Woman, Know Your Power

woman's brown eyes“Here we go again,” you might speculate, “another feminist tirade on ‘I am woman hear me roar.’” I’ll be roaring alright, but you might be surprised to find yourself questioning long-held, culturally-infused deceptions.

Ladies, it’s time to take a long look at where your life is, and where you once dreamed it might be.

One could say this rant has been a long time coming. It is often stifled, or dismissed as old-fashioned, or backward. The thing is, I can’t ignore the causalities anymore, especially after wiping a lot of tears and hearing personal stories from the wounded. While distinct, each contain a similar poisonous thread. The most insidious agent who peddles the propaganda is mainstream media. Passing the lies off as fruit which is “pleasing to the eye” but leaves one feeling used and betrayed. Sound like another familiar story? The fallout is a very confused, broken, lonely, miserable, female person. Sadly, they aren’t the only casualties.

Why do women tolerate being used instead of loved?

Why do they settle for usury sex and transitory companionship, instead of insisting on being treated as the astonishing, marvelous, mind-blowing pinnacle of creation worth slaying any dragon for?

Why do women remain roommates instead of wives?

Why does the lure of career leave one materially rich and maternally poor? Successful, yet devoid of genuine intimacy? Deprived, perhaps isolated? Unable to find a mate that truly holds her heart in complete tenderness and trust?

I’m just curious because the number of wounded escalates, and the madness continues with nary a consideration as to cause or solution. What simple modification might turn the tide? Am I being overly dramatic? Think again, look around, and pay attention.

Woman, know your power.

What power am I referring to? The power women already have to direct their present and their future. Life is not a crap shoot. Guys will not just be guys. Unless we allow it.

Allow it? That’s right, we get what we permit. Aptly stated best by Crystalina Evert, “A guy will be as much of a gentleman as you require.” Ladies, do you require a gentleman or settle for a cad? Are your sights so low that any man will do? Any so-called “relationship” is better than being alone? You don’t believe in yourself, your value, or your priceless worth, do you? If you did, you wouldn’t be settling for so little.

One just needs to pay attention to how women present themselves to discover a clue to the value they place on themselves. If you tend to wear clothes that leave nothing to the imagination, reveal every dimple, curve, or bulge, you might just be sending the message that your body is the sum total of you. Are you not more than a hunk of flesh to be seduced, devoured, and discarded? Look at our sisters in Hollywood and the example they set in perpetuating this falsehood. Case in point: the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, the MTV Awards or the Met Gala (to name a few) where the norm is scantily clad females contrasted by well-dressed men.

The truth is these women are so incredibly talented, but it is far too easy to be distracted by their outlandish display of outdoing each other in exposing flesh. They have, in the world’s standards, “arrived.” Yet, instead of celebrating their achievements, they diminish their worth and reduce themselves to simply flesh to be ogled. Designer Herrera said this about the “naked dresses” of late: “They’re trying to get people to pay attention to them. In life, there should be a little mystery.”

You mean these women are not satisfied with the millions of fans, dollars, and notoriety? They do this for more attention? What kind of attention? How they devalue the integrity of womanhood!

Things will change when women decide enough is enough. Women can’t complain about not being respected when all they show the workplace and the world is that they are nothing more than a body. Are we a gift to be unwrapped and discovered over a lifetime, or easily purchased for a drink and dinner? Men will step up if given something to shoot for. As long as they can have all their carnal needs met without having to be courageous, self-disciplined, or a gentlemen, there is no reason to become anything more.

I believe there is a man, in every man, who desires a woman worth dying for: someone singular, self-possessed, mysterious, and worth spending a lifetime getting to know.

Will you be that woman?

Barbara Lishko works full time as a Lay Catholic Marriage Minister. She and her husband Mark, an ordained Deacon, have been married for 35 years and are blessed with five young adult children, whose lives grow and expand through marriage and grandchildren.

