Woman worries

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I thank God I am not a woman,

To be touched

With so many giddy offences.

— Shakespeare, As You Like It, II, 7

 

If you’re a man, do you like who you are, or would you prefer to be a woman? Well, that character in the quote above from Shakespeare’s play didn’t relish the idea, as he expressed that women were touched with too many giddy offences.

Nevertheless, most men do prefer to be men, and relish their status of manhood. After all, it’s a man’s world, they say, and men seem to get all the perks that society offers. James Brown sang ‘This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or girl.’ It takes a woman to complete it.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and in these modern days, there are men who cross the gender aisle, switch teams, defect, let the side down, sell out and don the garments of women, opting to be female.

Did you know that vaunted FBI Director J Edgar Hoover was reputed to be a cross dresser, and that US Olympics decathlon champion Bruce Jenner is now Caitlyn Jenner? There are other famous men who have more dresses than showcased in a boutique. Some even go the full hundred and do expensive surgery to take on the role of feminine pulchritude. Truly, it has been said that many women have penis envy, wishing to be like men, but there are also men who have p.. p.. envy… er vagina envy.

No longer do they think that it’s better to give than to receive. “A vagina, a vagina, my penis for a vagina,” is their cry.

But even as they do that, they still aren’t true women, for they haven’t taken on the worries that women go through on a daily basis. It’s like doing karate — you can put on a black belt and promote yourself to whatever high rank, but it doesn’t make you authentic.

So what are these worries? We’ll find out right after these responses to ‘Sexy lady’.

 

Hello Tony,

My wife, like yours, allows me to check out the curvy ladies, but five seconds is not long enough to take in the beauty of her face, her long slender neck, firm ample breasts, flat stomach with slim waist, curvy hips leading to long and well-shaped legs. If I happen to miss seeing such a woman, my wife will nudge me to look, but I am allowed 10 seconds. I always said that sexy is not a look, but an attitude, and not every woman has the attitude. Women who have both the look and the attitude will rule the world, so to speak.

Carlos

 

Hi Tony,

At first glance I thought that your article was going to be sexist and objectifying women, but I must admit that you actually touched on some home truths that people fail to admit. Women do dress up to attract men, consciously or subconsciously, and when the right man is attracted she has fulfilled her task. But when the wrong guy takes the bait, she’s offended. The fact remains, men see women in a sexual light, and only the liars won’t admit that.

Janice

 

In the Bible, it is said that man was created first and then women came afterwards, made from the rib of the man. So from the outset, women were second place, second-class citizens, placed here to follow after men.

Whether that story is based on scientific evidence or not is moot. The fact remains, that’s the belief, and perception is often as good as the fact. When the legend is more colourful and interesting than the fact, stick with the legend.

Women seem to believe that their lives are hard and that their worries are aplenty. How do I know this? Because women keep on telling me so. Oh yes, women constantly tell me how difficult and challenging their lives are, and how easy men have it when compared to theirs.

“You men have it so easy, woman life hard cyan dun.”

The reality is, in many cultures male babies are preferred, and in some areas extreme action is taken against female babies who are often given away at birth. I remember this guy I knew who cursed his wife after the birth of their daughter, and her crying to me about his behaviour is locked in my memory forever. “He said he wanted a son and was so angry when we got a girl that he cursed me and stormed out of the hospital room.”

But nature has a way of compensating, for female babies are stronger than their male counterparts and have a much higher survival rate. This continues through life, as eventually women tend to outlive men. “Survived by his wife.”

As the girl grows up her worries begin early, even as the boy is romping and gallivanting to his heart’s content. The girl discovers that her body is changing. By her early teens or even much younger, depending on certain factors, her body goes through physical and hormonal changes that really scare some young girls.

The first worry is the menstrual cycle that causes so much distress. “Mummy, I woke up this morning and saw this, am I going to die?” This ‘curse’, as some women call it, will occur regularly every month and lasts for decades, never leaving her unless she gets pregnant. In some societies women are shunned during this period.

This is truly a major worry for a woman, and I dare any man to endure that in his daily life. “Sorry guys, I can’t play ball today, that monthly thing arrived.” The only thing worse than having that cycle is missing it… unplanned.

Then there is the worry of women being pursued by men and then having the challenge of having to separate the rams from the dogs, the wolves from the sheep. Not an easy task, as many women have been bitten by the dogs, had the wool pulled over their eyes by the sheep, bucked by the rams, ravaged by the wolves, and then discarded.

Most women want children, but that’s not an easy road to take. A child does not simply drop from the sky, but has to go through a lengthy complicated process from impregnation, conception to birth. Basically the man deposits his seed and goes his merry way. But for the woman, the worries have just begun.

During that process, the woman’s body and mind go through a plethora of changes, ranging from mood swings, weight gain, throwing up, pain and general discomfort. I once knew a young woman who lost all of her teeth due to the constant throwing up during her pregnancy. That gastric acid is extremely corrosive. There she was, age 23 and having to wear a full set of dentures like granny.

So now it’s on to childbirth, and back in the day when natural birth was de rigueur, as the French say, or ‘a nuh nutten’, as Jamaicans say. The pain, I’m told, is excruciating and worse than being kicked in the balls. But I have to wonder, for after being kicked in the balls once, no man wants a repeat. And yet women will go back and have multiple children.

Anyway, we always hear about the pain of childbirth and the long hours of painful labour that women have to go through. Maybe that’s why so many who can afford it will opt for a C-Section instead.

“I have three children and never experienced the pain of childbirth,” boasted one woman, even as her husband said, “But I experienced the pain in my wallet.”

Women’s worries continue, for after nine challenging months, the brunt of the child-rearing is often left up to her. In some cases the man may disappear, so she joins the ranks of the single mother, which must rank as one of the most difficult worries in a woman’s life.

She grows older and after decades of discomfort, distress, debilitations, her monthly cycle along with the pain ceases. “Oh sweet relief.” But that is ephemeral, short-lived, brief, for those uncomfortable monthly episodes are replaced by the dreaded menopause. “OMG, when will it ever end?” Now it’s the hormonal changes again, the mood swings, the hot flashes that create her own personal summer, the weight gain, the loss of libido.

In-between all this, the woman has to endure even more worries, from fibroids, possible miscarriages, hysterectomy, being loved and left, sexual harassment, not being desired anymore.

Truly, the worries of women are immense, compared to the path of men. Of course, by now you may have gleaned that all this is a counterfoil to my piece on ‘Quiet desperation’ regarding men that I wrote a few weeks ago.

How do I know so much about women’s worries? Well, I sat down with some lady friends, imbibed a suspicious drink, as they regaled me with their worries, and woke up in a dazed stupor with this article completed. As Shakespeare said, “O woe me, to have seen what I have seen, see what I see.”

More time.

seido1yard@gmail.com

 

Footnote: Well, the honeymoon is over and COVID-19 is increasing in Jamaica. We were doing so well too and were the envy of the world with our measures. But with the reopening of our borders and many incoming travellers testing positive, our numbers are increasing. Combine this with the indiscipline of many Jamaicans who continue to flout the guidelines by congregating in large numbers at beaches, parties, churches, that’s a recipe for disaster. Now even the USA, which ironically is the epicentre for COVID-19 in the world, has the temerity to issue warnings regarding coming to Jamaica. People, I implore you, follow the guidelines, wear your mask.

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