By Landis Lain

What must a woman bring to the table? Women have always had to fend for themselves and their families. That question seems to be on everyone’s lips when it comes to relationships. The Holy book tells women they have to be Super Woman to be appreciated. There is the old biblical Virtuous Woman schtick in Proverbs 31:10-31, in which we are supposed to make our own clothes, help the needy, do good, and burn the candle at both ends to be considered good and righteous. We must be God-fearing, kind, wise and never idle. 

Every generation has brought war or illness that left women alone with families to care for and children to raise. Even the toys girls play with are geared toward taking care of others and housework. We (late Boomers, early Generation X) were expected to bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan and never let our husbands forget he is a man. Add caring for aging or infirmed parents. 

Good women must have so many facets to our personalities to make a good partner. That whole phenomenon is curious to me. The lie is spread that if we become all these things some random extremely wealthy Prince will come and sweep us off our feet a la Meghan Markle.

Even Artificial Intelligence is recorded in a woman’s voice, to train whole new generations of women to serve the needs of others. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. What’s love got to do with this whole scenario? Nothing. I call cow crap; mostly because bulls only have one job and cows have many. 

Here we are in 2022. Women are about to lose the right to our own bodily integrity and right to privacy in making medical decisions. Our voting rights are more vulnerable than they have been in eighty years. We still do not have a ratified Equal Rights Amendment and our Supreme Court opened the floodgates to allow our very government to force us into some fictional fifties episode where women happily stay home and perform all the household drudgery as well as take over a myriad of childcare duties for the unlimited children they will be forced to bear. That life never existed for most women in America on any day. I need to know where this handmaid’s tale of political rapine ends. 

Currently, only about 60% of white women who have ever married are still married in their early forties, compared to 55% of Hispanic woman and 45% of Black women. About 33% of women will never marry. Women outlive men by an average of seven years. That adds up to a lot of women who must fend for themselves. If we are competent to work unceasingly to establish our virtue, buy our own land, plant vineyards with the fruit of our own hands as well as work all day and night (our candle never goes out at night), why we are not competent to make our own reproductive decisions? Why do we lack equal rights under the law? 

What should we tell our daughters for the future? That they attain the highest education and political status possible. They should become a virtuous woman, not so they can marry, but because they need to do so to survive. Tell your daughter to become the best her and enjoy taking care of herself, for herself. Have her own table and chairs to go with it. Use it to live her best life. Next time a potential partner asks her what she brings to the table, ask the prince if he has his own. Hold him to the same standards. We need some virtuous men. Because virtue is good and righteous.