Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Never Ending Possibilities of Men!

(This is D'Arcy, she is currently thinking about how much she likes men. I mean, she adores them, she digs them, she's all about M-E-N! Give a shout out!)

OK, in an effort to propagate feelings of mutual respect and admiration between the sexes, and as a shout out to Jenn (who will always call me on my crap), I am putting on this blog, my first, offical post in praise of MEN!!!!

That's right. Did hell just freeze over? Perhaps.

I want to clarify that I LOVE men. Just think of all the great ones out there--Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Leonardo da Vinci, Ghandi, Mandela, The Dalai Lama, Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa, Norman Bethune, Aristotle, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Apostle Luke, Leonard Woolf, etc. etc. etc. The world would not be THE WORLD without the powerful, good, influential men that have struggled for the truth, fought for freedom, loved their wives, and rejoiced in their children.

In brief, here are just a few of the men that I love and adore in this world.

(Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, an example to men everywhere)

Atticus Finch...aka Amasa Coleman Lee--

Atticus Finch, (based off of Harper's Lee's father, a real man) is a citizen of Maycomb during the 1930's, was a role model ahead of his time. Atticus was not racially or socially prejudiced. He was an amazing father who taught his children about love, honor, and truth. He taught them about looking at problems and oppositions from another's point of view. And, in addition, he taught them the beauty of a Mockingbird.

“Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

Gordon B. Hinkley--
One of the most AMAZING men to ever live, in my humble opinion. I've been lucky enough to hear words of wisdom from this man for my entire life. So many important, influential messages that have filled volumes. His words have shaped my life in ways of a strong, powerful good.

“Under the plan of heaven, the husband and the wife walk side by side as companions, neither one ahead of the other, but a daughter of God and a son of God walking side by side. Let your families be families of love and peace and happiness. Gather your children around you and have your family home evenings, teach your children the ways of the Lord, read to them from the scriptures, and let them come to know the great truths of the eternal gospel as set forth in these words of the Almighty.”
( “Selections from Addresses of President Gordon B. Hinckley,” Ensign, Mar. 2001, 64.)

(I don't know who you are, but I love you!)
My Future Husband--
I know I don't know who this is yet, but the idea of "him" --of that one man that I will choose and who will choose me has played a major role in my life. I have found myself over the years wanting to be a better person for him, wanting to develop characteristics and improve my mind and body in the hopes that he is somewhere doing the same. Then, when we finally come together, we each bring an amazing abundance of wealth and intrigue and interests and love to each other. There are gifts I have worked on my whole life reserved to give only to him.

(My B-in-L and sister Audra)
My Friends, The Husbands of My Friends, My Brother, and My B-in-L--
Gustav, Robb, David Jr., Marty, Jacob, Daniel, Michael, Steve, Nate, Adam, Steven, Rob, Matt, Dave, Kevin, Mark, Hubster and many others. My friends tell me of the continuing devotion and love and affection of their husbands. These men have a desire to serve the world, to be good husbands, to treat their wives with love and adoration. I have sat back and watched these marriages for nine years and I stand in awe at these men who combat Fatherless America. They are strong warriors fighting daily battles for the lives of their families.

(This is my dad, with my niece. If I had access to a scanner right now I would post a picture of myself with my dad in just such a pose, I'll do that soon)

And finally, and MOST importantly--My Daddy--
I have seen my father ride the waves and storms of life for thirty years. I have seen his devotion to his family. I have seen him struggle to love and find love in his marriage. I have seen him feel sorrow and pain and tell the best campfire stories in the world. I have seen him be shy to the world and be a powerhouse in our home. I have seen him lead. I have watched his continuing humility. I have been blessed to go throughout my life with the ABSOLUTE assurance that my father, come rain or shine, will ALWAYS love me, that he will be proud of me, that he respects me, that he is there for me always. It doesn't matter if I wake him up at four in the morning calling from France because I need to talk to my daddy. I am his "cupcake", his "pumpkin", his "sweetie pie", his daughter. I realize how lucky I am. I DON'T take my father for granted. Each moment I spend with him is precious. So much of my faith in men and their never-ending possibilities comes from being my father's daughter!

( I believe this is me! Yep. And what am I doing? I am hugging a man, Hugh Jackman, in fact. Love him!!)

( I know he is fictional, and created by a woman, but I still love him!)

Who are the men that you love and admire?


What is the power of ONE good man?


Anonymous said...

