It should never be about one gender without the other. Here are 7 reasons why I value women.
If you follow me on Facebook, you will have seen two items of note recently. One is that I was recently featured on Thought Catalog, and the second being that I’ve put out there an opportunity to Ask Me Anything. Like literally, anything. One of my next blog posts will be where I grab a whole bunch of these and go nuts. The response so far has been pretty good actually, with a big mix of funny personal questions (like one about my notorious hair style), to some more serious ones. If you haven’t gotten in on it yet, jump on Facebook and send me a line, either via a comment or message up there.
One of them that came in courtesy of a female friend was the question, “Why do you value women?”. I thought this one was interesting enough to warrant a post of its own.
We live in a society which is very much aware of the damage that has been caused to women at the hands of men. For most people, you don’t have to look much further than your own friends who may be hardcore into the feminist or women’s rights movements. In Australia, we have a publishing arm of one of our news corporations which published content almost exclusively addressing issues relating to women and the treatment of women in society known as Daily Life. Beyond that, we see a whole range of statistics staring us in the face quite seriously regarding women’s safety and value – in the UK, 44% of women report physical or sexual abuse of some kind in a relationship. 44%. That’s crazy. Similar percentages plague us throughout our world. Even in 2016 we’re still facing the prevalence of female genital manipulation, robbing women of their sexuality; domestic violence; and equality of pay and opportunity.
So into that context, I’d like to be a male voice that’s speaking up for a restoration and a resurgence of love and respect towards our sisters, wives, daughters, mothers and friends. Here are 7 reasons why I value women.
#1: Because they teach me to feel more deeply
There’s a stereotype out there that women are the more emotional ones (and sometimes people claim too emotional). It’s not uncommon for me to hear from the guys at work or some of my acquaintances that they hurt their wives’ feelings by saying something that they didn’t think a big deal of, or they took them to some movie that made them cry, or they’re annoyed because some girl they met was deeply offended by something they did. Men can tend to complain about the softer nature of the women in their lives on a regular basis. And I think it’s just because there is a difference here – that women tend to be (not always) more connected with their emotions, and are more easily moved by things, that sometimes men identify this as an annoyance or hindrance in their lives.
I actually think this is a really great thing. Sometimes in my life I’ll see terrible things happen in the world, or I’ll know of a friend who’s going through a hard time, and it’ll be the women in my life who are touched at a much deeper level than I am and actually highlight to me how important it is that something is done about these problems. Where I can be sometimes a bit more indifferent or removed, I have been really blessed by women in my life who’ve taught me how important it is to let things move you. To feel deeply. To take it in. Sure, you could argue that the extreme of this approach is that you become an emotional wreck, but I think when this is taken in in balance this is actually a remarkable thing.
#2: Because they see things I don’t
In business or in my own personal life, if I ever want to make a big decision, I’ll make sure I consider all possible vantage points. I may have my own bias, and so I’ll run the idea or decision past some other people – people with the same view, and also people with a different view. I may have not actually considered everything within the context of my own experience, and I may be missing something very important.
And one of the best things I’ve found personally is involving the female perspective in a corporate or a personal situation. Their brains are wired differently. They probably understand how it affects other women more than I do. To ignore their perspective would be to severely limit my opportunity to understand a situation. Genius.
#3: Because they have something worth saying
I saw a video shared to Facebook a while ago where Aljazeera America was doing a documentary-type feature on why African American women tend to be single in larger numbers. Not necessarily sure I agree with everything they put forward, but it was interesting to hear some people’s stories nonetheless. One of the big contenders in this argument, as well as in related arguments, is that many men are apparently threatened by an educated women.
Personally I’m not sure I agree with the prevalence of that view. I think it’s more the attitude you may have about being educated that may actually be what intimidates or scares certain men. It’s the difference between saying to him, “Yeah I’ve just been completing my PhD at uni”, and “I’ve got a degree and earn more than you, you have a problem with that?”. The first one probably won’t encounter as much “intimidation”.
Digressing a bit there, the reality is that women have something to say. Of the famous Proverbs 31 woman it is said she opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. I love that. We do ourselves a disservice if we discount what they have to say.
When she speaks, she always has something worthwhile to say.
#4: Because they’re not all bad
This one is for the guys. Because there are so many men out there who harbour so much pain in their live at the hands of a woman, or at the hands of women. Much in the same way that women have been destroyed and belittled by the actions of men, I know way too many men who have had similar experiences, often with much less support. In fact, one of the highest suicide demographics in a lot of countries is divorced, middle-aged men. I know heaps of men even in their 20s who have lost some significant aspects of their health and life due to their response to what a woman did to them.
Unfortunately one bad experience can sour our view and affect our whole outlook when it comes to the treatment and value of women. We’ve all heard the song about having 99 problems, which assumes that women are just another problem. It’s popular because it’s relateable for so many guys.
But what a sad day when our view towards an entire gender is soured by the actions of one or a few. Don’t get me wrong, some women are awful, destructive, selfish and evil, much the same as how some men haved treated women… or sometimes worse.
But imagine if someone wrote you off because of the actions of another man. It would suck. Let’s make sure we don’t let our worldview become overwhelmed by bitterness or someone in the past.
#5: Because we’re better together
There’s a reason why so many people give effort to finding a life partner. It’s because partnership is awesome. Two are better than one. When one falls, the other is there to pick them up. When one lies down alone, they don’t have the warmth that’s achieved when there are two. There are no successful organisations of one person – all of them are empires of hundreds to thousands of people, because what we achieve together is exponentially greater than we can achieve on our own.
And what a blessing it is when men and women are together. Not even necessarily in marriage, but even just in life. Standing with each other instead of against each other. Using our unique gifts and talents to build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Leaving every single person we encounter better than we found them, not worse. Like in the Garden, men and women in unity are very good indeed – the embodiment of Creation complete.
#6: Because without them we can’t be all we can be
An extension on the previous point, but a bit of a reality check. Anyone remember that old song by James Brown about this being a man’s world? “But it wouldn’t be nothing, without a woman or a girl”. Too right.
Without women, we’re nothing, and we can’t ever be all that we’ve been called to be. If you dream of being a father, you can’t do it without a woman’s involvement somewhere in the mix. You just can’t. If you want to be a minister, how can you only ever minister to half of humanity? If you want to be a great teacher of truth, a successful CEO, a bold family man… you can never do it without the women that have been placed in your life.
#7: Because they need us to
A final reason why I value women in my life. It’s because they need me to. They need us to. In the same way we can’t be all that we can be without them, they can’t be all that they can be without us.
In a world where so many women live with broken hearts and bondage, fearing what the next masculine figure in their life is going to do to them, be the man who restores that image in her life. Be a man of integrity to your own hurt. Speak life instead of destruction. Love your wife like Christ loves the church, dearly, truly, radically. Love your sisters like the valuable treasures that they are. Invest into your friends and family to take back the years of destruction that have been inflicted by others. Use your strength and perspective to restore.
There are some things that can only come from a man. Don’t rob the women in your world of what only you can give.
What a blessing when men and women are truly living in unity. Not perfection, not falsehood, not bitterness, not pretense… but just with respect, with love, with truth, and with intentionality. That’s the world I believe for, and I believe it’s completely achievable. But it’s up to me, and it’s up to you.
So there you go, some of the reasons why I value women. There are many more of course. Thanks to my friend for a good question on a big issue, and hey, don’t forget to get over to Facebook and send me whatever other questions you may have for the next post.
How about you? Why do you think we should value women?