Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Cow, The Free Milk, and Why That's Bull

When I was young, I heard the phrase "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free". I don't remember who told it to me, but it rings in my head. I have since heard this same phrase many times. Now I don't want to leave anyone in the dark, so lets break this thing down for you:

The first part of the phrase, "why buy the cow", translates roughly into "why marry the woman". The latter part of this, "when you can get the milk for free", basically means, "if she is going to have sex with you anyway". So let's look at this logically, women are cows. Awesome. I mean, honestly, what is this, 1900 and do I come with a dowery? I hope I am worth a decent plot of land, maybe some chickens or a sheep too...but i digress. What the hell is this teaching us? At an early age we are taught to believe that our self worth is dependent on if we are virgins or not. Now, this was all well and good when times were different, but with birth control and a more sexually liberal society, this is simply not the case anymore.

This also implies that men only get married for sex. That isn't so. Men have just as many emotional needs as women do, but they don't communicate them as much, and many times they don't even understand that they exist. It's more appropriate to say that men don't "get" their feelings as well as women do, so a lot of times they don't even know what's bothering them. For as many stigmas as there are for women, we have to consider the opposite is true for men, even just in the case of this one phrase. It makes women feel like they are only good for one thing and it makes men believe the same thing about themselves.

So what if there is a middle ground? What if, God FORBID, sex is important to women (GASP) and that having an emotionally fulfilling and meaningful connection is important for men. We take these archaic sayings and we repeat them, even in jest, and we perpetuate the cycle of believing that men are supposed to be stoic and unfeeling while women are supposed to be pure and virginal. Look around, this isn't the case anymore. Sage advice isn't to be found in the tired cliches of yesteryear.

As far as I can tell, women aren't waiting at home for the phone to ring with their hair in curlers. As women, I would like to think that we have evolved from that point in history. We no longer have to put up with a chauvinistic view on ourselves, we can rewrite what is thought of us. I, for one, do not want to have my granddaughter looking back at me thinking "how could she have let people treat her that way". The door swings both ways on this too. Men, you don't always have to be the problem solvers, the hunters, the big strong heros. You are allowed to feel things. Not all men are the same, contrary to popular belief. Not all men can be that strong, and conversely, not all women can stand idly by and wait for their lives to happen. You just need to be looking for your counter-part. Not necessarily someone that is that same as you, but someone that compliments who you are. Time to put the cliches where they came from, in the past.

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