I had to get married and have a son to realize how great men are. Wish I'd known sooner.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I don't think that has to be a non-feminist rant. I mean, to me a non-feminist rant would be a litany of complaints about women.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Wow! My first impression when I saw that this was a shout out to men was, "Now, this is just going overboard! I mean, I don't even really like men all that much. I've just been playing devil's advocate." And then I read it and I have to say, you have completely swayed me! I didn't even realize it till now, but I love men, too, and it's all thanks to YOU!

PS Hugging Hugh Jackman. If there is ever something to put on a resume, that is certainly it...

Rowena said...

I agree with mapelba and did before I saw her comment. This is not anti feminist, at all. Sounds pro feminist to me, all good feminists need strong, capable and wonderful men around her. I don't think you can love humanity unless you love both men and women... not necessarily in a physical way.

And I learned a lot about men when I was teaching and met all these men-in-progress, and then there was my son... all men start out as boys, and maybe always still are boys in their hearts.

D'Arcy said...

I know, I know....I knew it wasn't REALLY a non-feminist rant to begin with...but many of my blogs are labeled "Feminist Rants" and so I was being a bit I changed it.

Because I'd REALLY love to hear about the men in your lives!! I am dying to know and to add some more to the list!

D'Arcy said...

This blog entry used to be titled

"The Very First NON-Feminist Rant"

now it is

"The Never Ending Possibilities of Men!"

Much better!

And honestly, it felt good to write. I am feeling love for men deeply and it's a good feeling!

Stina said...

I remember as a little girl and teenager thinking about who my future husband was going to be and wondering what he was doing "right now." I knew he was probably alive at the same time as me, and going about his life doing his daily activities but I always wondered how we would find each other and be able to one day share those daily activities with each other. Now that I've found him, I have to say that I could never have imagined the overwhelming sense of peace and contentment I have in just living those daily moments with each other. It is worth waiting for.

Onto a side note about having a son. At first I was totally convinced I was having a girl. And this would be the girl I would raise to be a strong feminist woman and she would follow in my footsteps and go to my alma mater and she would be so lucky to have an enlightened mom like me. :) Then I found out I was having a boy. It took a while, but I realized that I had just the same job raising a boy as a girl - to teach him how to live in a world with strong women and respect and delight in them, which is just as important as raising my theoretical strong feminist daughter. My son is going to be the most amazing father/husband/partner (if he so chooses) and he is just as lucky to have an enlightened mom like me!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Dang, girl! (As we say in the South....) This post kicks ASS!

Did you really HUG Hugh Jackman? Seriously? If so, you are now my new hero. Did you know he's on my Serious Lust (I mean CRUSH) list??? He's second ONLY to Viggo Mortensen in being Babe-O-Licious.

Ok, now that I've shown how amazingly SHALLOW I can be.... (smile).... let me just say that I really did love this post.

As someone who grew up surrounded by wonderful strong men, I have ALWAYS loved men! Always!

I have two wonderful brothers, a Father who I absolutely adore, 3 wonderful uncles (although 2 have since passed away), 2 wonderful grandfathers (also passed away), my amazing son Jordan who ALL the planets revolve around (yes, I know.... I'm going to try NOT to be one of "those" mother-in-laws, but it will be hard....), a handfull of very close male friends
and of course my sweet Very Best Friend-And-Lover-AND-Father-Of-My-Children-Husband-For-Almost-17-Years.... the tall, sexy, "Hubster". (Who would be DAMN near perfect if he would just give up smoking.)

And, last but definitely not least there is the lover of my soul Jesus. (Yes, y'all can roll your eyes if you want, but I am a 100% sold out, in-love-with, dyed-in-the-wool, Jesus-lovin'-fool.) He changed my life and I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Ya know..... come to think of it... this comment to your post could go on and on, D'Arcy.... so I'll wrap it up here. Suffice it to say I TOO love men. (And thanks for giving me a forum to CROW about it!) :-)

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

btw - I enjoyed the little bit I read from Gordon Hinkley.... those are most definitely some words of wisdom regarding family life and marriage. I'll have to read up on him - I'm not at all familiar with him or his writings.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

I'm kinda teary-eyed right now so please excuse any errors.

A few weeks ago at work, several people were complaining about their dads, how they didn't pay child support when they were young, didn't visit them even now, never called, etc. I always knew I had the best dad but hearing all this just reminded me of it. My parents were divorced but I don;t think it harmed my relationship with my dad, it may have even made it better. I have so many friends who just talk to their dad for a minute on the phone before getting handed over to their mom. I didn't have that option and am so glad I didn't.

