Jen's Journal

Jen's Journal

Senator: What is a Woman?

For the last day of Women’s History Month, it seems appropriate to talk about what it means to be a woman.

In the 2022 confirmation hearings for the first female black Supreme Court nominee, we overheard this conversation:

Senator: “Can you provide a definition for the word woman?”

Judge: “I can’t. I’m not a biologist.”

The judge could have quoted Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:

woman noun

1 a: an adult female person

Or, Dictionary.com:

woman noun

1 a: an adult female person

Or, Cambridge Dictionary:

woman noun

1 a: an adult female human being

Or, she could have drawn on the detailed description of a woman from Wikipedia, which says we have two X chromosomes; are capable of pregnancy and childbirth; have ovaries, fallopian tubes, and a uterus; and typically have broader hips, larger breasts, less facial and body hair, higher body fat, and are usually shorter and less muscular than men.

Or, I can imagine the conversation going like this:

Senator: “Can you provide a definition for the word woman?”

Judge: “You’re looking at one, Senator, and we’ve come a long way!”

Or….

Senator: “Can you provide a definition for the word woman?” 

Judge: A woman is a warrior. Women protect and uplift their families, communities, and nation. At one time, women were considered second-class citizens; today they serve in every public and private sphere. Women can be wives and mothers; businesswomen and bosses; up front and behind the scenes; and we come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Women are an answer to a problem; an aide to humanity; a breath of fresh air. 

We have a long history of abuse and over-sexualization, which we are still rising up to protest. We have made long and heavy strides, but we can still do better. There are still women around the world and in our own nation who are not free from oppression. And as the first potential Supreme Court justice who also happens to be a black female, I promise to protect the dignity and value of women as long as I hold this office.

Instead, her answer was that she “didn’t know” what a woman is.

When another senator asked her, “When does life begin?”

Her answer: “I don’t know.”

Has she not heard a baby’s first cry?

Has she not seen a heartbeat on a sonogram?

Can she not quote the Constitution that says all people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life …?”

Has this self-proclaimed Protestant not read the verses:

Before the womb I knew you…. (Je 1:5)

Naked I came from my mother’s womb …. (Job 1:21)

Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb …. (Dt 28:11)

When does life begin? Before the womb, in the mind of God; and we call ourselves “One nation under God.”

Yet here we are, on the heels of #internationalwomensday and #womenshistorymonth and #feminism—and we don’t even know who we are or the value of human life anymore.

This is a low point for feminists and Christians alike—Muslims and Arabs too—who have long been fighting for women to be treated equal.

The day of her confirmation should be a proud day for ALL women. But her answers stained it for most of us. It feels odd to say, “This is a great day for women!”, since she can’t even define what a woman is.

I want to call her bluff. I want to say: we have ovaries, lady. We are female. We nurse babies. We manage homes and businesses. We ARE mothers, wives, nurses, doctors, ministers, teachers, lawyers—must I go on? Our name means Life. 

We bring life into the world, as much as a chicken hatches chicks (and roosters go cockadoodle-doo). In the world of animals, there IS such a thing as a difference between bucks and does; one is male, one is female – and together they make fawn.

I wish I could meet her face-to-face. But that’s not my calling; she answers to a power much greater than me. I’m just a woman trying to help girls, trying to help women, one day at a time—to find their voice and their value and live it out.

So, I’ll pray for her eyes to see, her lips to speak truth, her judgements to come from the throne room of God — for our ways are not His ways; but His judgements are flawless.

I challenge every one of us to model for the younger generation both dignity and respect for all women and children—and men too. We must continue to elevate our worth and rise to the true meaning of our name:

woman noun

1: an adult female person 

2: Hebrew origin: equal counterpart to man; mother of all living; breath of fire; breath of life; help, aide, guide; opposing voice to sin; spiritual protector, guardian.

3: also: daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt

I am a woman. My name means Life.

-Jen

p.s. to celebrate a woman in your life and remind her of her worth, purchase the “I am a Woman” poem so she can display it in her home.

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About the Author: Jennifer

Jennifer Strickland is a wife, mom, TEDx speaker, and former professional model. She is the author of Girl Perfect, More Beautiful Than You Know, and Beautiful Lies, among other books and Bible studies that teach women their worth in God’s eyes. Since leaving the modeling industry, she founded URMore.org, a non-profit ministry that provides resources to hurting women and girls. Her favorite moments are found working on the family ranch with her husband, who she calls “the Cowboy”; in her kitchen, concocting a new version of her famous spaghetti; or spending time with their three precious children.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING

At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.

Christina Boudreau

Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.

Barbara Brown

Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA

“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”

Nancy Ortberg

Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church

“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”

Allie Marie Smith

Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made

One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”

Thelma Wells

Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon), President of Woman of God Ministries

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