June 2009

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            MEN, MAIDENS, AND MARRIAGE

                                                BY SY SCHECHTMAN

 

    In the Book of Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible   one of the many priceless   statements  avowing great solemn wonderment  is “how a man has his way   with  a maiden”.   The  poet declares,  in the same stanza,   that he cannot fathom  “how an eagle  flies,  or a snake  slithers over the  ground,  or how a ship “makes its way through the high seas.”   Time and bemused or even agitated  speculation  has reassured us on the slippery snake slithering or the ships’ seagoing ventures, but the man and the maiden and their endless shenanigans have been the fruitful basis for all of civilization’s somewhat tenuous and perhaps even torturous growth and development.    How the “battle of the sexes” plays out   now is almost an epilogue of  the   interminable drive of natural forces  to enhance  the reproductive mechanisms of the animal and vegetable kingdoms in its overall control.  

        Starting eons ago as unicellular mites  dividing in two in the animal kingdom—mitosis or meiosis—and then many alternate schemes of  like hermaphrodism, parthogenesis,  and even asexual reproduction,   almost universally  devised some form of male and female  sharing of  genetic material ( except in asexual coupling),  for the ultimate enchancing of the gradually evolving living species on earth.  Ultimately,  in the leisurely  time frame of perhaps many millions of years   the evolution in both animal and plant kingdoms  have produced satisfactory genetic and chromosomal formulations in those successful animal and plant species that have survived  the challenges of the somewhat hostile and harsh material world  around them.   Evidently  much tentative  but unsuccessful attempts were made, not only with different attempts  at fertilization of sperm and ovum, but in the propagation  of the fertilized seed, or zygote,  sometimes of direct harm or benefit to man as a human somewhat innocent bystander.    Hay fever or allied pollen irritants cause humanity many discomforts, especially in springtime, when a very profligate nature is unleashing  its airborne lavishment of  seeds and spores  and not only  giving its needed nourishment  to the vegetable  kingdom but allerigic upsets of sneezing,  waterey and itchy eyes,  and other “god only knows” temporary upsets to the human body. However,  resourceful man  does step in  handsomely with the colossal overproduction of  fish roe to help consummate the birth of fish,  with the harvesting of the large excesses of shad roe and  caviar,  delicacies of world wide delight.   Not a neat balance, however, of joy and woe,  for the sufferings of allergic mankind  far outweigh the happy few roe eating gourmets.

        The almost indiscriminate  sowing of  fertile eggs or air borne pollen  is much curtailed as we go up the animal phyla to the highly specialized mixing of disparate male and female genetic material in the intricate ultimate meiosis producing the chromosomal map of the of unique individual in the  species homo sapiens.   Nine months of gestation   occurs before the pregnant female is through  with the necessary    succoring  to allow for the epic event of the struggle of birth,  through the writhing and  nurturing passage down the amazingly distended  birth canal and the crucial anguish of final expulsion of the child  into the strange new environment of life.  And then the long, loving joint nurturing of this new born into the rules and rigors of human life, of infancy, childhood and beginning adolescence,  the longest maturation period  of all in the animal kingdom,  because of the vast potential this intricate and complex creature can attain.   The pitfalls and possibilities are immense  and both parents will be exhilarated,  and exhausted many times in this family  journey of rearing their endearing and enigmatic offspring.   Trial and loving error that many times will need the valiant input of both parents.   The  uniquely  maternal and the enduring paternal  in concert   or to spell  the other mate.

        Thus the biologic and physiological history of the the human being.   The natural imperatives that nourish and impel the human being.  The male and female sexual continuum of the  mother and father genetic mixing (meiosis)  and the partial drama and trauma  of birth and rearing of the individual.   And now the  sociobiology   of the infant and young child,  the gradual  diminishing of the overt sexual  impetus from gestation to postpartum survival reality.   And how the sexual component   of  the natural instinct of “be fruitful and multiply”  is diverted to less exalted and more   mundane and even repulsive objects.   Even unto bestiality and sodomy, or with complying others of the same sex.   The endearing and enduring nubile maiden image  and concept, charged with sexual who seek desire, lowered to vulgar   depths  by the palpable need for orgasmic relief  as an end in itself,  not as the climax of an act of love or deep affection.  Not the admirable way with the maiden that we should admire!  Sex solely  as self centered  release  of surplus energy.   Certainly a needed and satisfying  act  but only of  short duration because void of respect and deep feeling  for the partner.   Indeed, the utterly human need for companionship  is almost as strong as the procreative  drive of sex and the two must be blended  successfully for a happy marriage.

        Today there is great clamor among those  whose sexual imperatives are not heterosexual and seek the same  status that marriage affords.   We have grown to accept  the natural variations(mistakes?) in sexual evolution  as the sexual mating preferences of people sometimes varied.  All people of homosexual  life styles should be allowed all the legal  rights all citizens enjoy.   But the title of marriage is not to be conferred on this union.   Marriage is solely a male/female affair.   As alluded  above,  with fond derision,  there is such a thing  as “the battle of the sexes”  the crucial  melding of two diverse human beings  who will be powerful  models for  their children.   A loving single parent or two same sex parents are certainly much better than a cold impersonal foster home or orphanage but the input of two opposite gender  caring parents,  is the most positive choice.   Preferably of different personalities, so that the children can learn  to react to each  differing type.   And at different stages of life sometimes   one parent is more needed than the other.   Undoubtedly infancy  is the time when mother is prime  attendant but  later on father’s role in sports and dating girls is important.  But mother is always there to advise and consent.  There are many times deep into adolescence when the restraining or encouraging advice of male father or female mother can smooth over the recurring enigmas of parental guidance and authority.   When the male father imprints, by his actions and decisive deeds important messages on his children’s psyches of inherent masculine feelings,  as will be case with true maternal  reactions  that must be manifested to the family children  by the loving, caring mother.  So that the children can be aware and comfortable with these differences and help smooth over the inevitable, and loving “battle of the sexes” that leads to  the probably divine difference and splendid mystery of the  eternal way of  a man with a maiden.

     Also, to end on a more mundane  practical note,   both parent incomes are certainly welcome, but one parent at home when school  is over should also be part of the game plan,  if possible!