Go to the twitter timelines of your favorite people for May 24, 25 & 26 and read them. I mean really read them. Read all of them. Some of them will have been taken down upon reflection, but I personally hope they never are. Collectively they’re a State of the Union for Women, and it’s pretty grim. My stomach is in knots from what ALL WOMEN have experienced. If you are a real man – a real person, really – you will be heartsick and scorched.
I KNOW people in other parts of the world throw acid in the faces of girls going to school and I KNOW religious sects cover women from head to toe and treat them as chattel. I know all these things. That’s over THERE. I can’t do anything about it besides showing my everlasting disapproval and heaping scorn on it from a great distance. But HERE? It’s bad enough here, believe me. Let’s get this all out in the open and make changes in our stupid heads and stupid hearts and then make them out in the world where this garbage is still, unbelievably, happening.
These are your, my, our FRIENDS. We only want the best for them, always, wherever they are. We LOVE them. To think their safety, sanity, security, health, happiness, and so on could be at risk so often and in so many places is TERRIBLE. To think that the workplaces, transportation, police, friends, legal system would ever make value judgements about them in their worst moments of absolutely degrading victimhood is DISGUSTING. To know your friend (add “wife” or “mother” or “sister” or “daughter” or “valuable human being with feelings and dignity” whenever I say “friend” if that helps you process, though it shouldn’t have to, really) is open to the grossest affronts and violations on the street, on public transportation, at work parties, in a parking lot or on a jogging trail, or even at home with a “loved one” boggles the mind.
Strap-hangers getting rubbed up on the subway. Sexually explicit remarks. Appraisals of looks from strangers, male coworkers. Gropings. Getting stalked. Being followed in car garages, malls, parking lots after dark. Rapes. Beatings. Just because a woman is ALONE?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I realize there’s a “pursuit” imperative inherent in primates in order to push the species along. But humans are NOT ANIMALS. Not really. We’ve made ourselves, with all our amazing abilities and consciousness, impervious to evolution. Bad eyesight? You don’t get passed over. Your genes don’t get left behind. You get glasses. Legs blown off? Here’s a wheelchair, curb cuts, an elevator, a modified van. You don’t die in the dust. Cancer? Have a few chemo cocktails & live another thirty years. We don’t have to live like the beasts of the field. We’re better than that. To take the ideal of pursuit to the level of a shark with a dead whale is an affront to what makes us different, better, even great. We may not be celestial beings, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be constantly trying.
Attractive people know they’re attractive. Stop talking about it in all but the most intimate contexts, and only when INVITED TO DO SO. Discussing people’s looks aloud is awful and creepy. Speculating about people’s sexual abilities aloud is beyond the pale. Remarking about parts of a stranger’s physique is lower than scummy. Cut it out. Keep it to yourself. Ask yourself who you are and what you’ve become if you feel the need to shout something about some poor girl’s ass in the street. I have yet to see an incident like this and hear anyone in the crowd say “SHUT UP, MORON.” So say it. It needs saying. EVERYBODY SHOULD SAY IT. Because she’s pretty…that makes her a target? Because she’s wearing something form-fitting or skimpy or low-cut or something that just appeals to you personally…that means she forfeits her dignity and is ACTUALLY ASKING TO BECOME A VICTIM OF A VIOLENT CRIME? Are you actually high? How far did you get in school?
Don’t touch people unless invited to do so. Do not attempt carnality unless both parties are in their right minds, if there’s no coercion of any kind, everything’s legal, and both sides think it’s a great idea.
Don’t follow people who haven’t implicitly beckoned you to do so. This goes for phonecalls, texting, emailing, social media or hanging around outside people’s homes, or stalking their known shopping or recreational haunts or places of employment. It’s OKAY if someone doesn’t take to you the way you take to them. It’s NORMAL. Your job is to be excellent until someone else does, not force people against their wills to allow you into their space.
A passed out or insensible person is TABOO. Do. Not. Touch. Have their friends get them home and lock them in. FIND their friends. Defend them from the predation of others. Get help.
Violence between the sexes is also TABOO. The legal code also says this about violence between ANYBODY. Cut it out.
When advances are floated out there and are either left to float away or are firmly refused, that part of the conversation is OVER, NEVER TO RETURN as far as the asker goes. LET IT GO. MOVE ON. MOVE AWAY.
If no EVER becomes yes, you’ll be informed only after being observed living excellently AT A GREAT DISTANCE. This, realistically, is very unlikely to occur and should never be expected. Work on the excellence part anyway, though. It will pay great dividends now and later.
Treat a woman the way you’d like to be treated by an enormous bear, say, who suddenly carries you off and moves you to a cave a million miles from anywhere to Beartown. Tenderness, kind words, concern, sharing, caring – that’s what you’d crave in the darkness and uncertainty of your cave with this enormous creature. This, after all, is what happens to women when they take up with us. THINK ABOUT IT.
If you think getting off in someone, anyone is the Prime Directive, and that your DNA is some kind of gold filigree, GET OVER YOURSELF. Jerk it into a sock and go to bed. Nobody wants to hear it. We’re ALL special, so that means nobody has to be the inverted chalice for your oh so precious fluids.
If you see a guy circling around someone like she’s prey, DO SOMETHING. Alert her, the bouncers, HR, your boss, the bartender, her friends, a cop. If the guy follows her to the bathroom, parking lot, etc., tail him. If he crosses a line, drop him and sit on his head until the authorities arrive. BE A MAN. THIS IS WHAT MEN DO. Is any of this coming back to you? Hello?
If assaults keep happening in a certain garage or lot, DO SOMETHING. Insist the business install bright lights, and man security cameras. Start a noisy boycott. Paying for the basic safety of its customers should be thought of as a necessary cost of doing business. Period.
If you see a man dragging a woman away from a gathering, or striking a woman DON’T PRETEND YOU DIDN’T SEE ANYTHING. Are you a worm? BE A MAN. Everybody should pursue him, call the cops, and fend him off. THAT’S THE MINIMUM. If he takes a stray elbow to the ear, so much the better. HE’S LETTING THE SPECIES DOWN. HE NEEDS TO KNOW THAT – HARD. Hear the guy in the next apartment getting rough with his partner? Pound on the door. CALL THE COPS. Subway gropers should be barked off the train by EVERYONE or be regaining consciousness just as the gyves are being slipped over their wrists. WHO STANDS BY AND LETS ANOTHER HUMAN BE DEGRADED? You saw a shifty guy in the stairwell of the parking garage when you left AND when you came back? TELL THE CASHIER. Bang on the manager’s door. Don’t be fobbed off with excuses. DEMAND RESULTS. This is OUR WORLD. WE say how it should be, NOT THEM.
This isn’t about politics or feminism or liberals or conservatives or the horseshit #NotAllMen. It’s about making things NICE and SAFE everywhere. It’s about being KIND. About ending the garbage. When half of us don’t feel safe, none of us are really safe. That goes for your mother, your sister, your wife, your daughter and you, you prize dopes. Tell your sons. Tell your friends. Tell everybody. YOU let things get this bad. CLEAN IT UP. NOW.
Go, thou, and sin no more.