When Anthony was a three-year-old he collected all the He-Man figures and watched the cartoon, subsequently, I learned the history of He-Man. He-Man was an action figure who lived in Castle Greyskull. He was dressed like a gladiator and had a huge tiger named BattleCat that he rode off to battle. His enemy was named Skeletor and he was always causing havoc from his home on Snake Mountain.
Anthony had a sword that when you flipped the switch lit up just as He-Man’s sword did. He took this sword everywhere he went, including to bed and carried it hooked to the back of his shirt where he could easily grab it in case of danger. He was always looking for an enemy to fight and I remember one day when we walking out to the car and we encountered a big bullfrog sitting on the sidewalk. Anthony quickly pulled out his sword and said in his toughest three year old voice, “Stand back mommy, I’ll take care of this.” As he took his sword out and lit it up for battle he took the warrior stance against the bullfrog. I played along and carefully walked around the scene while he stood guard. When we got into the car, I thanked him for his protection and he smiled proudly and said, “That’s okay.” All in a day’s work for my little He-Man. Anthony’s dreams for his future was to be either G.I. Joe or on the team of M.A.S.K.
When Casey was three she collected Barbie. Barbie was a doll who along with her friends, Midge, Skipper and Ken went to the beach and had parties. Barbie married Ken on a regular basis. There were no wars and there were no swords, only fun and lots of changing of outfits and shoes and cutting of hair. Barbie at some point or another also married He-Man and GI Joe which Anthony swore, would never happen in real life.
Casey’s dream was to marry Prince Phillip, from Sleeping Beauty fame, and they were going to live on the Rhein River in a castle. She would tell of tales of riding off on a unicorn to pick wildflowers and fruit in the forest. The danger for her was keeping a diligent eye out for a wicked witch. Prince Phillip would fight the Pirates on the river before dinner and he would always win.
This is an area of my children’s lives where fantasy and imagination ran wild. I would often play along and I know for a fact that Casey would have approached the bullfrog much differently. She would have wanted to catch it and see if he talked and if he turned into a prince when we kissed it. Yes, she would want to kiss it just in case it was her prince. Her life was about love and romance. Anthony’s life was about war and protection. Anthony still carefully watches over his sister and I as the man of the family and Casey is still relational looking for romance in her adventures.
I say all this to say that God didn’t create us male and female to be the same. That is a lie and puts a lot of pressure on each of us to be things we are not. Can women be warriors? Yes, they can in moments of danger and they show extraordinary strength but not in the same way a man can. A woman was not designed for war instead she was designed to nurture. Yes we as women have had to step into places that were never intended for us as a means of survival but it is not our original design. Can men be nurturing? Yes and they are, but the expectations in today’s society is that they act and think like women and they aren’t designed to do that.
Tune in tomorrow….