Archive for feminist

Free Women?

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , on October 11, 2011 by AF

I’ve vacillated almost endlessly, unable to decide whether to post this, or not. I suspect some people I respect will misunderstand me or my intentions. In the end, though, I’ve decided that I should stop being a coward and say it, right or wrong, so here goes…

For once I want to be serious. Jeez! I know! It doesn’t happen very often, does it? Look out for a blue moon tonight and watch out for the odd flying pig too.

However, to my mind, the question mark in my title does say a great deal about the subject of this post. Are women free, or liberated these days? Well, particularly in some cultures, just as was true thousands of years ago, some plainly are. Also, it’s perhaps a far greater proportion now than it once was during recent centuries – in the West at least. But I have to admit that I don’t think that most are all that free at all.

Then again, some would argue that relatively few people of either gender are free in any real sense of the word, but I suppose the question most women would really be asking is: are women today at least as free as their equivalent men of today? I suspect the answer to that question when asked in general terms is still a resounding NO.

Before I attempt to explain why, I ask you to please take a good look at a great article from a clever and talented lady. It makes some entirely valid and well argued points. It’s also something with which I entirely agree in principle at least. Conversely, I almost totally disagree with it as well, on a very different level.

I know – that’s as clear as mud, isn’t it? I guess I’d better pause here whilst you go for a quick read of the excellent article right here

Done? Okay then. Now, if you’ve looked at the post in the link, then I hope you’ll understand when I say that I can’t disagree in the slightest with the sentiments at least and that I think all the behaviour and phrases quoted are clearly of an unpleasant nature (certainly when used publicly) and not a way in which I hope I would ever regard or behave towards any woman. Nevertheless, the comment quoted as being from Charlie Sheen (for instance) only serves to demonstrate that he apparently knows practically nothing about real women and very little about sex either, but then some people have extremely limited imaginations. In any event, he’s only playing up to the role he’s picked for himself (or that has been picked for him) in the eyes of his ‘fans’.

Equally, I should point out that it’s not all one-sided and I don’t much like the way some women refer to men and stereotype them either, but (as the rather graphic saying goes) shit happens and I’m not going to lose any sleep over it, or dignify people like that by giving a damn about them – they are what they are – usually rather stupid and pretty ignorant, in my opinion.

The simple and absolute fact is that some men hate women and some women hate men. No one can change that truth by legislating, or complaining, or anything else (unless you’re prepared to shoot them of course), because they think what they think and every time you highlight their behaviour, you simply increase their importance. Most people are not that pathetic, so why would you care about a stupid minority of insignificant jerks? Marginalise them and they and their ilk will eventually become almost invisible.

There are women’s issues that desperately need to be addressed, such as equal pay for equal work and real equality of opportunity regardless of gender, though childbirth is a factor to be considered in some cases, whether anyone likes it or not. This post is not the place or occasion to discuss the subject in detail, but these days and for most women, the decision to bear children is just that – a choice. I can see no reason whatsoever why an employer should be forced to manipulate reality in order to try to ensure that such a choice does not affect the career prospects of the individual. I believe that positive discrimination is just as evil as negative discrimination.

All that said, although I write fiction, there is a recurring theme in much of what I produce, particularly in my sci-fi stories and it’s that most women of the future are strong and liberated. In my tales, whatever their individual hang-ups and insecurities, future women have largely achieved equality and even superiority at times by one simple means – as a gender, they DON’T GIVE A DAMN what any man thinks! Of course, I’m not talking about personal relationships, those are always excepted, private and should be what suits and is developed by the individuals involved for themselves. Outside of that, I’m a passionate believer in the equality of women, but I’m also sure that they’ll never achieve it if they remain dependent on men being nice to them, frequently not saying what they think and allowing it to occur because it’s some kind of decent thing to do. It simply won’t happen!

Men don’t care much what women (as a whole gender, rather than as individuals) think of them, but women on the other hand are all too often demanding that men in general should view them differently from the way they do. That is not only unrealistic and doomed to failure, it’s a dreadful weakness and they will not succeed in achieving their goals until they manage to move on from that and cast off the shackles of such limiting ideas.

