Friday, May 21, 2010

what's a girl to do!?

" Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes." They will say, "Women don't have what it takes. "
~Clare Boothe Luce

I do not have a sister. I am the oldest of my close cousins and therefor I never really had a close female bond with anyone my age. I was however, close to my mother, my grandmother and my aunt Julie. So in some ways I can very much relate to Dinah's upbringing. Like Dinah I had the influences of older women and I believe that helped shape me into maturity maybe a little faster than I might've otherwise. It also forced me to think for myself and about bigger things.

The one continuous truth throughout the book The Red Tent is the bond of women. In an interview Diamant says "many readers say that they love the book because of the way it affirms the essential DIGNITY, POWER and INTEGRITY of women's lives." I had to quote her on that because I couldn't have said it better.

We, as women, all have the same thing in common no matter what. All women everywhere are connected by this simple fact; that we give life. Throughout Dinah's story what keeps her going are the women and the bonds they form; the unity of their togetherness.

The second truth I notices about her book is the changing times. In the beginning she tells the story of the mothers and how The Red Tent is a place to celebrate being a woman. As the story progresses the tent is lost on other culture. Women are seen as weak for bleeding. Their time is not celebrated, instead it is an inconvenience and young girls coming into adulthood are cast out to deal with this newness on their own.

In the beginning of the story men and women do not eat together. They do not talk to one another casually either. As the family moves from place to place and Dinah ages, they encounter other cultures. Men and women begin eating together and even working near each other in the same fields. This signifies the changing times. Feminists & women's groups discuss this book becaue it illistrates the way the world has changed and how women eventually became involved in the lives of men.

This book is based in a different time, but the changes it went through are changes that we are seeing today. And that makes The Red Tent a timeless book. The world will always be changing.

Diamant states that we have started to notice the silences in the Bible like Dinah's. Even the women whoare prominently featured are not discussed in great detail. This is true for many of the male characters in the Bible as well, but more so for the women. The point is that people are starting to notice the silences.

While the integration of women into the workplace and other such areas of the world is definately a positive thing, I think we as women have lost our connection. Being a women is seen as a weakness to many an organization. And as women trying to fit in with the men we shun our female counterparts and our very natures, in order to be more like the men. We don't need to but we feel that if we put aside our gender that we will be more valued to a company. But then we are expected to come home and be a woman again.

People tell us that forming women's groups is making us into victims. I believe that it depends on what goes on in those groups. If it's a bunch of people getting together and whining then yes, that is being a victim. But getting together to learn from other women is not a bad thing! We know that men and women are wired differently. Why are we trying to force the femininity out of our lives? Why don't we use it? We can learn from other successful women how to use our different thinking and problem solving styles.

Ladies Who Launch claim that women are not linear thinkers. We think in circles. Everything connects. You see a commercial, which reminds you of a friend, which reminds you of a conversation, which reminds you of a business idea... men don't think the same way. Nobody is wrong, we're just different. Why not celebrate it.

It's a complicated world we live in and we women have a lot of shoes to fill. We take these issues and work them every day. We are mighty.

"I am woman! I am invincible! I am pooped!"
~Author Unknown

what is your opinion on women's groups? does it make you uneasy to think of being part of one? If the answer is yes, why is that? Have you had unsavory experiences with women's groups?

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Please feel free to comment. I do review my comments to deter slander. Thank you for your consideration and again, thanks for reading. Have a lovely day! - Ciara