hugh anthony, certified lifestyle speaker · author · lifestyle coach
However we [men] wish to care or think, women have been the embodiment of our beings, emerging from their spiritual role as the interwoven carriers of our souls – from conception, birth to death.
There is an inalienable truth in my life and the universe, that we are all created equal. However, my lived experiences have venerated women, they are far superior in capacity than we [men] wish to think or believe. Let me provoke thought and candor by intimating – women were never man’s equal, they are our messiahs. They gave birth to what we have come to understand as – self – by helping to shape our humanity and our very being.
I recently posted on LinkedIn an excerpt from my university’s magazine, quoting Kathleen Rybczynksi, Professor of Economics, University of Waterloo and one of my contacts, suggested her point would be greatly strengthened if she had mentioned all groups typically under-represented in leadership roles (see quotation):
“A lot of research is talking about how we need women to participate in the market and we need women to take on leadership roles. Diversity, leadership and an openness to new perspectives are essential to business. Without it, we’re going backward instead of forward.”
Kathleen Rybczynksi, Professor of Economics, University of Waterloo
Article in the University of Waterloo Magazine Building a Better Workplace
My contact comments on the above-mentioned quotation are as follows:
“Dr. Rybczynksi makes an interesting point – she equates the inclusion of women in leadership roles with the expansion of an organization’s diversity. I contend that she is only partially correct, as she makes this statement from a point of view that addresses her need or self-interest. Her point would be greatly strengthened, if she had made mention of all groups typically under-represented in leadership roles. Non-caucasians, gay men, persons with disabilities as well as other groups also need to be considered, when discussing diversity and inclusion.”
In my thoughtful, but tacit response, I said:
“Great points were noted in your comments that I’m in agreement with. However, the context for Dr. Rybcyznski’s comments/quotation emerges from a neo-feminist viewpoint. I make an effort never to engage in contending views, but move to acceptance from their liminality and context.”
Giving thought to that latter aspect of my response, my lived experience provided a blueprint that reminded me that the women in my life and interactions have been exceptionally wonderful. For that I am forever grateful, they have helped to shape and mold my thoughts to be a genteel human being. However, societally I have heard that ‘a woman cannot do what the guys do and still be a lady’ with its profundities in Dusty Springfield’s lyrics which gave gleanings of an era, not a woman’s existential reality.
Poignantly, of interests biblically, women are framed with connotations of noble character, virtuous and capable. “For wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you can desire compare with her” [Prov. 12:4]. Therefore, women have always lived as exceptions, countering our [men] storied perceptions that they are inferior, and some women thinking so themselves. Emergent – The Divine – is the exception, she is incomparable. So let us stop wasting our time, about who is the lesser being. Women are precious than rubies, it is for us to help them accentuate their true worth.
Women are our angels on earth, our helpers, not our servants; our nurturers, not just our caregivers. They are the core of the Divine order. So let us revere, celebrate and honour them with our self, trust, honesty, love and vulnerabilities. As Stevel Marc in his hard-hitting seminal work The Refined Player: Sex, Lies and Dates espoused, our women are ‘The Ezer Neged: Your Help, Your Source of Strength’.
“Often a man’s greatness is the result of the woman in his life. Her good qualities,
behaviour, strength and actions complement his, and help to make him great.”
In an excerpt from the book, the author shared a conversation with Megan that provided gleanings into the epitome of our angels on earth, see the excerpt below:
“I am reminded of the importance of being a woman. I am a nurturer, I am sensitive, I am delicate and I am strong. As women, we must find the beauty in that, irrespective of our “Boaz”. It’s our responsibility to define and refine ourselves to be the best ezer, we can be for our Boaz – we must have our womanhood identified as the woman we’ve decided to be and not who society says we should be.…..If I truly know who I am, then I am not bothered by who everyone else thinks I should be. I must know who I am as a wife before I can be a mother. If I know who I am, then I won’t have to be defined by my husband.”
Women should never be viewed as a challenge to the ‘status quo’ when they make a request to have greater levels of participatory action in our societies. Even though there is still this long-held view of our societies being patriarchal. However, in the words of the R&B/ Soul Crooner, James Brown – It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World:
“This is a man’s world
This is a man’s world
But it would be nothing, nothing
Without a woman or a girl.”
Why would we choose to live without our angels, our ezer neger, our Divine nurturers – their essence, dignity, strength, worth and identity? We should happily engage ‘the nurturers of our souls’ to help create and shape the kinder and gentler space, we need in our world. Men are challenged by the perspective that W.O.M.E.N. combatively wants to ‘change things’, especially the man’s ego. They view the divine nurturers as – Women Opposing Men’s Egotistical Nature.
From my cultural and situated context, I have been nurtured to believe otherwise, and I proffer three thought-provoking perspectives, help our [men] misunderstandings:
- Loving – Women are nurturers of our souls and in that divine capacity, we should learn from them how to love and how we should love, and treat them. You should never assume you can love a woman how she should be loved until you ask, understand and appreciate her essence. And most importantly, when you have her permission to love her. In the words of Lisa Stansfield’s eponymous song – ‘All Woman’:
“I’m no classy lady but I’m all woman. And this woman needs a little love to make her strong.”
- Living – Women help us to better understand how to live and do so meaningfully. Men usually create walls, to hide emotions or to block their obvious shortcomings. Women, construct building blocks to help them grow because it helps them to understand not only their roles but also their vulnerabilities. For women, the blocks are to better understand self and life. For us men, the walls we create are used to stymie our growth, given that we don’t always ‘man up’ and be honest about how we feel, so our divine nurturers can better help us to live holistically.
- Leading – In our women, I see the possibilities for conscious leadership. The kind of leadership that can better help our societies harness the collective dreams of every human being vision of a better today and tomorrow. Women are thoughtful, open and bring their sheer spiritual power that they are willing to share and reassure [men] that they will always be there. They’ve got our backs and we need to believe unconditionally that they bring an exceptional and divine character that is tempered with kindness, love, commitment and honour. As men, we need to learn how to better reciprocate.
My closing thought is an excerpt from one of the poems, which was written to celebrate my’ ezer neged’ – titled ‘Of You’:
“The affirmation of you is life’s divine gift – your being, your very presence and the gift of your essence – your vibe, your spirit, your soul.
Of you, it is the epitome of empowerment, the source of grace. The resonated dreams of every happier being.
Of you, there is bounteous beauty, power and dreams. The dream of a generation’s yesterday, tomorrows and their today’s.”
© 2015 all rights reserved – Hugh Anthony
Hugh Anthony is a public speaker, lifestyle writer, and researcher, with interests in the creative industries, tourism and hospitality, and not-for-profit sector. He is the Co-Founder | Curator and Lifestyle Director of Consulate | Milieu® a boutique lifestyle consultancy firm in Toronto, Canada that specializes in creative, avid and exciting art-based and lifestyle projects for its diverse clientele. Hugh Anthony is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Waterloo, Canada where he is undertaking research on the Film Festival Industry, with his current focus being on Curating the Cinematic Muse: The Role of Programming in the Film Festival Experience.
Hugh Anthony is an enthusiastic and consummate thought leader who loves to write and is the author of the forthcoming book The Ultimate Guide to Public Speaking: 7 Steps to Professional Mastery to be published Summer 2018.