Womanhood is hard to define, even more so in a culture that suggests that there is no inherent difference between being male and female. What does womanhood mean? Is it less or more than manhood? Is there a distinct difference?
Ascension Presents recently published a conversation with Emily Wilson, Catholic vlogger and public speaker. The video is called “What is Catholic Womanhood?” but really, Emily is addressing the question of what womanhood is in its essence. Womanhood is painful to live out when you don’t know where your identity is or who to find it in, when you are pulled in many different ways by society’s conflicting ideals of womanhood. Emily speaks to the heart of each woman as she covers these topics in her videos and blogs.
The following text includes her main points on her thoughts on the subject. The video and quotes beneath it would make excellent resources to share with young women, in a school, youth group or parish setting.
“We [women] have these inherent values of compassion and nurturing and love, that need to be brought forth from us, that need to be cultivated, and I love sharing that truth with women, that they are who they are and that they were created with this beauty, as women in the world and that they’re not like men and they’re not supposed to be like men and they’re supposed to be gearing up the femininity that they posses.”
“Feminism is trying to teach young women: you are the same as men. And young women need to understand that that is not the truth of who you are created to be. We are created to be women and we possess so many things that men don’t posses, and they possess so many things that we don’t.”
“The more we understand that, the more we’re able to carry that out and the more we’re able to say ‘I’m not supposed to be like a man, I’m supposed to be a woman’, and becoming alive in that and letting that be the root of who we are and the way we act and understanding that is huge for women.”
“My focus is a lot on identity, that we are daughters of God, and when God created us in the womb we were created perfectly by our perfect creator.”
“Our identity is in Christ, and the younger age that young people can realise that, the better off they will be throughout their entire lives. Surrendering your life to God, recognising your identity, and allowing every decision you make to flow from that has such an unbelievable impact that a lot of young people don’t understand until they make that decision. The happiest people I know are the people who know who they are in Christ, and live based off of that truth. And so once we do that, the more young people that do that, we can absolutely transform the culture.”
Questions for Reflection
1. In what ways can we, as women, seek to improve, or nurture, our tenderness and compassion?
2. Where do we find our identity? (Be honest?) Do we currently find it in Christ?
3. What can we do to find our identity in Christ?