What do I mean?
When I say I am "not that kind of girl" you might associate it with something quite negative. The discussion might be centred round a woman who has perhaps done something a little different or even morally questionable and you might think to yourself, 'that is not me'.
However another context for this might be about being the kind of woman who is likely to be taken for lunch or a date. I mean more that sort of woman. Can I confess something? I have never felt like "that sort of girl". The sort that does stuff and has a life that displays some of the abundance Jesus speaks of.
I guess at times, I felt like I was not only forgotten by God, but by almost everyone around me too. I love a film called Erin Brockovich and in it a lovely line is said by the lead character. On being asked why she is not out to lunch with the girls in her office, she simply said "I guess I'm not that kind of girl".
The heart of the issue
I feel that I am sharing a journey and hoping that there are other travellers on the same path as me. I have never been troubled about my sexuality or about knowing if I was male or female. My heart is with those that feel like they are going through those issues right now. But I guess my cry is very basic.
What does it mean to be me as a woman who loves cars and football? Who would rather be doing sport than shopping, making love rather than cakes? According to a soft-porn culture we call the media, this must make me less of a woman. Biologically, I know that I am 100% female. But can I be honest with you? There are times when I have felt more like 20%.
The battle for femininity and what it actually means
Femininity used to mean nothing to me. I thought that it was for people of nervous sensibilities who took offence easily wanted to burn their bras. But gradually I have found it to be both moving and strange all at the same time. I have had to watch myself have conversations with guys about football and cars and think, why am I doing that? Or watch myself get jealous of other "prettier" and "feminine" women when they get attention from men.
I get attention through a few simple things; my body and my sense of humour. I know that I can also talk about cars until the cows come home. I am not a petrol head but I am an aspiring one! I know how to talk to men.
But I do not know how to be a woman in front of them. I display my "parts" of a woman i.e. my mind and my body, but not my femininity. Not my womanhood. I battle in my heart between craving attention and time with men and wanting to develop that "other-ness" or "mystique" that God is calling me to have. What to do?
Thinking about the alternative
Eowyn is my hero. She is a fictional character; a niece of a rural King in "Lord of the Rings". She was devoted to her uncle and classy with a sword and spear. She loved a man called Aragorn who only had eyes for an elven princess. Putting feelings aside, she dressed up as a man and ended up going in to a dangerous battle, killing the baddy. One of the moments I love in the movie is when she is face-to-face with the Dark Lord. He says "no man can kill me" and she lifts up her helmet and says "I am no man" then drives her sword into the Dark Lord, killing him.
When I see that I high-five myself, it's that good. She gives a version of femininity, of being a woman that is just so abandoned, so conscious of something other than her that it makes the analytical naval gazing that I am preoccupied with seem meaningless and a waste of time. I think that you discover yourself when you become less and less self-conscious and more and more "other" conscious.
Arwen – what shall I say about her? Her power and strength was in her choosing when to be silent and when to stand; when to fight and when to run; when to kiss and when to hold back. She exercised total self-control over her domain and it showed. The fruits of the spirit include self-control. Self-control is Control of one's emotions, actions or desires by one's own will.
Self-control in a person looks like a kind of power or favour in one's circumstances that comes from delighting yourself in the things that are good and godly. Praising God and thanking him, for instance and living life joyously in the now; understanding the loving limits that God is putting on your life so that you are set up, rather than held back.
When I think of these things, it makes me feel like living like this gives us a picture of femininity that is about more than heels. It is about being powerful, filled up warriors for Christ who are "masters of our surroundings".
Be a woman
I appreciate that we are all on a journey. I never weary of hearing that and trust me it is no blank cliché. Journeys have destinations and challenges. They are lived in seasons and eras that shape and mould you for greatness. If you are on a journey of discovering your womanhood; you may have found the above words a little too black and white.
May I take this moment to tenderly usher you forward in your search for your femininity, whatever that looks like? Being a woman is not about whether you have long or short hair, eyeliner or blusher, muscles or curves. I feel, more and more that femininity is about discovering the heart of God and his love for you; his undying, unchanging and unyielding, jealous and noisy abandoned love for you.
Being all you are in response to Jesus; I believe that is the essence of your femininity.
Rosie Robinson resides in Manchester where, in between feeding herself coffee and bagels she works for an international financial services organisation. She attends a lively church called Audacious, enjoys reading, running and watching films and slowly discovering life with Jesus.
Rosie Robinson's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/rosie-robinson.html