In Praise of Women
A gay man's perspective
This article isn’t about what you think it's going to be about. As a gay man, I'm not going to talk about women's bodies, their hair or their eyelashes. Nor am I going to give beauty tips or show them how to dress to accentuate or hide their feminine curves.
I'm going to talk about the Spirit of Women.
I am going to talk about WHO women are. From my perspective as a gay man, my heart is both that of a man and a woman. My feet are in both worlds. As a MAN, I understand the male ego and male privilege in our society. I understand the pressures to be strong, independent and prove myself to the world, but I also have the heart of a woman.
In my observations, I see how women rise above the standards of many men in our society. Their desire for eternal love, their search for the ideal, their appreciation for all things beautiful, their compassion for all creatures, their patience and sacrifice in the midst of struggle and their hope that things can always get better...far surpass the self-centered egos of many men in our society who lack many of the above virtues.
Of course not everyone fits into these sex generalizations and each individual is at a different place. Certainly there are selfish, aggressive and nasty women whose lives dwell in the carnal moment, just as there are intuitive, peaceful, and sensitive men whose hearts seek the heavens. However, observing the general behavior of the average man and woman in today's society, there does seem to be a way of being that the sexes fall into. Is it socialization, ingrained in our DNA or a little of both?
As a GAY man, my heart feels, understands and resonates with that of a woman. I understand what women desire because I am of the same heart and mind. I understand the struggle of dealing with the emotions of desire, love, rejection and pain. I also understand the need to create safe spaces of community, support, reconciliation and healing. And as most women, I am against abuse, aggression, injustice, inequality and violence. I believe love is what brings us all together.
When women get together they talk and share their feelings, which creates bonding, understanding, support and relationship building. Women understand that communication is key.
When men talk to each other, they don't talk about their feelings as that would be a sign of weakness, but instead talk about the news, information, their opinions, entertainment, sports, sex, etc. All stuff to show they are up there along with their peers.
Many men are very careful about what they say to women (including their mothers), because they fear saying the wrong thing. What their hearts reveal can be contrary to how women feel...and they would get in BIG trouble. So they say nothing. They know that what is inside their hearts can only be shared with other men.
I am a witness to the struggle that women have to survive in a society that treats them as sex objects, valued only for their youth and looks. Women outside of this superficial ideal are invisible. Their opinions, thoughts and emotions are not regarded and their diligent work is taken for granted. Women really are 2nd class citizens in our world. It is because of their internal struggle to do the right thing, tireless work for the good and their belief in LOVE...that I see that ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL.
In many parts of the world, women are still not allowed to learn, speak up, vote or hold a job, yet without women to create peace, understanding and perspective, the world would be a hostile place. Women understand the need for dialogue, compromise and working together. Their gentle, patient, longsuffering and empathetic voices quietly influence the minds of their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons; and continues to change the mindset of so many societies. The power of women's voices are not to be underestimated.
Yes, Genesis says that in the beginning God created Adam first and Eve was created as his "helper”, formed from Adam’s "RIB". But women really are the BACKBONE of the WORLD. What a helper she REALLY is.
Look around and see how women keep our society running at top speed. We've all heard that behind every successful man is his wife, but also behind every doctor are the nurses caring for the patients. Behind every factory are the women working tirelessly in the assembly line. Behind every minister are the faithful women offering their hearts and hands to God while many men stay home watching football because they find church "boring".
Women make things happen and do so much work, yet barely receive any acknowledgement, thanks or adequate payment.
Each of us has a mother who carried us for 9 long months, endured painful labor and then dealt with our crying, dirty diapers, tantrums and rebellion. Mothers are the most underappreciated member of the family. She prepares everyone's meal, cleans up their mess and keeps the family and house functioning. Peek into any home and you will see the mother and daughters running the entire household, while the males (including some husbands) do their own thing, never lifting a finger.
Many mothers of gay men were the bridge between their sons and their disapproving fathers...and for that we are grateful.
