The wonder that is woman

The wonder that is woman

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

Maya Angelou, Still I Rise


What is woman?

What does it mean to be a woman in our time? What is her place in the world? What is her situation? What are her problems?

These are the questions which our clumsy and stumbling journey has brought us as we further reflect on the female gamer and geek – here, on the Horseplay podcast and elsewhere. Warning: this is not a flirtation with feminism. Nor is it an introduction to the self-enamors of a boyish circle jerk.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
Woman, like Man, is not to be ignored, rejected or exploited – nor should she get an armful of get out of jail cards to play with reckless whim. Woman belongs here just as does Man. She represents a mystery, a wonder and a good which transcends our infantile ambitions to possess and use her for our own (male or female) purposes. When I say, good, I do not mean a commodity, but a boon, a gift and a blessing.
Immaculate Conception
Mary, Mother of Jesus

It does not require great imagination to understand her as a boon, gift and blessing when we consider her as a mother. But motherhood is not the only blessing, she is a treasure as a wife, daughter, sister, saint, hero, etc. – if she pursues her identity with dignity, grace and love.

Thank you

Thank you, women. And thank you who work, who contribute to culture that lifts up the human spirit, and who serve in causes and missions that bring compassion and hope to all of the human family. Thank you, every woman!

Women have contributed to human history as much as men. And in every noble endeavor including science, art, and culture.
Marie Curie
Women have made great sacrifices and faced great challenges just as much as men. Humanity is blessed by the presence, excellence and gift of great women.
Rosa Parks
Sadly, history and popular culture does not admit to enough of the evidence of women’s achievements and contributions – but we are not so ignorant nor of limited imagination to deny the unrecorded evidence of culture, progress and hope to which women have made contribution.
Edith Stein
Edith Stein

A woman’s dignity derives from these things and much more. It is a dignity, however, that has often been unappreciated, unacknowledged, and, sadly, much abused.
Queen Rania of Jordan
When the woman rises (as Maya Angelou proclaims in her poem), humanity rises. When the woman rises into a daybreak that is wonderously clear, we rise to it together – men, women and children.
Liu Yang


There remains obstacles to the full integration of virtuous women within social, political and economic activities. There remains inequalities and prejudices that prevent the woman from being freely herself, a boon, a gift and a blessing. There remains injustice, violence against women, and the abuse of women which are perpetuated by human folly – yours and mine.

This folly ends when we honor the dignity of the woman. It ends when all of us allow ourselves to accept, celebrate and praise her dignity in the individual woman. It ends when the individual woman demonstrates her dignity as a woman and she rejects the vulgar, dehumanizing and savage passions which we must all struggle to reject.

Mother Teresa

Men (and boys) must see women who exemplify what a blessing she is as mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, professional, leader, hero, etc. They must see women of great dignity with their own eyes. Otherwise, the ignorance and folly of men shall continue.

Make it so

If the task seems daunting to women (to be virtuous), the burden upon men must be to search for signs of her dignity, honor her when those signs are demonstrated, and defend her dignity against the savage ambitions and behavior of the stupid.

Even in a game.
Celia Cruz

Celia Cruz

Especially in a game. Because contrary to the anti-social perversions of the infantile and undeveloped gamer, geek or otherwise (of which there are too many), the best games are social activities where we learn and exercise good graces, deepen our relationships with others, and truly enjoy each other.
Angela Gheorghiu
Good women can bring much to a game including sensibility, humanity, coherence, loyalty, organization, communication and, last but not least, community skills.

Let go of the pain and anger

The need to hurt, humiliate, offend and/or dominate others (online or offline) is a symptom of a sickness, a disease and all that pain you now bear up in an undignified and demonic manner.

But do not give up hope. Not on you. Not on us. This is not hell and what is broken can often be mended – especially if the patient is pure of heart.

To think and believe otherwise is to be confused, miserable, broken, and deeply maladjusted.

Or do you believe me to be mistaken? Tell me. Comment below, shout out on Facebook or give me a hat tip on Twitter.

Angela Gheorghiu sings the aria “Vissi d’arte” in Puccini’s opera ‘Tosca’
Stan Faryna
6 June 2014
Fairfax, Virginia

7 thoughts on “The wonder that is woman”

  1. I had posted a four-paragraph response and the Interwebz ate it.. Well, suffice to say that there is discrimination across the board in the world. It’s not just gender disparity. We have so much cynicism and jaded geeks out there. Rather than uplifting and inspiring, we tear down communities and disparage people. I hope that our good will here at GANG will become viral as we grow. I believe we have a responsibility to defeat the toxicity in the world, especially within gaming communities where anti-social behavior forces people into reclusiveness, toxic behavior, or further introversion.

    Another beautiful, thought-provoking piece, Stan! I love the related links that were automatically picked out by WP. It seems we have these thoughts in our minds and hearts. 8)

    1. True that, Yogizilla! Prejudice, pain and anger leaves no stone unturned. But where we can bring light, darkness shall withdraw.

  2. Stan,
    As always, your words fill our hearts with Beauty. They take us further along the path that marches on before us, differing roads that propel us along the same journey. In a world of one family, one love, your message strikes a cord that rings true across humanity to remind us we are more than our labels. Gender is not something we choose. It is chosen for us. How we respond to that gift is up to us. Little more is required of our reply than a steadfast determination, female and male, to pursue, and to help others pursue their identity — as part of a single humanity — with dignity, grace, and love … if it is ours to pursue in the first place.

    Moreover, I believe the wiser man understands the wisdom of the matriarch. Woman gives life. She sees it for all it can be. She nurtures it and helps it grow. She points the way to a dignity, grace, and love that waits to embrace each of us. For context, consider the words of Chased by Bears of the Santee-Yanktonai peoples: “When a man does a piece of work which is admired by all we say that it is wonderful; but when we see the changes of day and night, the sun, the moon, and the stars in the sky, and the changing seasons upon the earth, with their ripening fruits, anyone must realize that it is the work of someone more powerful than man.” Chased by Bears, doesn’t have to say he speaks of the Great Spirit that is of and in all of us. Nor does he have to say he speaks of the Woman that gives each of us life. Perhaps, he speaks to both. Chief Luther Standing Bear, of the Oglala Lakota, lifts us to a higher plane where the wisdom of aged teachers lends to us deeper understanding: “It is the mothers, not the warriors, who create a people and guide their destiny.”

    Destiny, it seems to me, need not be justified by dignity. Nor is dignity reserved for the gender conscious. Dignity belongs to life, all life, and that life belongs to the full creation, preserved largely by Woman. She alone understands what Man cannot and she sees what Man has yet to see; life, and life lived abundantly, is worthy.

    One last thought. The burden assigned Man is to look not upon himself for he shall surely succumb to fear and the fallacies of his self-import but, rather, to look beyond himself to see his place as a lifter of life that honors the creation. He is to withhold judgment as he helps color our collective journey, a journey without labels to say this one is good or this one is not so good. So it is, we come, together, to a place where we discover our journey — not our gender — matters. For all who walk Beauty’s Way — Woman, Man — there is no good, no bad. There is then no need for fear, nor is there a place for its needful brother, judgment, in a land where every breath is shared by all and is just as important for one as it is for the next, a land where the tree holds the same value as the babbling brook or the baby’s cry, a land of beginnings that adds to the colors that form themselves into a single hue that outshines a thousand suns. For Man to live is for Man to love. For Man to love is to walk anew in the sweetness of Woman.

    Thank you, Stan, for illuminating our path and showing us a better way, a Beauty way.

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