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Cheap Seats 2017

I Never Knew - 12/06


By Rich Trzupek
  Even at the tired old age of 58 a fellow can find himself exposed to a new bit of knowledge that shakes up his world-view. Such was the case last week when this particular 58 year old fellow discussed the Matt Lauer story with a co-worker.
  We’ll call her Jane, in order to protect her anonymity. She’s an all-around good egg: a thirty-something mother of two, a talented engineer and possessed of the kind of personality that most people she meets instantly take a liking to. I would not describe Jane as a radical feminist, but nor would I define her as someone who would put up with blatant misogyny.
  I had just read the details of Lauer’s abusive behavior (a hidden switch that locks his office door behind an unsuspecting visitor/victim? Really?) Strolling past Jane’s office, I inquired whether she had been following the Lauer story and oh-so-cleverly observed that at the rate Hollywood and MSM sex-scandals were growing, nobody would be left employed in either industry.
  It was at this point that Jane uttered the words that turned my world upside down, at least in terms of how I think about women and sexual abuse. “You know Rich,” she said “I doubt that you could find any woman living in America today that hasn’t been grabbed or groped at least once in her life.”
  Jane framed that observation in terms of American women, but I grasped that she was basically describing most every woman’s experience, whatever their nationality. She wasn’t saying that all men are molesters, but there are enough men who are to ensure that virtually every woman on planet earth would be subject to an unwanted sexual advance or violation of her person at some point during her lifetime.
  She described, in a very matter-of-fact way, how she had been groped early in her working career and had nearly been dismissed from her job for complaining about it. There was no bitterness in her tone. She was rather relating to a friend the kind of personal experience she believed was common to women throughout the globe.
  I had never thought about the issue in those terms. To me, there is a very distinct line between the locker-room talk that I and virtually every male of the species commonly engage in and actually acting in accordance with that kind locker-room talk, which I believe to be extremely rare behavior.
  In my personal experience, I know of only one male with whom I had a (distant) personal relationship who engaged in inappropriate physical behavior with the opposite sex. This fellow would, when under the influence of alcohol, grab, squeeze and fondle the breasts of women whom had not granted him the privilege of doing so.
  Rather than being celebrated by the rest of males in our group of friends, his actions earned him our contempt, and eventual expulsion from our peer group. For most of us, dreaming of being with an attractive, vibrant female body was one thing. Acting on that desire, absent her consent was something entirely different.
  In my view, those whom I view as radical feminists are often ridiculously touchy about issues that don’t matter. This is something else again. There is nothing radical about not wanting to have your person violated by some creeper. Whether it’s a pinch on the bottom or rape or anything in-between, there’s no room for any sort of physical molestation in a civilized society.
  Ladies, I don’t apologize for being a man, nor do I apologize for the majority of my fellow males. We have faults associated with our gender to be sure, as do you, but on the whole I think most of us strive to be gentlemen, or at the very least to respect your persons.
  The Matt Lauer’s, Al Franken’s, John Conyers’ of the world are something else again. It’s obvious they are not gentlemen, but I also believe they hardly deserve to be called any sort of a man at all.
  E-mail: rich@examinerpublications.com

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