Guest Opinion: I said it: Women are stronger (and smarter) than men
A tribute to Women’s History Month
Recently I was in a state park in Arizona and witnessed a feat of incredible strength and athleticism. It reminded me of something I have observed several times hiking around Big Sky. This specific hike is a moderate-plus out and back, close to six miles roundtrip.
The first mile is pretty easy, but after that, the hike is mostly vertical with a lot of big steps and climbing over rocks. (Ok, in the interests of full disclosure, for those who are not so vertically challenged, some of the steps were not so big.)
Anyway, I had reached my goal of a group of pools and waterfalls which, with all the recent rain in Arizona, were very impressive. I had just started back when I saw young lady come prancing towards me like she was walking on a sidewalk, except she had a child's back pack on her back, and she was carrying the child, about age one, in the crook of her arm.
I looked at her and said, "that is one of the most impressive athletic feats I have ever seen." Then I said, "women are so much stronger and tougher than men."
A few years ago, the day after returning home from biking across Iowa on the RAGBRAI, I had a pain in my leg. Like any guy, I ignored it. The next day, my wife suggested I go see a doctor after I broke out in cold sweat from standing up. I said I was fine. (Did I mention women are also generally smarter than men?)
A couple of days later, I called my friend who was also my chiropractor. He said I should go to doctor immediately, as I may have a blood clot. I did, and I did. Note:When one ignores his wife and listens to a friend, do not expect sympathy or empathy from wife.
The initial treatment did not work, so I was back in the ER at night a week later and the lab tech, after doing ultrasound, said I could not walk back to doctor's office and had to be in wheel chair. That was probably a good thing as my wife was getting ready to clock me for being dumb.
In the doctor's office, I was talking to the nurse who I knew personally. I said to her, "I hate to complain about pain to person who has had three people come out of her body, but this really sucks.” She said, "Doyle, you have something the size of dime going thru something the size of a pinhole, it’s going to hurt.” This was the most pain I had ever had at that time, and I still knew, compared to women, it was not even in the same galaxy of pain.
Women are stronger and tougher than men. Some men, who are less educated and knowledgeable, may not agree with this, but they would be wrong.
My mom was the strongest woman I have ever known. When I was five-and-a-half my father was killed in a farming accident. With six children, ranging from two to 19, on a poor farm in northwest Minnesota, she went to college and got a teaching degree. Later she obtained a master’s degree. All of us graduated from college, which was unique at that time, coming from a poor farm.
In addition, with everything else, she had me – and turns out, I was a piece of work. Growing up, I thought she had no patience with me. Years later, considering what a pain-in-the -*** I was, I am lucky she did not throw me in a snow bank and leave me. I truly believe no man could have done what she did. More important, there are and always have been a lot of women like her.
My wife is a cancer survivor and is stronger and tougher than me. Both my daughter and daughter-in-law are stronger and tougher than their husbands. Both husbands would agree and would say the ladies are smarter too.
My son-in-law once told me does not how my daughter does it. Owning a business with her brother, being a mother of two, and a spouse, plus all the other things she does, it's amazing.
March is Women’s History Month which recognizes and celebrates the achievements of women throughout U.S. history. Achievements that have often been overlooked and sometimes ignored. If you have not done so, take time to educate yourself about the important role women have played in U.S. history.
At the same time, take time to think and about all the unsung women like my mom who accomplished much while dealing with, at best, an uphill playing field and at worst, a playing field filled with various barricades which had to be gone over, around, and often simply broken.
If I had to make a list of the 100, or thousand or more strongest toughest people I know or have known personally, I doubt 20 percent would be male.
Men, if you have not done so, take a moment and appreciate and celebrate not just the women in your life but all women. They are stronger than you, tougher than you, and often smarter than you.