What is femininity?The nobility and the responsiblity of women: to all women with love


What is femininity?The nobility and the responsiblity of women: to all women with love
by Parvaneh A. Farid

How many times have we women living in Europe and in the US asked this question from ourselves and how many different answers have we heard? A lot of women who search for truth to this question end up going to fortune tellers, astrologists, psychologists or just chat with their girlfriends. One hears many different opinions amongst which are: femininity is related to child-bearing, to motherhood, to be a home keeper, to our sex life, to our inner and outer beauty and some understand that by wearing nice clothes and under wears. This, definitely, is a question on women’s mind, no matter where they live. Of course in areas, like the Middle East, it is hard to imagine that they have the exact same question and you might be absolutely right thinking most of them don't, because in many areas in the world women don’t believe they are half of the human population that have been ignored for as far as the history of mankind goes. But those exceptional women, even in those areas, are pondering upon these questions and they want to know, like all women, who they really are?
Searching to find an answer to the question of who we really are, a few principles need to be put in place. The most important one is the principle of equality between men and women.

Full expression of the equality of men and women is an integral and indispensable component of that stage in the spiritual and social evolution of humanity. For this principle to be established in everyone’s mind we women need to agree to it with full force. If we start doubting then nothing will change. In the cultures of the past the issue of women’s rights has never been fully approached and dealt with. Now we, living in Europe, and many parts of the world can believe that we have equal rights but we are being dishonest with ourselves. At the same time many of us are struggling in workplaces where we strive to be just like men wearing a mask, which is a state that can not be maintained for a long time and makes us women very efficient at work, but tired, frustrated, angry, having menstrual cramps, headaches and in worse cases, thyroid dysfunction and back pains.

Now we have two choices. One is to continue with this and convey the same quality ot our daughters and younger sisters and students, or we decide to make a change and live joyfully. The choice is ours and we need to dare to think and imagine it. This state is not bearable and we women have created this for ourselves. Abdu’l-Baha in a book called Paris Talks p.133 mentions:

”As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs.”

He elsewhere in a book called Baha’i World Faith p.288 writes: ” The world of humanity has two wings- one is woman and the other man. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of woman becomes equal to the world of man in the acquisition of virtues and perfection, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.”

In the world today, the masculine wing of this bird is strong, but the feminine wing needs to develop itself. As women we need to give ourselves time and attention to develop as we are meant to develop.

”You need to do this for the sake of everyone- yourself, other women, children and men- because until you reach your potential, it is less likely that others will be able to fulfill theirs.” writes: Glynis Mackenzie in her book Reclaiming beauty: look like your true self.

What is our purpose in life? Is it to be very good at our jobs? To be a wonderful wife? To obtain more degrees? Be a wonderful mother? A loyal girlfriend to all our friends? Reading the statement below from Abdul’-Baha makes every woman, be it European, American, Arab, Persian, African and others to believe that we have been created for a much higher aim than there is in books and articles.

"War and its ravages have blighted the world, the education of women will be a mighty step towards its abolition and ending,for she will use her whole influence against war. Woman rears the child and educates the youth to maturity. She will refuse to give her sons for sacrifice upon the field of battle. In truth,she will be the greatest factor in establishing universal peace and international arbitration. Assuredly,woman will abolish warfare among mankind.”

As a woman it feels quite overwhelming to have been given such a responsibility but it shows what a capacity we, as women, have:

”Will we be the greatest factor in establishing universal peace?”

We need to believe and have Faith to be able to change the world. The key is in our hand, and the plan is right here, we should see for ourselves what message Abdu’l-Baha has.


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