Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Garth Rattray | Are women aiming too high?

Published:Monday | July 31, 2017 | 7:00 AM

I've been practising as a family physician for almost three and a half decades and four negative things always come up about men.

Most men pay very little attention to their health until something bad happens to them.

Most men want their ability to have an erection to outlive them.

Most children know very little about their fathers because they are either absent, hardly around, barely support them or don't support them at all.

Most women find it extremely difficult to find a worthy life partner, let alone a 'good' man.

Some years ago, a young lady animatedly summed up the reason for her single status by acting out the prevailing categories in which potential boyfriends fall. She said that they are all "gone" (as she pointed down to the ground, suggesting death), "gone" (as she clenched both fists to mimic being behind bars), "gone" (as she pointed away, meaning gone overseas), "gone" (as she flexed her right wrist to mimic a 'limp wrist', meaning homosexual), "gone" (as she twirled her right index finger by her temple, indicating gone crazy) or "gone" (as she pointed to her left ring finger, signifying already married).

It's a sad state of affairs for most women who would like to find a long-term partner. I'm not saying that all women are perfect, but I can fairly easily think of quite a few women who I could recommend to others as potential partners. As for the men out there, too many of them live for themselves and their own pleasures. Too many of them act irresponsibly in too many spheres of their lives. Too many of them are impervious to the feelings of women.

Too many men only know 'Eros' (erotic, carnal 'love'). That kind of 'love' is based on the physical (sexual) pleasures that can be gained from another. Eros is the kind of 'love' that is very selfish, fleeting, often so shallow that it is perfidious. It is the kind of 'love' that causes people to flit from one sexual partner to another with consummate ease. It never lasts very long and leaves a trail of broken hearts at the very least.

Whereas we can almost expect that sort of immaturity from hormone-driven adolescent males, that sort of behaviour follows many males into their middle age and even into their more mature years. Consequently, many women settle for whatever they can get and they try to ignore, downplay or accept the glaring negatives in order to keep a man or a husband. The phrase that I always hear is, "Doc, you know how man stay ...".

 

Women not blameless

 

Women are not innocent in all of this. If women insist on being treated right, if they insist on maturity and if they refuse to settle for just erotic 'love', the men would have to evolve and conform in order to find a partner. If women make certain that fathers never abdicate their responsibilities to their children, there would be far less crime, far less violence and far fewer children sired by 'sperm donors'.

If women don't put up with, 'sharing boyfriends', men would have to settle down. The following quote is good advice, "If another woman steals your man, there's no better revenge than letting her keep him." And, conversely, "For all those women who think that all men are the same, nobody said try them all." Women need to safeguard their virtue, look out for one another and not be self-serving.

It goes even further. In many households, there's the belief that a girl must be acculturated into using her femininity to 'catch' a man. However, women must strive to be totally independent of men. They must focus entirely on educating themselves and equipping themselves by learning a skill in order to earn a decent living without the assistance of a man.

It behoves women to seek out the very best in men. Here's a hint: whatever impression a man gives a woman during the courtship phase should be viewed bearing in mind that he's putting his very best forward. If that isn't good enough, then run him! Women are not aiming too high; in fact, they're often not aiming high enough.

- Garth A. Rattray is a medical doctor with a family practice. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and garthrattray@gmail.com