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Femininity is a Gift from God

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Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (c. 1641–42) by Diego Velázquez

In modern society, where the word ‘love’ is spewed so frequently and with broad meaning, it is appropriate to question its sincerity and fruitfulness. There is no doubt that the definition of love is far deeper than our secular world projects and it encompasses a higher purpose than feelings and emotions. This is evident in the common misconception of modern love, while the daily practice of hospitality and civility is lacking. Love for one another should include the aspect of acknowledging what is best for every individual under the umbrella of Truth, with kindness and manners. There is no doubt that common decency has reached its all-time low in modern society, as love oftentimes becomes a catch-all phrase for justification of sin and falsehoods. Yet, when the Truth is spoken in genuine kindness, the secular world shrinks from these chords and attempts to rattle discord, especially among the voices of women. But when the truth about femininity is brought to women, who had originally molded their beliefs based on popular opinion, it is experienced with dissonance. They are suddenly reorientated to the understanding that there’s more to femininity than the secular world purports. is the truth about femininity is that that femininity is not a hindrance, but an endowment. It is the cornerstone of a woman’s heart, it is beauty and goodness, but it is ultimately sacrificial love without reserve.

A philosophical defense of femininity by Dr. Alice von Hildebrand

God created man and women as equal, but with apparent differences that are essential in the progression of humanity on a functional level, but more importantly, on a spiritual level – with eternity as the overarching goal. There is no doubt that the sexes complement each other and have critical roles to play for future generations and the salvation of souls. Women specifically have been given the refined gift of femininity that cannot even be deciphered by the most ardent of philosophers – though Alice von Hildebrand was quite poignant on the subject in her book, Man and Woman: A Divine Invention. “When piety dies out in women, society is threatened in its very fabric, for woman’s relationship to the sacred keeps the Church and society on an even keel.”

It is virtuous women, who treasure the Truth and uphold its sacredness, that can redirect the world’s destructive path. True femininity can only be understood on a supernatural level, for without seeking God’s purpose in the heart of women, only misconception will result. It is easier for Modernists to define a woman with a worldly definition than attempt to uncover God’s intent for the female sex on a supernatural level.

It is common in the 20th and 21st century to superficially outline a woman’s role and designate or obliterate her purpose on this earth. Whether the argument is regarding careers, personal choices, or placement in the Church, the constant battles fail to acknowledge the fact that women are incredibly unique in their internal and mental make-up. Men tend to have clear-cut dispositions with a focus on the theoretical. But women have inclinations towards nurturing, self-sacrifice, and receptivity, with the ability to mold the world towards good or evil. As in recent commentaries, society finds it difficult to define these distinctive female traits, and too often shuns these gifts as inferior because they are not understood.

God does not give without purpose, and this can most definitely be observed by contemplating the distinct qualities between a man and a woman. Femininity is one of those distinct gifts intentionally bestowed by God on women – it is a “softness” that offers the world a glimpse of hope amidst theoretical hardness. This “softness” that thrives in hospitality and civility, oftentimes admired by men, is not a sign of a woman’s complacency, but of her femininity. It is a gift from God strategically placed in the heart of a woman for the good of mankind. Rather than attempt to define women and restrict their purpose in this world by their careers or vocations, it is time that they are regarded in terms of their heart. It is the heart that truly knows how to love, and the heart of a woman seeks to return true love without reserve. There is some truth in the statement that motherhood is the beginning of a woman’s life, but it is not the only beginning – for women undergo multiple “rebirths” during their lives. This is difficult to understand if one has not undergone such transformations, but every time a woman has an opportunity to love, it is the beginning of a new life for her – whether that is through the love of her family, her husband, her children, friends, or even strangers. This is the basis of women and the gift of true femininity. It is inconclusive to diminish women and define them based on worldly accomplishments or measured up to the achievements of their neighbor, for no two women are alike and without acknowledging these fundamental aspects, women will continually be misunderstood by secular commentaries. The comfort is knowing that God understands the womanly heart and her need to love, which is ultimately sacrificial.

It is a fruitless endeavor to define femininity in terms of worldly power and to do so is only harmful to women. The uniqueness of a woman lies in her heart and her ability to love. However, there is always a choice – to love with a true heart, or to ignore those inner desires and focus upon secular endeavors rather than supernatural. This is the dividing line as society continually strives to narrow-mindedly place women within certain confines, but she is much more intricate (as a beautiful piece of lace) than any statements can describe. To define a woman based on her career, vocation, or education is limiting and erroneous. Rather than jump to conclusions and assume that statements appreciating femininity, homemaking, and motherhood are demeaning, it is more charitable to acknowledge that sometimes words never fully describe the affection that lies in the recesses of a person’s heart and their desire to offer gratitude. At times, words can be superfluous – each one is limiting – and that is the opposite of a womanly heart, for she loves beyond measure and with each new role she undertakes, God offers her additional opportunities to love and sacrifice. This is true femininity, to seek beauty and goodness, while recognizing that there are no limits to the heart of a woman.

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