And I completely agree on Atticus Finch. That's my favorite book ever.

D'Arcy said...

Stina--I love your comments and your life and your journey into motherhood (yay for your baby shower today!)

HWHL--I love your gushing! And we like Jesus around these parts too!! And your son....amazing! You've had a life with some good men in it my friend! What a blessing!

You two girls have some great men in your lives and I had to go back and add them to my list!!

D'Arcy said...

Ansley--I agree. We are lucky girls. I have always been able to talk to my dad as well as my some ways we connect better just because we are SO similar! I look just like him, I was his Tomboy girl gowing up, always the one fishing with him and doing everything he did!

D'Arcy said...

And YES! That is REALLY me and REALLY Hugh and even better....he is smiling at something I was saying into his ear! It's such a great story.

I spent the time just before this cozying up with his hot doorman..the one responsible for keeping people out of the theater (when Hugh was on Broadway starring in the Boy From Oz...for which he won the Tony for best actor that year)..he gave me some inside information, shall we say. My conversations with both men totally rocked!!

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Ah, D'Arce, look at all those wonderful comments! I'm teary-eyed myself! I didn't get to go to church today, and now I feel that I was able to worship in my heart while reading such an uplifting post and all of these uplifting comments.

I definitely agree with HWHL. Of all the men ever born, Jesus was the noblest. If there was ever a way to solve the problems of the world, it would be to follow in his footsteps.

I was thinking about some of the comments you made yesterday about being sunday school secretary and the unjustness of it all, and also about the men in your friends lives that have hurt them. This morning we were reading the second chapter in Mark which told the story about Jesus and his disciples walking through the corn fields on the Sabbath and partaking when they were hungry. Jesus was criticized for breaking the law of Moses, but then he rebuked all those mean-spirited Pharisee/Sadducees. It made me think of you--well, not YOU, but of your circumstances, and how sometimes church members act more pharisee-like than Christlike. I really like how Jesus broke many of those Mosaic laws when at the heart of it all, it was the best thing to do. I really think that if we emulate Jesus all the time (meaning that we always try to have our heart in the right place for the right reason) no matter what all those pharisee-like people around us think, then in the end, it will all be well with us.

april benincosa said...

I have been through the muck with men more than most women my age, however, each one has taught me something special. They have all shown me pieces of me i never knew. In today's world it does seem easy to say all men are cheaters and jerks ect... i do think that men have been given a bad rap, i have many male figures in my life that are kind and sweet and will always be there for me. They have helped me on my journey to become me and without there love and influence i would not be half the woman i am today. Thank you MEN!!!!

Sugar said...

Two things stand out to me here...

1) It's far too early to list Barack with Martin Luther King, Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Ghandi, and the rest of that list. Not a slam against Mr. Obama. I just personally wouldn't put him in that group just yet. He might... ;)

2) If you love your daddy as much as you just said, then the ideal man will be an easy choice for you. Your idea of love was shaped by the man you call daddy... all little girls' were. That's why it is so crucial that men be there for their daughters. If you look at women in abusive patterns, you can likely find an emotional abusive or distant father figure. You don't seem to have that in any way. You will be one of the lucky ones, girl!

Okay... I know you are going to get me about the Obama thing... sorry... my opinion... Just as I wouldn't consider any of your writing rants so much as just processing your personal observations and opinions. We're all entitled to that. What makes your posts that much better is that you have given us your thoughts to devour and disect.

I think that's what makes us all (our little Blogger Cafe) pretty strong women and men... we are all willing to share our ideas and thoughts and hearts, putting them out for criticism as well as praise.

Good On Ya, Big D!

D'Arcy said...

Sugar Friend!!

I actually put the Obama name out there VERY deliberately...thought it over, took it out, and then placed it back in. Here is why. This post is about believing the best in people, about stopping the speculation of what might this man do to hurt me, how will he scar me, what about this and that and this and that.....

Thus I put Obama in because his whole message of hope has been pretty inspirational to me and I admire that man right now. You are right, come two weeks or two years MAYBE he will prove to be a little lower on my totem pole of men....but as for now, it's nice to try and just trust his message, even a little bit.

THESE are HUGE steps for me to take....

And yeah, I lucked out in the dad department, probably why I haven't had many real boyfriends in my life because I know what I want clear as day and if they don't meet that, then it's "Fair Thee Well!!"

