Women are truly fascinating creatures…and a total contradiction at any given moment. I just thought I’d throw that out in case there’s a man around who has yet to learn the facts of feminine life…or had managed to forget it.
Stop and think about it. Many’s the woman who refuses to stay in the same room with a mouse…even when the mouse is trapped in a trash can and can’t get near her…yet thinks nothing of crawling thru spiders, bugs and other assorted vermin to rescue a kitten trapped under a house.
More than a few women will literally shake in their high heels if you so much as show them a picture of a gun. But… those same women would kill you without so much as batting an eye in order to protect their children. And they wouldn’t hesitate to use one of the guns whose picture gives them the shakes to do the deed.
Starting to think that women aren’t quite as delicate as you might have thought? That’s progress, but let’s go back in history and see just how strong some women really were and how incredibly delicate many men considered them.
Back in 1620, when the Mayflower made it’s first voyage to the New World, the trans-Atlantic trip wasn’t for the faint of heart. Yet women endured the journey, including storms, sea sickness and short rations, just as well as the men…and sometimes better.
Incidentally, women do one thing that men have never done and will never do…unless things change radically…and that’s to give birth to children. Childbirth still isn’t easy, but imagine what it was like in the late 1500s – early 1600s in a virgin land populated with wild animals, disease and indigenous natives who may or may not look on you as invaders to be destroyed. And they say women are delicate! Hmm-m-m-mph!
In 1776, Molly Pitcher (her real name was Margaret Hays) secured a place in history when she manned a cannon at the battle of Monmoth after her husband fell wounded. Before taking his place at the cannon, she’d spent time carrying pitchers of water to the soldiers and even hoisted a wounded man onto her own back, rescuing him from the attacking British! Wonder what the Redcoats thought when they saw a woman fighting shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the rebels?
Molly Pitcher’s comrades-in-arms aside, society (meaning men) had a totally false opinion of those delicate flowers that were called women.
A prime example of this can be found in a particular famous phrase that John Paul Jones uttered…and what he really said.
If you’ve read any history, you know the story of John Paul Jones and the famous sea battle between his ship, the Bon Homme Richard, and the British man-of-war, Serapis. When the Bon Homme Richard was being cut to pieces in it’s dance of death with Serapis, Jones was asked if he would strike.
Now, for those who don’t know, asking if a ship’s commander would strike during a battle was referring to lowering the ship’s colors or flag. In other words, he was being asked to surrender.
John Paul Jones’ reply has been immortalized since that time as “I have not yet begun to fight!”, but the truth is just a little different. In that time period, women were considered to be so demure and delicate that if a coarse word accosted their dainty ears, they would immediately throw their hand up to their forehead, enter a deep swoon… in other words, faint…and collapse to the ground, injuring themselves in the process. So, Jones’ reply was sanitized in order to protect these innocent, feminine creatures.
What did John Paul Jones really say? Actually, nothing all that terrible. His reply, in the heat of battle, was “I may sink, but I’m damned if I’ll strike!”.
The truth is that women really aren’t all that delicate. Molly Pitcher wasn’t the only woman to engage in active military combat. There was Joan of Arc, of course. And let’s not forget at least one Southern Belle who fought in uniform for the Confederacy, keeping her gender a secret until she was wounded. Imagine the doctor’s surprise when he cut away the ‘soldier’s’ shirt to begin treatment!
It doesn’t stop there, either. For example, in WW-II, women pilots ferried unarmed B-17 bombers across the Atlantic to Europe. You get an idea of their courage and skill when you learn that a number of them died in the flaming wreckage of their unarmed bombers after being shot down by German air patrols. Wherever you find a war (and that includes our current war in Iraq), you’ll find women engaged in active combat, whether by accident or design.
There’s something else to keep in mind as well. Many churches wouldn’t exist without their women. All too often, the men…who are supposed to be the leaders… attend church infrequently or not at all, leaving the ladies to take up the slack.
Yep, those quiet, demure, delicate flowers of the feminine persuasion that so many think can’t function without a man making the final decision or telling them what to do, are actually something totally different.
They are, in truth, steel magnolias. Soft, gentle and beautiful, yet with an unyielding inner strength that makes them both a man’s partner and his better half.
Without them, where would we men be?