In Praise Of Women

Many times throughout my life, a thought has occurred to me of how the relationship between men and women for a long time, maybe forever has been fraught with conflicting messages.

Men love women, men hate women. Why? What’s it going to be guys? Why is there such a love-hate relationship?

I felt compelled to jot down some thoughts about this. Why? I have come to realize, men that women put up with a lot of s**t from us. Does everybody remember that it was only in the 1920’s in the United States that women obtained the right to vote? It wasn’t so long ago that women were merely considered as chattel. They weren’t human beings, they were property. In fact, today, in some places in the world, this patriarchal view of affairs still prevails. But despite how things have changed here, let’s not be so quick to condemn others as not being as advanced as us. When I stand at the water cooler with my male colleagues and I listen to the talk, the sexist remarks, the deprecating comments, I realize that here, in North American society, we have lip service, we have a veneer, but the depth of the changes in our society is not necessarily that profound. We all have quite a way to go.

Women are the most amazing of God’s creatures. I’m not a particularly religious man, but using the word God seems like the easiest way to encapsulate what I mean.

You have been my mother. You have loved me, nurtured me, and taught me, cared for me. You have held me when I was hurt; you have proudly hugged me as I left the nest. You have tenderly held my hand when I was successful; you were attentive when I failed.

You have been my sister. You have been kind and patient. You have taught me about women, you have shown me that a non sexual relationship with a woman is a good thing… and possible. You have loved me in my own right even if I was wrong.

You have been my lover. You have been sensual, you have been sexual, and you have fulfilled my wildest fantasies. You have put up with me when I have been head strong, you have been tender and caring when I’ve fallen down. You have come back even when I have been self-centered, mean and hurtful.

You have been my wife. You have loved me, you have cooked for me. You have held my hand at the movies; you have cuddled with me on the couch when we watched TV. You have comforted me when I, as a man, had to go out into the world and do battle to build for ourselves our own castle.

You have had my children. You have been inexhaustible, you have always been there, and you have been a never-ending fountain of joy, hope, love and kindness to everyone in the family including me.

You have been my partner. You have had your own career. You have worked with me as a team. Together we have had a synergy where the whole is greater than sum of the parts.

I stand in awe before you, woman. I repeat that you are the most amazing of God’s creatures. You are truly everything, no one else will do. I will climb the highest mountain, I will swim the deepest river, I will use every fibre in my being, I will expend my last breath. I thank the Lord the day he took a rib from my side. The world would not be complete; I could not live without you. I am honoured by your presence; I am grateful for your attention, I am blessed by your love.

I have found many variations of the following, sometimes attributed to St. Thomas Aquinas and sometimes to others even earlier in time.

Woman was created from the rib of man.
She was not made from his head to be above him,
nor was she made from his feet to be trampled on.
She was created out of his side to equal him,
under his arm to be protected by him
and near his heart to be loved.


Click HERE to read more columns by William Belle.

 

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