Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

With or Without (A Random, Rambling Rant)

*Language warning - if you're embarrassed by a frank discussion of human anatomy, move along, there's nothing to see here, go find another post. The one about Cinnamon rolls is a good one...
I was recently reminded of this quote: "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle."

What? No. A woman without a man is a...wo.

No. A woman without a man is...a woman without a man. Hello? Why do we need to get cutesie or snide about a single woman and her lack of male companionship? Why does it matter?

Some women are miserable without a man in their life. They are lonely, cold inside, constantly seeking that missing "something". Some women are quite happy to be on their own - no man, no woman, needed to "complete" them, to make them fully themselves.

A number of women I know are experiencing fluctuations in their relationships. Some of them are dating, some are single, some are married, all are questioning their places, their priorities, their value to the pairing (or lack thereof).

Some of them aren't seeing anyone, and wondering if they ever want to again. These aren't children who haven't experienced much of life - these are grown women who are seriously considering a life of celibacy or battery operated toys over a "paired" life, because pairing up just isn't worth the bother.

Besides their own thoughts and conflicts on the subject there is the world around them, full of people willing to advise, to judge, to try and make them fit a preconception of what a woman's life should be.

The radical feminists think no woman should marry or choose to stay home with the children rather than work outside the home. The traditionalists think a woman should be married and have kids and be the happy homemaker who never complains because, after all, her husband is supporting her and isn't that enough?? Umm...no, it isn't. Work outside the home 9 hours a day isn't equal to work inside the home 24 hours a day, no matter how you slice it. Anyone who says "Raising children and keeping house aren't work" should look at how much daycare centers and cleaning services charge to do it. It wouldn't cost that much if it was fun, fun, fun!!

Why does it matter? Why does anyone think they have the right to judge the choices a woman makes for herself? Why is there such pressure to date, marry, reproduce? Am I really less of a woman because I value independence over marriage? Am I less of a woman if I realize that I really don't want to have children? Am I nothing more that my reproductive organs? Is that all there is to me...a vagina, breasts, some ovaries and a womb? Why are we defined by these things? It seems like we have to choose one side or the other, that there's no middle ground...nowhere for someone who is content to be herself, to live her own life in her own way.

I don't hate men, and I am sick of hearing them denigrated as a group simply because they have a penis, testicles, and more testosterone and are therefore stupid, evil, and useless. I like penises. They're fun. They're funny. They're useful when you want to have kids or somewhere to hang your hat when your hands are full. Some men are the personification of a human sphincter, yes. Most are not. Most are struggling to figure out what the hell they are supposed to be doing and are as lost and confused as everyone else. The same can be said of women.

Perhaps the difficulty lies in the fact that we identify gender first, rather than our shared humanity. Perhaps we get so hung up on whether someone has a penis or a vagina that we forget they have a brain, a heart, two kidneys, and a host of other things in common with us.

If we could learn to speak our minds, to be fearlessly honest, to recognize the commonalities first, we might all be better off...with or without our "bicycles".


Bob Cleveland said...

I didn't read this post. I thought I should say that, after reading this post.

RachelW said...

You're right, there is nothing wrong with penises. Or peni. Or the people who have them, in the general sense of it.

Aunt Becky said...

You said it sister. I love dudes. I love them a hell of a lot more than I love most women I know.

chris said...

I wouldn't survive a day if I was a woman.