Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Too Much. Not Enough.

   Lately I have been hearing a lot of parents or prospective parents, in respect to their growing and/or future families, express their wishes to have only boys. More specifically, and forwardly that they really, really don't want to raise girls. On one hand, having been an extremely difficult daughter myself, nearly the poster-child for a problem girl, I understand the wariness. Girls are, by nature, a lot. In many different ways. A lot of emotion, a lot of complexity... just A. Lot. But on the other hand this notion is growing more and more infuriating every single time it presents itself to me. For more reasons than I care to delve into in one blog post... if I even could. So I won't. Not all at once, not all right now... but what I will do is provide a personal list of things I love about the female gender. Of girls in general and also of being a woman. The reasons I believe "a lot" is one of the best things a person can be:

  • There is always more to know about a girl/woman. Not only are there infinite layers to be explored, discovered, cherished... but as humans we are always changing, adding to the already vast ocean of things to be learned about a girl. Surprised by. We are walking, living, breathing mystery novels. Most of us, hopefully, without all the grisly and gruesome plot twists.
  • All of that emotion, when handled properly, lends itself to a great amount of authenticity. Honesty. Even bravery. The natural sensitivity inherit in young girls and women alike serves as a constant example of the kind of vulnerability needed in almost any worthwhile endeavor, most especially in relationships. It is what is responsible for much of the connectedness in the world. Connectedness with our art, our craft, with other people, with nature, with things, with our creator... you name it. The ways in which our world views females as weak, may just be the kind of "weakness" (read: vulnerability/sensitivity) that the world needs more of.
  • The desire for and appreciation of beauty. Lets face it, much of the (hu)man-made beauty in the world is the result of women. This is often passed off as a superficial trait. Unnecessary and therefore of little to no real value, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Things that add so much joy to our lives would be overlooked or cease to exist entirely if it weren't for this female inclination. From the care a girl takes into picking out her clothes, to her ability to point out the way the light is shining off of the windows on the side of a building in such a way as to create a temporary work of art. It is all part of what makes the mundane worth doing. Life worth living.
  • The female need to be involved in everything. It may be overwhelming on the surface, but if it's not at least a little bit flattering, then you're looking at it wrong. What's behind this is the need to nurture. We can't provide comfort and care if we don't know what's going on. And we do care. A lot. About a great many people and things. There is no limit to the concern a woman  has. Yes, it is behind worry and coddling and nitpicking... but it is also behind the way a girl picks up on your bad day and drops everything to tend to you. Her ability to detect a need before the one in need knows of it themselves. The way she can genuinely grieve with someone or celebrate in sincere joy.
  • Despite all of the body image issues, and plain old physical body issues.... all of the complexities of a girl coming of age and reconciling her lack of mental maturity with her bodies growing sexual maturity... the female body does things, amazing things. Things like endure childbirth. Pulse with ever changing levels of hormones, cope with cramps and growing pains, stretch and shrink and stretch again, sustain the life of a growing baby both inside and outside of itself. Let us not forget what all these confusing body related issues are proof of... the inhabiting of a truly magnificent, ever changing, incredibly capable vessel.

   ...And there are many many more. Reasons why a lot is not a bad thing. Reasons we should be wary to ever insinuate that a lot means the same as too much. Our world has so many of us, male and female alike, convinced that the female gender as a whole, and as individuals, is and are both too much and not enough. That is the paradox I know I have struggled with my whole life, and it is what I see in the eyes of so many girls and women I interact with in person and online. It is pandemic in our modern world, and I personally, am not okay with it. I am not okay with how pervasive this belief is. So, if you are reading this and you are a women, girl, mother, daughter, sister, friend... you are not too much. You are enough. You are perfectly complex, and you are immeasurably beautiful.

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