Women’s strength not gained in weightroom

Strength. Women have it: plenty of it. It might not be visible through a wife-beater, but it’s definitely there. I admit I’m not much competition in an arm-wrestling match. I don’t get down with the push-ups: My personal record is eight push-ups, which I worked all summer to achieve.

Forget barbells and free weights. The mental and emotional strength women have is phenomenal.

But isn’t it ironic how men suddenly become “the weaker sex” once they catch a cold? Isn’t it weird how a two-day cold hits them harder than a 300-pound tackle? It’s almost funny how quickly men revert back to that helpless, I-need-someone-to-hold-me stage at the tiniest cough, sneeze or sniffle.

The truth is that behind all the macho bravado, underneath the sweaty muscularity, past the testosterone-driven trash-talking, men like to be babied.

Men have been used to it from birth, and they look to us ladies for that comfort. But can you really blame them?

Men can talk about our hormones all they want, but there’s something to be said for a woman’s touch. Gentle, comforting and almost addictive. Better than anything you can buy over the counter. Put that way, it’s no wonder men fall apart when they get sick.

We can question why men act like this forever but it all boils down to the fact that men are men and women are women. We’re just different. In a way, it’s an extension of the gender roles men and women have been following since the beginning of time.

For generations women have been nurturers, caregivers, supporters and a host of other unsung roles. At the same time however, we don’t have to suck it up and quietly accept the roles society expects us to play.

We know from example and by experience that the power of change lays within us. If you don’t like your man acting like a baby, don’t treat him like one. It’s one thing to be loving and supportive, but we shouldn’t lose our backbones trying to be a man’s strength.

Rahkia Nance, 20, is a senior newspaper journalism student from Herndon, Va. She can be reached at Petite8228@aol.com.