Both Halves of the Whole Are Necessary

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November 23, 2019-

The practice of chivalry has long taken a bad rap.  For this, I blame the degeneration of the once noble art into infantilization, then misogyny.  What was a system for honouring all that women did for the good of the world, became a means to dominance.

As the old saw goes, “When the worm turns, we all turn.”  It’s been masculinity’s time to take some hits, in the name of a level playing field.  The point of overkill appears to have been reached, about ten years ago.

Both genders can claim a plethora of contributions to the well-being and advancement of society, and of civilization.   There are men and women of distinction, in just about every field of endeavour that comes to mind.  Due to a long-standing system of such things as the disparity in salary between men and women, for the same work and the false equivalence, “whataboutism”, that gets raised, every time lingering issues of misogyny are raised, the temptation to take even more away from men is understandable.

Gender, itself, owing to both the frequent imbalance of gender-determining hormones, in all too many people, has been under a degree of attack.  This is not the fault of anyone who has a greater degree of testosterone compared to estrogen, or vice versa.  There are likely a good many causes of the imbalance, from genetic modification of food and drink to pollutants in the air and water.

However, I digress.  The fact that I was born male, am very happy to remain male and am physically attracted only to women does not need to be renegotiated.  I can be, and am, friends with a fair number of gay men and transgender people.   That, and the fact that I once cried easily, has never had anything to do with my gender identity.

Jordan Peterson’s eleventh rule for life is, essentially, “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.”    The legitimate achievements of men, those on which a man did NOT piggy-back on the work of a woman, need not be minimized. (There are certainly plenty of the piggy-backed cases.)

Indeed, there is often a tendency for people to not know where to stop, when correcting a past wrong.  The misunderstood term, microaggression,, has been offered as a reason for excess revisionism in history and for an overage of caution in determining a proper course of action.  Microaggression is essentially between  individuals, and is best sorted out, at that level.

Dr. Peterson carries this to the achievements of Western European/North American society.  Certainly, there is much about the “Western civilization” to admire, which is a large part of why it has been so universally emulated.  There is also much that needs correction, and some of the answers to our issues may be found in examining other societies.

In essence, then, no community can long exist, successfully, without equal contributions by BOTH women and men.  In addition, no society can thrive on one set of social practices alone.

Sixty Six for Sixty-Six, Part LXV: It Doesn’t Matter

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October 31, 2017, Prescott-

Happy All-Hallows, to those who celebrate it as an evening of festive family and community enjoyment.

It doesn’t matter to me,

if you are Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow, or some sort of hybrid.

It is superfluous,

if you are conservative, liberal, libertarian, progressive.

It is inconsequential, in my view,

if you claim adherence to the oldest of Faiths, to the Faith founded

two-thousand years ago, to the newest Faith or to no Faith at all.

It is of passing concern,

if you are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, asexual or just plain fed up with it all.

Male, female, “hybrid”;

child, adolescent, young adult, midlife, early senior, advanced senior, centenarian-

I have much to learn from you,

and much to offer, in return.

What matters is your spirit.

Who I am,

in this final month

of being sixty-six,

is largely who I have

ever been.

My labels do not define me.

God sees beyond the superficial,

the fleeting,,

the limited.

 

The Road to 65, Mile 39: Girls

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January 6, 2015, Prescott-  The man whom I am helping, with some aspects of his current homelessness, went with me to one of my favourite coffee shops, this afternoon.  As we were talking about various subjects, the topic of girls and women came up.  Specifically, his left-over pain at having lost his sister, to suicide, some years ago, because of their father’s failing to ever, once, validate her achievements or her worth.  He has long known that gender has nothing to do with a person’s worth, and he misses her, to this day, as I would miss a sibling.

When I let the gentleman off, at a burger joint, and headed home for the night, I learned some things about how a person I love, as if she were my own child, has been treated, over the past few years.  To say I am livid, is a mild understatement.  There is not much I can do in this situation, ethically or legally, except vent, in the most opaque ways possible.  There is no point in muddying the waters of a situation which will be resolved, by cooler heads than mine.

So, generally speaking, in this year 2015, why are we still debating the same issue that our grandparents were considering, in 1945?  In 1905?  Why is anyone, in his right mind, looking at a woman, or a girl, as deriving her worth only from the men around her?  Why are anyone’s God-given talents and abilities subject to the sanction of an overseer?  Why does any male human require the person who is potentially his life partner, his equal in every respect that matters, the first teacher of his children, to be subservient?

We, in this society, love to throw stones at the Taliban, and other groups whom we perceive as having a medieval mindset.  Yet, so many men, right here, right now- and of EVERY ADULT GENERATION, decree themselves Lords and Masters.  I could never bring myself to do that.

My late wife and I had our share of struggles, misunderstandings and long debates.  None of them ever had as their core some sort of false notion about me being somehow superior in our relationship.  We were a team, of imperfect humans, and we were going to make it work.  So, we did, through all manner of mishaps and foibles, many of them my own, and we never, once, went to bed angry.

I guess it’s because my self-worth did not depend on her obeisance.  It depended on her approval, to some extent, and on her support, which never wavered.  Girls, and the awesome adults they become when given the love and support they deserve, are a cornerstone of humanity.  I never had a daughter, but there are so many in my world, whom I am proud to call friend- and would be very proud to call “my child”.  It will ever be so.