Women.

I am a woman, and I think women are wonderful.

But I don’t think society thinks that. Actually, I know that.

Well, maybe it does but only for our bodies. Only for the pleasure of men.

Women’s bodies are so sexualized. It has always perplexed me as to why men can freely walk around pretty much anywhere without a shirt on while women are continuously put down because they’re wearing a bikini, sports bra or crop top. It’s always bothered me that dress codes disproportionally affect women. It’s ridiculous that women are criticized for breastfeeding in public. People get so offended over women’s bodies being exposed, and we wonder why young women are so at-risk for eating disorders.

It’s because A) women are blasted with photoshopped images that are literally unattainable and B) their bodies are continuously viewed as objects and nothing more.

In fact, maybe we could just stop that sentence at viewed. Women’s bodies are looked at and noticed while men’s aren’t. No one notices when a man gains five pounds or if they do, they don’t care. No one cares what a man is wearing. The attention always goes straight to the female body in the room.

And we are confused to why rape and sexual assault are so prevalent?

I’m not. It’s because everything we do teaches boys that girls are objects made for them instead of human beings.

Because we tell each other that women are only valuable because they are a daughter, sister, wife or mother. We are only valuable because of our relationships to men. We are only valuable if we look good enough. We are only valuable if we are the right amount of feminine and nothing less and nothing more.

But that’s not true.

We are valuable. We are loved. We are important. We can contribute. We are capable.

Simply because we are humans.

Our identity is not found in the men who surround us. Our identity is found in Christ.

We are able to do so much more than society tells us we can do. We can do anything because Philippians 4:13 doesn’t just apply to men .

And it would be really cool if men would stop getting in the way of that by telling us we can’t. By not supporting us. By using our bodies for their pleasure and telling us that it is the only valuable thing about us. By catcalling. By raping. By making us go home and change instead of staying in class to learn. By pointing at a picture in a magazine and asking us why we don’t look like that. By telling us to stop feeding our babies. By mansplaining. By telling us our sexual assault was our fault.

And I could go on and on and on…

Think of how beautiful it would be if all men stood behind and with women instead of in front of them blocking their view. Gosh, that would be amazing. I can’t wait for that day.

I’m so privileged. I have not been pushed aside like too many women have, and my heart hurts so badly for them. I want them front and center. I want them to accomplish everything they want to do. I want them to never go out at certain times or to certain places in fear of their safety. I want them to always be consensual in every sexual encounter. I want them to get paid the same. I want them to wear what they want and be who they want. I want them to live to their full potential. I want them to live how God intended for them to live. And I don’t want anything to hold them back. Especially men.

For both of our sakes.

Women are wonderful and beautiful and amazing and I want the world to know that. To see that. To agree with that.

But not just for our bodies. And instead for our hearts, brains, souls. Because we are breathing and here and deserve to be loved. We deserve to be heard. Because we are human just like men. Because society literally needs us to survive.

Women, remember that you are powerful. Please don’t ever feel like you’re not good enough because you are. You are, I promise. You and your own special gifts and talents can do anything and don’t forget that. Don’t allow anyone to stop you from doing your calling. Don’t let anyone stop you from following your dreams. If a woman hasn’t done it before, you can be the first. We were made for more than having babies, getting married and cleaning the house even though those things aren’t inherently bad. We were still made for so much more.

I want you to know that it’s okay to be a woman. I know it sucks sometimes. I know we have to be the ones who get pregnant, have babies and menstruate. I know we are looked at as the lesser half even though that’s the furtherest thing from the truth. But we’ll be okay. We can push through. It’s not going to be easy but we can survive because we are strong.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.

Psalm 139:14

You are fearfully and wonderfully made and you are SO loved,

Mikayla

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