And trust me, that's not always easy, that means being alone a lot more than being with someone, and the aloneness is hard, hard, and raw. I just broke up with a guy last week and I could have let it go on for another month or two months or five, but really, we weren't right for each other, so at the peak of our fun I cut it short. It took a lot of courage for me to do that. It sucks.

D'Arcy said...

Jenn, I have a lot of thoughts about this...and I may get into things too deeply here and maybe I should just do a post on it. But I'll do some basic ideas.

First of all, I am trying to see God and Jesus in this light. I want to emulate Christlike attributes and believe they are key to a good life. But here is where some major heartache comes into play (and the fact that I can't be the Sunday School president is just the tiniest snippet of an example of this).

In Christian religions in general (and since I know mine, I will speak from what I know) I have witnessed women being silenced and pushed aside. If you haven't seen this, then wow, what ward are you in? But I have. And I have issues with it, and even if we go about and dub each person who is this way as a Sadducee or a Pharisee then that is a lot of people. I get that I have different feelings than you on this topic. I think the fact that when I have had these feelings, they have tended to get dismissed or discounted by others (maybe because they don't see it?). Then I am told that I am not supposed to feel this way or that I am somehow unrighteous for feeling them...(and I fully believe that THAT is a silencing technique used for generations.)

I cannot believe in a God who treats 50% of his children less than the other 50%. And I think it is high time for these remnants of the sexist Victorian culture to be eliminated in society...and I know that makes me a crazy feminist that people will view as apostate and wrong for feeling this way about the structure of the church.

I refuse to believe that this treatment of women is from God. I did that for a while, and for me, there is nothing more horrible than thinking that God is fundamentally unfair to half his children. So now I'm am getting very comfortable blaming sexist traditions and the institutional inertia of the church.
It may be that we have to wait for the whole generation of current leaders to lie down and die before we have any progress. And I look forward to that if it will get rid of these sexist traditions (you can call me crazy and shake your head at me...I am not wishing for the death of anyone, mind you, as harsh as I am sounding.)

I very much believe that God changes the way things are because we demand that they change–that he gives his children what they need because they recognize it and they ask for it, not just nicely but insistently, urgently, undeniably. Well, Jenn, I am asking for things to change, many things, and maybe one day God will hear me, and maybe one day I could be Sunday School President.

D'Arcy said...

Rowena, dear Rowena who I am learning from every day, I LOVE what you say here...

"all good feminists need strong, capable and wonderful men around her. I don't think you can love humanity unless you love both men and women."

Words of truth my friend. You get me.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Okay, I hope this doesn't turn into a one on one again.

I am still stuck on the part where you WANT to be the sunday school pres! (I know it is mostly just the principle of it all, but still. Ick.)

All the men I have ever encountered who go around shushing the women and downplaying their right to be in the thick of world or church events are not those whom I believe God would ever smile down upon. In my heart, I believe God allows this to be an imperfect world so that we can rise above it and find our potential. But I don't think he condones any of those men. I honestly believe that every one of those men (yes, I know there are many) will have to face their maker some day, guilt-ridden and remorseful. Just, PLEASE, don't let them keep YOU from rising above them (in a Christlike way...that is)!

D'Arcy said...

Ah well, Jenn, if it is you and me, then c'est la vie.

Here is what I want to make clear...yes there are the men who put women "in their place" so to say, and yes, let God deal with them however...but there are GOOD men who still believe that a woman shouldn't be Sunday School President (and yeah, I'd love that calling!) In fact MOST men and women in the church believe the same thing.

And I am saying, this needs to change for me to be ok with the church or any religion.

You know they have come along way with the Temple ceremony over time...even though I still feel very hurt by it and it's sexist overtones and it's the reason I can't go to the temple anymore. But, it used to be a LOT different...but it changed for the better (still has a way to go in my opinion).

They finally let black people have the priesthood. That's a crazy idea that people like to pretend didn't exist, but it did, and one day the Prophet said that it was wrong and they put it to right...was this all about the ideas of the time? You bet ya! Has God ever esteemed any child of his, color or creed, as less than any other? Of course not!

All I am saying is that I fully believe the church has more changes to make as people grow and progress is made and people pray to God for fairness and equality. That's all I want Jenn. I want to be equally treated in my religion..I don't think that is too much to ask for.

D'Arcy said...

And YES! This may officially become the "D'Arcy and Jenn Discuss Deep Topics While Others Wonder How Long They Can Keep At It Blog!"

