Rosie’s Daughters; The Honorable Women.
It’s been my habit, over the years, to think about my relationship to other people, and being a woman, and what it all means in my little corner of the world.
In my studies, I’ve learned something about my generation of women. You’re the ones reading my articles, so now I want to share something I’ve learned about you. My amazing contemporaries. The fabulous women of my generation.
Long ago, I realized my peer group of women is, perhaps, the most unique that the American Culture has ever produced. This is due to the cultural influences of the times in which we were reared. We alone had the 1950’s as our guideposts in our early years, we watched the 1960’s unfold in our tweens, and the 1970’s were the guideposts of our teens or early 20's.
Our childhood plays a role.
Yet, there was a distinctive difference in our training because our mothers were part of the greatest generation. They were the proud Rosie’s. They flew planes and took over factories. Rosie the Riveter was an iconic image of some very iconic women. The men left to go to war but it was the women left behind that kept the fabric of the entire country from unraveling. Our mothers were truly extraordinary women. From them, we learned about hard work, never accepting defeat, and standing up for what matters. We learned to take pride and give respect. We learned about honoring ideals and honoring our own value in the world. Yet, we also learned to manage alpha-men with ease. We learned how to walk in high heels, cast a come-hither look, and utterly dazzle that suddenly helpless man. The Hollywood icons trusted by our mothers were filtered and polished for us. Jacquelyn Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Sophia Loren were rolled into our cultural DNA.
The 1950’s were about women being homemakers. Our mothers’ taught us to cook, sew, care for children, and run a household. We took our high school’s Home Economics class because getting married right after graduation was completely normal. According to PBS, once you’d obtained a husband, working outside the home, if you didn’t absolutely need to, was considered selfish.
Then, we watched the dramatic changes occur in the 1960’s and heard about peace, love, and nature. And drugs, open sex, and war. By the 1970’s our mothers’ suddenly snatched off their bras, sang about being wise, roaring women, and off they went to work. My mother, for example, ditched homemaking, became an underwriter for a commercial insurance firm, and traveled the country examining factories. What an incredible jump!
So it seems that in all of history, our generation is the only generation that acquired this well-rounded, cultural education and it was the firm hands of our Mothering Rosies that guided us.
Our historical codes of behavior.
Today, we’re all grown up and entering our 50’s and 60’s. We’ve found out that it no matter what we do or what befalls us because we can make it work. We are “can-do” women.
In looking around at the division between the genders that exist in our country, I’ve located a cause that often gets overlooked. It’s something I believe the women of my generation are perfectly suited to help heal.
It’s this… The word and deed of honor is missing in today’s culture.
Historically, men were taught to value their honor while women were taught to value their virtue. Men are also taught the difference between pride and honor but women, not so much.
Honor was born of the Chivalric codes and was (still is) the mark of noble man. An alpha-male self identifies with the concept of honor. In other words, it’s who they are. Women, on the other hand, were usually taught to have pride in their virtue. Virtue, however, is born of a moral code, not a chivalric one. Under this code, only a virtuous woman obtained the mark of a noble woman. In short, women were taught to obtain their appreciation of character from a very different code than men.
These codes are still being sent quietly into our culture and the division they produce between the genders is still visible.
Now, all of this is a big over-simplification because life is far more complex, but just ponder the idea for a bit. Interestingly, it appears to be that the Rosies and her daughters are the only two generations of women that understand the big ideas found in honor.
Our generation, however, has something more than even our mothers’ generation. Our early years were steeped in the divergent cultures produced in the decades following World War II.
I suspect there is no generation of women better equipped to breach the gender-code division than my peer group. Simply put, we know things. We have the broader vision and the long-range comprehension of old and new. We have obtained a wonderful balance between the Behavior Codes. We can do it all.
Being different can breed insecurity.
Yet, I often notice a reticence in my peer group. We seem to have a reluctance to put ourselves out there. I think it’s because we each, in our own way, feel different. We often don’t feel like we belong. And we suspect we’re weird in some way. We just don’t see things like everyone else and we end up being quiet so no one will notice. We don’t want to make waves.
So I want to say to my generation of women. You aren’t weird in a bad way. You’re weird in a very, very, good way. You are truly unique in a culture that often values rigid uniformity of thought and values. So I wanted to present these ideas to you because your voice needs to be heard. In fact, your voice is essential. So, please, step out and step up about the deep-down things you know. Talk, teach, speak, and get OUT there. You matter. Your voice matters. Trust yourself. You know what Honor is and what it means. God placed you on this planet at such a time for a reason so do not hide your light under a bushel basket. Shine!! And please know that it’s okay to believe in yourself and your extraordinary peer group.
You really ARE a unique and super special person. You’ve always suspected there was something that set you apart and you were right! So go with it. Honor your gifts. Be YOU!
In fact, I believe this group of women is THE single most culturally cognizant group of women in the world.
I am proud to be one of them.
We are strong.
We are proud.
We are wise.
We are honorable.
We are Rosie’s Daughters.
Go make a difference in this world. No one is more fit or able than you.
How to say HI!
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Link to the skirt.