The Road to 65, Mile 39: Girls

January 6, 2015, Prescott-  The man whom I am helping, with some aspects of his current homelessness, went with me to one of my favourite coffee shops, this afternoon.  As we were talking about various subjects, the topic of girls and women came up.  Specifically, his left-over pain at having lost his sister, to suicide, some years ago, because of their father’s failing to ever, once, validate her achievements or her worth.  He has long known that gender has nothing to do with a person’s worth, and he misses her, to this day, as I would miss a sibling.

When I let the gentleman off, at a burger joint, and headed home for the night, I learned some things about how a person I love, as if she were my own child, has been treated, over the past few years.  To say I am livid, is a mild understatement.  There is not much I can do in this situation, ethically or legally, except vent, in the most opaque ways possible.  There is no point in muddying the waters of a situation which will be resolved, by cooler heads than mine.

So, generally speaking, in this year 2015, why are we still debating the same issue that our grandparents were considering, in 1945?  In 1905?  Why is anyone, in his right mind, looking at a woman, or a girl, as deriving her worth only from the men around her?  Why are anyone’s God-given talents and abilities subject to the sanction of an overseer?  Why does any male human require the person who is potentially his life partner, his equal in every respect that matters, the first teacher of his children, to be subservient?

We, in this society, love to throw stones at the Taliban, and other groups whom we perceive as having a medieval mindset.  Yet, so many men, right here, right now- and of EVERY ADULT GENERATION, decree themselves Lords and Masters.  I could never bring myself to do that.

My late wife and I had our share of struggles, misunderstandings and long debates.  None of them ever had as their core some sort of false notion about me being somehow superior in our relationship.  We were a team, of imperfect humans, and we were going to make it work.  So, we did, through all manner of mishaps and foibles, many of them my own, and we never, once, went to bed angry.

I guess it’s because my self-worth did not depend on her obeisance.  It depended on her approval, to some extent, and on her support, which never wavered.  Girls, and the awesome adults they become when given the love and support they deserve, are a cornerstone of humanity.  I never had a daughter, but there are so many in my world, whom I am proud to call friend- and would be very proud to call “my child”.  It will ever be so.

7 thoughts on “The Road to 65, Mile 39: Girls

  1. Here in the deep south I’ve met many men of different ages who believe they are the Lord and Master of the house and the wife should obey. I have also met many women who seem to believe their role is to obey their husband.
    I dont understand it. I dont care for it. It offends me. It isn’t something i can fix.

  2. I loved this post, very mature and very realistic, Gary.
    The point is this matter is still strong in society. In the east most women are subjected to these. But what I could never understand is, how the Royal Family expect to be respected for their Royalness. The fact that people have to bend and courtesy in their presence, and that NBA star been dogged for having his arm around Kate!

    • Kate and Wills are likely to change a lot of that crap, once the Old Guard is no longer around to raise a fuss. Respect and decorum, though, are relatively harmless. It is the horrific humiliation to which ordinary women are subjected that is the main issue facing society, in this area.

  3. Yes, sadly right here in America there are men who think they are superior to women and women are meant to serve men. And even more sadder is that my dad is one of those men. Needless, my dad and I don’t get along very well.

    I really hope one day this old way of thinking will change.

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