Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I Hate That Quote

Today I heard the ridiculous qoutation, yet again, about how "a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." It got me to thinking about why I hate that stupid quote. I generally get irritated by answers, quotes or anything we tend to repeat without really thinking about. This particular "popular" one has plagued me for a while.

I often think about what irritates me about it. The fact is I am a woman. I am a person. I do NEED community. We all need friends and family whether we are male or female, young or old, ugly or beautiful (you get the picture). I have heard from several very good counselors that human beings all have a deep need for "productivity" or the ability to contribute to a community. Many folks erringly believe that we need a mate to complete us. That a woman NEEDS a man or vice versa. I don't believe that is Biblical. The Bible tells us that we christians are all a part of One body (1 Corinthians 12). That we are all made to help and be helped by others. Now I am not arguing for or against marriage or Biblical submission here (I have covered that in other posts). I am simply saying that we, as human beings, are born to be part of a community. We desire, at a core level, to contribute and be loved for ourselves. It isn't that I, as a woman, need a man (as if just any would do). It is that I, as a person, need intimacy. God created me that way. He made me a special, female person with a name, a character.... He also made my husband (not just any guy). My husband has a name, a character, a history. We are particular people not just "a woman" or "a man." God also provided for our own particular needs with marriage to each other.

I dislike the generalization in the quote. Now you can make generalizations about many different folks. Often times, though, our experiences tend to make us prejudice and make unjust generalizations. Why is this okay to say about men? Why would it be horrible if we substituted other groups? What if I said that, "White people need black people like a fish needs a bicycle?" If it is abhorrent (and I think it is) to say such things about different races, I think it is just as bad to say this about men. I have a husband and two sons. They are men and I don't like people saying ugly things about them, even in jest, because they are awesome individuals.

Now on to why I have decided I really hate this quote. I looked up the person often credited with the quote, Gloria Steinheim, to make sure I was correct. I found this quote from Gloria Steinheim to Time magazine:

"In your note on my new and happy marital partnership with David Bale, you credit
me with the witticism 'A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.' In fact, Irina
Dunn, a distinquished Australian educator, journalist, and politician, coined the phrase
back in 1970 when she was a student at the University of Sydney. She paraphrased the
philosopher who said, 'Man needs God like a fish needs a bicycle.' Dunn deserves credit
for creating such a popular and durable spoof of the old idea that women need men more
than vice versa."

I am a christian. I want to distance myself from any mockery of my Lord and Savior. I know I would rather quote Joni Eareckson Tada than these other folks. She said that God is not her crutch, He is her wheel chair. More than anything or anyone else I will quote from the Bible. It says that in God I move, breathe and have my being. I am a created being that needs my Creator to even draw breathe. I am happy and blessed to need Him. I am thankful for my husband, children, family and church that He has blessed me with to fulfill my needs for community with, as well. I praise Him that I am not a fish. He made me a woman and He even blessed me with a bicycle too :)


Sharon said...

Thank you for blogging today :)
There is always a blessing when you share your heart.
I join you in PRAISE of our Father. When He gives His great gift(s), He then enables us to use said gift(s)--The ability to ride like the wind for miles and miles ;)
Love and miss you,

Sarah said...

The quote has nothing to do with putting down men...its purpose is to raise women up.

Up until the 1970's, the norm was for women to be treated as property, passed from father to husband. Thank God we live in a time when we can WANT a man without NEEDING one to survive.

BrimanHeath said...

Sharon, thank you for the nice comments. We miss you lots and lots too.

Sarah, I think you missed the entire point. You are, however, welcome to your opinion. As to your assertion of the normalcy of women being treated as chattel up until the 1970's, I really think I need more "hard facts" than your mere assertion. I don't even know who you are. Your profile doesn't show up. If you are a friend of mine, please, let me know. If you want the chance at a real forum on this subject, may I suggest checking out the Ladies Against Feminism site (found in my sidebar). I generally don't have time to engage in major debate with complete strangers. Nothing personal...

Heath Clan said...

How funny! Sorry folks. The above comment wasn't made by the BriMan. He was somehow logged in when I made that comment. It should read from the Heath Clan! Can anyone else say, "Technologically challenged?"