We are excited about the color of pink, because we think these young women are pink. They resonate to the softness and the femininity of that color. We want them to understand that they are soft, they are unique, they are feminine and that they don't have to be like the boys, to focus on femininity, on the softness of young women.That word "soft" is bugging some people. And yet, I think there is meaning we can get from mulling over it a bit. Here are some of my thoughts.
Even though I think sometimes it's hard to talk about what femininity is (language is limited, or at least can be (very) charged, as seen sometimes when the topic of femininity is discussed and frustration is expressed about some teachings on the subject). And yet, femininity is valued and talked about by our leaders. (Sis. Dalton definitely isn't the first one to address this subject of femininity. See, for example, here, here, here, and here.)
FWIW, I grew up a tomboy (e.g., only girl in shop class, twice (sooo fun!); very active in sports growing up (including only girl playing basketball with the boys for recess way back when); had hobbies that were more masculine, like doing models; etc.). I studied a field that had an 80/20 ratio of men to women in the classroom, and ratios more on the male side professionally as well. I'm more naturally suited to a board room than a kitchen or nursery or Primary class. I am not instinctively a huge fan of pink (my baby blankie was blue...maybe that has something to do with it - hehe), and I don't particularly care for frills and trendy or girly stuff. And sometimes I can have a hard time processing what "feminine" should mean for me.
But I have found value in pondering how I might be able to be more feminine. I feel I can embrace that concept while still embracing my personality and interests. I don't know that I will ever be a "typical" female in some ways (whatever we think that may mean), but I do believe that there is power in rejoicing in the concept of femininity -- whatever God may guide each of us to discern what that means for us individually, magnifying unique gifts, talents, and strengths, not necessarily taking away from them.
I think sometimes these kinds of ideas (such as what it means to be feminine) are rejected outright because they either feel too vague, or because they may feel like cookie-cutters to some -- that somehow it's all about molds and stereotypes and expectations that we can't or don't fulfill. I think, rather, we can think of them as guideposts to carefully consider and prayerfully apply, as guided through the Spirit. Something may not seem to "fit" at first, but I think time and patience can sometimes show that even principles that didn't click initially can yield impiortant fruit.
As I think about it, I think the new youth theme ("Be strong and of a good courage") and the concept of femininity can actually go hand in hand. I say this because I believe there is power in womanhood. I've been pondering this concept for years, and although I can't fully articulate it all, I can say that I have felt very strongly the reality that women bring something unique and important to the plan of God -- both collectively and individually. And I think the more we can seek guidance in how to be more "feminine" the better instruments in God's hands we women can be.
So, as I ponder the word "soft," I think of things like the following:
Soft can be a soft answer (Prov 15:1) and soft words (Job 41:3) or a 'soft tongue' (Prov 25:15). (The Spirit's voice is sometimes described as soft, such as here or here.)
It can include a soft heart. (e.g., Job 23:16)
Or "lead[ing] on softly" (Gen. 33:14).
Or being a soft place for others to fall.
It could tie into being soft-spoken (hard for someone as opinionated and vocal as I can be).
I think it also has something to do with being (or seeking to be) nurturers. Think of the "soft" sciences, for example -- they have to do more with people and relationships. (I'm NOT saying that those fields are the only ones women should pursue -- I'm just mulling over the word "soft" and how it is sometimes used.)
More thoughts, anyone?