Sexism and How I Try to Act

In response to:

Until a man grabbed my balls in a parking lot and I was stuck at the mercy of his grasp, I had no idea what it must be like for women, who are similarly taken advantage.


Rather than do anything, I walked away as soon as I could, but I wanted to throttle him. He was bigger than I was, so I wasn’t going to throttle him. I felt ashamed and robbed of my dignity. Who would believe me if I told them? There were no police or witnesses. It was in the middle of a parking lot in the daylight on the other side of a low wall next to a busy street. On another occasion, a man who I was entertaining because my colleague and I had been photographing him for a major magazine grabbed me and kissed me. I felt pinned and violated. He misunderstood my gender preference and I was disgusted. Because this was a business relationship and I was helping my friend, I moved to end the event as soon as possible but not to embarrass him. As a man, I had no idea that this happened to men, at least not to me.


I feel for women, who cannot fight off a man, because as a fairly strong man myself, I understand the psychological effect of powerlessness, and someone taking advantage of me. I think it may be wrong to assume that this is sexism, per se, i.e., a man taking advantage of a woman is something that is only protected at work as with discrimination, but rather the sense of male privilege or superiority is key to understanding sexism. The definition of sexism alludes to what a friend said of rapists he represented as a paralegal, which is that: “They are just ordinary men who have no self-discipline.” Someone takes a chance, where in their mind, the desire is so strong as to diminish the possibility (in their mind) vs. the likely impossibility in the victim’s mind that such behavior is welcome.


The one time that I might have crossed over this line and felt like I did something wrong was when I was a junior in high school. I was in the back seat of a car driven by the father of the girl I was making out with. Her mother was in the passenger seat. Both parents were getting their PhDs in psychology. The girl and I were kissing wildly because at least for me, I had found the girl of my dreams and I was expressing that.


At a point in time, I included grabbing one of her breasts and I felt that she was stopping.


During the make-out session, I would look in the eyes of her father reflected back in the mirror. I felt it was a liberal situation, where the parents were OK with their daughter making out with the son of the girlfriend of their friend, who was also getting his PhD.


Anyway, the making out seemed wonderfully safe and authorized. After all, it was parentally chaperoned by two PhDs in clinical psychology.


It apparently went too far. The next day, I went to her house and her friends were there and I got the distinct impression that I was not welcome. She was hesitant to come near me and her friends seemed to be checking me out as the character in the story she must have told them. That was the end of it and I never saw her again and I felt then as I do now that I had gone too far and she felt ashamed and angry. Since then, I make damn sure someone is interested in me and I try to be sensitive to every nuance of their communication almost to the point that I do not make overtures to women, in general. I don’t see their interest or disinterest.


In a few of the videos I have had occasion to witness, I noticed that some women are in situations, where the men feel they can comfortably express their attraction toward the women, who have felt abused by the attention. I am of the school that men should behave like the men of King Arthur’s court and protect the honor of women. No woman, for example, should feel powerless against men, whose unwelcome desires are communicated. I am one of those men, who would rather remain single than enjoin a woman against her will.


Having said that, I cannot speak for other men. I do sense that our culture, the widening rich-poor gap, for example, is creating a situation, where men generally are feeling less and less powerful, where it has been stated among ethnicities, for example, where two are competing for the same thing, one applies a prejudicial notation, where in this case, the woman is perceived as weaker, someone to be taken advantage of, where the need to seduce or the need to get back the power lost is wielded against the person being perceived as a threat, as with that person having control over what they want, in this case, to have sex with, to be in control of what is controlling them, which is the object of their longing.


In all honesty, however, I have been a party to the admiration of a woman’s beauty to a point that has probably made her feel uncomfortable. There are lusts that I harbor that I wouldn’t dare share or act on because there is enough evidence that the action would be inappropriate or would garner an uncertain response.


In conclusion, I am not sure what the solution is to this problem of the victimization of women, but at least for me, I have chosen to act with conservation and remained sensitive to women’s wishes. A woman’s attraction for me is almost never clear unless it is blatant. It is at that point that I reciprocate her advances if I am interested.

I am a Paragraph

This morning too is the cool breeze in the small gap in my window that is open to the same mother and her birds. It is a raving early morning, then nothing, as she must have flown away.

This birdhouse is on my deck outside my bedroom window. I put the house so I could reach it although I never do.

I respect the privacy of birds. Isn’t life enough of an open door? Is there no modesty? I’ve seen my mother naked, which is enough disaster for one lifetime. I will never be able to recover.

Every relationship was already affected. She would sit on her deck in Orinda and simply smoke. She was always in contemplation about something and never effecting, an outsider.

I am like her trying to remain, or actually not trying to remain, on the fringe.

I keep telling the Union, for example, that I want out, but I am the only one willing to sacrifice myself and so the others are fine having me there while they increase their livelihoods.

I look back at my life and I see that this is all that I have done. No law school, no GRE. And yet, I have examples of my capacity.

After all, isn’t everything, by example? There are thesis statements, examples, and then reiterations, what more is there to a paragraph. I am a paragraph rather than a story. I am stuck at the same point, repeating myself. I think my next project will be solving this sexism thing.

Sexism is simply man asserting his superiority over women, where women should be asserting theirs.

If a woman is everything to a man, why is there argument? All he does is use reverse psychology to throw her off, so she is thinking about her inadequacies, and while doing so with Stockholm syndrome, he seduces her.

She is grateful to be loved at all.

What man, any man, for that matter would love her? And he plays hard, takes everything he wants and she is so preoccupied with the uncertainty of self that she looks to him for her self-esteem.

But she is everything to a man. He wants her so bad he cannot do anything else. Everything he does is meant to appear to her as an array of peacock feathers, because she only responds equally to him such that each feather is a bill, a dollar bill, for she is wading in a shallow pool.

He satisfies her hunger, he provides her clothes, her house, her frivolity, and so she is not free but dependent upon him, his coaxing so that she will strip and he can stare.

She is almost always concerned with how she looks. She engages in meaningless banter with her best friends in open-air venues, and she never quite connects with his eyes but expects him to see her and to engage her and this is all that is going on against the backdrop of capitalism, a male construct, supported by women to rise above other men by enslaving them too, to keep tabs on their growth and competitiveness.

No, if women want to be free, they have to fight this greed and fear. The sense of scarcity causes men to take what does not belong to them. They have nothing else but the occasional stray broken from some relationship that revealed dependency and thus ugly truth.

Every man is in fear that he will be found out, always working to keep her or pushing her away because of some flaw he cannot flaunt.

It is in the morning that I hear the birds chirping wildly upon sight of their father or mother, where something is working, only because there is sacrifice and not the neediness of one sex by another. – Mario Savioni