They may talk of a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such bagatelle; but to me a modest woman, dressed out in all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the whole creation. ~Oliver Goldsmith
Here's something I've never understood. Why would a movement with "feminine" as the root word base it's idealogy on making women less feminine and more masculine? Did they have no idea how powerful their femininity was? How important feminine qualities are to society?
Let's go back to the beginning and see what God intended...before mankind fell and it all went awry.
Genesis 2:7 "the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." (NIV)
Genesis 2:8-19 Paraphrase: God told man to take care of the garden and work in it.
Genesis 2:18 "The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Genesis 2:19-20 Paraphrase: God brought all the animals to man and had him name them. God realized none of these would be a suitable helper for man.
Genesis 2:21-24 "So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman' for she was taken out of man.' For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."
The following are taken from "Fashioned for Intimacy" by Hansen and Powers
"They were open, naked and transparent before one another. There was an awareness that God had made them for each other, that He had specifically fashioned this union and there would be interdependency between them. Although they were two separate beings having very different qualities, their destiny was to be together...the two who would together express the image of God."
"Not a mother...not a child...not even another man who would be so much like him that he would never be challenged beyond his own nature and instincts...Someone on an equal par--his other self taken from his side--who would stand 'boldly out opposite' him and call him forth in a way no one else could."
"Divide and conquer has been an effective tactic of many a war strategist, a tactic of which Satan is a master."
"Satan ultimately purposed to silence the woman, to render her useless and powerless in the man's life."
Upon hearing that line "silence the woman...render her useless" you probably immediately think of pre-1950 when women were considered less, weaker, and ignorant compared to men. But what about now? With a society that tells women (and essentially men) that men aren't needed? Man's basic desire is to be needed; woman's basic desire is to be wanted. So what does it do to men to tell them we don't need them? It hurts them on a very deep, significant level. When someone hurts us like that, don't we usually ignore anything else they have to say? They've lost the right to speak anything into our lives because they've wounded us. I would propose that is exactly what happened.
And how did men respond? They said fine, but now we'll only want you on a superficially sexual level--and we'll embrace the disrespectful aspect of it. So man's deepest need was undercut, and now so is woman's. Divide.and.Conquer.
The truth is men and women need each other and want each other. And women have been created in such a way as to capture man's attention and that desire for woman can make them do all kinds of crazy things--start wars, launch 1,000 ships, fight dragons (metaphorically speaking), traverse crazy long distances, and challenge their very nature to be a better person to therefore capture his woman. Did you catch that? Challenge his very nature. Men and women are different and were created so to help each other become more like Christ. The tender love, caring, encouraging feminine qualities help men learn how to be vulnerable, to become emotionally intimate--something that does not come naturally to them.
"...the initial problem God identified, and for which woman was fashioned to resolve, was the 'aloneness' of the man. She was designed and equipped in such a way that she would 'surround and protect' him against, not only his physical aloneness, but also his emotional aloneness--that part of him that easily remains aloof, isolated and unavailable." Fashioned for Intimacy
So here's my charge to women: Be the woman you were created to be. You are beautiful and dignified in your femininity so wear it with pride. Men will respect you for it, and love you for it.
My charge to men: Encourage femininity in the women around you. Let them know it's safe for them to be feminine--that you won't disparage them for it but rather appreciate it.
And I'll end with this quote which has been on my Facebook profile for years:
"One of the unfortunate sequelae of the feminist movement is a lack of respect for the uniqueness and specialness of femininity and masculinity."