Build for Life, Not for Fixes

full-body-castMy previous post was a bit of a fumbling crash-test-dummy wreck. After four long days of intensive care, in quadriplegic static-slings (in stasis?) and frequent bed-pans, I begin my rehabilitation in this way. Luckily, perhaps miraculously, I had a wonderful female human being, who despite my masculine Homo erectus “verbage” — I think she called it, but repeatedly with an odd angry French accent — she foolishly remains my friend and offered this TEDxAmericanRiviera video that literally explains to my kind… “what it’s all about.” Even better, the presentation is by a woman who knows something about it.

ludovico-techniqueAs prescribed, I watched so intently the highly impatient German nurses kept giving me eye-drops while grumbling what I couldn’t quite make out was “Nicht-Augentropfen, aber Fett Einlauf in den Arsch!” If I’m honest, it sounded a little frightening. Does anyone have that translation?

Without further babbling, I present Sheila Kelley

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The proverbial light-bulb — admittedly more like a flickering miniature Xmas-light — lit up bright, and shown through various unmentionable orifices cared for by my German nurses… it was truly an Ah HAH painful moment, but with one minor tweak I would offer. It is this:  instead of the exact quote from Joseph Campbell, I’d perhaps say…

“Woman is life and Man is the servant of life.
The Male’s job is to protect [that service
so that Woman may freely give more life.]

— currently, Professor Baboon

You see, some/many women can protect themselves quite well. There’s no need for us men to prematurely step-in, unless she asks us to do so. Then the VALUE of collaboration, protection, service, all varieties of love, and the culturing between Woman and Man that Sheila Kelley is urging, is increased exponentially as BOTH are more empowered equally. Well, at least that’s my take to her fantastic presentation.

My dear female rescuer then sent me on my way with a reminder, “Before marriage, a man yearns for the woman he loves. After marriage, the “Y” becomes silent. And we are excellent housekeepers. Every time we get a divorce, we keep the house.” I believe she called that The V Empowered. She said one day I’ll understand, if I don’t real soon.

— I’ve since realized that I should have clearly indicated in my last paragraph (above) that we/my friend and I, were joking-about/mocking local social norms; i.e. not uber serious and purely between the two of us, laughing about my own personal history with women/ex-wives and by default my neophyte entry into sexism vs. feminism. I see now she was comfortable with/about me to do that but may not have done it publicly with strangers — one man who you know pretty well, versus several unknown men and women. But I don’t know now if that was the case. I do see today how my last paragraph could easily be taken offensively by those who were not present. My sincere apologies.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Addendum #2 — My blogging-buddy Swarn, at Cloak Unfurled, has given me permission to link his outstanding, poignant, gut-wrenching TRUE post, “The Long Silencing of Women“. I felt it was an excellent addition/temporary-conclusion to this, my crude male attempt on the subject of Feminism-Sexism. He agreed. Many thanks Swarn! It is well worth the read.

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Imagine For A Minute

I am temporarily stepping away from my current blog-series “Untapped Worlds” to write about a well-known touchy, deservedly sensitive subject. I think it is a very important subject and I want to present a variation of it to my male audience.

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The Aston Martin Rapide

Imagine for a minute Sir, you are at home — your home that you have constructed or refurbished or added-on by your hard-earned money — enjoying your comfortable couch or recliner in front of your 110-inch flat-panel HDTV with stereo surround-sound. In back…your quality-landscaped swimming pool and backyard with multi-level BBQ grill and pit. Behind there, your very own workshop/garage complete with a mechanic’s and carpenter’s dream inventory of high-end tools. Inside the three-door garage/workshop, your very own Bugatti Veyron or Aston Martin.

Up in your bedroom closet, complete sets of high-end business suits, a tuxedo for annual charity balls, 3 or 4 sets of the best men’s dress and casual shoes that money can buy, dress-ties and so on. Obviously, this type of living, home, and possessions are indicative of your wealthy salary: $200k – $500k per year or more? If I’ve forgotten any other lavishing items, please add them to your imaginative picture for a minute.

Then you hear some laughing outside in the back. A big splash soon follows. Then smoke slowly moves across your 8-windowed back living room wall that offers a spectacular vista into your luscious oasis around the pool and 1-acre lawn — the smoke is coming from your BBQ pit. No one is home but you; your fabulous wife of 17-years is out for the day with your 3 children! You quickly walk out the backdoor to find complete strangers using and obviously enjoying all your backyard amenities. How would feel? How would you react?

MacAllan ScotchOr what about another scenario. Imagine for a minute you have been out to a nice upscale 5-star restaurant with valet parking. After 2-3 hours of superb cuisine you and your wife decide to leave, walk out to the valet-station to have your Aston Martin brought up, and the Supervisor tells you and your wife, you must wait…wait for 10-15 minutes because four other valets just HAD to take your phenomenal wheels out for a spin themselves. How would you feel? How would you react?

Here’s another scenario. Imagine for a minute you’ve allowed some of your college frat buddies to come over to your palatial home to hangout, drink, and watch a game against your bitter college rivals. A few hours later you notice one of the guys is wearing one of your expensive dress shirts as well as some of your expensive jewelry and watch! Another buddy has found your basement wine cellar and popped-open one of your vintage bottles of wine, or best MacAllan scotch, and neither were upstairs on the kitchen counter with the cooler of beer! How would you feel? How would you react?

Men, I could come up with many more scenarios with your workshop tools, or even precious family heirlooms, or irreplaceable photos, but I hope you’re getting the idea.

What It Feels Like?

The above scenarios I have just described are pretty much how it feels to a woman when she is inappropriately spoken to, inappropriately touched or “grazed,” or sexually harassed by a man lacking proper gentleman’s etiquette, let alone ignoring common above-average respect for a woman. It is uninvited. Period. Some of the time the circumstances MIGHT be grey, vague, or appear grey/vague to YOU, but if there’s any level of uncertainty, what is your best course of action preserving her dignity? Are you aware of your own, how it appears?

When I’ve talked about these types of awkward or inappropriate situations, “violated” is one word I’ve heard women describe most to me. There is very little difference (if any at all) in their feelings of insult than what WE MEN might feel about our “precious stuff” at home or at our jobs. Get the picture?

I bring this subject up because I’ve encountered many men (particularly in the U.S. south) who implicitly or explicitly view and speak of their girlfriend/spouse or women in general as property they’ve “bought” or trying to buy, and subsequently own the Title-Deed. Sadly, to continue the analogy, this behaviour and thinking is WORSE when a woman’s “Title-Deed” is available or unpurchased, on-the-market; i.e. unmarried.

Men, this mentality must change! In all its forms and subtleties, the barbarism must stop.

And for you/us chivalrous gentlemen out there, WE must have consistent courage to firmly, tactfully, and in prompt dignifying ways step-in when a woman’s dignity is being grossly disrespected. Otherwise, by sitting idly by you perpetuate the problem for future women…possibly for your own daughter(s) and grand-daughters.

Post-script — I welcome any suggestions or further comments/additions to this post from my female readers. Please feel free to share them with us.

Addendum — the comments below will show that my approach to this subject could’ve been better, but for the sake of the topic — from my subjective perspective — and honesty, I believe I am going to leave my original content alone and allow the discussions below to help out. I hope it is constructive.

Live Well — Laugh Often — Love Much — Learn Always

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