An opinion on woman

Mark Twain, in one of his addresses, pays a glowing tribute to women, one that I would want to share just a part. He writes

in whatever position you place a woman she is an ornament to society and a treasure to the world. As a sweetheart, she has few equals and no superiors, as a cousin she is convenient, as a wealthy grandmother with an incurable distemper, she is precious, as a wet-nurse, she has no equal among men.

He continues to say

What would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, mighty scarce. Then let us cherish her; let us protect her; let us give her our support, our encouragement, our sympathy, ourselves- if we get a chance.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

20 thoughts on “An opinion on woman

  1. Mordanicus says:

    This time really needs another Mark Twain.


  2. You KNOW I love Twain, and the truth is, that I LOVE women, unfortunately, many of them at the same time, resulting in three marriages and four divorces (don’t ask!), so I think I’d best stay out of this one —


  3. john zande says:

    I’m a fan of women


  4. aguywithoutboxers says:

    Twain (Samuel Clemons) is one of my favorites. He combines humor, common sense and logic as a solution for many of the ills plaguing society over a century ago and that remain with us to this day. We would do well to heed his thoughts today.

    Once again, an amazing choice, my Nairobi brother! You are, indeed, an inspiring Pope! LOL! ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. tildeb says:



    Sorry to be such a stick-in-the-mud and downer but Twain gets this wrong and so do you if you agree with it.

    Women are just people equivalent in all ways to anyone else regardless of gender. The gender identity used here is applied and then translated to mean something it doesn’t, namely, something that people can agree with in particulars (oh, I have a nice granny, too!) but not in general (not all older female relatives are nice grannies). Gender alone doesn’t ‘make’ women into anything; it is a convenient label that people then empower by attributing all kinds of stuff to it – positive and negative, both of which are unjustified in principle – and this leads in only one direction: to some form of misogyny (and almost always some level of condescension) and inevitably to the different treatment of people based solely on gender.

    Tsk, tsk. All of us should know better by now.

    Twain’s point here is a rhetorical trick, and it seems to me that y’all have fallen for it because it sounds so nice. It isn’t in reality; it is a very palatable and sweet sounding source of discrimination – nice or naughty – for very poor reasons.

    We must do better and this starts with each of us.


    • makagutu says:

      I think you miss the point by 1/4 mile. This portion of his speech is given in response to a toast that was as follows

      Woman-The pride of any profession, and the jewel of ours

      at a journalists banquet.
      I don’t think there is any misogyny intended or implied, for I think it was right for that occasion.
      As I was writing it down, I couldn’t help but notice that what she says about the human race being scarce without women would be true without men unless there was away our race could produce asexually. We need the two sexes for that to happen and so what is true of the woman is true of the male.


  6. Eric Alagan says:

    A beautiful half of a whole ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. says:

    I absolutely, positively love this and I always have. Nice post and reminder of the significance and gentle difference in our genders !


  8. Sonel says:

    Such a lovely post Mak but there should be a tribute to men as well. ๐Ÿ˜€ *hugs*


  9. violetwisp says:

    Hello! Sorry to start with a yuck. But YUCK! That is just so patronising beyond words that surely only well-meaning but frankly deluded men could think it’s a nice sentiment. It just goes to show how far the human race has to go to reach even a semblance of equality that something like this could still be celebrated. Hope you’re well. ๐Ÿ™‚


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