Quiet (wo)man


Firstly, happy Christmas to Neo – and you all. He’s left me in charge until he returns. Christmas is a quiet time, a family time, and hopefully I can’t kill the blog in a few days. Bear with me, it’s a bit of time since I blogged, and there will be some rust and creakiness.

I was sad to read that Maureen O’Hara (pictured) died. She was a fine actress, unafraid to talk about her Catholic faith, and a true giant of the silver screen. Because my father was 49 when I was born, my taste in movies tends to be his, and above all actors, he loved John Wayne, and I have to admit he was my first (and longest-lasting) crush. I remember watching The Quiet Man for the first time, and as little girls will, imagined myself the heroine – Mary Kate; that I am a red-head with a bit of a temper made that easier. I felt so cross with the Irish system which meant that she and John Wayne couldn’t play ‘patty-cakes’ without a chaperone, and quite indignant when she was silly enough to reject him; my daddy said I got very cross. I still recall the way I felt when John Wayne grabbed her in the cottage she’d crept in to clean for him; I didn’t understand it then, but later realised it was the way a woman feels when there is a strong man she can trust.

There’s altogether too much written on male-female relationships implying that women should be the equal of men. I never understood why anyone would want to aim low!  Of course I want, as every woman wants, to be treated with respect, and if I do the work a guy does, it is right to pay me the same wage. But I don’t want a guy in a pinny doing the dishes, and I don’t want a guy who can’t fix whatever it is went wrong in the house; and I most emphatically don’t want someone to treat me as though I was a man!

When God made them male and female, I guess he knew what he was about. I’m fine with being a help to others – including men. I don’t regard the idea of being a hand-maid of the Lord as in any way demeaning. Our beloved Mother Mary gloried in it, and I’m happy to be a lesser member of that band. Christians are called to service, and John Ford touched something profound when he had Mary Kate just go into that cottage and clean it up for her man; she was laying a claim to him in her own way. We women will do that. There’s altogether too much said about sex, as though it was all there was to the male-female relationship. Surely, in its place, it matters, not least because it’s where the next generation are going to be created, which is why it should be in a loving marriage; that’s the natural nest for the child/children.

We are now towards the end of Advent, a period marking God’s emptying of himself to become man, to live among us and to suffer our keenest woes and all for love, all because he loves us. And who was it nurtured him? His mother. And who was it taught his strong hands at the plane and the lathe? His father, Joseph. If it was good enough for Jesus, then it’s good enough for us.

That wonderful film in which Maureen O’Hara showed how to act, was, in its own way, a tribute to the eternal dynamic of the man and the woman – and to the origin of the perfect place in which to bring up a child.


About JessicaHof
Anglican Christian, evangelist, survivor, grateful

25 Responses to Quiet (wo)man

  1. Ike Jakson says:


    We gave never met and you better ask NEO about me, but I enjoy your Posts. This one is outstanding; we grew up in a home where what you say about the genders was the rule. What a pity it has changed so much? A merry Xmas to you and the ones you love. It will be my 75th one.

    Liked by 3 people

    • JessicaHof says:

      Goodness, gracious – thank you so much – and I am glad you like it – a merry Christmas to you Ike :0 xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed most of us Baby Boomers agree with Ike! Btw, try and tell an Irish women who is a boomer, that men are NOT from Mars and women are NOT from Venus, and you will get hell to pay!

      Btw too Happy Birthday Ike, if it falls on Christmas? Or just your 75th Christmas, technically it is my 66th. Though I can only remember back some to about five years old. 😉

      Merry Christmas. Or as I like to say today, have a Christ-filled Christmas!

      Liked by 2 people

      • *My wife is barely a “Boomer”, but she is and has reminded me! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          You’ll not catch me arguing with any Irish woman 🙂 Had enough of an argument on the other blog!


        • Yes, Irish women over even 40, especially Christian women are generally old school like! Again generally, but there are exceptions of course. And again modernity & postmodernity have quite affected Ireland these days, sadly!

          Argumentation or good debate and dialogue should be done today, but always in or seeking the Spirit of Christ! Not always easy in this relative age!

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          That’s very true – all parts of it – Father 🙂 xx


        • Maybe I should add married Irish women over 40? A home and house of an Irish married woman is her kingdom and domain! Don’t tread here!

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          Not me sir! I am always happy to be directed 🙂 xx


        • And the man and husband gets his direction (often a kick in the pants) by God! And sometimes with the help of the wife! The latter gentle of course, I think? lol

          Liked by 1 person

      • Ike Jakson says:

        Oh My Fr. Robert, you made me think again; small slip I made. I was born August 3rd 1940, so I have done my three score and ten, plus five by grace, but it is my 76th Xmas day tomorrow. I can’t remember mush of the first one because I was too young and small; just little boy then. Accept all my good wishes for you and yours. IkeJ

        Liked by 2 people

        • Wow Ike, great! I hope, if the Lord tarries I can live to be 76? My father (born Aug. 7, 1920) lived to be 88, RIP! A Happy and a blessed birthday this Christmas Eve/Vigil, 2015 for you! Blessing too to all you and yours, ‘In Christ’!

