. I finally had a role where bossy was tolerated and even applauded by my leadership. They saw me as someone who could get things done, and it was a trait they appreciated. My fellow soldiers – not so much. They saw me as obnoxious and annoying.
I’m afraid I didn’t inspire too many of them or command the type of respect that would encourage them to follow me, so I relied on what I had going for me. I was a “strong” woman in the military, and I was going to excel! I worked my way through West Point, earned my degree in Engineering Physics with a Nuclear Engineering track and eventually became an Apache helicopter pilot.
I thought I was hot stuff. I had excelled in a man’s world and to do so, I had to be better than all of the men around me. But I was empty inside and lonely. Something deep within me was not being met. I wanted relationship and love and acceptance, but I didn’t know how to get it. Instead of inspiring people to love me, I demanded it. When things didn’t go my way, I rebelled, manipulated, pouted or retreated.
I longed for a loving relationship. But I was no damsel in distress who needed a man to save me, rescue me, or to complete me. Really it was Him that I needed (and yes, I am speaking about Jesus) to complete me. Walking that road from femi-nazi to understanding what God wanted from me as a woman has been incredibly rewarding.
I now understand that obnoxious words, self-promotion or posturing language do not demonstrate true female power and feminine strength. I know from experience, all of this false bravado is really grounded in insecurity, hurt, and unmet expectations. It is meant to serve as a protective hedge around wounded hearts. That makes me sad because the God I know is the God who allows us to be strong in our vulnerability. He frees us by meeting our needs and healing our wounds.
I have learned that real feminine power comes from the ability to demonstrate unconditional love and grace to others, whether it’s returned or not. I have come to understand the incredible strength it takes to be a submissive wife and the godly wisdom that is found in the marriage relationship. I understand more fully the power that I have in Christ to pray for others in my life. I know now to trust Him to work all things together for His glory and our good. I speak a lot less about myself and focus more on my actions – What am I doing, and how am I being a woman that glorifies Him? When I abide in Him, I abide in the true strength and power that lasts – meekness, love, humility, grace, and forgiveness. True strength and power comes from the Spirit within us.
I pray to God that women, mothers, daughters, sisters and girlfriends will encourage each other in this knowledge – the true source of our power, our God. I also pray for the girls and families represented in the “F-Bombs For Feminism” video. Femininity is not our weakness, it is our God-given ability and responsibility to be His love in this world.