Because of the recent whatever in that place with the what’s-his-name shooting up the what’s-her-names because he didn’t get the play he felt entitled to, I’ve become aware of a hashtag campaign to bring light to the “predator-prey” view of sexual relations. The hashtag campaign is fine by me; it’s like the 90’s all over again. Women standing up in their own defense is fine by me. Men standing up for women is fine by me. I myself do not have any dating prospects, just as I did not have any dating prospects in the 90’s, the last time in my lifetime that modern culture has been pro-woman-anti-male, so I know I’m not going to stand a chance. But that’s not the point.
The point is that I have women I love and care for among my friends and within my family who need to have a chance to be free people first and foremost without aggressors forcing their way in. I have nieces who are coming up into the world surrounded by assholes who feel entitled to them. That is untenable. I’m all for them standing up in defense for themselves. Nobody should endure those sorts of people.
The flip-side, however, is the ease of wrong appearances and common mis-perceptions. Just as women are on patrol against malevolent men, normal men are on patrol against being perceived as malevolent men. It’s tough, it really is. Henry Rollins’ “Wrong Man” is perhaps the most apt description of the tightrope we men have to walk. I struggle against this wrongful sense of “if I work hard, I’ll get the girl” just as much as I struggle with “give the girl 20 feet of sidewalk because I don’t want to get maced”.
“Take a good long look at what you’re looking at when you’re looking at me,” croons Rollins, “’cause I’m not that man.”
I wish we could have a culture of mutual respect. Nobody is a prize as long as nobody is a thief.