Ladies and Gentlemen

It's been said that, "A lady is just a woman who makes a man behave like a gentleman." While this is not, by any means, an excuse to get men off the hook for their responsibilities, I cannot help but address the reality of that statement.

In a corporation or a classroom, in the halls of Congress or the set of a movie, women hold the potential to shape an environment of respect and even dignity. The conversation in any given group will often rise or sink to the level that a woman--or, the women--in the group will tolerate. Think about it. A guy starts to tell an off-color joke. What does he do? He glances over at a woman and says something like, "I hope this doesn't offend you" or, "I probably shouldn't say this around you. But..." That's often the tiny window of opportunity to direct, re-direct subtly or not so subtly the tone of the conversation.

So often women miss the moment to step in. What's worse is when women don't care...or enjoy the coarse conversation. Where are the ladies?

There are many ways that I see evidence of the missing "lady" in our culture. Honestly, she's not just missing; she seems to be brainwashed into thinking that she has to act more like a man. More like a man in the marketplace; more like a man in the political arena; more like a man in relationships; more like a man almost everywhere.

Studies are increasingly revealing that diseases that were traditionally predominately male diseases, stresses that were primarily male and complaints that were predominately male are increasing in women. I don't think that's what was intended by "women's liberation" and "equality" among the genders. What's worse is that those things that even the things that are base and even twisted in men are increasingly showing up in women, including sexual abuse.

It seems as though every week now, we're hearing about another case of female teachers abusing their students. One 28-year old physical education teacher was just arrested for sexually abusing three of her male students. It's wrong and disgusting no matter who does it, man or woman. But, it has become an indication of something very sick in our society as more and more women preying upon children. It goes against the very nature of a women to protect and nurture children.

I'm angered and horrified when I read about men abusing boys or girls in their care. But, I am disgusted and mystified by what turns a woman into a predator.

I believe that just as our culture is hungry for men to be the strong, responsible protectors and defenders they are designed to be, that same desperate culture longs for women to take their place as ladies.


At 9/19/2005 01:36:00 PM, Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

The recent news reports of women abusing children at school....is this a recent rise, or has it always been there and simply under-reported?

I believe women have always been equal to men; and agree that this shouldn't mean that they become more like men. If women want to be a housewife and a housemom, they should not get lampooned for it by feminists. It is noble, admirable, hardwork to do that.

And I've never appreciated locker-room talk. I remember growing up, it disturbed me how some of my school friends could sound like rapists the way they talked about women. Most of it's just talk, but it starts there and it's the ugly side of men. That's someone's sister and daughter that they are disrespecting and denigrating...how would you feel if that was your sister or your girlfriend being lasciviously disrespected, I'd ask them. Usually, they'd just laugh at me.

At 9/19/2005 03:00:00 PM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

I think it's all a matter of choice. You are correct when you say that women shouldn't be "brainwashed" into thinking they have to live and act just like men. But neither should they be coerced into behaving like a Stepford Wife, in the name of "the culture". The woman who wants to pursue a career, and be aggressive in that pursuit, should no more be chastised for it than should a woman be criticized for choosing to stay home and raise a family. An individual woman should be free to make life choices, regardless of what those choices are, wihtout having to shoulder the burden of an entire culture. That, to me, would be the true definition of liberation.

At 9/19/2005 03:55:00 PM, Blogger William said...

"A report by the center nine months ago, based on the same survey, showed that slightly more girls than boys have intercourse before they turn 20." - Laura Sessions Stepp: Washington Post

I am greatly disturbed by the statistics. It appears that women 'in the name of culture' are being coerced to surrender all chastity only to be left scarred and bruised by the same culture whenever their emotions catch up to their actions. Because of the statistics, I'd rather err on the stricter side.

A woman who enters coporate American should not have to sacrifice her femininity for a higher rung on the corporate ladder. Not only does it cause the medical conditions which Lores listed, but it is in one word: unattractive.

I blame this on our feministic sociologists. They have consciously destroyed the wall defining manhood and womanhood while unknowingly allowing the two to merge.

