Cherchez la femme?

Look for the woman is what the phrase Cherchez la femme means in the French language. By a person’s statement, he or she attributes a certain action or incident to be caused by a woman. It presupposes a negative connotation, but to me it symbolizes the strength and power of a woman. Indeed, so much in this world can be recharged, repaired, corrected, healed if we give women the opportunity and the chance to make a great difference in the world.

Women hold half of the sky so they should be given all the means and tools to make a difference. As mothers they carry the baby in their womb for nine months. That takes much sacrifice, inconvenience and risks to their health. But because women are strong in faith and character, they bear all the difficulties with a smile and bravura.

Women are teachers. They are the first tutors of her children. Their early values are honed by the mother. Children do not take our words seriously. It is how we conduct ourselves that they absorb their first lessons in life. Women are healers. Because of their compassionate and caring nature, they can assuage the hurts caused by unkind words as they console their loved ones with a big hug, a warm bowl of soup and their sage advice as symbolized by Mother Teresa who will soon be canonized as a saint because of her humane and loving treatment of everyone. Women are strong warriors.

The katipuneras proved their valor and fearless nature when they fought side by side with the men as proven by Gabriela Silang, wife of hero Diego Silang. Women are born singers as they lull their infants to sleep in their cradles. Women are marvelous cooks as they plan and cook the healthy food for their families without missing a step. Women are creative seamstresses as they sew the uniforms and clothes of their children growing up. Women are wonderful social human beings as they reach out to neighbors and the community as social workers and nurses.

Women are good accountants as they can stretch their household budget like a rubber band with nary a complaint. Women are prayerful persons as they constantly pray for the safety, good health and well-being of the entire family. Women above all are the constant partners and faithful lovers to their husbands.

So, we ask, what can women not do? Women can do anything you ask of them provided they are given the due respect, love and support they need to accomplish any task big or small. They are also great coaches who can mentor both young men and women to fulfill their dreams. They are possessed of noble intentions, fierce in their belief that if one needs to perform a task, they will be up to it.

So, the question is asked, Cherchez la femme? Where is the woman? She can be found in all mothers, wives, doctors, nurses, teachers, cooks, OFWs, drivers, CEOs, presidents, artists, singers, ballet dancers, farmers, graphic designers, authors, nuns, debaters, makeup artists, parliamentarians, scientists, politicians, models, accountants, lawyers, students, bakers, NGO leaders, laundrywomen, caregivers, environment warriors, gardeners, streetsweepers etc. We could go on and on. What this proves is women can be anyone she aspires to be and for as long as she finds herself valued and needed; she will be there. All she needs is to be valued and loved. After all women are love personified. They will give of themselves for as long as they have life in them.

Vive La Femme!

In 1989, Bing Carreon was recognized as one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS). In San Francisco, California, U.S.A., she was chosen as one of 100 Most Influential Global Filipinas for her books and advocacy work. As a social historian, she has written 46 coffee table books in the last 25 years found in select libraries around the world.

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