What Is Womanhood?

“Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” ~ Proverbs 29:18

What is womanhood? What does it mean to be feminine? Is there an unchanging standard for the woman’s role in the world? These questions puzzle us more in our modern culture than perhaps ever before. We run to the bookstores every time a “groundbreaking” new book or study comes out, hoping that we’ll find enlightenment at last. We vacillate wildly between enjoying chivalry to taking offense at it. One group of women finds it thoroughly delightful to have a man open the car door for them, while another feels insulted by such behavior. Our culture tells us that it is a “waste” of talents and brains to stay home and raise children, but something deep in our souls tells us it is meaningful, beautiful, and intellectually challenging. And the countless millions of successful mothers who have gone before us cry out from history’s pages. Our foremothers in centuries past did not seem to have quite the same identity crisis that we do today — or at least not to the same degree. Our supposed “liberation” in the 21st century doesn’t seem to have freed us; rather, it seems to have bound us into a straight jacket of tormented doubts about what we are doing as women. Is there an answer?

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