Let’s just say it: Ranch women prove equality of the sexes is a myth

Troy Marshall

December 21, 2015

4 Min Read
Let’s just say it: Ranch women prove equality of the sexes is a myth

I’m writing this because I believe it needs to be said. Admittedly, I’m starting with a certain amount of trepidation, because even though I know I’m 100% correct, I also know I will inevitably break some rule of political correctness in the process. 

It has been in vogue for quite some time to talk about the equality of the sexes. We are breaking down the glass ceiling in corporate America and even the last bastion of “maledom,” the military, is allowing woman into combat roles. 

Yet, I would contend that all of this talk about equality of the sexes is ridiculous, and yet it is so politically incorrect to say it. As a result, we refuse to even address the reality. So I’m taking a stand, and saying it once and for all – the sexes are not equal. 

Anyone who has had a mom or simply spent time around either sex knows that women tend to be vastly superior to their counterparts. I’m not trying to diminish the role of men. In fact, I’m thankful every day that I was born a man; I harbor no illusions that I’d be tough enough to be a women. 


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Every rancher knows that his most important asset is his cowherd, but that doesn’t mean the bull battery is not important. I have to admit, I’m sympathetic to man’s attempts to hold on to our command of the battlefield and business world. After all, in the truly important areas like family, we all know that we are regulated to a secondary role. 

It isn’t sexist, at least not at my house, to expect my wife to be a full-blown partner in our cattle enterprise, to know what is happening in our kids’ lives, to work full time at her “real” job, to make our home a home and to generally maintain the ship. None of the males in the household could do it. It is simply a matter of talent and ability.

It is safe to say that 98% of all ranch couples I know are well aware of this natural hierarchy. It speaks to the nobility of the fairer sex that they don’t always insist in making us “guys” recognize it. I’m not so proud to say I don’t appreciate them letting us carry on the charade of occasionally acting like the boss. 

Even that, though, is recognition of the frailty of a man’s ego. Man, in his attempt to validate his existence, has always relied on three things:

  1. His ability to provide for the family—while mom provides, she is also takes on so many more roles that we should have a fighting chance at holding our own in this area;

  2. His willingness to die for his family—it is noble, and while everyone has always known the protective power of a woman, she is simply too valuable for this role;

  3.  And being physically bigger—I realize that I don’t want to fight Rhonda Rousey, and that I will not engage in a foot race with my daughter, but please allow us this last little misconception. 

Ranchers open doors, pull out chairs and insist on carrying the hay bale around the barn for our wives, but we do so out of respect, and because it is these little things that we can actually do equally as well. We know that we can’t balance out the scorecard, but it bolsters our ego to know we have tried. 

Christmas is a great time of the year, a time where faith, family and friends move to the forefront. It seems like at this special time that the whole equality thing seems even more pointless. Even God understood that Joseph only had to step up and fulfill his role, and that was difficult enough for him. Mary had the critical role, the real burden and the greatest of responsibilities. 

I admit that it seems that this whole battle of the sexes is an inherently unfair situation. Yet, I think I speak for most ranchers when I say the equality of sexes is a political-correctness inspired myth. It isn’t even close.

Have a great Christmas. 

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