          Liked by 2 people

        • Btw Ike, I have been a Christian (born from above, by grace and God’s glory, John 3: 3) well over 40 years (45? or there about, since I was or became regenerate I think when I was a Catholic? but GOD alone knows the day and the hour in time. But of course I believe strongly in God’s Election & Predestination, in His eternity!) I left Catholicism in the 1970s.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    Way past my argument pay grade. Y’all just vote right in the next election whether you a citizen or not. Try it, seems to be easy enough. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      As they used to say in Ulster – ‘vote early and vote often’ 🙂 xx

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jonathan Strange says:

    “I most emphatically don’t want someone to treat me as though I was a man!”

    What does this mean? How do you think men are treated?


    • NEO says:

      Silly, Jess demands to be treated as what she is, a lady!

      Liked by 2 people

      • JessicaHof says:

        Yes, that’s me 🙂 xx

        Liked by 2 people

        • NEO says:

          I noticed! 🙂 xx

          Liked by 1 person

      • But what does that mean?

        For example “it was the way a woman feels when there is a strong man she can trust.” This is sort of an empty statement, what is a “strong man”? It is a term that is probably used a lot, but I doubt many have stopped to really consider what it means. For example St. Maximilian of Theveste was a pacifist, was he not a strong man?

        Jess said, “But I don’t want a guy in a pinny doing the dishes, and I don’t want a guy who can’t fix whatever it is went wrong in the house; and I most emphatically don’t want someone to treat me as though I was a man!”

        What is wrong with doing the dishes? Laundry? Vacuuming? Dusting? Are these not acceptable for men? If so why not? I’ve done a lot of household chores, I never considered it unmanly. Do I need to fix what is wrong in the house? Why can’t I have someone else deal with that? There was a Big Bang Theory tv episode where the four man characters, three scientists and an accomplished engineer, were in a car that broke down. Someone asked if anyone knew anything about internal combustion engines. They all scoffed, and said something like (forget it, I looked it up)…

        Leonard: Something’s wrong, I’m not getting any gas. Anybody know anything about internal combustion engines?

        Sheldon: Of course.

        Raj: Very basic.

        Howard: 19th-century technology.

        Leonard: Does anybody know how to fix an internal combustion engine?

        Sheldon: No.

        Howard: No, not a clue.

        I don’t do anything in my car anymore. I used to change the oil, brake pads, minor work, but that was when I was first married and we did not make a lot of money. Now it is just not worth my time to deal with issues with the house or car, or anything like that. I could do it, it is relatively rudimentary, but it is not worth my time. I could fix piping in the house, electrical wiring, etc…, but why? Like the one character said “19th-century technology” (more or less, this is simplifying things, somewhat), but I spent years getting to a point where I do not have to do these things. I make enough to have someone else do them for me. It would be counterproductive to do these things myself, it would be a waste of time.

        Is that unmanly?

        If I were a surgeon, for example, I would be clearly intelligent enough, but my time might simply be worth more doing other things and leaving this to others (I’m not a surgeon, its just an example). Is this unmanly?

        I could not have my children, my wife did that. I tried to help make her life better while she was doing it. But if my daughter wanted to change the oil in the car, or fix the toilet plumbing, is there some reason she cannot do this as a woman? Is there some reason my son cannot learn to sew?

        So in a discussion of male vs. female roles, I am not sure if there is simply a lot of “this is the way things have always been done” and not a consideration of truly specific roles.

        Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          It’s really no more than a personal preference, but one quite a few of my girlfriends share – we just don’t tell hipster types because it upsets them 🙂 They’ve spent years listening to feminists, and not all feminists agree with the more vocal ones. If I were psychoanalysed it would probably say it was a daddy thing – my father was a John Waynesque type who used to come in from shepherding in all weathers and who would do all those tasks modern life makes unnecessary when you live in the town. Out in the countryside, it is still different.

          Everyone to his or her own, I just like my men old-fashioned and chivalrous – and a pinny is about as sexy as doing the washing up!


        • Great re-post here Jessica! I agree there are far too many “hipster”, really feminine type men out there today! Both my son’s were born in my 40’s, and they would be considered millennials, but they both are NOT feminine type young men – thanks be to God! But yes, it is all a personal preference. And I prefer myself strong-minded women also, but not feminist women! My wife is in this gear-box, strong minded, but a real help-mate in all that I do! Aye old school both of us! But, I would do anything to help my wife, and have! But, I am the man and she is the woman in our marriage and relationship!

          Liked by 1 person

        • JessicaHof says:

          That’s the way the good Lord planned it I reckon, Father – a merry Christmas to you and your family 🙂 xx


  4. the unit says:

    Great post. I appreciate it. Love hearing my daughter say “I love you Dad.” I was 44 when she showed up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • JessicaHof says:

      🙂 xx


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