Once upon a sinking ship they cried, "Women and children first!" For the longest time, I thought that was because women and children were weaker, and needed rescuing, while men were brave and strong, and could take care of themselves.
But the other day I thought: in an emergency, what do you grab before you run? That delicate bouquet of roses? The soft white bread that would go moldy in a few days if left unloved? No, you grab what's most valuable to you, something you deem vital for your survival.
And it struck me that I had got it all wrong. It's women and children first, not because they are weak, but because they are more valuable. Men are going to hate me for saying this, but it really does seem to make sense.
I'm talking about the issue of survival. Survival of the species, the human race. In terms of procreation and keeping the species going, men are not indispensable. If you had to populate a new world asap, you'd be better off picking eight women and two men, than eight men and two women.
Women have the womb. That's where the creation happens. I can't help wondering if deep down, this is what is at the root for man's need to be in power, to show strength, to be "men"?
It seems to me a huge amount of misspent energy. I suspect women have also, deep down, known this. We do have a sense of being stronger - not in terms of brute strength - but of a sense of resilience. Men, perhaps, are never quite sure that they are truly essential. What a terrible insecurity that must be.
I know there are men out there who have seen beyond this, and I hope that there will be more such men soon. Men who don't feel the need to assert their manliness in the funny little ways they do. I'm waiting for the day when men don't have to be men. They just have to Be. That's the day when everyone lives happily ever after.