Through the inspiration of her family, work in the Catholic Church and wacky life experiences her dream of writing was born. She is the recipient of the Diocese of Phoenix St Terese of Lisieux award. Barbara can be reached at [email protected]

  • Guy McClung

    One reason for what you see today, and why any young woman in this American culture feels she must present herself as more desirable than the “competition”, is summed up by Nathaniel Peters, Sexual Economics, First Things, July 2011: “In other words,” the authors comment, “men will work for sex. But they
    won’t if they don’t have to.” If women think that everyone else is
    having sex earlier in their relationships or that quicker sex will lead
    to quicker commitment, they tend to set the price lower themselves. The
    increasing ubiquity of online pornography further lowers prices by
    promoting an unrealistic picture of women and sex. As a Texan
    sorority-sister commented, “Men made the rules and women enforce them.”

    Regnerus and Uecker offer a compelling explanation for why that price
    falls even lower on college campuses. Today women tend to outnumber men,
    and fewer men means that, if a woman wants a relationship, she has to
    agree to the man’s terms”in other words, she has to be more willing to
    have sex sooner and on less committed terms. This, in part, explains the
    dynamics of the much-publicized hookup culture.”

    • barb lishko

      Outstanding comment. Thank you for the great quotes, which explain in part some of the root causes. I wonder too if it goes back further in the family of origin, parent relationship, father/daughter relationship? Appreciate the feedback, thanks.

    • Pax

      Another reason is that the use of chemical contraception affects the pheromones of primates , which naturally attract their mates , so that if a female is using them , they need to find a different way to attract a mans attention other then normal biology.

  • Pax

    So, what would be the number one best way to ‘require’ men to respect the power of the female person and body? STOP USING CONTRACEPTION.
    The ability that makes creatures female is the ability to bring new human life into the world. ( I recogize famaninity is much much more, but this is primal and not even limited to human persons).
    Allowing that ability to be treated like a plaything/ object while at the same time taking ‘medicine’ that undermines a healthy body accomplishes more on a pshycological level then wearing around a sign that says ‘use me’ ever would.

  • MCPhelan

    Barbara, brava. And as men we are not off the hook, simply because so few women have had their dignity affirmed enough to be immune to the revelation of the body as means to encounter men. Christian men, fast and pray for the women, and future women, in your lives now. The fact that any of us still buys the sexual revolution as a path to happiness is frankly laughable. A culture of sexual integrity among men must be built and it starts with us. Don’t blame the co-eds for your lack of virtue. It’s your lack, nonetheless. Blessed Frassati laughed as a young man at the temptations to lust–we need a culture of this “recognition of the great Joke” that is the sexual revolution’s claims.

  • juliep

    Seriously, celebrities could really save a lot of money if they just walked down the red carpet naked. And the worst offenders of the naked dresses – Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Kim Kardashian – are moms. So sad.

  • Bucky Inky

    A well-meaning article, but one that also evokes St. Paul’s image of someone “beating the air” with her fists (I Cor. 9:26).

    The problem is not that women do not know their power; the problem is that they know the power they’ve been given, but don’t want that kind. They want men’s power, are envious of it, and would rather see men destroyed than see themselves lack it.

    Repentance, not recognition of power, is key to women becoming what they were meant to be.

    • Barb Lishko

      I agree that repentance for both men and women are a great place to start. After working with teens for 11 years and now adults of all ages who are engaged, and those married seeking to convalidate, I think you may be overestimating the power grab. Women and men have been lied to for generations about the value and worth each of the sexes brings to society. Equal but distinctly, beautifully, complimentarliy different-is not what they are hearing. Ignorance of this truth is rampant.

      Perpetuation of the lies is so deeply rooted that they really ‘do not know what they do not know’. They may not have many role models actively, happily, comfortably speaking the truth in their lives. Yes, there are some militant women who are “man eaters” but a good amount of women act out of the lies the culture has perpetuated. As Christopher West likes to say about contraceptives, “they have been sold a pill of goods”