About Women

"So, Hannah, what should we know about women?"

(Young Girl at an Open Half-Door, Rembrandt.  Image from here.)

I was sitting in the back seat of the car, watching the road slip by on our long trip, and a bit startled by the question from the two guys in the front.  It was a serious question, and I took a few minutes to think about what I wanted to tell them.  I came up with four things.  Obviously, they're all generalities -- but that was sort of what the question was asking for.

1) Once a month or so, women feel less than awesome.

I feel like that one's pretty obvious, but worth remembering.  Especially since there isn't anything comparable for most men...  That being said, though, it infuriates me when women play that as an excuse to be a jerk to everyone around them.  You and all other women on earth, sweetie.

2)  We can think about multiple things at once.  And probably have trouble not.

Thus, if you ask me what I'm thinking about... chances are good that the answer is very, very complicated.  If my brain's like a computer, there are many programs running at once.  I probably have one particular window open, and that's probably what I'll tell you as an answer to what I'm thinking about, but I'm ready to switch to any of the other windows at an instant's notice.  Also... if I get mad... it probably was not about one thing.

3)  Safety is a serious consideration.

One of the "programs" constantly running in the background of my mind is an assessment of how safe I am.  When I mentioned this, the guys asked if it was true then.  I said that I felt safe then, in the car with them, but when we got out at the next rest stop and they wandered off to get food or whatever, I'd be back on alert.

"Do guys really not think about this?" I asked.

"Well, we think about it sometimes," Tim said.  "Earlier this summer, when I was in Chicago, I was walking around late the one night and I saw a dark alley and wondered what was down it, but then I remembered that I wasn't in China, so it probably wasn't a good idea to go down it by myself."

...Point.  Proven.

4)  Usually, it feels like anything I say would be taken more seriously if I was a man.

The thing that really exasperates me about this one is the fact that I also tend to take men more seriously about most things, as if they are for some reason more knowledgeable about every topic under the sun.  I'm not really sure why, but this is a thing.  And it is deeply, deeply frustrating.  Here is an article making the same point from a slightly humorous perspective.

One lovely thing in the discussion that came out of their question was that I did feel very listened to.  And after I'd answered, I asked them back the same question -- what should women know about men?  Their answers that stuck in my mind were really just as simple and seemingly obvious as mine had been.  Don't act helpless and make men do things for you just because "they're men."  Don't assume that we can read your mind -- we can't.  We have feelings too.  We want to be appreciated when we do things for you.

What would you add?


  1. Pretty agreed.

    #4 totally. Once in a while I use a male avatar in a discussion forum. The responses to the male avatar are "taken more seriously".

    I'd like to add simply that women are humans just like men are humans. We're all complex (made by a far more complex God) and we fulfill all kinds of roles. Part of being made in the image of God is our built in need for communion - with God and with other people. So - and i know this is hard because media and people everywhere blast the opposite message - only a tiny tiny part of our lives has a need for sexual anything.
    So when a woman complains about being objectified - don't scoff. You are a victim as much as she is. And it barely registers as a blip on the radar of lies we've been fed. A real relationship with a person is rewarding and satisfying; a real relationship with God is the most rewarding and most satisfying. But we cheapen, spoil and box up the real goodies when we objectify one another, and/or God.

    1. The being human thing *is* complex, isn't it? And it's easy to try to reduce it to a neat checklist rather than getting involved in real relationships with other humans, who are, of course, also complex.


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