And so many women are teachers, health workers, social servants, community builders and volunteers; supporting people they hardly know and not related to. At every gathering, party and church event, women welcome everyone with food and refreshment, ensuring everyone's comfort. Their goal is to make people happy and make things better.
On the flipside, our society has pushed men to fight their way to the top and aggressively pursue status, success, money and sex. This has lead many men to think only about themselves. Of course there are many humble, ethical men who pursue goals for the good of mankind, but so much also comes down to self-interest, ego, competition or proving themselves to others.
Today's women's talk shows examine societies issues through LISTENING in hopes of bridging divides to create harmony and healing for the greater good, while men's shows do more TALKING in their attempts to take control of these situations to benefit their interests.
Many men's TV shows center around making money (greed), politics (power struggle), sports (play, adrenalin, aggression, competition) and crude humor (amusement at the expense of others). The internet, because it can be viewed privately, is the source for sex (lust) entertainment. Why is it men's shows always feature fighting, spectacle, violence, revenge or sex while women's shows are about resolving relationships and reconciliation?
And so many point to women as being the weaker sex because they are more "EMOTIONAL" than men, but that just shows me that they are connected and commited to everything in their lives. Some women can weep at a moments notice for any reason. On the other hand, many men can just walk away from events in their lives feeling nothing. No regret, no feelings, no care...nothing. Perhaps that is the reason many men can do a wrong and feel no sorrow for it. Or hurt another person and just dismiss it. The only emotion men are allowed to have are going ballistic or going beserk. Watch men at any sports event or while driving on a crowded highway. For some reason being loud, impatient, and billigerent is OK.
Women truly are the more altruistic of the sexes, seeking harmony, compromise, peace, non-violence, healing, togetherness, community, the big picture and all for nothing in return.
I have come to the notion that women are a higher spiritual creation and men at the bottom. Of course the male ego and his pride reject this idea. Gay, bi and transgender men and women are between the two.
When people follow God however, we ALL move up quickly from wherever we are and the gap closes. Men who serve God learn the virtues that women have already possessed and they both become more in tune with each other.
Of course I am speaking all of this of my own beliefs (it's a man thing), so you can take that for what it's worth. But, when I watch the news and witness all the yelling, lying, accusing and see the grand scale of corruption, destruction, power struggles, murders, violent abuse, revenge, greed, racial clashes, scandals, wars, bribery, and other evils that surround us, I notice that they all seem to involve MEN. Why is it that most criminals are men? Why are all wars started by men? Why is that men's games are all about fighting and competing to be the winner? Why are most conflicts created by men?
I would love to ask each of these men: "What does your mother think about what you are doing?"
Man at his very best has changed the world and done great and honorable things that have allowed humankind to survive in this harsh world. But when he is bad...he is his worse enemy and destruction is not far behind.
How ironic that even in the wild kingdom, lions, elephants and ape communities are run by the females, keeping the order, finding food and guaranteeing the survival of the community.
In the New Testament, Jesus ministered to women. Jesus knew what women’s lives were like. When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, the disciples said to themselves, “Why is He talking to her?” And among Jesus’ disciples were Martha and Mary, this at a time when women were considered unworthy to be involved in spiritual matters. Jesus forgave an adulteress woman giving her compassion and forgiveness, while all the religious men wanted to stone her. And Jesus pointed out the sacrifice of a poor widow who gave her very last penny as an offering to God.
Jesus recognized the hearts of these women.
I believe God created women for all of us as teachers and guides. That women naturally fall into the role of lovers, mothers, caretakers, peacemakers and teachers reveals a heart bigger than we realize. As Jesus said, "The first shall be last and the last shall be first".
Though world societies consider men to be of higher status, I believe women are far above the virtues of common men. God has blessed women with natural intuition, higher spirituality, a compassionate heart and an understanding that we all need each other in community. Their hearts are more in tune with the heart of God.
Men have a lot to learn.
Thank you Lord for your wonderful creation and gift to humankind, the woman.
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