Men Who Like Women Don’t….

It seems so very stupid to have to write this, but it’s been a rough day for women so, once again, I feel I have to point out the “obvious”.

Forget categories like “real men” or “macho men” or “lady’s man” or “man’s man” or “guys” — men who like women in any way —  sexually, not sexually, as friends, as loves, as members of the human race — don’t do the following things. Any man who does these things doesn’t like women.

1) They don’t rape women. They don’t “sexually assault” women. They don’t date rape women. They don’t drug them so they can rape them. They don’t get them drunk for the specific purpose of having sex with them. They don’t rape them in back alleys. They don’t rape them as children. They don’t rape them as teens. They don’t rape them as adults.

2) They don’t take away their rights. They don’t say, “women can’t vote”. They don’t say, “women can’t make a choice about their own bodies”. They don’t say “women must have abortions”. “They don’t say women can’t have abortions”. They don’t say, “women don’t belong here”. They don’t say, “the world isn’t ready for a woman (fill in the blank)”. They don’t backtrack and revert to “the good old days” when women had fewer rights. They don’t deprive a woman of her education. They don’t deprive a woman of her choice to blossom into whoever she’s going to become. They don’t deprive a woman of equal pay for the same job. They don’t only offer certain jobs to men.

3) They don’t think women are property. They don’t sell women. They don’t buy women. They don’t think they own women and they don’t actually own women.

4) They don’t think or use the phrase, “all women are…”

5) They don’t use “the B word”, “the C word”, or any of the other words that say “all women are… bad, evil, conniving, or temptress that made is do….

Why not? They want the people that they like to be happy.  They want the best for them. They respect them. They value their work, their lives, their minds, their bodies. They want them to be the best humans they can be. They know the difference between themselves and others. They want them to be fully themselves. They believe in them. They know the difference between one woman and another.  They see them as people created by God who are just as holy as they are.  Then there’s that statement by Jesus, and Hebrews before him, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Women are my neighbors on this planet.

Most men are this way, I think — most men I know, anyway.  But clearly, there are men who don’t like women. Today, people in Congress decided to propose that we revoke a woman’s right to choose back to 20 weeks of pregnancy. The speaker of the House says he backs this bill. I can’t speak about the women, if there were any, who voted for this bill.  I’m not a woman. You will have to figure them out on your own.

Today, a writer for the Wall Street Journal said that “stopping men who sexually assault women in the military is like being against male sexuality”.  That means, logically, that ” “male sexuality is equal to sexual assault”. It’s not. If you have to force yourself on someone, it’s not sex. You probably aren’t that good if you have to force the issue.

This goes for ideas as well. If you have to force your ideas on someone, you probably think they don’t hold water in the first place. If your idea isn’t that good, it doesn’t deserve to win.

Again, this just seems so obvious and so stupid to have to say, but on days like this, I feel like I need to say it out loud.





Good Things Are Happening, Too.

I’m scrolling through Facebook tonight and my good friend Mark has posted a sonogram of a fetus inside the womb of the woman he loves (Anna) and joy breaks out across my face!

I and my friends have had enough death this year. I don’t need to list the people who have died in the last year. Their names are written in pieces throughout my blogs. And needless to say what’s left of Oklahoma and Newtown’s populations are no doubt looking for good news.

While they probably don’t know Anna and Mark in those places , there are no doubt pregnancies and births happening all around THEM as well. They sneak into our lives as part of nature, quietly enough that the news doesn’t pick up on it.

Here in West Hartford , even though the streets are flooded, the grass is still green. Though the rains come , my friend Char can still post pictures of rainbows because there still ARE rainbows.

Yes, I’m sure that global climate change is still happening. Yes, the government still is reading our email. Yes, Turkey is quelling riots by force. For the most part those are the things we are in charge of.

But the cycles of nature are full of grace, despite our best efforts. They may not be as intense as the evening news cast, but nature’s beauty cycles have a quiet dignity and beauty all their own.

As much as I see the worst of what people can be, it is times like this that I am reminded that good people also impact the world by bringing children into the world and there is hope because of their influence. Good people raising spiritually beautiful children in the universe is also part of the world’s grace and a real joy to us, despite the world they are apparently brought into.

On days like this, I remember the good things in life — “I tell you that not even King Solomon in all his regalia was clothed as beautifully as this”, Jesus said about nature and it still is true.

My wife recently posted a picture of my two daughters when they were a toddler and a baby. They are now 14 and soon-to-be 12. They are beautiful and smart and talented and funny because they just are. Friend post on Facebook that their children are graduating from High School or College. How do these things happen? These things happen quietly, too, because we — like nature itself — put in a continual bit of energy and it grows in grace — the mystery of God’s will engaged in the world with or without our help.

My point is that sometimes we get lost in the pain and the destruction because they are so frequent and loud. Beauty and grace are just as frequent but nowhere near as loud and all it takes is the potential of a fetus to remind us … Just sayin’.

Congrats to Mark and Anna.

Peace ,