The majority of my college years have been characterized by the study of what it means to be a woman. The quote below by Elisabeth Elliot summarizes a lot of what I have learned:
“Why subject women to purely masculine criteria? Women can and ought to be judged by the criteria of femininity, for it is in their femininity that they participate in the human race. And femininity has its limitations. So has masculinity…To do this is not to do that. To be this is not to be that. To be a woman is not to be a man.”
This quote has resonated with me the past year and into my senior year of college as I begin to think about what sort of woman I will be when I graduate — whether that be in the work place, at home or as a mother.
What I have learned throughout college is that women are made to be women and that is a gift from God. Women should utilize their feminine gifts of tenderness, sensitivity, lovingness and graciousness as talents instead of trying to hide from them. We were created the way we are because the world needs the special and unique qualities that women offer, but I think all too often women feel ashamed of these characteristics, especially in the work place.
After this realization of what true femininity means, I have been out to prove that maximizing these talents generates more success in your field of work than trying to down-play them. For example, if you have a natural tendency of being a “feeler” utilize that to empathize and relate to others on a personal level and see their point of view. Or if you have a predisposition to tenderness, instead of being afraid to show your “weak point” remember that this characteristic of you allows you to treat others with grace and respect — don't be ashamed of it; bring it to the table.
All of this to say, ChiO is surrounded with incredibly talented women who will thrive in whatever they choose to do. Every Monday when I walk into chapter meetings, I am typically stressed and thinking about my to-do list for afterwards, but without fail, I leave meetings with tears in my eyes. My favorite thing to do at chapter is to look around at how many powerful campus leaders we have, how many servant hearted women are in the room and how many passionate faces are willing to help each other succeed. This is what makes ChiO special to me: that all of these women are in the same room, taking an hour out of their night to commune together and love one another; that we are women on a mission and we will not be confined by what the world has to say.
So use your femininity to do something great. We are blessed to be women and double blessed to be surrounded by such inspirational women every week. Let us never take that for granted.