Is there a Woman behind every successful Man?

Edited to add : If you landed on this post searching for “behind every successful man a woman” or some variant of that, please do leave me a comment saying why you were searching for that. By the number of hits this post gets from search engines, I am totally, absolutely, helplessly curious!

I looked. . Nope!

It is unfair to steal from a successful man the credits he deserves.

How could I saaay that? What the hell do I think men can achieve without all the sacrifices that women make for them?

I think they can achieve self-reliance and excellence in the art of not-being-a-jerk.

Declaration : I do NOT respect Women.

In spite of my mother being a woman..

In spite of women being this species that thrives on being caring, selfless and sacrificing..

In spite of every damned reason that people give for being proud to be a woman!

 I do NOT ask people to respect Women.

Clarification : I do NOT disrespect women. I do NOT ask people NOT to respect any woman.

Confusingly contradictory?

Not quite.

Being a woman by itself does not, need not and should not attract respect.

Being a woman is simply being born female. Why does a coin toss game of nature become a reason enough to respect 50% of the human population?

The International Women’s Day two days back led to the WWW being flooded with blog posts and articles requesting, demanding and ordering for women to be respected.

I would have agreed with these posts had they not essentially said “Women do so much for you, so all men out there, learn to respect them”.

I would have agreed with these posts had they not gone all “We selfless people sacrifice our wishes, our independence, our careers, our health, our lives for our fathers/brothers/husbands and children. You would all suffer without us. You better learn to respect us!”

Personally, I would have very little respect for the door mats described above.

Door mats who have the privilege of having the ability to pursue careers, be independent and even voice out these opinions have no business being door mats.

Being “selflessly sacrificing” and then demanding to be recognized for that “selfless sacrifice” is anything but “selfless”! At some point, women were brainwashed to think that the epitome of “Womanhood” (what IS this mighty womanhood by the way?) is being caring, selfless and sacrificing. I feel pity for the women brainwashed so and often try to point it out to them that all those may probably be the epitome of “Human-hood” and not just “Womanhood”. But the empowered woman today? If she still holds on to this supposed epitome of “Womanhood”, she is simply being selfish, narcissistic and hungry for praise.

When it comes to these modern designer doormats who act holier-than-thou sacrificing selfless souls who have to be respected for their sacrifices. . I have NO respect for them. Period.

To top it all, they go “We are not even allowed to be born. We are not even allowed to get basic education. We are not allowed to choose our own life partners, to pursue the careers we like, to live life our way. We are raped and dispensed off of easily. We are the oppressed lot. Look at our plight. Respect us!”.

What does that mean? “You can keep indulging in female infanticide, patriarchy, honor killings, rape and what not.. But keep respecting us for putting up with it.”????

There is a hell load of difference between saying “Stop atrocities against women you morons” and saying “There are so many atrocities against women.. Empathize with us and respect us”.

The former makes one aware of the atrocities and provokes thought on how to stop them. The latter only provokes pity – a useless emotion when not accompanied by the urge to change things. Or worse, it provokes a tug-off war – Who is a more pitiable victim? Women who get oppressed and raped OR Men who get manipulated by women and on whose hard-earned money women live?

I do not see reason in respecting a group of people for belonging to that group.

I respect my mother because she is the person that she is. Not because she went through the pain of giving birth to me – that is by design of nature. Not because she gave up so much in bringing me up the way she has.

I respect the women AND men I respect for their personalities, for their strengths, for their quirks. Not for what they did or did not do. Any inspiring thing a person does is a result of their personality.

I see people – irrespective of gender, race,  educational standing, social standing, financial standing – for what they are as individuals. I respect them for those aspects of them that inspire me.

I ask people only to treat everyone as they would want treat themselves treated. I do not see why that has to involve gender, past/current oppression, race, religion, sacrifices etc.

If you still insist on saying “I am a woman. Respect me”. . I am going to start a campaign saying “I have curly hair and green eyes. Respect me”!


22 thoughts on “Is there a Woman behind every successful Man?