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
Your posts are certainly taking some interesting twists and turns, I hardly know where to start.
I had an interesting conversation with a very good friend of mine here in Aotearoa yesterday. He and his wife have split up, but still maintain a very close relationship with each other, and their two boys 12 and 15. She is also one of my best friends here. She is Maori and he is Pakeha - White. Their discussion was around her raising the issue with him about changing the name of the oldest boy to her maiden Maori name. The reasons for this are many I suppose and my friend basically stated that it was really a decision his son should make. Which fairly stunned me really as I realized how much my friend had to let go of to reach that conclusion. All of the male dominated aspects of our society, the woman assuming the mans name, the male desire to expand his line and protect his lineage as it were. Acknowledging the potential racist implications to his son by assuming that part of his being. The growth in this person, my friend astounded me and all I could do was to reach out and hug him. To let go of all those expectations and think of his son, and indeed, his indiginous ex partner and all those implications really moved me.
My point being this was a man who has made a difference in my life, through his path and growth. I have never had a perfect man in my life, each had flaws just as each brought special qualities to my life as well. My father, my uncles, my grand fathers, and a few special and unique friends who continue to amaze me through their openness, honesty, and acceptance.
There are certain aspects of generational behaviour in me I have managed to quash out for the benefit of my sons, others less successfully perhaps. Yet this morning getting a light punch in the arm from my oldest testosterone loaded teen ager, and picking up Charlie for a big snuggle, it is their possibilities I must nourish and bring forth, as well as my own. Kia ora D'Arcy, love your stuff.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Everyone else is thinking: Don't D'Arcy and Jenn have any semblance of lives? The answer is no. Not currently, anyway. This will all change, hopefully, very soon. I'm counting on next week, actually.

D'Arcy, this debate has ceased to be a debate for me. It is all a moot point from here on out.

Religion and human logic are too different things to me. I don't believe that have to coexist. I am at peace with that. I am OK with the concept that bad things are gonna happen, that equality abounds...not, like, roll-over-and do-nothing "OK", but OK, like, I-will-do-my-best-and-then-trust-God to-take-care-of-the-rest "OK".

It all comes down to this: Do you trust God to leave us alone in this imperfect world with imperfect leaders of an imperfect congregation?

Do you trust that maybe He knows what he is doing after all? Do you trust that maybe there is something He wants us to learn through all of it, that there are sacrifices He is asking us to make that do NOT make sense to our puny, mortal minds (but will make sense someday), or do you still believe that it all has to fit together neatly NOW?

We will NEVER in this life time in any religion, group or sect achieve perfect equality and fairness. It is not going to happen because there are too many people with too many different opinions. What seems fair to you does not seem fair to someone else. You are just a human being. You brainpower, understanding, and love cannot compete with God's. It is not feasible to expect equality in this life. I don't think that was the point. Not even close.

I think the point might be the opposite. To do God's will even if it DOESN'T make sense. Even if it means you get the short end of the stick (which, truthfully, everyone gets to take a turn receiving at some point--it is arrogant to think otherwise). That is the entire reason for the concept of faith.

How can you know if what God (or the church) asks of you is truly of God? For me, it is that feeling of peace that can only come from one source. Irrefutable. Once I feel that peace , I know it is safe for me to proceed in faith. That I am in God's hands and on the path he wants me to be on. I am at peace with it.

Okay, I know we still ought to work on making this a better place. Heaven knows that I am a better person today because I have angels masquerading as friends out there trying to bring equality and justice to my life. But I just don't think we ought to give up our faith because we cannot achieve it all in this lifetime.

D'Arcy said...

Touche, Jenn. Touche.

Your convictions rock! And you should head up some sort of debate program in Iowa.

I think I declare you the official winner of this round (are we keeping track?! :-)

Thanks for not backing down, I love that (even though I feel like I have had some kick ass rebuttals!)

Your basic question to me...

"Do you trust God."

Honestly, after 30 years of feeling like a second class citizen in his church...then the answer is NO. I don't trust God. At least not the God I have grown up with.

This is a starting point for me. This is where I am at right now.

But hey, I'm working on it.

D'Arcy said...

By the way, I DO Have a life. It right now revolves around trying to rebuild my photo cache, back up photos, search for tons of photos that seem to be missing from my hard drives--both of them...inculding my recent trips to Spain and Switzerland!!! And thus for two days I have been in despair as I realize more and more that my iPhoto somehow has screwed everything up and I don't know how. So, these blogging moments come as welcome diversions and mental stimulation. Man, I could let out a load of curse words right now!

But I will leave it at just one.

Damn you iPhoto!!!

D'Arcy said...

Kia ora Robb!

