For many years I have been silent. Even social media posts by other women demanding that if you are a woman you have have an obligation to speak out didn’t stir me to action. Because for years I have silently protested. And in my protest I have affected change.
When I was young, and other women told me I was “too young to get married,” or “it will never last,” I silently protested, got married, and 32 years later, we are still married. When I decided not to finish college, and other women told me “you will regret this decision,” or “oh, honey, don’t depend on any man to take care of you,” I silently protested and dropped out of college anyway.
In 1994 when I decided to start homeschooling, the comments reached an all-time high. All the well-meaning women who urged me to put my children in school, you know the same women who say, “a woman can do anything,” asked me how I would be able to teach history, science, math or english. There were absolutely no cheers from women (outside of a few very close relatives) saying “You go, girl” or “You can do anything you want.” No female empowerment was happening. And I silently protested and continued to homeschool.
The thing that bothered me the most is that I knew I could do anything I set my mind on. My older sister is a veterinarian, and my younger sister is an attorney. I am proud of the paths they have chosen. But those friends and relatives telling me that I was not qualified or that I was making bad choices, were telling them they could do anything they wanted.
My silent protest continues today. I have a different viewpoint than many of many friends, but I do not feel compelled to tell them they are wrong. I just wish they would quit telling the world that anyone with different beliefs or choices is wrong.
Because every time my strong, capable daughter has said, “I want to get married and stay home and take care of children” and women tell her that her choice isn’t wise, or when my daughter graduated from high school and decided to forge a different path, and she was told “you need to go to college,” it really doesn’t seem like women support all choices.
If the only choices you support align directly with your choices, then you are part of the problem. If you participate in a women’s march, but you don’t support a woman staying home, or if you have ever publically stated that, “If you voted for Trump, defriend me,” then you do not support all women. If me speaking out now makes you want to defriend me, you really don’t support my choices or care about my voice.
My silent protest has brought about changes in my own household and in my community. When I look at my grown children, I am proud of the people they are. They didn’t go out and protest, but they vote, they are active in their communities, they are busy raising their families, and they are compassionate people. My sons married godly women who love the Lord and work to serve him in their homes. I will continue to silently protest showing my children and my grandchildren that real change happens when you show kindness, love and compassion to all people no matter what their choices are.
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