John-from-Alberta is the lone Trumpist in my readership. He doesn’t get much support from anyone but me and I only support his right to speak his opinion. I don’t agree with much, if any, of it. He suffers my posts of lefty-shades of pink and then takes it on the chin when he feels the need to disagree. But he keeps on ticking. He gets right back up. C’mon….that’s good! He’s polite. He speaks his mind. I like John. At least I am pretty sure I would.
If he is a true Trumpist, and/or true racist or whatever ‘gist’ we label people, maybe not. But my experience has been that the ones who speak outrageous nonsense, once calm and in deeper conversation, are really just espousing similar values to my own. My guess? John likes Trump because Trump represents the anti-establishment. John really wants change and simply got duped by what appeared to be change. I want change, too. We agree on that.
I suspect that John still has faith and belief in the ‘free enterprise’ system, wants to become a self-made millionaire someday and advocates for law and order because he, himself, obeys the rules and keeps the order. Nothing WRONG with that. Disney-esque, maybe. Naive, for sure. But, so what, at least he is not a corporate slime-ball polluting the Salish Sea or pumping unhealthy food into people. Or drugs. John’s beliefs may be old fashioned and simple but they are steeped in good ol’ family values. I agree with most of ’em. We likely agree on most of those ‘values’.
And so it goes…..scratch a bigot, a bad-guy, a ‘gist’ of some sort and you are likely to find someone coming from the same place as you but disagreeing on a few of the details. Fundamentally, there is NOT a lot of difference between us. We are all in this together. We all want much the same thing. We are all pretty civilized most of the time. And yet………………….we are polarized. In 2017, we are very polarized. Why is that?
Part of it is that separating, polarizing and emphasizing the differences is what we have done for eons. Where would the Liberals be without the Conservatives? The GOP without the DEMS? Chevy without Ford? You almost NEED to make a lot of people bad so that a whole bunch more will follow you and do what you want them to do. Weirdly, dividing is conquering. You may not conquer the opposition but you have softly conquered your followers.
And very divisive.
So, how does that apply to our current Gender Wars battle? Well, there is no doubt that the shrill cries to ‘believe the victim without proof being required’ is one way to alienate, divide and conquer. But it’s a gamble. Some guy appalled at another guy’s behaviour might feel swayed to join the feminist ranks where before he was content to let ‘boys be boys’ and girls be girls’. After all, pussy-grabbing is hardly defensible. That fellow may now feel he has to choose a side. In fact, that fellow is being REQUESTED/required to take a side.
“You with us? ‘Cause, if you ain’t, you against us!”
It also works to divide us as a culture when you insist that all unwanted behavior is assault. That makes any male’s initiative a huge gamble. There are those who decide capriciously what is wanted and they can also reject by ruining the person who offered. That’s threat is so scary, it divides and alienates before ANY communication at all.
I think there is also a denial, a blindness on the part of some modern women. I think some women have no idea what it is like to be male and they do not even want to try wearing those heavy boots for even a minute. They want males to be ‘feminized’ but they do not want to feel the burdens of being male. Not even a bit. These people are the ones very comfortable with the difference and the alienation between the sexes. They do not have any empathy for the guy at all. In anything. “All men are pigs!
That does not serve us in coming together. Who wants to cooperate and be ‘nice’ to someone who hates you because of your gender?
Like politics of all kinds, there is a valid, centrist’s view. A man can oppose groping and yet still believe that a bit of flirting and persuasion is part of the ‘dance’ between the sexes. After all, it is not normal in everyday life for women to take the initiative in romance except by seduction. Hell, they had to invent Sadie Hawkins Day to give some women a chance at the really shy fellows.
A woman does not lose her ‘political position’ on things to try to understand what a man feels and goes through. Understanding is NOT agreement.
And a woman does not lose her moral high ground (claimed, anyway) by accepting due process when there is a dispute. Due process IS higher moral ground.
One gender will always take the first step. Will that now be the women? Are women stepping up en masse and saying, “OK! Fair enough. If it means that we have to risk being turned down, if it means that we have to pay for the date, if it means we have to make the first move all in aid of protecting our fannies, then so be it! Back off, you creeps! If we want you, we’ll phone! Don’t do a thing. Just sit pretty and wait. We had to do that for eons. Now it’s your turn.”
THAT message might fly…
The point: we are all in this together. We are all on the same side. Like my relationship with Alberta-John, we can disagree without histrionics and alienation.