September 4, 2015- I grew up in a very hedonistic decade. It became second nature for me to first notice the physical attributes of the opposite gender, from the time I was eight. This was pretty much how it continued for me, until I was married, and noticing other women struck me as extremely rude.
Even so, I also grew up with a sense of profound respect for those girls and women whose intellectual and spiritual attributes equaled or exceeded anything physical. My mother, aunts and sister have always been well-spoken and mannerly, which added to the threshold of the type of woman to whom I was drawn, and Penny fit every category. She assessed me in much the same way, and our marriage was one of equals.
I thought of these things, whilst reading more pages of “The Way of The Peaceful Warrior”. Dan Millman puts forth a farcical tone, with regard to his attraction to women and, almost like the lead male characters in other ’60’s period pieces, he wanders from one pretty woman to another. He thus faces one comeuppance after another, despite his spiritual progress.
Awhile back, a reader came on one of my posts and chortled, in a rather hostile manner, about what a misogynist I was, for over-using the term “beautiful”, with regard to women. Objectifying, among people of both genders, is a rather deep-rooted aspect of many people’s lives, but it hardly is akin to hatred.
Nonetheless, I have gone deep into my psyche, to look at this matter and to actively work at building more depth to my friendships, beyond what I was already practicing and to see each friend, regardless of gender, as a person who is far more than what she or he first presents. This is, after all, what sustained my marriage, and what now must sustain all my relationships.
Misogyny and misandry are harsh words, as is racism. The three terms, I’m afraid, are bandied about, almost too indiscriminately, both by hurt people and by those, such as my erstwhile critic, who would manipulate them and whip up a reactionary frenzy. We all have work to do, in both gender relations and race relations. I am making progress, and am delighted by the friendships I have both made, and strengthened, over the past few years. More than likely, my angel approves.