Why All Girls Should be Like the “President Maid” (Misaki Ayuzawa)

Nowadays, feminism (or “feminism” depending on how you see it) is one of those touchy topics. It’s an easy way to start a debate – or fight. Why? Simply because it seems that no one can agree on what “feminism” really is. Frankly, I could care less what you want to believe “feminism” stands for. I’m more concerned with the concept of what being a woman should mean to the Christian woman and far, far less concerned with what it means to society.

So what’s that got to do with the “President Maid”? Well, if you’ve seen Kaichou wa Maid-sama, you’ll understand this. If not, I’m about to give you a brief, generic, spoiler-free summary. Kaichou wa Maid-sama follows the story of Misaka Ayuzawa. She is the student council president at what was previously an all-boys school, but is now co-ed. Her goal is to improve the school for the female students there – this requires the guys to listen to her. To do this, she begins to act exceptionally strong, taking on a very clear leader role. Naturally, then, she wishes to keep her part-time job as a maid at a maid café a secret. If the guys saw that side of her, they’d never again respect her as a leader, right? That’s what she thought. I think that’s how many of us women think, too – we can’t have a strong, leading side and a softer, serving side. Well, keep reading to find out why that’s wrong.

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Oftentimes, I believe that this constant pull for one side or the other (since we don’t think we can/should have both) is what tends to have women up-at-arms with men – and other women – about what exactly a woman should be; this then naturally leads to confusion over what “feminism” should mean. Now while I won’t claim to know the perfect or even ideal one for all women (if there even is such a thing), I think that really all we need is balance. A balance between those two extremes. The place where we are neither “the president” nor “the maid”.

Through Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Misaka continually learns and grows, through various ordeals. Some of these are linked to her learning to accept both “sides” of her, as she sees it – the “president” and the “maid” (hence the show being “Class President is a Maid!”). She learns that she doesn’t necessarily have to meet her society’s standards of “feminine” to be a woman. Nor does she have to conform to behaving completely unfeminine in order to be a good leader. I feel all of us women can stand to take a few pointers from this. No, not just based on my beliefs about what a woman should be, but based on what the Bible says about women.misaki_self_discovery_quote

Now, no the Bible never says “women should be like president maids” or anything remotely close to that phrasing/wording. However, there are numerous passages that talk about character, and also passages discussing women of the Bible. I just want to focus mainly on two brief examples: Proverbs 31 and Mary. I’m going to show a “president” and a “maid” side of each example, to show the importance in the balance of these two things.

For those of you who are familiar with the passage of Proverbs 31, the latter half discusses “The Wife of Noble Character”. Basically, it’s a mini-guide (only 21 verses) to what a “wife of noble character” should look like, based on what God designed for women, and for marriage, to be. Despite the passage being aimed specifically at married women, I think it speaks just as well on some terms to all women, simply because women were created to be a partner to man, so the concepts apply to all of us in how our nature should be. The “president” aspect comes out in verse 17: “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” Strength – in this case expressly physical (typically associated with men/masculinity) – is being expressed as a key trait. Yet, strength alone would do no good without a soft heart. Just a few verses later, there is a reminder of the importance of having a servant’s heart. Verse 20 says: “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” We can see there that there is a “maid” aspect to this, where being soft-hearted is an important trait in addition to the strength from before.

Now that I’ve covered the typical “Proverbs 31” go-to of what makes a Godly woman, I want to look at Mary, Jesus’ mother. My brain makes weird connections, I know, in being able to find a connection in the mother of the Savior and an animated “president maid” (even though Mary would make an awesome heroine in a shoujo manga) but hear me out.

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What are the two biggest traits that studies and presentations and sermons tend to point out in Mary? The first, her strength. The second, her humility. Right there we see the “president” and the “maid” aspects. Think about what may have happened if Mary wasn’t strong. Imagine if she gave up partway through the journey of not only having, but raising, Christ. I’m not saying it ever would have happened (God made His plan how He did so it wouldn’t fail), but you get the idea – the world would not be in a good place. At all. Now also think about what may have happened if Mary wasn’t humble. Or, if she wasn’t kind, gentle, loving, and all other things that are typically considered “feminine”. I highly doubt she would have just given up her life in a moment if she had not been humble. She also certainly would not have made a very good mother.

