We 21st century women have a lot to glean from the 19 and 20th century women as far as our role in the world. Women held the role of servant, caregiver, "quiet one" with very little privileges. Up until the middle of the 20th century when the 50's and 60's arrived, Women's suffrage began and we won several battles for our input in society. Little did we realize that we had and still have input of great magnitudes without all the hubbub of voting, public speeches (thanks to Lucy Stone) and holding public offices. If we had just thought a moment about two things: That time in Jesus' life when he was washing the apostles' feet and explaining to them to their surprise that he came to serve not be served. Didn't He make a big bang in history with this theory? The second thing is how Mary served, in a very low-key position throughout her life with Jesus as her son, the son of Man! Quietly, she spoke, lived, and loved our Lord and her role as Theotokos (Mother of God). However, from the moment she told the servants to "do as he tells you to do." to her presence in the upper room at the first Pentecost, Mary maintained a striking example of a humble, but determined model of love which severely influence our world and our salvation history. Do you think she complained to Joseph? Do you think she mentioned this fact to Jesus, that perhaps she might have a few more lines in the bible? Or perhaps a more challenging part in the passion? Nope, for some divine reason, our blessed Mother knew how she was supposed to be and how important she is to the salvation of our future just by the way she was, quietly making her way through to us with love.
If the 60's didn't throw we women a curve, I don't know what did. We got mad, really mad at the men keeping us out of the say of things. We felt neglected and shut out, non-important and unsmart, so we made revenge by striking a strong "invincible" pose of determination to be seen AND heard no matter what the cost. We forgot, however, that the next generation thrived because of us and the undeniable way that we women can love like our counterparts can't. Love is the real way to a person, take a look at the faces in the news and see how unloved they are. See how these faces of crime have been neglected in their unfortunately young lives. Then see how our children have been fairing as children of working parents who only get what is left of their parents after a long day's work. Love makes an incredible difference in a person and how well a person develops.
We women need to realize that our true roles are not big and flashy, but immensely important. We can move mountains in our roles, we can change and teach, love and keep together these mountains.... called families. The next generation depends upon us and our gift of "glue" to keep things together in our own way.