I was just listening to the tape with all the jayhawks spin offs and the softly falling rain in New Zealand. Yep, they are on repeats.

What an AMAZING story about your friend. I'd like to meet him. This is a hard road...where I love the traditions and the unification of a family, I decided long ago that I wouldn't change my name if I married, however, I didn't mind that my children would have my husband's name (though I think my last name is pretty awesome.) Where to make the decisions? Where to draw lines? Where to make everyone feel comfortable?

I think you know exactly how Robb, and you are doing it. It is impossible for old traditions and customs to work for every couple. This is the amazing thing about a family and forming your own traditions and goals. You are individuals coming together and working through life together. It is only the two of you who can dictate your life, even if people mock. But this comes from a girl who received laughter every time someone asked what my dad did as a job and I responded that he was a nurse. I got a lot of heat for that growing up, seems so silly now.

You and your children and your family are FULL of possibilities. So full. And while none of us are perfect or have perfect people in our lives, at least we struggle each day to do some bit of good.

Rangimarie Robb!

HappyWifeHappyLife said...

Hey D'Arce - I don't think that link came through that I tried to list on my comment to your prior post ("My My Moliere")... however if you, or any of your readers, are interested in it.... (ie: the secret to strong, healthy male/female relationships) they can access - then click on Resources, click on Messages, and go back to 4/20/08 - the message on "Marriage" - then either listen to (or burn onto CD - both are free) the message on marriage... which was phenomenal... OR click on the PDF icon on that same date (4/20/08) - which is over to the right... that's more or less the "cliff notes" to the message Kevin gave, with the scripture that backs it up.

Anyway, just wanted to toss that out there. :-)

Later, gator!

ophelia rising said...

D'Arcy, I wrote a great comment - (well, I thought it was pretty good...) - on your last post, but when I went to publish it, it got erased, for some strange and terrible reason. And after I had toiled over it for many a moment, no less! Anyway, instead of trying to re-create that last comment, I'm commenting here, on this post. I hope it will come out as well as the other, and if not, please forgive.

SO, that being of the men I most admire and love has to be my father. He taught me so incredibly much, but mostly that men are caring, thoughtful, gentle, sweet, insightful, and loving, as much as women. Sometimes men are made to believe that they can't show this, that they must hide it in a society where men must be "strong" and "silent" where emotions are concerned. But I know that men feel deeply, and are capable of a sincere depth of emotion and feeling.

My husband, being so loving and physically demonstrative with our children, holding them, kissing them, hugging them, all that a child might want from his or her father. And then, crying when he's very sad, or even when he's very husband has shown himself to be very whole and self-aware, which is something I admire greatly, and am thankful for.

And my son has taught me SO much about men. He is so much himself, and I hope that he always will be. I love him with all of my heart, and due to this fact, I will never judge a man based on the fact that he is a man. But, I suppose I never could. That is, in fact, a judgment I could never make, just as I could never judge someone based on the color of their skin, or on the religion they choose. I hope I can love everyone, despite their faults and disenchanting characteristics. After all, we are all of us only human, and on this great adventure together. We are all we have.

By the way, I am jeolous. Jealous that you went to a Shakespeare festival. I love Shakespeare. And Moliere. And "Taming of the Shrew." I do think he (Shakepeare) meant for us to think about things like sexism, and racism, and all sorts of other isms. I saw a production, where Katherine kissed Petruchio's (sp?) boot, and then looked at the audience and winked. It was only semi-satisfying. But I think it was more of what Shakespeare wanted, for some reason. I think he wanted us to think about it. Just to think about it. Which is always good.

I want my daughter to grow up in a world of enlightenment and equality, and sometimes I feel as if it doesn't quite exist still, even in this day and age. When I see the rold models young girls have now, rock-star girls, (young)! girls with low tops and short skirts, girls in the kitchen and in the bedroom (not inherently bad places to be, but not the ONLY places to be), I get a little afraid for her. I suppose I can just try and teach her all I know, and then raise my hands up and let her experience the world and hope for the best. What else can I do?

Sorry for the incredibly long comment. And yes, I'm saving this before I hit that publish button, just in case...

Michelle said...

Oh, I like this post. mostly because I like men. I haven't got much else to say, I just like 'em.

Let's get together and talk men soon, shall we?

PS My mom read your comment in their blog and said you are invited to dinner anytime!

Kate Lord Brown said...

Love this post D'Arcy. Thanks for calling me up short and make me appreciate the men around me. Definitely not non-feminist, rather a pro-life, pro-love, pro-equal but different post!

