Next week, March 8, is International Women’s Day. It has been celebrated for 112 years, since 1911.
International Women’s Day began in 1908 when about 15,000 women marched through the streets of New York City to demand higher wages, fewer work hours and the right to vote. Much of what has been written about Women’s Day is about how smart women are, how hard they work, how they are treated unfairly in society, and so on. These are all good advocates. Today, however, we will try to look at what women want from the perspective of how women and men can get along with each other.
It is worthwhile to think about how men and women can get along with each other in harmony. Feminism has also been fighting for women’s rights for many years. If we respect and appreciate women’s contributions, it will bring harmony to the interaction between men and women. This may lead to social prosperity and stability. However, if we only exalt women’s rights, it will become another struggle for power, and may result in a split between men and women.
Can you imagine a social environment where men and women respect and love each other?
To accomplish this goal, we must first understand the differences between men and women. We have to treat each other in a way that the other person understands.
What do women want?
A woman needs to live in a loving environment for a long time; what does a man want? Men need to feel loved in an environment of honor and respect. This is a natural and inevitable difference between men and women.
Having completed my education in Hong Kong and studied in the United States and Germany, I have experienced the differences in the roles of men and women in the different environments in which I grew up. I have also struggled and been hurt in the relationship between men and women, and I agreed with the feminist manifesto. It wasn’t until I opened the Bible that I was moved by the revelations in the book and gained wisdom on how to deal with men and women. Currently, I am in a relationship with my partner in which we are making each other whole.
God created the first man on earth. God Himself thought that it was not good for a man to live alone, so He made a woman out of the rib of the man to help him. When the man saw the woman, he said, “This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” What a moving love poem! This is why, when a woman appears in a man’s life, it is as if the man has recovered a part of his lost bone and feels that his life has become full. Women, it turns out, are the answer for men.
Natural men compare themselves to each other, competing for resources and status. Many men have difficulty in revealing their feelings because of their dignity and inability to express themselves. In Hong Kong, the competition between men is even more intense due to high living costs. Men are afraid to face the heavy pressure of having a family of his own and some choose to step back. However, not many women know this pressure a man has to face.
In general, we see boys aspiring to be a great hero, a king; girls aspiring to be a princess to be protected, a queen to be admired. Men desire to be honored, not because they are prideful, but because this is the major way men feel loved; women are indeed excellent, they can’t wait for the men, they quickly go to war themselves and end up blaming the men for not doing their part. A guy who is afraid of facing challenges and hardships may choose to cling to a girl with high ability; a man who is willing to be responsible and hardworking needs a woman’s gentle encouragement and patient waiting, giving the man some space to excel and not to boss or correct him.
In the struggle of men against other men, the role of women becomes a support and a shelter, and a motivation for men to move on. The results of male hard work become male dignity and satisfaction. The boys satisfy the need to be heroes, and the girls are also satisfied with the need to be protected and loved. This idealized picture fits the traditional roles of men and women and they fulfill each other. However, this tradition is often seen as old-fashioned and is increasingly distorted. In fact, the roles of men and women in this tradition require a great deal of effort to maintain.
Women are naturally gifted and intelligent
They are excellent helpers. In the Bible, the role of a woman as a helper seems to be positioned lower than that of a man. However, in the role of a helper, the ability is always higher than that of the recipient. If we hire an English teacher, her English must be better than ours. The people with the highest IQs in the world are women (1). However, being highly intelligent and smart is not a pass for women to be happy, which is a blind spot that many women misunderstand. Women are eager to take away the role of men, thinking that this is how they can be loved. Actually, a woman needs to be fully accepted, appreciated, affirmed and protected in order for her to feel happy.
Lastly, both men and women have weaknesses and sinful nature. Men and women have always strived for glory, honor and to satisfy the need to be loved through their intelligence, ability and strength. If men and women hate and despise each other in a vicious cycle, both will lose.
Women’s Day is not a day to celebrate women’s rights, but it encourages us to appreciate, respect and recognize the women around us, and to say “Thank you for all your hard work”. Whether the woman in front of you is a mother, a wife, a daughter, a co-worker, a mother-in-law or a cleaning lady, no matter what role she plays. You may feel that women besides you are not loveable, because they do not respect men. However, what has hidden inside of an unlovable woman may be a wound that has not yet been healed. It’s not easy to love the unloved. So, loving someone is actually a very brave act.
Please extend your olive branches!
(1) The world’s highest recorded IQ is that of Marilyn Vos Savant, an American magazine columnist, whose IQ of 228 is listed in the Guinness World Records.
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Elva Lai is a passionate and determined artist. She loves reading, learning, travelling, hiking and drinking coffee in the morning. Elva received her education in Hong Kong, USA and Germany.
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