Unfortunately today, women are usually faced with being labeled one extreme or another. It depends on the culture and the specifics, but there is almost always a polarizing judgement made. In the Christian world, I've seen a lot of judgments made from women to other women. If she doesn't wear make-up, that means she doesn't take care of herself, and she needs to put effort in her appearance. If everyday she wears eyeliner and lipstick and the whole deal, she's too obsessed with her appearance, and the girl is vanity obsessed. If she's a small portion girl or a salad lover, she doesn't eat enough, and she probably has an eating disorder. If she eats a lot of junk food and pizza, she doesn't care about her health or figure. If she doesn't drink, then she's too uptight. If she does drink, she's an irresponsible party girl. At the college I attended, a big percentage of girls there were very conservative in the reality of comparison. Very Conservative. Levi skirts and layers on layers, which is great if that's your style, you do you girl. Don't get me wrong, if that's what you like and what you feel is appropriate, more power to you! But, at this school, if that wasn't your thing and you wore skinny jeans or tank tops, you were sketchy and immodest. [It doesn't sound like a big deal, but immodest is a seriously dirty word for conservative Christians in Wyoming. Translated into American English, it means slut.]Even outside of 400 people towns in Wyoming, there is a lot of judgement from Christian women to other Christian women on clothing. If you wear shorter shorts or strapless tops, you're a slut. If you're from Utah or Wyoming or the mid-west, and you believe in megachurches, you're a Pentecostal, liberal, charismatic. There's a million more I'm sure I could say. I'm sure that at some point, on some level, you've experienced this. You've either felt labeled, been labeled, or been the one labeling.
The one that really, really bothers me, is when meekness is taken for weakness. Meekness means gentle, submissive, the dictionary says "humbly patient". Basically you're fairly docile. I am a very meek person. I don't like fights, I am the people pleaser of all people pleasers, and it takes me a long time to truly get angry. I'm not like a limp, boring, old maid, [ok in my head I'm not, but maybe I am, you never really know with yourself...]. My point is, just because I am little and submissive, doesn't make me personality-less and I don't have anything to say. But people often see meek and think weak. They think that when they see a gentle personality, they're seeing a big pushover who's fragile and can't hold their own. Trust me, I have a lot to say and if you've read anything here, I have way too much to say. I've been to hell and back and I'm still kicking. And,I know a lot women who are on the other side of this. Strong, strong-willed, vocal women. People think that they are loud-mouthed and often too liberal for a Christian woman. But just because they're opinionated or vocal or God just gave them the ability to confidently express who they are, they are labeled for it. Kindness does not equate to fragility. Think about whatever your label is, or whatever you are labeling people. No one is a one word label, especially women. Women are so many things. It takes guys lifetimes to understand the complex spaghetti bowls that women are, so reality checkkkkk! To all of us.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
Remember that? Meekness ain't weakness.