So, there you go. I say again, I think the article in the link is superb, but I do think it also highlights a weakness in the female cause. That, for what it’s worth, is my opinion. Still, no one ever took much notice of my views in the past, so I can’t imagine that anything will change significantly on this occasion.

😐

Is It Just Me?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on April 23, 2011 by AF

I’ve wondered at many things over the years (too many years that is), but I was today reminded of something that is a recurring mystery to me. It started when Twitter (well, rather it was one of the interesting people I follow on Twitter) pointed me to an excellent article by a clever and witty woman who, me not being American, I don’t know.

Anyway, it was a good article highlighting the ridiculousness of discrimination – most particularly sex discrimination, but also on the basis of race, etc. It’s well worth reading, so why not take a good long peek here. I really enjoyed reading it and I thought it was funny, insightful and probably very accurate as well as important – and then, to me, at the very end comes this quote that brought my confusion flooding back… “As American social critic Elizabeth Janeway responded, “We haven’t come a long way; we’ve come a short way. If we hadn’t come a short way no one would be calling us ‘baby.'”

WTF is that about? Maybe it’s me (there’d be nothing new in that), but I’ve never understood why women would mind that – it’s like me getting all pissed off because some woman calls me “Honey,” or “Mister,” or even “Hey you.” Why would I care? It’s a whole lot better than “Sir” or (in the case of women) “Madam”, which authority endlessly seems to use in order to be offensive because it’s overly polite and yet we can’t prove that and so argue with it.

I mean – what is their problem? To me (as in this case) I read an excellent article that is very well written and, more importantly, tells it like it is and then the thing I’m left with is the feeling that women (in this case) can be so damned pompous. I know the disappointment is my fault because I have this rosy view of women and their fight for equality as worthy and in fact vital for all of us – men too – but still…

Perhaps someone can enlighten me, because I just don’t see this at all. Is it perhaps that there is some hidden difference between the UK and the US of which I’m not aware? I know we’re traditionally “divided by a common language” and maybe there is hidden meaning in this, but in my view, this is petty and just plain silly. Worse, it’s counterproductive.

Gonnakillhim on Twitter has explained that it may be that it somehow puts the user in a superior position over the receiver and I genuinely thank her for that explanation. I guess that’s probably right, but in my opinion that’s only in the mind of the person hearing it. If it is true (and it may well be, at least in America), then it raises another question for me – how the heck did people manage to get themselves into such a stupid situation? I mean, to me, women are great, definitely equal and the average women (whether she likes it or not) is better at some things than the average man and vice versa – what the hell’s wrong with that?

Why would it be some kind of a put down if I called a woman I was in conversation with “Honey,” or “Baby,” (which to me is just being friendly) instead of “Madam”, which I would only personally say if I really meant “…and f*ck you!” but wanted to avoid actually using the words.

Hey ho – sigh – rant over. But I would like to really understand – seriously!

I Wonder About Women

Posted in Miscellaneous, Scandalous! with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2010 by AF

Well, yes I guess I would wonder about women, wouldn’t I? After all, I’m a guy… However, the eternal, “God! She’s hot! What would it be like to…” well, you get the point I’m sure – that’s not what I’m wondering about women just at the moment… although there is this redhead…

Sorry, I’m getting off the point – well, in truth I haven’t actually got to the point yet, have I?

Sooooo-oo… considering all the razzmatazz there has been about women’s rights, emancipation, equality, freedom and all the rest, I have been quite taken aback this last week or so.

“How come?” I hear you crying out (that wasn’t a yawn, was it?)

Well, the thing is that I’ve been looking into Blogfrog recently (I joined heaven knows how long ago and have pretty much ignored it ever since because the widgets don’t work on WordPress.com – grrr!). It’s very interesting because, if you look for “friends”, it throws up a long list of people who it thinks match whatever you put about yourself in your profile. For some reason I can’t imagine, most of those it listed for me were women – go figure!