  1. Just…freaking awesome. This is one reason why though I write a lot on women’s issues, don’t like labeling either myself or anyone else as a “feminist”. I also support gay rights and any human being who is being discriminated against for no fault of their own. Even animals for that matter.

    • Thanks 🙂
      I don’t mind the label.. it doesn’t hurt. If it gives a general opinion about the kind of beliefs I hold, it is even a convenience – all I need to do is provide detail to those beliefs instead of starting from scratch.

  2. If by “respect” you mean show special consideration, that you would not be expected to show for others, then no, that’s not needed.

    But if by respect you mean, treat women like human beings, with all the rights and all the considerations that normally gives, including being treated as an adult capable of making your own decisions, and including refraining from sexual harassment or other intolerable behaviour, then yes, you should respect *everyone*.

    In wartime stories you often see text such as; “Among the victims where also a such-and-such many women and children”, which as it happens includes *everyone* except for adult males. That annoys me, because it gives the impression that adult males have no value and do not matter. “100 dead, including a dozen women and children” should really read: “100 dead – mostly adult males”.

    There’s not a woman behind every successful male. But there’s a supportive partner behind many successful humans. (regardless of gender). And furthermore, for every male genius that existed troughout time and space, there was likely a similar count of female geniuses. Most of their talents where wasted though, because humanity has mostly chained women to the kitchen and not allowed them to shine.

    I personally consider that one of humanitys greatest tragedy. Most of us can for example mention 20 famous male scientists for every 1 famous female scientist. Imagine how much more we could’ve learnt if we’d allowed the women to contribute. (yeah there’s exception like Curie and Lovelace, but they are rare)

    • Exactly. The focus should be on cutting down the chain that binds women to the kitchen. But this trend I notice that goes something like “women are chained to the kitchen. Poor things. Nothing is going to change – cos some things can’t be changed, cos our dumb society will not allow it. So, let us at least recognize their “sacrifice” and consider them goddesses” – it irks at multiple levels.

      Plus, India has this hypocrisy of saying “We see women as the Devi (goddess). . So, we don’t allow them to dress/speak/behave like sluts. We are protecting their divinity when we curb their freedom and deprive them of their rights. But hey, women are Devi”. It gets more sad when women themselves buy that nonsense.

  3. I beleive that one shud respest other human being and treat them as we ourself want to be treated .. once we do this all this man-woman- gay – black white blah blah blahhhhhhhhh will go away

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  5. Once again, a fantastic post! I remember on woman’s day my BBM was getting spammed by all the ‘respect women’ broadcasts. I agree with you completely, if you are asking people to respect you because you have sacrificed so much then what’s the point of sacrifice? are people supposed to go about bragging about their sacrifices? on the other hand, everyone has a choice so why trouble other people for the choice you made.

    The thing is that once the society specially the desi society gets to recognize men and women for their own personalities which includes doing whatever they want in life or living life the way they want and not being stereotyped for it then with this acceptance the general respect will emerge. So instead of women going around asking for respect they should concentrate on more important issues that prevail in our society which makes people think of women as second class citizens. Not sure if I got my point across, but i hope i did..

    • Precisely my point. Plus, I don’t understand why women expect others to magically start treating them well and giving them opportunities instead of standing up for themselves. That’s very easy for the educated, independent woman – but no, they don’t! It appears that the highest degree of courage and ability to stand up to adversity and get over it is shown by the lesser privileged woman. Others simply keep expecting ‘society’ to change.

  6. Conjecturegirl, after reading your opening red editor’s note I am now curious how many hits you are getting from the search engines searching for “Behind every successful man” saying.

    To answer your call .. well I was searching for some humorous takes on this common saying.

    • 😀 let’s say more than half the traffic I get on lazy no-new-post days are for this post. Around 500 hits till now – more than 400 of which must have been through search engines. Even if I deleted all other posts, I’d get 30 hits a week for just this post!

      Welcome to this blog Denis 🙂

      • Ok that’s wonderful. Show the power of “wise men sayings”.

