A ‘Happy International Women’s Day’ wish from Vietnam

What would we do without women? Yeah, yeah – I can hear those masculine derisive howls of laughter a mile away. I mean it’s great not to have a woman around all the time – eat unhealthy meals anytime, play golf whenever you want or stay in the pub until closing time, right?

I mean, who wants someone to always make sure your clothes are clean; the breakfast is ready and remind you to get a haircut? How awful having those terrible women constantly cooking, cleaning and kissing your poor little finger after you cut it with the big kitchen knife!

Do we really need women in our lives? It’s so irritating to have all those women in the office chatting away endlessly while organizing, filing and sorting your business receipts, taxes, reports, salaries, emails and sales support team! I’m sure I could run this business by myself...

Since I’m living in Vietnam, I also think that there are too many women building houses, mixing concrete, laying sewage drains, paving the footpaths, trimming gardens, sweeping streets, unloading the bricks from the trucks, and of course... filling your motorbike tank! 

And banks too! Do we have to have women carefully counting the money, making the lists, entering the data, listening to annoying customers with a smile? I just know men could sit there patiently all day, going through the paperwork, noticing details, checking mistakes, remembering to give receipts and packing the money for our ATMs. Certain of it!

a ‘happy international women’s day’ wish from vietnam hinh 0

Come to think of it, hospitals are just too full of women, the same with airports too. Men are just as good as (I’m so sure of this) reassuring nervous patients, emptying bedpans, cleaning up blood and whatever else covers the floors and remembering to give the surgeon the correct scalpel. Yes! For sure, we men can be the lowly administrators, laboratory assistants, the dental nurses looking inside a mouth all day! Sign us up a.s.a.p.!

Certainly we men can stand at an airport check-in counter for hours without losing our temper as passengers argue over the weight of that suitcase full of gold or the delays in flight times (we men have everything organized down to the last minute), or deal with those impolite people on that naughty airplane.

Should bars, restaurants and cafes employ so many women? I’m sure it’s not difficult washing dishes, peeling potatoes every day, chopping vegetables morning and night, serving fussy customers and running around tidying up all the time. There’s a queue of men eager to take on the job!

As for children – oh! That’s so simple! Changing the diapers, wiping the chins, calming screaming babies, taking your kids everywhere while fighting for space in the supermarket! Ha! Too easy! Getting up first in the morning of all the family to cook, dress, pack lunches, wash, clean, and get the kids to school, not to mention understanding that your kids “uh, wah, duh” means “Mum, I want banana sandwiches and a chocolate milkshake”. Any man can do that...

We need more men to water the gardens, plant the crops, thrash the grains and pound them into bread. Without a doubt, men can pick fruit with that certain gentle touch that doesn’t damage the harvest. 

Ha! We men can stand on a quality check line as efficiently and patiently as women, picking out the bad apples and sorting the good and bad grapes. I’ll bet many men would just love to carry two full watering cans up and down the vegetable plots all day. It’s a wonder, it’s not compulsory football exercise!

It’s so unfair that so many women assemble computer parts and sew clothes in massive factories for terrible wages. Where’s the career path for all those men with nothing to do sitting in coffee shops all day? Poor things.

I mean, never mind that female scientists control the Mars rover or that Indian women ran the control center for the probe that went to Mars. Let’s forget about Hillary Clinton possibly being a better presidential choice than any man. Pay no attention to female attendances at university being more successful than ever before!

All jokes aside...

In this country last year, it was women who helped me find two jobs, gave me two beautiful puppies, organized my life and finances, paid my salaries, cleaned my house, listened to my problems, kept me company, gave me ideas, hugged me when it was going wrong, took my mind off my problems and made me happy and contented. Without them and especially my brilliant, patient girlfriend, I shudder to think how I’d survive in Vietnam.

As a time to reflect and acknowledge all those fabulous achievements women do in the modern world, it’s also a good time to remember how far they still have to climb society’s obstacle course to true equality with men. Equal pay, the right to education, health care, child care and freedom from sexual or gender discrimination are still a distant dream for the majority of this planet’s women. 

We men have little right to claim progress as a male achievement when so many men fight in wars, harm women and deny women’s status to the same benefits of the world.

So this International Women’s Day – take a look around you – and try to count all the ways women make life bearable, possible and enjoyable for all of us.

There are two sides to everything – women are our better side... and I’m on your side! Happy women’s day to you all!

STIVI COOKE/Tuoitrenews