On behalf of gentleman everywhere I want to apologize.
See, I was raised to respect women. My father (who was not a saint) did a lot of things right. He adored my mother and he treated her with respect and deep affection. Dad was a sensitive guy and had no problem showing affection for my mother. He kissed her, hugged her, complimented her daily and praised her cooking even when it sucked. He often brought her gifts; nothing fancy just trinkets he would find on his journeys working as a traveling salesman or bobbles from the drug store. Sometimes he would surprise her with a nice piece of jewelry. She loved jewelry and although we were never wealthy, Dad always made a point of buying her a nice piece for her birthdays. There was also the time he got her a new kitchen appliance for Christmas. He only did that once.There was never any doubt as to her place in our home. “Go ask your mother” ‘Go apologize to your mother”, “Your mom’s had a hard day, tell you love her”. He also respected her opinion and they two of them worked together to raise their family. My dad had an amazing sense of humor and often poked loving fun at my mom at the dinner table, which you could tell she enjoyed. He called her “ My Bride” up until the day he died, and before he left this earth he made me promise that I would always be there to help my mom with whatever she wanted or needed. I have tried my best to live up to that promise.
My grandparents too. I had both sets of grandparents until I was in my 20’s. When we would go to visit my mom’s parents the first thing granddaddy would say before I could even really hug him was “go kiss your Granny”. Neither of my grandmothers suffered fools lightly. They were outspoken strong southern women who got shit done and who let their husband’s know when they weren’t happy. All around me I witnessed women being treated as equals, with respect and in many cases exalted as the stronger species. Indeed they are.
So I understand why I am attracted to strong women. I always have been. They make me feel safe and they remind me that values like courage and strength go hand in hand with compassion, kindness and love. There is no doubt in my mind that they are the stronger sex and if more of them were in charge in this world I’m pretty sure we would not be in the state of chaos, hate and confusion we are in today.
The fact that we still have to fight for the right’s of women is appalling. Any issues with inequality should not even be up for discussion and should have been taken care of years ago. Why on earth equal pay is not a given is dumbfounding. The fact that we have to stay vigilant to ending rape culture is appalling. Where did men get the idea that it’s ok to victimize women, verbally or physically?? I have my theories where it comes from and if you’ve read my other blog posts and you can probably guess with I think.
“Locker-room talk”?? That’s what they’re calling it?
Yes, I’ve heard it in the locker room of the gym where I use to work but let me be clear that I have never heard it the way Donald Trump describes it. Never. The talk I have over heard is much more subtle, but in my opinion carries with it the same message: that women are to be sexualized and treated as less than men. I’ve heard it on Sunday morning when they’ve finished sitting on the stationary bike, reading their paper, watching Fox news; in the locker-room while they get dressed to meet their wives for church. They are mostly old and fat, with a teensy peensy and a belly that only serves to exacerbate their already less than average manhood. They have no ass. They use the complementary hairdryer to dry their balls. (Side note: I actually had to make a SIGN for the men’s lock-room that said “Please use the blow dryers for the hair on your head ONLY). A good portion of them are actually cruising other men in the the steam room. ( Yes, I know who you are). They are mouth-breathers; nuckle-draggers and most of them haven’t seen a vagina up close since Kennedy was in office. You could knock them out with one punch if you had to. So they TALK. They talk, because there is not enough Viagra in the world to make that ramen noodle get up and dance. They talk because they are afraid. They are afraid of you and deep-down they are afraid of what they have become. And although most of them wouldn’t know what to do with you if they got ahold of you, their sons would. And THAT’s the problem. The “locker-room” talk is how they are teaching their sons about women. The “locker-room” talk is what fuels the already blazing fire of rape culture. The talk is why their son’s grow up thinking women are less than men. They talk and talk and talk because it’s all they can do anymore.
The irony to me is that our society has always blamed any demo OTHER than straight white men for the problems in our country. Seems the blame for the state of our culture always goes to women, gays, and minorities, the poor, drug-addicts…the “less-than”. But doesn’t the evidence show that SWM actually ARE the problem? I mean after all they have been in charge ever since we slaughtered the Native Americans and set up our donut shop. They have been in charge of all of us forever. And before you go and get your panties all in a bunch I know a LOT of amazing, educated, kind, intelligent straight white men, and I would be willing to bet you they will agree with me. Because they’re not threatened. They honor, value and respect women; they are not afraid of women. And the SWM that are bringing us down are afraid. They are cowards. Always, ALWAYS it goes back to fear.
So on behalf of the gentlemen in this country, I would like to apologize for the rest of the male population for making your lives so difficult. I am sorry you are not paid the same amount of money for she same amount of work as a man. I am sorry you have to fight for decent maternity leave after bringing another human into this world. I am sorry that you have to continue to fight for the right to safe and respectful medical treatment should you choose to have an abortion. I am sorry you are made to feel uncomfortable for breast -feeding in public ( Jeez–we got issues, ya’ll). I am sorry you have to carry mace so that you are not raped in the parking garage after work. I am sorry you have to listen to “locker-room” talk, endure cat-calls at the mall, and watch while a man like Donald Trump can be chosen as a candidate for the position of Leader Of The Free World. I am profoundly sorry that you have to teach your daughters about domestic abuse, date rape, being drugged, being kidnapped, walking in pairs and watching over their shoulders at all times while pursuing their education on a college campus. I imagine you could give me a thousand more examples of things I should be sorry for and I hope you do. I imagine you expeience things everyday of which I am not even aware.
So please keep speaking up and out and telling your stories; I want to know. I want to know what I need to talk about with my guy friends. There are a lot of us who support you and who want better for you and for us. I want to help to change it and the first step towards change is awareness.
Because you’re right. It is not safe. Women in this country are not safe and you deserve better.
We all deserve better.