D'Arcy said...

Ophelia Rising--I am SO sorry about your comment. That happens to me right after I have finished being more eloquent than usual and then no one believes how eloquent I CAN be :)

That being said, I am SO glad that you did comment what you did.

I think becoming a mother scares me more than almost anything (except taking that first step into marriage in the first place). I can't imagine the strains and pulls and tugs of hearts and minds as you try to be your best self and teach your children to be their best selves in a world that falls short more often than it succeeds.

This morning I woke up in a bit of a funk and just thought to myself, maybe you should just give up that dream (of wife and mother roles) and just continue being just you, alone, without all the other hard parts that those lives give to you. I don't know, I am still feeling those feelings, which I am sure you feel even after you are a mother (but by that time you know how awesome your kids are and you wouldn't change a thing.)

Anyway, now I am rambling, but I just wanted to thank you for your honesty.

D'Arcy said...

Michelle, with all the great men in your life, I get it!

Yeah, that was my plan, get in good with your mum and then be invited to all the good Mexican meals that you speak of!

When should we plan that?

by the way, I want to hang out, maybe tonight? I'll call you!

D'Arcy said...

Kate Lord Brown,

Yes, Pro-Love....sometimes harder for me to be than it should. But let's just let those feelings roll around on our skin and sink into our hearts today.

jomama said...

i love this post, and all the great comments that follow! wow! you sure do know how to get the discussion flowing.
you asked at the bottom of your post which men we love and admire and why.
i haven't been very close to many men in my life; i have three brothers but they were all grown up when my twin and i came along. so i grew up with my dad as my hero and my male role model. he did a great job. he has his faults like anyone else, and since i idolized him so much i was really heartbroken when i found those out, but he's a wonderful man. he taught me that it's ok for men to cry and be emotional and sensitive. he taught me to be generous to people, even strangers. i love how my dad can talk to anyone, he'll chat up the cashier or the toll booth operator as easily as people he's known for years. i love that about him.

one of my best friends from high school, dan, is another great man. he got me through many an issue with my depression, he has always been understanding and helpful, and the best thing about him is he makes me laugh my butt off.

my husband is the best man in my life. he's extremely patient, he's put up with having a depressed wife for six years and it's been horrifying at times but he's stuck with it. he's the hardest worker i've ever known. he's an amazing father and he isn't afraid to be affectionate and playful with his kids. i love knowing that i can depend on him.

Torrey Jayne said...

As usual, awesome post! I just love you to death! Growing up I never thought I'd ever get married, nor did I ever want to. I was totally content just being me, and my life long goal has always been to be a powerful ball crushing career woman.
But then, sigh, I fell in love, and I'm now married to the greatest man I've ever met. Yep, he's number one on my list of men... right up there with my Dad and brothers. And guess what? Although they all have different personalities, they all treat me exactly the same, like I'm the greatest woman that has ever graced this earth! (I can assure you I'm NOT)... BUT, they treat me with so much respect and love, some days I feel like I am that woman. And yes, they even encourage me to still chase my dream of being a powerful ball crushing career woman... just as long as it's not their's I'm crushing. :)

Olivia said...

oh, my! So many thoughts to share, and where to start?

Briefly, I don't have many men in my life. My husband and my father are about it, and I admire them both greatly although they are extremely different.

My father has never been able to do much for me in materialistic terms, but he's my biggest supporter. When I decided to major in something as unpractical as creative writing, he supported that while my grandmother said she hoped I'd plan on going to law school afterwards. When I decided to get married, he was my only family member who didn't waste a lot of time trying to talk me out of it. And he's the only person in my family or Faiyaz's family who supports me being a stay at home mom.

Then there's Faiyaz. I can't say enough about him. I love hearing the things he tells others about me, they always make me smile when they get back to me. He's constantly bragging; when I finished the first draft of my novel I think he told more people about it than I did. I love that he wants me to do anything, to take night classes if I want, to work part time if I want, and always always always he encourages me to write. My talents and abilities don't intimidate him, he glories in them. I love the father he is to my daughter, I love watching him with her. I could go on for a very long time, but I will leave it at that.

