By Dom Meese
“What would men be without women? Scarce, sir … mighty scarce” – Mark Twain
IT is a concept that will stand the test of time. As they say: “behind every good man is a great woman”, or put a little less eloquently by John Lennon, “As usual, there is a great woman behind every idiot”.
International Women’s Day was celebrated recently.
Seemingly there is an internationally recognised day for just about anything and everything these days, but International Women’s Day is, in my opinion, one that should be promoted and grown.
After all, women play an integral, and often largely unrecognised, part in our society.
Historically, men have always been the bread winners of the traditional family.
While that is still true in many cases today, more and more women are making careers for themselves and doing admirable work in their fields. The number of stay-at-home dads is increasing as more and more women take professional career paths at the same level as men.
There are also plenty of women who forge a career at home, nurturing and looking after the family; taking the kids to school, cleaning the house, cooking the dinner etc.
Without this, many households wouldn’t survive.
Whether women are in the paid workforce or stay-at-home mums, the work they do should not to be taken for granted.
Women are the equal of their male counterparts. In fact, in some circumstances, women are superior.
Take for example the nurturing of a child.
I, as a dad, can spend as much time with my little son as I want, but when it’s all said and done, I will never have the same bond as my wife has with him.
While I definitely have a strong bond, my little man beams at me when I come home from work. It makes my heart melt. Don’t choke on your beer, lads, it’s true, it is not the same as the one my wife has developed from carrying him for nine months in the womb and breastfeeding him for his entire life so far.
If I’m not home for an extended period of time, he is the same baby. If she’s not home for an extended period of time, he’s not the same baby. He gets anxious. In fact, he usually starts crying as soon as she’s driven the car down the driveway. If I’m really out of luck, it’s as soon as the front door closes. In this example, my wife is superior to me. In terms of equality of the sexes, our culture is evolving, however, there is still room to improve.
Mahatma Gandhi sums it up beautifully:
“To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man’s injustice to woman.
“If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man.
“If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior.
“Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance? Without her, man could not be. Without her, man could not be”…
“What would men be without women? Scarce sir … mighty scarce.” – Mark Twain
Picking up a theme? Without women, arguably, men couldn’t survive.
I know I would seriously battle without my wife. I wonder how many times I’ve asked her things like “where is the soy sauce kept?” or “how long do I put Adam’s food in the microwave for?”
Of course, I could work these things out on my own but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t help in these situations.
When it comes to the not so trivial aspects of life, she is worth her weight in gold, and some.
She is the very first person I turn to for advice and has helped me through some seriously tough times. For example being unemployed for six months while I underwent a career change).
Through these experiences, she has provided unwavering love and support.
Through the first three months of our son’s life, which I admit hit me like a speeding freight train, it was my wife who was the “more self-sacrificing”, getting up every two hours to feed and foregoing sleep. It was my wife who had the “greater power of endurance” every time he woke up and cried, or when he filled his nappy for the third time while trying to change the original. I can assure you, without her, I would be pretty scarce!
Archbishop Fulton Sheen echoes Gandhi with these words of wisdom: “To a great extent, the level of any civilisation is the level of its womanhood.
“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her.
“The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice and goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her.
“The history of civilisation could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.”
If our civilisation can be based on its womanhood, how are we faring today? I’d argue not too well.
How is our current-day womanhood going when we have a booming sex-slave industry that trafficks women around the world for predominantly men’s pleasure?
How is our culture today when we have a multi-billion-dollar adult entertainment industry that uses women as objects, again predominantly for men’s pleasure?
How is our current-day womanhood going when we have social commentators mocking a pregnant lady for looking “huge”?
How is our current-day womanhood going when women feel the need to look as sexy as they can simply to appeal to men?
In the majority of these cases, men are to blame. Many men treat women with contempt and disrespect. Many men see women as objects for pleasure or worse.
Women deserve complete respect. They deserve to be on the same elevation as men.
They deserve perpetual recognition for their hard work because without them, men wouldn’t be elevated in the first place.
To all the women out there, happy belated International Women’s Day.
Dom Meese is a young Catholic blogger.