I know I may take some flack for this, but here it goes. With all the issues of sexual harassment, assault and rape in the news these days, I thought I’d tackle a part of this very sensitive issue. First, my mother taught me how to be a gentleman. I’ve been married for 37 years and have taught my only daughter what men can be like. Assault and rape are never acceptable to me, and if either my wife or daughter were a victim of this then my west Texas redneck genes would have been revealed. I have an axe and a shovel, if you get my drift. Many of my daughter’s high school boyfriend’s would honk their horn and she’d go running out. One boyfriend of hers I even had a man-to-man talk regarding demeaning content toward females on his MySpace page (Yes, that’s a long time ago).
However, we now find ourselves with confusion on the variations of sexual harassment, which by definition is anything that may make a man or woman feel uncomfortable about, even if not directed at the person being offended or made uncomfortable. Do we need to change our vocabulary to express our intent and rate the severity of certain terms?
For example, let’s take the word “Sexy”. If you take off the “Y” – you have “Sex”. So if you call an office worker sexy, is it a severity level of 10? I have no idea why we use “Sexy” in our vocabulary so much. Car companies tout their cars as “Sexy”. Do you want to have sex with a car? If yes, well that’s gotta be painful. Then there’s sexy pajamas, purses, shoes, etc. You name it, everything is “Sexy” – just like this post, because I assume you came here to see what the meta tag “Sexy” had to be about.
But what about “Cutesy”, “Wowsy, or “Hubba Hubbasy”? What scale would we give each of these? Would “cutesy” simply mean I think you are attractive and cute, and merely be taken as a compliment, or sexual harassment? I suppose if it is coupled with the direction of the eyes or facial expressions, the severity rating might increase. It would be inappropriate if hands were involved, or possibly feet, although that one is hard to imagine – just like sex with a purse.
Now if you said “Wowsy” to a colleague, without any other signs, how would the recipient react to this? You might even utter “Shazamsy!” I know it is not a valid word, but neither is “YO”. So if someone shouts “Yo Yo Shazamsy”, what do you do? Now I have included a photo from Adobe Stock of a very attractive young woman. Her greatest attributes are her smile, so you’ve earned respect immediately for her being friendly and approachable, maybe even a person of great humor (like me). Now if I had posted a picture of this same person with excessive cleavage, what would be your first impression? We men see both examples in the work place and in social settings. Most men I know do everything in our power to avoid women with exposed cleavage for fear of being misinterpreted. It can be very uncomfortable, should we report sexual harassment for this discomfort? I think it is always a matter of empathy and perspective, what would one do standing in the other’s shoes, hopefully not a stiletto.
It’s been 39 years since I last flirted with a woman and she became my wife. I am thankful that she rescued me from the absurdity of the dating world. I would hate to have to be either a single man or woman in today’s society, I read a lot, the tension mounting is about to get real – as they say, although it was real for a very long time. When a woman says “no” she means “no”. Accept it, not as defeat, but with reverence and respect. Learn to grow a romance, not two more sets of hands for groping.
MEN. Romance is not what you see in porn films, it is fantasy, and quite frankly not sexy, but demeaning. They are paid to have unemotional sex and perform perversions for their paying customers. Over the last few months a number of porn actresses have committed suicide, while many of those who seek to be rid of porn cannot find work. Florida is now considering legislation because of all the mental health implications for young men. These actresses know full well that their brand of “Sexy” is leverageable power over men, and frankly, we men must break this control for our son’s sake. So now put yourself into the woman’s position in the work place, they don’t like the power you exert over them. Also, these “actresses” were once daughters – now let that one sink in.
You see, women have the power, and they’ve always had the power to control this issue. When you demand respect, I’d say it is very “Wowsy”. It means you are to treated like a queen and in return you will develop respect from men. If you give too much away, you will only become a passing fancy. Sorry, this is the conversation I had with my daughter. Real men, do not want the harlot. That is their fantasy and when the fantasy is realized, they move on. Men are jealous and possessive. It might appear at first that they have to the have the sexiest woman that all men desire, but soon it will be a burden, if the woman has no respect for herself or the man she has given vows for, it will end poorly.
I will conclude this post with the utmost in sincerity from an old fart like me. Empowerment is not about leverage, it is about respect. From this day forward report assault and rape, bring anyone and everyone to justice who are complicit in this nonsense. This is called integrity and self-respect, you were not born to be trampled upon. Men, stand up for women you see being abused and you too will develop respect.
However, with respect to sexual harassment, if its definitions are to be used too lightly, then it’s leverage, not empowerment. Wield it incorrectly and you may be deemed unapproachable by those you seek to be respected by. Don’t place yourself into positions where interpretations can be misconstrued. Make men wait, and if they don’t wish to, then you’ve just saved yourself a lot of headaches and heartaches.
Now, with all this said, go out and be the change you seek in this world and make those around you earn your respect. My wife is my queen, my lover, and my friend and there is nothing more that I desire to give her than my respect, because if I don’t she’s gonna sing Aretha Franklin’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T while clobbering me upside the head with that sexy purse I bought her, and that’s not funny.