Monthly Archives: August 2012

It’s a Man’s World

I don’t have any sisters. No blood sisters, at least. I grew up one of three boys, all within 5 years of each other. In many ways we were typical larval males – we wrestled, thought burping was funny, had strong opinions on super heroes and pizza. We would crawl under things, save up for all the mail-order weapons in the back of ninja magazine (there really was a ninja magazine, by the way), and were generally loud, filthy and speculatively invincible.

And girls were weird. They were different. With few exceptions, they didn’t have many star wars toys or know the difference between a katana and a kama gusari. They could do cartwheels and talked at length about things that didn’t involve combat or mutant powers.

My brothers and I all grew up to be unrepentant nerds, so that gulf between us and any practical insights into the kobayashi maru that is the fairer sex remained through to the 2nd decade. Speaking only for myself, I just began to feel any understanding regarding females of the species in my 30’s. And then, as my relationship to my baby mama grew into it’s 5th and sixth years, I realized that I had only begun to understand her. Ladies as a gender still confound me to a stupefying degree, god bless ‘em.

When people learn about my childhood demographic breakdown, they always say “your poor mother.” They wonder how she made it in a house full of men.

I’ll tell you how – she did because she’s a strong woman

She’s not mean, she’s not harsh or strict. People who know her would guffaw at the notion. Guffaw, I say.

She’s no ball-buster, no feminazi, she’s just strong. She has opinions, she’s educated and well read. In her own gracious, neurotically generous Midwest-Irish manner she will not be taken as anything but an equal.

And she surrounded us with her like. My aunts, friends of the family, confident accomplished women figured large and pleasant smelling in the development of my brothers and I. Thanks to my mom and all my other female role models, I not only respect and honor strong women, I actively seek their company.

Which is why I’m so so so so incredibly angry these days. I read comments about “legitimate rape,” about women addressing congress being called sluts by adult men in the professional media, the list of privileged wealthy white men making bold proclamations about women’s health and bodies goes maddeningly on and on.

And I’ve said I don’t want this to be a political blog, but I don’t view this as a political issue. At least not partisan. Whatever my view on abortion is, I’ll never have one. And I mean never. If you’re a man you will never know what it really, in the most profound sense means to be pregnant, or to face the choice of terminating it.

We, the be-penised, will never understand this on a visceral level. Not in the way a woman would. Never. It is not possible. I’m going to say it twice more: we will never understand it. We will never understand it. We have our own burdens to bear and this is not among them.

So let’s, as a gender, just shut the f#!k up about it.

Let’s, as a gender, not be on congressional committees to decide how the law interprets these things.

Let’s, as a gender, not make legislation about it.

Let’s, as a gender, not give any woman advice about it unless we are the potential daddy. And even then…

And this isn’t being oppressed, or silenced, by the way. Let’s all have our opinions, and express them if we really must. But unless it’s our direct genetic material involved, let’s – and I never thought I’d say this – but let’s be libertarian about it. If it’s my business, it ain’t yours. And if it’s your business, it ain’t mine.

And don’t misunderstand – I’m not even taking the pro-choice position here. I’m not saying there shouldn’t be legislation about this. I’m just saying; whatever the laws are about abortion, men shouldn’t write them. Men shouldn’t get to vote on them. I think Michelle Bachmann’s loopier than a DJ’s hard drive, but I’d take her insight into how a woman legally should have to deal with the choice of abortion over the most progressive male Senator in all of San Francisco.

Well, maybe not Michelle Bachmann’s. Poor example, but you get my drift.

We don’t understand it (there, sait it again!) and we’ll never have to live with the consequences, so I’m a little surprised nobody’s said this already: This is how the American Revolution was sparked. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, all those knicker-wearing wig heads were fed up with American laws (read: taxes) being written by people who would never have to live with the consequences. Who didn’t understand life as an American, who would never live life as an American. Legislation without Representation, right? I’m paraphrasing, here but the point is, they stood up. They got violent. Like, guns-violent.

How many women are in the Senate? In the Congress? Hold on, I’mma google that right now. 16.8% of our combined legislative bodies are women. That makes 83.2% men. This is from the Senate’s own website, by the by *It’s Linked!*

I have a public school education, and even I can see those numbers don’t add up.

Seriously boys, all it would take would be for Benjamin Franklin to be reincarnated as lady, and we’d be picking musket balls from our musket balls, if you know what I mean.

If we really have to govern a voiceless demographic, let’s get those Klingons under control. I think we should have laws on the books tightly restricting Klingon access to prescription medications and emergency room visits -they’re very warlike, so they need all kinds of immediate medical care, and don’t bother with any preventative measures. Their insurance premiums must be sky-high. And any revolutions that occur will be centuries away. And by then we’ll have James T. Kirk around to regulate.

Every time I wake up to my wife I’m thankful my mother succeeded with me. She fought the fight, she arguably did more for the cause of women’s equality than any hundred articles, blogs or after school specials. She took 3 nascent men, 3 possibilities for misogyny, sexism, and general jerkitude and she recruited them into the cause. For all the ignorant, fearful things we could have been, she shaped us with daily effort into honorable, decent (if questionably hygienic and socially awkward) men who respect and value women.

And now I have that opportunity with my son. I hold this trust sacred in the name of all the strong women who’ve shaped me. This little guy’s gonna be so enlightened he’ll practically menstruate.


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