A woman's worth
Let us sit and mock the good housewife Fortune From her wheel, That her gifts may henceforth Be bestowed equally. — Shakespeare, As You Like It, 1, 2
WHAT is a woman's worth? I guess it all depends on the woman, for some men will kill for a woman even as others would die for theirs, while some would throw theirs on the scrap heap. But all good women are worth something to most men who see them as
Indeed, in times gone by, women were equated to cattle, sheep and goats, or even farm produce, and indicated a man's wealth. If he was rich he would own 100 head of cattle, 200 goats, 500 sheep and six wives. That was the measure of a man's wealth.
I'm pretty sure that's where the whole idea of the dowry came into being, where a man had to offer up a certain amount of his wealth if he wanted to marry another man's daughter. "Oh, you can have her if you give me 20 head of cattle, 50 sheep, and 70 goats... then she's all yours."
Woe betide the man who couldn't afford a dowry, but even worse, woe betide the woman who is worth only one pop-down donkey and a cross-eyed goat. "Hey, just give me two goats and take her off my hands."
So what really is a woman's worth? We'll find out right after these responses to 'Time for women'.
I don't think Alaska's low average of men lasting only one minute and 21 seconds has to do with the coldness of Alaska, but perhaps with cold Alaskan men. Several years ago, Durex, the well-known condom maker, conducted an extensive study which was published here in Canada's McLean magazine. It revealed that "here we don't rush to the finish line, we take our time: Canadians spend an average of 37 minutes on foreplay and intercourse per session". And, more than most countries, Canadian men average 23 partners in a lifetime. Switzerland and Austria (other cold countries) are right up there too.
Those figures about men lasting only a minute or two minutes with women are startling, disturbing, and almost laughable if it wasn't pitiful. No wonder Jamaican men are so popular with the ladies wherever they go in the world. Also, I can understand why women from those countries have always flocked to our shores seeking a bit more 'time' with the local lads. What's the saying, "Once you go black you don't go back?!" Well, now I can understand why, with those men from other countries hopping on and off faster than it takes to boil an egg. What a joke.
Miss 'Love Jamaican Men'
There used to be a phrase, often used many years ago, about people being worth their weight in gold. They weighed you and gave you the equivalent weight in the precious metal. I suppose that was when gold was used as the popular currency of the day and people weren't as obese as they are now. I'm sure that saying would not have come into being if people saw how fat folks are nowadays. "Say what, she's worth her weight in gold? But surely, with her weight she would break the Central Bank."
A woman's worth, though, no matter how you cut it, is often priceless, depending on which woman you happen to get. The reason is, unlike men, women are often multi-faceted, and with each facet comes a measure of cost-effectiveness, some degree of worth. Most men, consciously, or more often than not, subconsciously, are drawn to these facets in a woman, and he finds her priceless.
A woman is worth a lot if she's beautiful, and make no bones about it, a pretty woman is worth more than her weight in gold. The fact is, only beautiful women win beauty contests like Miss World, Miss Universe or whatever 'Miss Contests' that are available. Even if she enters and does not win, her stocks are way up, all because she's gorgeous, and men, and indeed the entire world, will see her as a valuable commodity.
Note the words 'valuable commodity', for a beautiful woman is worth a lot to individuals, organisations, politicians, governments, TV stations, hotels, fund-raising organisations and armies who use them as spies. Who can resist a beautiful woman, and who can say no to a gorgeous gal?
That beauty is worth a lot, and is what the economists call an invisible earning or asset. They won't admit to it, you can't touch it, but it's there nevertheless, and there's a worth attached to it. No hotel on Earth puts an ugly woman at the front reception desk, and no TV advertiser uses an ugly woman to promote beauty products, or even cars, or read the news.
But there has to be more to a woman than simply beauty, after all, the world cannot be that shallow?! So let's focus on another area of a woman's worth, her culinary skills. The ability to cook a good meal is of great worth to a man, and I have even heard women refer to other women who cannot cook as being worthless. Worthless... what a strong term to use, and it says exactly what it mean... without worth.
Do men really count that as a woman's worth, and if she cannot cook, does he deem her as being worthless? I did a snap survey, and yes, men did say that they put a great amount of worth in a woman's ability in the kitchen. "She doesn't have to be a great cook, but at least be able to do a good meal for me now and then," was the consensus.
Now you're going to say that this smacks of chauvinism, and maybe you are right, but the fact remains, women are rated by how much they are worth, and that's just the way it is. Let's not forget that in some cultures, female babies were considered so worthless that they were drowned at birth. In contrast, some females were considered so valuable that wars were either caused or averted because of them. Who is as valuable as a beautiful princess?
Back in the days of yore, a woman's worth was a very public topic, and families did all they could to make their daughters worth more so that they could attract a suitable suitor... ergo, a husband. They were taught all the ways of being a proper lady, including being sent to finishing school to add even more to her net worth. That finishing school was so important, for without it, her life would be finished after age 30, as no man would come knocking. That's just the way it was in those days. Has it really changed?
So the notion of a woman's worth is steeped in the culture of countless societies from the dawn of time. Men used to sell their daughters to the highest bidder, even as they gave away the daughter who had no worth to the first bum who asked for her. "Go ahead, take her, and far away too, as she has no worth to me."
It sounds harsh, brutal, sad and cold, but guess what, very little has changed over the centuries regarding women's worth. Women are still sought after and desired for their looks, their culinary skills, their sexuality. That word sexuality plays a very large part in a woman's worth, and is perhaps her biggest asset when combined with her beauty.
A woman who does not exude sexuality, does not excite, does not titillate, may as well end up in a convent or bury herself in social work. Even if she's pretty but has no sexuality she's not worth much to most men. "Man, she pretty, but is as stiff as an ironing board...not worth a thing to me."
A woman who has assets such as beauty, charm, child-rearing ability, kitchen skills, sexuality and education is priceless. Notice that I put education last, for even if a woman is highly educated but has none of the other attributes, she is considered to be not worth much. "Sure, she has her MBA, but have you taken a good look at her? Ugghh."
So, like it or not, society and men put worth on women, and that's a fact. A woman is worth a lot to a man also if she loves him unconditionally. How much are you worth as a woman, and how much are you worth to your man?
Footnote: This anti-smoking campaign is a Godsend, as a more disgusting habit is hard to find. Years ago I used to think that people who were addicted to anything were simply weak of character. After all, nothing should hold someone so tightly that they have no control of their lives or action. They just have to have that cigarette or they'll go crazy.
I couldn't understand it, but with time and research, I now have a little more sympathy for those who are addicted to smoking, alcohol, or drugs, especially those who are trying desperately to quit. I still find the habits disgusting, but I do have a tad more understanding.
I must applaud the efforts to eliminate smoking from public places, for it has been proven that cigarette-related illness and deaths number in the millions worldwide, including infants. Even the warnings on labels do not stop some smokers, so hopefully, some punitive measures will work. That being said, maybe we'll soon have smokers rights lobbyists marching in the streets for justice.