Although I do believe societal gender roles needed redefining, I am perturbed by the outcome. It seems that the roles were reestablished from an attitude of bitterness, when they should have been formed from an attitude of hope. They, unfortunately, were not.

At 9/19/2005 05:17:00 PM, Anonymous Clayton Bell said...

You know what the best part of this post it? It comes from an intelligent, articulate, single, passionate, well-read, and well-connected woman (who some say is attractive as well, but since my wife and I are friends with Lores, I don't have an opinion) who could be leading the charge of any liberal womens' movement, but instead has chosen to go down another path, one that I believe she would testify has not robbed her of life and purpose. Thank God for women like Lores (and my wife, this just isn't her blog) who are leading this counter-culture revolution.

And if anybody talks like that about any of my friends that are girls, or around me, I'll kick their ass. (It's in the Bible)

At 9/19/2005 07:54:00 PM, Blogger Mary said...

This is off topic and I need to get back to work, but I wanted to leave you a quick note.

I just heard you with Sean.

Great job playing talk show host, Lores!

At 9/19/2005 08:00:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

thanks Mary! i didn't realize until i listened to it that my blog website didn't make it on the audio :(

At 9/19/2005 08:03:00 PM, Anonymous David said...

I just heard you on the radio. I wish you would have gotten more time. You did great!

At 9/19/2005 08:05:00 PM, Blogger Lores Rizkalla said...

Awwww. Thank you, David! :)

At 9/19/2005 10:20:00 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I take it from the comments that you were on with Sean Hannity. How very cool! Maybe there's a way you can post the audio from it. I would love to hear it.

Where are the ladies? I wonder that too. We women have such power in our softness, more than if we try and somehow be "macho." We are tough and we can take a lot and keep right on moving ahead. Feminity is not weakness. Our feminity should be celebrated.

At 9/19/2005 10:29:00 PM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

Humanity should be celebrated. Every woman has the right to be as feminine, masculine, androgynous or hermaphroditic as she wants. Let's allow people to live the way they choose to live, without pre-conceived judgments from either the feminists or the traditionalists.

At 9/20/2005 02:29:00 AM, Blogger rich glasgow said...

Hi Lores....this has nothing to do with your post, but I just wanted to let you know I heard you again on the Hannity show and tho't it was humorous that he was afraid "just a woman" was a "questionable" sight...your blog name never made the air, but it was unmistakingly you. Next time you should plug MY blog....or at least I should put you in charge of my publicity....always good to put a voice to a blog. Best regards, rich g

At 9/20/2005 03:22:00 AM, Blogger Mary said...

I don't think equality in the workplace, and in society overall, demands that women give up their femininity.

You don't have to look too far back in our country's history to find women of remarkable strength and courage. Think of how tough women had to be to live in the wilderness or cross the country in a covered wagon.

My point is being a lady is not a sign of weakness.

I think it's unfortunate that some believe the only way to achieve equality between the sexes is by making gender roles nonexistent and shooting for an androgynous society.

Denying one's identity should not be the price of equality.

At 9/20/2005 03:41:00 AM, Blogger Jaymeister said...

I agree in general that nobody should deny one's identity but, let's face it, we deny our true identities all the time. I'd love to not suppress my inner child, but that's not practical in a professional environment. Most importantly, I believe that it isn't for somebody else to judge what one's identity is. If somebody doesn't fit your definition of what a lady should be, don't assume that they are acting that way because they want to make some kind of grand social statement. Not everything is political.

BTW, Confucius said, "Never plug blog of one who appears in own blogroll."

At 9/20/2005 05:25:00 AM, Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Well, shiver me timbers! I really need to start tuning into Sean Hannity. It'd be fun to be able to catch you on there.

Arrr, darn it, argh!

At 9/20/2005 06:26:00 AM, Blogger Mark said...

Lores, Hannity is a tuff man to please. A-? I would have given you a A+.

The reason he doesn't want people plugging their web sites was because of what he mentioned. Some unscrupolous people may try to sneak a questionable web site plug into his show and that could have serious legal consequences.

Nice try though.


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