Next, I do not believe that God created men and women the same. I use to, until I got pregnant with Anjali. We are given so much more. I felt so sad for Faiyaz, when I first felt her kick and he couldn't yet. Even when the baby is kicking strong enough for him to feel it, it's not the same. He'll never have that amazing experience of a new life growing inside of him. Don't misunderstand, I seriously dislike being pregnant because I am sick the whole time, but there is something so amazingly miraclous in feeling a baby grow. Then, when she was born, and I was breatfeeding (which is another story in itself) I felt bad for Fai because he so wanted to feed his daughter. Even with a bottle, it's not the same. It's not the same as to know your body, your amazing body has the ability to create what your hungry baby needs.

However, I do see where women are treated unequal to men. I've been the brunt of the negative half of the feminist movement. It's changed from "women have the right to work the same jobs as men" to an expectation. I'm so tired of hearing women, when asked what they do, say, almost apologetically, "I'm just a mom" or "I'm at home" like it's something to be ashamed of. And I'm tired, oh so tired, of people (family) pointing out how much easier things would be if I worked. We're alright, not wealthy, but alright, isn't that enough? I think it's unfair for a woman to be expected to do all the things needful for a mother to do and work full time. I think it's grossly unfair for a woman who just had a baby six weeks ago to have to return to work. I know that some women want to, and good for them, but I babysat for one woman who worked because she was expected to work, and absolutely hated it. She's hoping to return home in a year, but how sad is it that she took a job strictly because she thought she should be working? I do hope this rant makes sense, it's something that has been on my mind for some time. I minored in women's studies, and learned all these different feminist ideals, but I think it's unrealistic to think that anyone can have it all, male or female. Men will never have what we have in terms of having children, is it really possible for us to happily have both careers and families? I think that's a reality possible for only a very few, and while I try to start my writing career I am not willing to sacrifice these early years for it. I look at it as some things have to come first, and right now my children are more important.

May I also throw out there that I am very intimidated by the possibility that the baby I'm pregnant with now could be a boy. I've worked with boys and girls in daycare, but as I've learned with my daughter, it's completely different with your own child. The last thing I want to do is mess up with a little boy!

And finally, yes, there are some backwards men in the church, but there are everywhere as well. There are also men like Faiyaz (back to hubby praise) who is completely disgusted when he hears a man speak disrespectfully to his wife. As far as presiding roles in church, I'm fine with priesthood holders having them. Why? Because no one can have it all. Because I've watched Faiyaz since he received the priesthood, I've seen him give blessing, I've seen him baptise, I've seen him bless my daughter, and I've seen how every tiny bit of responsibility has helped him grow and shaped him into a better version of himself. I think they need that, I think something about men needs that kind of leadership role to bloom. Does this make sense? When I'm in charge of something, anything, my mind set is to get it done most effectively, and while I'm sure a woman could perform the functions of even a bishop with the same results (or better) I don't think she needs that role or would be fullfilled by that role the same way a man might. A very small part of a calling is who will be best at it, a much larger part is who will grow with it. I think that's why they say a new member needs a calling. Of course they won't do as well as most other people in the ward, but that's not the point of it. D'Arcy, I can imagine you reading this comment, and thinking "what a thin argument" and you're probably right, but that's my opinion. I don't think there is inequality in this except when those few ignorant men act like there is. I do understand your feelings, I've had them too, and this is yet another reason I'm glad I'd been married for six months when we went through the Temple (because I don't think I'd have lasted the whole ceremony otherwise, lol) I've got a story to tell you on this next time we talk.

Okay, multiple rants over.

Olivia said...

Oh, and yes, keep Obama on your list! And I love Mr. Darcy too!

fromthestecherbush said...

The greatest thing for women I think would be for them to glory in their difference from men. To enjoy every minute of attention from respectful men. I think women forget that the feminist movement didn't just give women the pants, we seem to have taken the pants and then run away in them. I discovered in the first years of marriage that if I want to be treated like a princess (which I do) I need to act like one. I really believe that includes letting my husband be my prince. I don't think it's a fairy tale. Every man is different just like every woman is different. But there is great power in being the brains and heart behind the man leading the family. Before you turn it down think it over clearly. I think that by trying to be it all I really shot myself in the foot.

D'Arcy said...

jo--you've got some great men in your life! And you are raising another. That's one amazing life you lead friend!!

D'Arcy said...

Torrey...sounds like the best of both worlds. Amazing to have that hubby of yours (his crazy hair phases and all!)

D'Arcy said...

Olivia and Amber---you two are BEAUTIFUL wives and mothers who deserve all the good that you have. And you deserve to be treated like royalty!!

Alisa said...

I saw my husband's name in there! I didn't know if that was the Kevin you meant, but I'll take it that way! He amazes me, not only in the man he is, but in the *person* he is.