Monday, May 20, 2024
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HomeEducation / CultureWoman on the blaze

Woman on the blaze

By Tony Deyal

After my column last week on “Trump And Follow Suit”, one of my female FB friends was upset and rightly so. She wrote, “Tony, you bigging up men but we women not easy either you know. And it is not just the obscene language, or where we put what, but we say it as well as, or better than, men. You make a big deal about Churchill and women but there are some who are just as good, or even better.”

This is true. The expert on dropping it on men in combat, and come-back, was Nancy Astor who, despite being a Viscountess, was the first woman to take a seat in the British House of Commons. She devoted herself to the welfare and rights of women. The male members, especially Winston Churchill, were very discourteous to her. When she challenged him about his behaviour, he told her that it was because he found her intrusion into the all-male preserve embarrassing-especially as if she had burst into the bathroom when he had nothing to defend himself.

She retorted, “Winston, you are not handsome enough to have worries of that kind.” When, before the war, Churchill’s critics were so upset with him that one told Lady Astor, “We just don’t know what to make of him.” She replied, “How about a nice rug?”  She found it unnecessary to have to prove herself the equal of her male colleagues, especially as she knew that women are the superior sex. She insisted, “I married beneath me-all women do.”

To prove her point, Lady Astor remarked to her neighbour that she considered men to be more conceited than women. Noticing that her comment had been heard around the table, she continued in a loud voice, “It’s a pity that the most intelligent and learned men attach less importance to the way they dress. Why, right at this table the most cultivated man is wearing the most clumsily knotted tie!” The words had no sooner left her lips than every man in the room surreptitiously reached up to adjust his tie.

Then there was the US newspaper columnist, Ann Landers, with 70 million readers in over a thousand newspapers. A pompous US senator once asked, “So you’re Ann Landers? Say something funny!” She did not hesitate, “Well you’re a politician, tell me a lie.” Ira Clare, a US actress and former stage comedienne, was married to John Gilbert, a romantic hero of the silent screen. A reporter asked her how she felt being married to a celebrity.

She replied, “Why don’t you ask my husband?” Interestingly, women never go easy on women either. Lady Margot Asquith, wife of a British prime minister, was a British socialite and author. When the famous actress, Jean Harlow, met Lady Asquith she pronounced Margot as “mar-got” instead of “mar-go.” In reply, Lady Asquith corrected Harlow by pointing out, “My dear, the ‘t’ in my name is silent, as in ‘Harlow’.” When hearing about a famous British horse and hunting sportsman, Lord Londsdale, especially his prowess as a rider over fences, Lady Asquith replied, “Jump? Anyone can jump. Look at fleas!”

This is why Dorothy Parker, an American Poet known for her caustic wit, once said that the affair between Margot Asquith and Margot Asquith was one of the prettiest love stories in all literature. This is perhaps the reason that Mark Twain, the writer and humorist, when asked, “In a world without women what would men become?” replied, “Scarce, sir. Mighty scarce.” This is also why the talented 44-year-old writer from Jamaica, Queen’s, Eric S. Gray, remarked, “Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby. If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of s..t!”

This is along the lines of the “10 Signs You Are An Assertive, Badass Woman Who Doesn’t Take S..t From Anyone.” First, you’ve been called a “B” word many times. Next, is that you’re never afraid to speak your mind and that’s because you are fearless and not caring what others think of you. Third is that “You take no crap from anyone” and fourth, “You terrify some men.” However, you are insanely confident and, despite being told to be nice and sweet and talk gently, you don’t sugarcoat what you have to say. At number seven, if you don’t know or don’t understand something “you ask a lot of questions.” One of your biggest strengths is that “you are successful in your career.”

In other words, not only that you take risks and chances but you carry yourself in a very confident, bold manner. At nine is “you are opinionated and passionate but you know you can’t always be right.” While you know you are wrong sometimes, you accept yourself as you are. And at 10, “you know that if a man behaved in the same way as you, he’d be applauded and respected.” As Mandy Hale the author of “A Single Woman” wrote, “Strong women don’t play victim, don’t make themselves look pitiful, and don’t point finger. They stand and they deal.” This is why I recommend to all my female children and all the others in the world, “Choose to believe that you are truly worthy. Worthy of love, worthy of affection, worthy of attention, worthy of acceptance, worthy of a second chance, worthy of being chosen, worthy of succeeding and of reach for your dreams.”

However, just in case, remember that men are like bananas. The older they get, the less firm they are. More important, women don’t work as hard as men. That is because you get it right the first time. I’ve had my share, and sheer hard talk from women including, “What does it mean when a man is in your bed gasping for breath and calling your name?” You didn’t hold the pillow long enough.” I’ve been told that the only kind of many women can actually change are the ones in diapers, and that love is really blind because marrying a man is a real eye-opener. What I found tough is that when a woman takes on a 20-year-old man she wants him to be handsome, charming, rich, witty, in good shape and romantic.

But when he reaches 60 and beyond, she just hopes he will keep the hair in his nose and ears trimmed, doesn’t belch or scratch in public, tell the same joke all the time, and remembers her name sometimes. The real problem when, like me, you’re 78 is that you can’t remember your own name.

*Tony Deyal, when asked, “What do you call a truly assertive woman who takes no crap from anybody?” he replied that he (or his children) calls her “Mom”.  

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