There was a reason God designed women how He did. He gave us strength to be able to support, while balancing that with gentleness, kindness, and so on so that we even want to support. There was a reason God chose Mary to be the mother of Christ. He knew she was strong enough to take on the challenge (and yes, it would have been quite the challenge), yet also humble enough to submit to Him and follow His commands. A woman who is wholly strong, but has no “weakness” is not how God designed her to be. A woman who is entirely gentle, meek, and submissive, but has no strength is also not how God designed her to be. Now again, I won’t claim to say I’ve found some perfect balance between these two – I struggle daily to become a woman who better meets the definition of a Godly woman. I can say I know only 2 things for sure. 1) That the balance is necessary. Being both the “president” and the “maid” will make you stronger – being only one will make you weaker. 2) The only way to grow closer to this balance is to continue to pursue Christ’s vision for you – as a woman, and an individual. As long as your “president” strength comes from Him, and your “maid” servant’s heart does, too, then regardless of what this world (or “feminism”) may shout, you’re doing it right.

10 thoughts on “Why All Girls Should be Like the “President Maid” (Misaki Ayuzawa)

  1. Strong women were repressed because of the convenience of the male side.

    Some women representing the extreme of the strong ideal decide to revolt.

    Now the strong women start repressing the “serving” women, telling them how they are and are not allowed to live their lives.

    Like, what the heck?

    It’s nothing new, but people often cannot feel secure in their own opinion unless they can prove that everyone else is wrong. Even if they have to ignore the big fat variables of “self” and “choice” along the way.

    Freedom is neither strong nor meek. Freedom is staying true to yourself.

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    1. Mhm, and I think that’s why there’s such flux in the “definition” of “feminism” in society. It tends to be the loudest voices that determine what label is being stuck to that image. However, it’s not by any means a one-size-fits-all formula. Ever.
      That was part of what I wanted to point out. You will ALWAYS find someone who disagrees with you – that’s just life. What it comes down to is finding your balance in your life that allows you to both pursue your relationship with Christ and serve Him best where God has called you. God designed each person, and specifically in this post setting, each woman, uniquely, with different skill-sets and giftings. Since we are all unique, each of our “balances” are unique. That’s why it’s important to find that balance through God, who made you, instead of trying to following the ever-changing “feminism” of the world. 🙂

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  2. Emdaisy1,

    I really enjoyed your article! Feminism has grown over the past couple of years into an untamable beast, but I’m glad that you found a good balance of what it is supposed to be from the Bible.

    -Micah Marshall

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    1. Thank you! 🙂
      Yes, it definitely has. It’s hard to find a place online it hasn’t touched. And perhaps harder to find a place it hasn’t caused damage. I find that though it was originally intended to bring unison, way back when it first began, it’s just grown into something that causes division more than anything else. :/
      I’m very glad I found it, as well. 🙂 I used to struggle a lot as a kid because I was very much a tomboy growing up (Rescue Heroes > Polly Pocket and such). As I got older, into high grades and then high school, I felt an increasing pressure to be more “feminine” – wear skirts and makeup, talk about boys, watch “girly” shows. I didn’t fully accept Christ until grade 10, and after that, once I started meeting more Christian women it really began to help me realize that I could be just as good a woman without fitting this world’s ideals. The women in the Bible were strong, and very few are blatantly called “beautiful” in a way that references appearance. I realized that all the “beautiful” women in the Bible were beautiful for their appearance, and so I began searching for MY place as a woman there. 🙂 I’m still working on things (e.g. I know I gotta tone down my stubbornness, and improve my temper), but I finally found a set, Godly ideal to work towards. 🙂
      Hah… sorry for the mini-life-story, there! But hope that shows why this topic’s important to me. 🙂 As soon as I started watching the show, I identified with the protagonist (Misaki) immediately, so I wanted to write about why. 🙂 Now I’m just waiting on my Usui, lol. 😛

      Anyways, I’ll stop rambling now! Thanks again, and God bless!

