This past summer while on a family vacation, my fifteen-year-old son informed me that his impression of me is that I am a forty-something year old feminist. (His words not mine). At first I was a bit offended, but I mostly shrugged it off. The boy couldn't even nail down my age, so what did he know anyway? I think the part that had me taken aback was his casual use of the word feminist when he described me. The term feminist can have such negative connotations, after all. I've never connected with that label, nor if I'm being honest, have I ever wanted to. After all, I've been a life long Republican. (Can Republicans even be feminists?) Upon further reflection, however, I began to ponder what it means to be a feminist, and whether or not I should have felt offended by my son's casual use of the term when describing me. Here's what I'm learning about women who carry the banner "feminist" a little more willingly than I do. They are good people. They are for women. Really, when I think about it, what's so wrong about being pro-woman?
Over the past several years, I've been pondering what it means to be a woman. Does it mean I'm less? Less worthy of respect, dignity, love? I have come to the conclusion that being a woman doesn't mean in any way, shape,or form that I am less. I am a prized and special part of God's plan. I wasn't born to be a slave. I was born to be a partner. I wasn't born to be subjegated, I was born to fly free. So, why do I sometimes feel like I'm less? Is it the curse? Because Eve ate the apple first and gave it to Adam, does that mean I've got to live with the load of crap that rolled out of that choice she made? (Thanks, a lot, Eve.)
In my ponderings of what it means to be a woman, I've begun a little ritual every morning when I slip a particular bracelet over my wrist. I say a prayer for women across the globe. The prayers vary, depending on what's in my heart. They include everything from women who have been victimized, to women who are in loveless marriages, to women who are in war torn countries. A few months into doing it, I felt empowered. I mean what's better than girl power? Then, a really brilliant plan struck, what if l created a list of 30 prayers for women and asked my friends to join me in my prayers? I'm calling it 30 Days for Women.
I want to take a moment to clarify, though they are prayers, I'm not identifying them as such. I don't want anyone to feel excluded from this exercise. I know many good people who don't consider themselves Christians who might be tempted, if my list were coined as prayers, to feel as if they couldn't engage in this exercise. In that spirit, I'm going to stick with the label 30 Days for Women. Beginning Monday, November 1st, whether you feel you have a "connection" to God or not, I invite you to band together as women and lift your hopes and voices high for women across the globe.
Though I won't list all of them here, I will share my first one:
I have attached a pdf of the 30 Days if you prefer to print it out, hang it on your mirror, and send up your daily request. I will also post my list daily on instagram, twitter and facebook, so feel free to follow me on one of those platforms:@nicismeyer
Two more things, if after the 30 Days are up, you want to continue the practice but need a daily reminder, please check out my friend's website: wemakeripples.com and buy a bracelet which would not only support a great cause, but also serve as your daily reminder to pray for women across the globe. Finally, if you've read this far, do me a solid and visit my About page. I recently changed my image to one that more accurately represents this 40-something-year-old feminist. Thanks to the incomparably lovely, Jennifer Ryan Eyestone, for capturing my joy that day.
30 Days for Women