        I saw an interesting humorous take on this saying … which goes like “YES, Behind every successful man there’s woman”. Translation: A man needs to be successful FIRST in order to attract women.

  7. Well I just wanted to post about why I looked up the qoute. I looked it up because I realised what it means. It doesn’t mean women sacrifice for us men. But the rather what we do for the woman we love. The add weight to everythig we do. I am a pretty selfish person, and a lone wolf type. I only care about myself and the few people I hold close. And I can live with our a lot. But since I had a woman that I felt the need to provide for, I can tell you, I personally have a lot more conviction. I have a need to full fill that I didn’t have before. And it drives me. I want her to be happy and to do that I need to be able to provide for her and for myself. Granted this does not hold true for the super rich. But it holds true to the common man. What makes a man successful? It’s different for everyone. But this is why I looked it up.

    • That’s an interesting point of view Mark. Though I don’t see myself agreeing with it – me being someone who thinks it is only children who need to be provided for – men & women can and should provide for themselves. Plus, success shouldn’t necessarily mean financial success alone. But I see your point too – not all women are brought up to be able to provide for themselves. May be that’s when the love for the woman is behind the man’s success (monetary).

      Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      • It’s only children who *need* to be provided for, but there’s a limited amount of hours in a day, thus anyone can do *more* in one area, if there’s someone handling other areas. Most people who are presidents, CEOs or have other high-demand jobs have a stay-at-home partner, even though that partner is often well-educated and someone who’d otherwise likely work.

        Part of the reason, ofcourse, is that when one part has a very good salary, there’s less reason for the other to work, if you earn ten times as much as your partner, it may feel pointless to him to work for monetary gain, since his income will make little difference for the family as a whole.

        But part of it simply that you can’t do a job that requires a *large* amount of hours well, and at the same time handle household and childcare.

        It’s not that there’s a woman behind every successful man. It’s more that it’s easier for *anyone* (male or female) to do well in a high-demand job, if they have a partner who is willing to sacrifice their career and take care of the other practicalities of life for the duration.

        Michelle Obama has a law-degree from Harvard, yet spends her time supporting the presidential career of her husband – I don’t think he could do the job equally well if she wasn’t willing to do this. If he had a ordinary job, she would almost certainly be working in some law-firm or other.

        It’s not that men can’t do well without the support of a woman. It’s just that a team of two, focusing on *one* career, can often do better than a person alone.

  8. I arrived here looking for the phrase in question, as I am in the process of writing a book about gender bias against men, and this sentence popped into my mind (wanted to check the variations used).

    I have been tooting the same horn as you: Just because I am a woman, doesn’t mean I deserve respect automatically (in any special sort of way. Every human deserves the minimum amount of respect, which is: “I’ll butt out of your life, you live your own life as you choose”), but for some reason women should be given some special attention because we’re so helpless otherwise? Doesn’t it tell a lot about what we believe to be true about our gender, or at least the individual repeating these woe is me -demands?

    I clicked through the link as the preview sounded promising. 🙂

  9. You have interesting views on this subject.

    Not just women, many human beings like to eat their cake and have it, and also be given a halo!!

    Just one point. You’ve said, “Door mats who have the privilege of having the ability to pursue careers, be independent and even voice out these opinions have no business being door mats.” I fully agree with you. However, there are many girls in India who have been brought up with the sole objective of getting them married to a suitable boy at a suitable age. They certainly do not “have the ability to pursue careers or be independent”. This has changed in the recent past among some sections of society, but is still quite prevalent.

    • I agree. A vast majority of women do not, in fact, have the ability to be independent – career, or no career. It might be family pressure, social pressure, or internal barriers. I try not to be harsh on them. But why some of those who are totally capable of not being a door mat choose to be one baffles me – narcissism? ‘holier than thou’ masochism? I don’t know. Definitely not victim-hood. I think, after a critical mass of freedom & independence is achieved, ‘conditioning’ is just a lazy excuse and a refusal to introspect.

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