The Road to 65, Mile 281: Misogyny

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.

9 thoughts on “The Road to 65, Mile 281: Misogyny

  1. I think you made several very important points about a male’s reaction to a female. Terry became such a close platonic friend because he always saw more in my than was on the surface; he saw me as an excellent poet with deeply felt emotions and emotional pain to overcome. His words were always “mild as milk” and he truly offered his support. He knew me at 138 lbs and at 275 lbs, and he was okay with me either way, unlike many men who might laugh at me and make fun of me (mostly young men).

    Again, at work I command respect. I am seen as greater than the sum of my parts by my supervisor, coworkers and students. There truly s no way to sum up all the past and say, “This is who I am.” Instead, we all should always give the benefit of the doubt and look deeper than the surface.

    Yes, I was raised to honor courtesy, eloquence, and staunch feminism as a daughter of a “Bennington girl.” That college in Vermont was radical at the time for not only the free-spiritedness of the girls in this all girls college,but also for their practicums off campus. BTW, my brother, Mike, was in the first Bennington class that admitted men, around 30 of them. For his practicum, he taught math in a school in PA. Mom’s practicum, I believe, was doing market research, as a sociology major.

    I wish I had deeper relationships with the Baha’is here. Gary, I feel very connected to you, as well as several Baha’is who I have socialized with. Building those relationships through mutual participation in service and study, in relaxation and hanging out, is one thing I am focused on. We don’t need to be lonely ever.

    Thank you for your beautiful writing thatt has stirred my emotions to do more writing here than anywhere else in the past six months–time to write a TaDa list and a Gratitude list!

  2. I see people. They see me. Sometimes we see beyond the surface. Most the time not. Most the time we don’t spend enough time to get beyond the surface. Some people don’t want to be known beyond their surface. They hid in there.

  3. I think that accusation was without merit. There are men (and women) who are focused excessively on physical attributes. From what I read of you, I think you are not in that category. Just my opinion.

  4. I’m with our sunny one or you seem to be the opposite of misogynist. Maybe your angel helped you with maturity, but, in present time, you deliberately work at growth. Because I quote this so much, you may have already read it; I remember a famous writer, I think, Borges, saying, he had been married to his wife for years, and still did not truly know her. (paraphrased) I have found this to be true, over and over.

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