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Thursday, October 2, 2008

"Why Are Men So Intimidated By Strong Women?"

"Why are men so intimidated by strong women?"

The above question was asked by a viewer of the morning show where a panel of men sat ready to be grilled. The hosts of the show followed the question up with, "would you date a woman who was a CEO and made more money than you?" That question fired me up a bit!

Let me get this straight. The first thought of what a strong woman was to these hosts was that

A.) she was career successful and powerful, and

B.) she made more money then a man.


Now you know why I got to thinking about how we perceive strong women in our culture. Many people automatically think that a strong woman is a career driven, money-makin', business woman. I don't define a strong woman in that way, and according to the comments I received, many of you don't either (whew!). Not to say that a career driven woman can't be strong, she certainly can, but she can also be weak. A housewife who raises her children, takes care of her home and her husband is no less strong; in many cases she can be considered even stronger. Why?

She knows who she is and therefore doesn't need approval from the world about what success is. She is grounded. She chooses the often times hard and lonely path of putting her family first by raising little ones (completely exhausting and many times monotonous), taking care of kids in general, scrubbing floors, changing diapers, etc. day in and day out. Let me say that again. She sacrifices herself and her desires so that she can give her family the best, and she does this willingly everyday. That takes strength.

Here is an excerpt from a comment I received that I think sums up true strength:

"...strength to be gained is a wholeness that consists of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical strength. A strong woman is a woman of character. Not all have the same personality but all strong women of developing character have what consists of service with love and kindness through giving selflessly."

I'm thankful that so many of you think outside the cultural box.


Kimba said...

A beautifully and thoughtfully written post. I will always remember some of the comments when I announced that I was leaving the workforce after the birth of my first son.

One of my coworkers asked me if I thought it would be difficult when I wasn't contributing to the family. WHAT????? I mean I know what she meant...she was referring to a financial contribution but I think it said an awful lot about what she viewed as valuable. Very sad.

I just realized that I never responded to you about a PSU game. I haven't been up for a game in years. I asked my hubby the other day if he would be interested in going (he went to Pitt - so sad). He's interested so we may try late in the season. I'll let you know if we're able to come because I would LOVE to get together.


Anonymous said...

I didn't think of myself as a strong woman until I had to raise an infant, a two year old and a 4 year old in an RV for a year an a half as my husband and I slowly foreclosed on our "fixer upper". I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. It taught me that I could do anything and had nothing to do with financial prowess, career success or attaining a position of power. It had everything to do with depending on the Lord. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles they shall walk and shall not faint." This culture doesn't understand that admitting weakness and depending on the supernatural strength that God has promised is way stronger than self sufficient individualism.

HeathahLee said...

I think I don't see myself as a strong woman because I see so many of my faults. I am one of those that have left the workplace to raise my child, even to the point of homeschooling him. There are days when I just want to give up, put him in public school, and go back to work because it seems easier! I know my total dependence is on the Lord, so while I in my flesh am weak, He is my strength. Thank you, Sarah Mae, for letting me see myself from a different perspective.

Anonymous said...

I think strength has little to do with what you do as your profession. The quote was perfect...it has to do with character and having a servant heart. That can be found in the workforce or at home.

It's how you deal with life circumstances, how you serve in whatever you do, how you love your family etc.

I know women who are stay at home moms that I would not consider "stong" women. I also know women who work that are not "strong"

You can find strength in women of many kinds. Don't judge strenth by profession. For some women, its not an option to stay at home...some of them are single moms that are mopping their floors at midnight just to get it all done and have time for their families.

scargosun said...

You totally rock SM! I really liked your thought process on this one. I was irritated at myself for not coming up with a good answer to the previous post about what WE thought embodied a strong woman but I NEVER in a million years would have equated a woman's strength to how much power or money she had. I guess that the host asked the questions she did becuase that is how a MAN would percieve strength. If that is the case, I get it...not crazy about it but I get it.