Bicep-Boasting Girl

Over the next week or two, I’m going to share a few snapshots from my personal journey toward femininity, in hopes that they will spark deep wrestling, thought, and conversation for you.

In the first snapshot, I’m about 14 years old. Take a look. 

You’ll see that I’m pushing a lawn mower, biceps flexed, wearing a t-shirt I’ve earned by waking up before dawn to detassle in the cornfields. (Work doesn’t get much more demanding than this, unless you count working on the turkey farm, which I also did.) Yes, I feel good about myself and my strength.

For a girl, I have big biceps. I can’t really take credit for them—I was just made that way. When we’re tested in physical education class, I’m always the only girl who can do several pull-ups. I pride myself in the fact that I do “guy pushups,” and I regularly challenge guys to arm-wrestling competitions (and win, most of the time!).

Fastforward to my early college years, and check out this snapshot:

As I’m hurrying to class with a throng of students, I hold open the door, and one young man refuses to walk through. He thinks he should hold the door open for me! Rather than being seen as a compliment, I am royally offended.

. . . I’d love to look thru your photo album. Do you view yourself as a strong woman? Why or why not? Is it possible to be both feminine and strong? Was I right or wrong in being offended by this guy in college, and why? Thanks for sharing your thoughts—I’m really interested in what you have to say!

 

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About the Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula Marsteller

Paula has served with Revive Our Hearts for thirteen years. She is the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom. There's nothing she loves to share more than the gospel-centered truths that have so transformed her own life: what it means on a daily basis to be "dead to sin, alive to God, and in Christ Jesus." Paula, Trevor, and their son, Iren, make their home in New York.

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