Honor her for all that her hands have done and let her work bring her praise at the city gate.
Women have been charged with the rigorous tasks of being the backbone of their homes and dare I say it, of nations. Throughout history their contributions were undermined in the church, their communities, or the corporate world due to the ego of the unevolved men who claim that women are just not good enough. It does not matter if the woman is a trifecta of power by giving life through her actions, creations, or children; there is still a glass ceiling that does not honor Proverbs 31. Women have paved their own roads toward success, which has earned them the titles such as billionaire, mogul, revolutionary and so forth to the astonishment of unevolved men. Consequently women of power give off the illusion that they are able to fulfill all gender roles and therefore the rib stands alone and not as an equal partner.
Who Run The World…Girls
Michelle Obama, Shonda Rhimes, Ursula Burns, Bishop Vashti Mckenzie, Dr. Joyce Banda, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Ertharin Cousin, Beyoncè Knowles-Carter– masters of their industries, leaders of countries, spiritual heads, and influencers that are touching lives around the world…all women! These women rose above rickety floors built by their respective governments and institutions then smashed through glass ceilings to achieve their greatness on behalf of all women everywhere. By their influence they contributed to the change of how the world views women. It is an uphill battle, however progress is being made through events like Chime for Change, organizations such as Young Women Leaders Network, efforts such as Let’s Move, and displaying how versatile a woman is in her power one stage at a time. Brute strength may not be a part of their genetic makeup, but their power lies within the gift of life through their efforts and it is to be honored.
Dr. Barbara Davis Founder of the Practical Living Institute and Project Destiny offered her thoughts on how women of color are affected in their hierarchal climb and womanhood balance.
“As an African American woman, I always believed that I received preferential treatment from senior management because of my sex and my race,” Davis explains. “I don’t think that I was perceived as a threat to the establishment as compared to my African-American male co-workers. However I experienced the most discrimination in the Christian community. There are roles I am not allowed to hold and have faced demeaning tones because I am a woman. Nevertheless, I keep pressing my way to fulfill the call that God has placed on my life.”
Dr. Barbara J. Davis
Throughout the history of the church, women have been known for taking on subservient roles; it was not until the last 30 or so years that the church has welcomed women in leadership roles in the church. Sometimes, however, these women must also fill the heavily-pressured role of being an acceptable wife, mother, and minister/pastor. Being a church leader has its own pressures, however Dr. Davis does not believe that being accomplished defines what womanhood is.
“I definitely do not feel that my accomplishments diminish my womanhood as reflected in scripture. [Referencing] Proverbs 31 as a cornerstone of a Christian woman’s womanhood, every woman would be a great manager, business person, care taker, and leader,” Dr. Davis stated.
With that said, women of power must learn how to be partners, although they can survive very well on their own.
Wearing and Sharing the Pants
I love her ‘cause she got her own.
These lyrics from R&B star Ne-Yo are an example of an evolved man who honors how a woman can take charge of her life without the consequence of losing her ‘womanhood’. When a woman takes on a leadership role she is symbolically ‘wearing the pants’ to ensure the realization of her goals. By doing so she takes a commanding position of power in whatever she’s doing, taking on what is historically viewed as more masculine traits. However, rather than these traits being masculine, they are universal examples of dominance and assertiveness that allow those who possess it to go farther and achieve more than they ever could with a different mindset. These are women considered to have Alpha qualities.
A woman who embodies the strength of an Alpha is more in control of her own fate and what choices are available to her. This in no way limits her to being the powerful, career-driven woman who never has time to make a family, or the family woman who never has time for her career. She is capable of juggling five different career-related activities while simultaneously satisfying the needs of her family, friends, and significant other–if there is one. Having that significant other adds an additional burden to the Alpha woman as she must cater to the needs of her man, especially when it comes to satisfying the male ego. Having a woman who can do for herself what a man typically does can be a challenge to some men who lack the fortitude to deal with an independent woman. Seeing her make as much (if not more) money than him, maintaining home, and looking good while doing it adds fuel to the feminist fire of ‘Who needs a man?’
For centuries women took the back seat to their husband’s/partner’s success while navigating their journey to the top and having dinner ready by 5. The truth is some men cannot fathom marrying Superwoman, they want Lois Lane; someone professional, accomplished, but more willing to be docile and submissive to his power. But does that make them worthless or powerless? No. The power lies within the support of their partner; being the mind, body, and spirit for the man they love when he is too weak. They too must be honored as their husband’s equal. It may not be ideal for the ever-evolving feminist, however it is still an acceptable role for the modern woman to allow the man to ‘wear the pants’ while she stitches them together.
As seen in the Concrete Cakes article, to ‘share the pants’ a man AND woman should be willing to embrace roles of support as a gladiator and a goddess. In these roles they will interchange actions that will nurture their respective endeavors as they grow as individuals. By doing so the woman does not lose her identity and becomes equal with her ‘Adam’.
A note to Women of Power
As a woman of power, understand that your gifts are God-given to conquer an unforgiving world; whether alone or coupled. In biblical text, God formed Eve from the rib of Adam. However it is the woman who continues to give life through mind, body, and soul. Recognize and honor your power, you are equal.