You Said It: In praise of women

You Said It: In praise of women

Morton Chalfy

At this time of attacks on women by the right wing I want particularly to say a few words in defense of and praise for women. I am qualified to do this by my lifelong and deep-seated belief that the definition of pleasure is being enfolded in the arms of a loving woman. From infancy at my mother’s breast through the seven decades until the present, women have been at the center of my life and living with women has provided my structure.

Males’ efforts to control, marginalize, use, debase and devalue women undoubtedly goes back to before we could be termed “human” and has employed every dirty trick a dirty minded species like ours could dream up. Many cultures share the thought that “Thank God I wasn’t born a woman.” In most male dominated cultures, that is most cultures period, even the slowest, dumbest, most worthless boy could take pride in the fact that he was automatically ahead of half the race and could take his frustrations out on that hapless half with no fear of reprisal.

One would think that the obvious advantages of being on the side of justice for women, a better, more comfortable, saner life being one outstanding advantage, would rally more than half the men to their side and render the haters inconsequential. But no. Around the world women are still treated as worse than second class citizens and currently are seen as the legitimate targets in wars throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Even here, in America, where the women’s movements have gained tremendously in moving our society a good distance toward becoming civilized, we still have radio commentators who feel perfectly at ease using terms like slut and prostitute to smear those who disagree with them on policy issues. Is it all sexuality they fear or only that of women?

Nothing is ever certain about the future but it is hard to see peace and prosperity without a rise to equality of women all around the world. In ten years the majority of college and post-college graduates will be women and many of them will be women of color. What will men do when the realization that their bosses are all women, that policy is being made by women and that being able to gang up on someone is no longer acceptable behavior?

We are a long way from equality around the globe but equality here at home is much closer at hand. By my words and deeds I have always tried to teach my three sons, and my daughter, to value, respect and appreciate women. The upshot is that their lives, like mine has been and continues to be, are better, more enjoyable and filled with the occasional blissful embrace of a loving woman.

Got an opinion on a local, state or national issue? Send your op-ed pieces to michele@alamedacommunitynewsproject.org.