Authentic femininity discussion touches on empowerment and maternal strength


Photo by: Sabrina Ariss

A cozy group of half a dozen women congregated in the common area of Sts. Kolbe and Clare Halls on Monday, Nov. 5, at 8 p.m. to dive deeper into what it means to be a woman.

Sophomore Resident Assistant Holly Radke started the night off by introducing the topic with a video from a website called Catholic Women, which called women a home for the family. After the video, the ladies discussed the importance of authentic femininity in the modern-day culture, and they finished the night with a letter about how one individual learned her identity as a woman.

The discussion began with the topics of women striving for empowerment and the differences in strengths between men and women, specifically how men are more geared toward physical strength while women tend to have more spiritual and emotional strengths.

“It’s important as women we were given a different strength from the Lord,” said junior Gabby Hollendonner. “He gave a man the physical strength to protect and to provide. He gave us a motherly, nurturing, this spiritual strength … that you have to look within yourself very deeply to find.”

“Empowerment doesn’t mean acting like a man,” said freshmen Mary Louise Hoffman, continuing the conversation on female empowerment. “If you try to find value in acting like a man you’re going to get lost in who you are in yourself.”

Freshmen Morgan Murdick said, “Women have a different kind of strength that’s more emotional, like if you look in times of crisis … it’s women that (will) step up in a different way and if you think about it, besides John, the only people that were at the foot of the cross were women.”

The discussion continued as the ladies noted that the devil can twist the strengths that men and women have, turning them into vices. “So giving birth becomes a burden and something you want to get rid of,” said Hoffman. This led into the topic of the importance of being a mother and juggling motherhood with the life of a working woman.

The final point to finish off the night was that one must receive love to be able to give love, which was the premise of the letter that was read near the end of the discussion. “Your heart is going to break for and with other people if you truly love them,” said Murdick. “To love is to be vulnerable.”