A Few Thoughts on Femininity (and Baseball)
“There’s no crying in baseball! There’s no crying in baseball!” Can you name the movie?
Spring is my favorite season. I just love those first few days when the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the flowers are starting to bloom. It also means that baseball season is here. I am a (relentless) Cubs fan. Granted, I never know the players or the stats, but I love going to games. What’s not to like about hotdogs, peanuts, and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”? It’s truly such an American pastime.
Do you remember that scene from A League of Their Own? Tom Hanks plays a baseball manager persuaded to work with an all-women’s league during World War II, since most of the male players were off at war. He was used to working with men. In one scene, he starts yelling at a female player for making a mistake. She starts to cry. Hanks’ character is frustrated by this response. He’s not used to dealing with women’s emotions in baseball. He thereafter bellows the classic line, “There’s no crying in baseball!” In other words, ladies, man up!
That’s what our culture shouts at us today, too, isn’t it? In order to play the game of life, we’re told to become more aggressive, more assertive, and harder. More masculine. Signs of femininity are mistranslated into signs of inferiority, incompetence, or weakness.
We’re encouraged to shed our softer side and fight our way to the top. We’re told that nice girls don’t get the corner office. We’re told that we should fill the same roles as men in every area of life. We should be completely independent and shun anything or anyone who recognizes our femininity.
Of course women can be wonderfully successful in many areas of life, but consider for a moment how our culture tells us to achieve that and what we’re asked to sacrifice in order to obtain this “success.”
Embracing true womanhood becomes a strike against us. And I find that offensive to women.
We’re intended to be softer and gentler than men. We are more sensitive. Disregarding or altering this overlooks the very essence of femininity. (This is not to say that men have none of these traits, but the focus of this post is women, comparatively). Before we run toward society’s definition of womanhood, remember the benefits of innate female attributes:
- We’re nurturers. Our softer tendencies are invaluable in caring for others. This is most evident in motherhood. Our very biology points to the care of children. All women, however, are created to be sensitive to and care for others’ needs in ways men cannot. When realized, our families and communities are better for it.
- We’re relational. Women bond emotionally with others in a distinctive way. Those relationships are very valuable to us and hopefully benefit others as well. Creating meaningful connections is an integral part of society.
- We’re helpers. Instead of hardening our traits and competing with men, we have the privilege to embrace our softer side and encourage and affirm the men in our lives. Yes, this is controversial and counter-cultural. But it is also crucially beneficial and beautiful.
Especially in today’s gender-confused world, it is more important than ever to hold fast to these special characteristics.
Feminists cry foul, because they do not want to acknowledge that women are any different than men. But we are different in a very good way. God’s design for womanhood is a home run. Let us embrace it and knock our femininity out of the ballpark this spring.
Question: Do you think women have innate traits that are different from a man’s?