October 17, 2017, Prescott-
Once upon a time, I bought into some, but not all, of the idea that people ought to objectify, idealize, the opposite gender. This was held true for men and women alike. The physique was the primary initial attracter, with social skills and hygiene the glue that secured a person’s place, in the eyes of an opposite number.
Mom told me to look for a person of substance. The intellect was important, and a wide range of interests. She said that a comely, but shallow, person would not last long in our family- falling away by attrition, not by any malice that would be directed at her. I’ve noticed this has continued, through the four marriages of my siblings and me, the seven marriages of my nieces and nephews, the engagement of my youngest niece and the solid relationship of my son and his lady friend. Terra Firma has lent herself to our support.
In my post-marital years, there have been a few emotional rough patches. That comes with the territory. They have, however, lifted me up and out of the stinky swamp of residual objectification. By keeping this thing, in the back of my mind, about viewing women in relational terms, I was also objectifying myself. The current sturm und drang over Hollywood’s sexual predators has had what I consider a bright silver lining. Women are free to raise the roof, over the long-standing, callous disregard for their total being. It’s as old as the rise of homo sapiens sapiens, and it’s past time that men, freely and in their own space, create a mindset, a heartset, that truly measures a woman, first and foremost, by her interests, goals and dreams.
I have the privilege, and honour, of working with two dynamic, highly intelligent and personable women, one happily married. Both are young enough to be my daughters, but no matter. The success of a team is driven by professional chemistry, with social bonding being of secondary importance. In that regard, our little team is solid and focused on the well-being, first of our students, then of one another.
I have a further honour : A wealth of friendships, both on and offline. This drum has been beaten many times before, and I shall not belabour it again. Suffice it to say, my friendships are neither spurred by physical attraction, nor negated by it. Each of my friends’ hopes and dreams matter to me, greatly, regardless of any of their personal or physical attributes. That means dignity comes first.
The antics of celebrity lechers are hitting a brick wall. May each one of us view ourselves through a lens of accountability and resolve to move further, towards this thing called purity.