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  3. All of this is quite similar to the virgin/whore dichotomy, which is well documented in feminist criticism (and the concept is rooted in Biblical language/characters such as Eve and Mary, or Lilith and Eve, or other variations). It’s a very limiting dichotomy to be squeezed into. Degrading different ways of being a girl/woman (e.g. fashionista vs. tomboy) only perpetuates this, which is why I greatly enjoy magical girl series and series which show distinctly different types of girls being friends from the start. Magical girl series connect femininity with world-saving power and don’t necessarily require any of the characters to adopt masculinity to gain strength or power (though some do and that’s perfectly fine, e.g. Haruka in Sailor Moon).

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    1. I totally hear ya’! I actually haven’t really watched any magical girl series (someone suggested Madoka Magica but frankly the color scheme of the witch lairs gave me a headache, and I haven’t really been recommended any others since to try), but I hear you on appreciating it when media shows girls who would often be pegged as different “types” being friends, instead of clique-ing them with little to no interaction, or when the media shows women who are still very feminine, yet also strong (without making them more masculine). That’s a big part of why I loved this series – Misaki was both feminine and yet also powerful! Not to mention, her two closest female friends were very different from her – one is a super girly, cutesy type girl, and the other is VERY much a tomboy (I actually thought she was a male the first time she was introduced). However, those two even get a few shining moments where they’re strong in their own ways!
      Really, no woman can be shoved solely into ANY dichotomy that relate to who she is as a person, much less as a woman. Some may seem to fit more into one “category” than another, but none would ever wholly sum up %100 of who they are. We are so much more complex than that! 🙂

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  4. Wow, great article! Society and it’s views on femininity have fluctuated so much over just the last few decades, much less centuries. It’s so essential for us to anchor our ideas of it in scripture, of which you did an outstanding job. People so often see meekness and service as frailty, and in a negative light- but it’s clearly what we are called to practice as Christians.
    There’s a phrase I keep hearing about women “owning their sexuality”. I have yet to hear a healthy, biblical perspective on this idea from a Christian woman. The way I see it, it’s applied to women who actively engage in their own sexual objectification, as if being a willing participant somehow provides dignity or legitimacy? Perhaps I’m misunderstanding this pop culture reference, but that seems clear to me. If you’ve written on this topic or know a good article about it, that would be cool. Or perhaps write one up?
    Thanks loads for your service to the Lord. Again- a great article!

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    1. Thank you! 🙂
      Mhm. Frankly, if this post weren’t as focused on women as it was, I would have gone so far as to use Christ Himself as an example. He was strong enough to take on the sin of the world, yet it was all because He was humble enough to lay down His life to the will of God the father. Even God Himself is the perfect example of that balance between strength and gentleness. He is all-powerful, yet also loves eternally. A God who was only all-powerful would be a threat more than anything (more like Satan, really). A God who was only eternally-loving would have no means of saving us. It is only because He is both that we are blessed with the opportunity to find eternal life with Him through faith.
      Ah… Yes… As a 19-year-old girl in college, I am all-too-familiar with this idea. It’s often used, I find, as an excuse to dress up and/or play along to the will of any interested guy. Personally, I think that some women feel that if the guy is going to objectify them anyways, they may as well give their “permission”, as if that somehow means the guy does it ONLY because he “has their permission”, and they pretend that makes it better than it is. In a sense, I feel we option feel that if we are going to be objectified anyways (because sadly, we are, to some degree), we may as well find SOME way of finding SOME form of empowerment from it – even if that means pretending we’re a willing participant. Then there are those who do honestly enjoy being objectified (not something I personally understand, but I know females who do enjoy that). I’m not familiar with any good articles on the topic, but I’ll definitely consider writing up an article on this in future – I’m just mulling over what anime/character I’d like to use for it. 🙂
      Most welcome – just happy to be in His service! 🙂 Thank you again, and God bless! 🙂

      P.S. Good choice on being a Whovian (TARDIS profile pic)! 😉

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      1. Wise words! You’ve already got a good handle on this particular idea of objectification, and seem halfway to an article already. Thanks again!

        P.S. I’m a fan of the Palm-Top Tiger as well!

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        1. Haha, thanks! 🙂 Most welcome!

          Lol yay for Taiga! She’s my avatar because a few people now have told me we’re similar lol. XD Both short, tsundere, and go sorta’ crazy if you hurt a friend. XD (There’s other reasons but those are the top ones lol)

          P.S. Thanks for the Twitter follow the other day!

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