The following article was published in Healthways and received an award from the National League of American Pen Woman in 1976.
"O woman, lovely woman! Nature made thee to temper man; we had been brutes without you. Angels are painted fair, to look like you; there is in you all that we believe of heaven -- amazing brightness, purity, and truth, eternal joy, and everlasting love" (Otway).
Now don't laugh, especially you disillusioned males out there, but that's Mr. Otway's estimation of us, whoever and however Mr. Otway is. I took time off from the various household chores to search out some information on this dear old gent, but he didn't rate space for his quaint observations.
Frankly I'm a bit fed up with libbers who are mostly lippers. I'm tired of hearing about the raw deals we females have thrown to us. Let's dissect Mr. Otway's assertions, "O woman, lovely woman." Isn't it great to be called lovely? Just think of the connotations of that word, lovely. It can compensate for a multitude of milady's sins!
But -- if a woman acts ugly, she is ugly and no amount of paint, war-types of peace-types, can erase the fact that man does not want to be bothered with her. On the other hand, if she is lovely on the inside, what a treasure she is to the man who is fortunate enough to be with her. Of course it's a bonus if she is physically attractive as well.
Let's check the thesaurus and see what is covered by the word lovely: beautiful, graceful, refined, personable, undefaced, affectionate, tender, sympathetic, devoted, interesting, amiable. That's certainly a far cry from the bitter, implacable, offensive actions of a few gals purporting to represent the majority of us who like being female. I want to be put on record that they don't represent me because I'd rather be tender, sympathetic and amiable.
"Nature made thee to temper man; we had been brutes without you." Well, some of the distaff side have been "tempering" man, all right, and some have been tempting him to figuratively murder spouse, mother-in-law, sister, yakky neighbor, or what-not.
Nature made us to temper man. That's quite a compliment. The kind of temper Otway implies here is loaded with power, good old woman power. What does fire do but temper the steel so that it can be made pliable? Apply this line of thought to the man-woman relationship. That certain fire doesn't destroy the steel but makes it useful. One gets the impression that the female is out to demolish the male ego, to squash man into the ugliness that is so prominent in our aesthetics today.
A truly smart woman tempers her man with the kindness that should be her nature; she adds the substance of herself to modify the roughness of man. Certainly this is what Mr. Otway means when he states that nature made us to temper man: to refine man, to complement, compliment and bring out what is noble in man.
"There is in you all that we believe of heaven -- amazing brightness, purity and truth, eternal joy, and everlasting love." Of course such utter idealism is disquieting! And it is as old-fashioned as McGuffey's Readers, wherein are contained such virtues as industry, honesty, humor, gentleness, diplomacy, patriotism, sterling character, love of God and neighbor, contentment, courage, fortitude, et al. That group of present-day anathemas just might cause little Johnny to organize and polarize his thoughts into something other than protest, if they could be impressed on his multi-divided attention.
Now I hesitate to admit this, but it's a proven fact that we women really are superior. Frankly, this is a frightful responsibility! To cite an example, my sons still refuse to abdicate the auto throne, even though statistics prove that women drivers can manage a car and five kids at one time, and still stay behind the state trooper. Believe me, that takes a special kind of talent and numbness which the male does not possess.
Statistics also prove that we live longer, and this is strictly a personal opinion arrived at after five sons, but I think it's possible that having children prolongs our lives. After all, what mere mortal man could survive the everyday trauma and drama of constant bedlam? This is our conditioning period when we vow to ourselves that if we survive the first 20 years of our offspring then we simply must live another 40 years to catch up.
But poor man, there he is, stuck with a daily job, unvented tears, bottled-up frustrations, bills and -- women, all shapes and relations. Let's face it, ladies, the men have their problems, too!