Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"To Move a Woman..."

“It took so little to move a woman...

Whether this spoke to the fragility or to the strength of the gender, he wasn’t sure.”

Testimony - Anita Shreve

I love it when a sentence leaps off the page (yes, a hackneyed phrase but it works) and captures my attention. No more relaxed reading. I am riveted and left pondering the truth or un-truth of it.

I agree that it takes, “…so little to move a woman” – a touch, a smile, certain words, gestures. It’s the fragility or strength part I had to think about.

My conclusion? It’s because women possess the strength to be open, to be vulnerable (in a sense, fragile) and emotionally receptive to love and acts of kindness that enables us to be touched and moved by “so little.” This same strength also enables us to recognize the importance of the little things, not only in the giving but in the receiving.

And, yes, there’s a downside to this – women tend to be more easily hurt than men. Still, I think we’re fortunate to possess this gift. I believe it makes the world a kinder, gentler place.


sherry smyth said...

I concur with your speak so well (your writing isn't half bad either!) :) Loved this book -- I like all of Shreve's work but I read "Testimony" in a very short space of time!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

So well put.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Good thing there are men around or there would be nothing for comparison.

Beth said...

Coming from you - high praise indeed!
I'm reading Sea Glass right now and loving it.

Thank you!

Ha! Good point.
(No offense intended to any male readers...)

Memarie Lane said...

I love Anita Shreve. But my favorite quotable writer is Terry Pratchett. Right now I'm dwelling on this one from Rebecca Rupp: "It's not what teachers teach, it's what children learn.

oreneta said...

I'm going to go out on a limb you think that men are really less sensitive or are they less willing to show it?

Are they allowed to show it?

I don't know, it's kind of what came to mind.

Beth said...

memorie lane:
Terry Pratchett has some great ones - such as your title post!

I knew someone would call me on such a sweeping generalization. Yes, sensitive, empathetic men do exist who are able to express emotions but I think there are far more men who "keep it all inside." I believe it's part upbringing and part just the way the sexes are.
If you can, read The Female Brain by Louanne Brizendine M.D. A fascinating book. (I'll try and send a copy to you.)

cipriano said...

Where have I been?
You are back?
This is joyous news!
[I am so retarded... I have not clicked on your blog in a long while now....]

She said...

I agree that it does take strength and confidence (and willingness to take risks and to trust) to be vulnerable, and I also think that others may mistake this vulnerability to mean women are fragile. But feeling things strongly or being easily touched or moved isn't the same thing as fragility in my opinion.

Beth said...

I agree girl..I love being a woman....we can be anything we want...strong, soft, weak, funny, strict....anything at all.

Lainey-Paney said...

I just love Anita Shreve....