Women of Substance

Not that Women’s Day is around the corner (as far as I know), but somehow I got to thinking of all the things I admired in many of my women friends, and I realized how many “women of substance” I have in my friends’ circle. Here’s to the women…

  • Who, coming from a strictly orthodox family, experimented with non-vegetarianism
  • Who went abroad to travel, knowing that it would involve taking a loan she could scarcely afford, with a housing loan under way and no rich husband in sight
  • Who went abroad to study knowing that funds were scarce, and survived a week on a buck because she wouldn’t ask for money… ok, that was stupid, but I understand
  • Who made a controversial religious choice, and stuck to it
  • Who turned the traditional laws of marriage on their head, then steadfastly refused to get married on any terms but their own, even when it meant a broken engagement, intrusive questions from “well-meaning” friends and relatives, and watching year-by-year as friends and peers got married
  • Who left a home in a village, a conservative family where no woman had ever worked, and moved to a big city and made a life and a career for herself against all odds, despite efforts to force her into marriage
  • Who went ahead and bought a home (and a double bed), despite being single
  • Who gave up job, career, friends, and family and accompanied their husbands abroad, sometimes to non-English-speaking countries, knowing it would be difficult
  • Who made the decision to ditch a husband who was completely worthless, even at the risk of spending the rest of her life alone
  • Who survived – after the death of a husband within two short years of marriage – alone, miles from home, jobless, and deep in debt
  • Who had the courage to admit that she didn’t want what she had always thought she wanted

I’m sure there will be a part two to this some day, but for the moment, let me just say that this list is more indicative than exhaustive.

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