Anyway, Blogfrog displays a brief description of each blogger and the thing that surprised, indeed shocked,  me was the way the women had described themselves. I was stunned at just how many of them seemed to start with something like, “I’m a mom of two (three, four, five, a soccer team – whatever)…” or “I’m a wife and married to this wonderful superman…”

The point I’m making is that so many of these women (some of whom were very interesting and talented people when I went and read their blogs) seemed to define themselves in terms of the other people in their lives. I have people I love and care about in my life, but I don’t use them to define “me”. I am what I am. It’s no one else’s fault. I’m just me! Why do so many women see themselves only as someone else’s wife, mother, sister, friend, or even f*ck buddy? It’s what they do, not what they are!

It’s awful! To me, so many of them are such special people, why would they put themselves down in that way?

I’m Shocked

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2009 by AF

I am truly shocked. If this reported statement had come from some aging redneck hate-monger in Mississippi or somewhere like that, I’d have been appalled, but not shocked the way I am, or perhaps even entirely surprised.

But this was apparently said by an undergraduate student attending a lecture on dehumanizing actions and he questioned the inclusion of rape – referring to it as “just” rape!

Apart even from the awful attitude it displays towards women, it shows a total lack of understanding of what sexual relationships and even sex itself is about. It’s bloody Neanderthal!

If that’s what educated young men think these days, then I despair of our culture, I really do…

Do yourself a favour and read the full post (it is quite a few months old, but that does nothing to detract from its validity)  here at Hecate of the Crossroads because this young woman puts it far better than I can.

We Should ALL Get Over It

Posted in Miscellaneous, People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2009 by AF

Well, my last post produced a couple of comments that rather surprised me, but I’m not sure why I wasn’t quite expecting some (fairly mild, as it happens) dissent, even from people I respect.

I have, though, thought quite a bit about what was said and it was undoubtedly fair comment on what I wrote. So, I think that’s probably part of the reason – what I wrote wasn’t a very good explanation of what I wanted to convey.

That said, I’m not very sure I can do better, but I feel the need to try because it does quite upset me that women should ever feel threatened in the way that they often apparently do and also that men should behave in some of the ways that women complain about and be so disrespectful to others (male or female) as they seemingly frequently are.

Firstly, let me say that all this is, in my view, simply symptomatic of much of life today and the US in particular (with the UK following closely behind – as usual) seems to me to be becoming daily more confrontational. That may be just an impression I get from the news and TV, but it seems to me to be true anyway. Also, much of this PC nonsense is encouraged by the litigation culture that has grown up and the only people that benefits is the lawyers who have fought tooth and claw to create it! I sincerely believe that, if it were only possible (and which it clearly isn’t), we really should toss out most of our current culture and start again with a much more enlightened and tolerant approach to almost everything.

The other things that I have to admit to are that I’m sure that what I see and the way I view things will be coloured by my, perhaps rather old fashioned, very English upbringing and the fact that, not being a woman, it’s very difficult to put my maleness aside and understand exactly where the women might be coming from here.

Nevertheless, to some extent that last sentence is my point! If a society doesn’t make the big deal about sex that ours do; if it’s just accepted as being amongst the most important and natural functions of humanity; if (as they are by quite a number of women) men are not expected to think like women and the differences between us are celebrated rather than complained about, then to my mind there is really only one problem left on this topic – the fact of women feeling (and actually being) threatened by men.

So we’re back to upbringing and education – I wouldn’t hit a woman, or try to force anything upon her physically, simply because I was brought up to believe that it is wrong and cowardly. Furthermore rape is something I just don’t understand at all, since desire from my partner is the biggest turn on to me and the converse is therefore also true – i.e. it’s critical to me and if the woman isn’t interested specifically and plainly in me, then she may be lovely, but she’s not for me any more than I am for her. I can’t say I would never be violent towards a woman because none of us can say “never” about anything, but I would absolutely hate myself for it if I were and I can’t imagine the circumstances in which I would behave in that way. I certainly hope I’m sufficiently adult and educated not to need to use violence towards anyone, unless I or someone I cared about was physically attacked, of course.

So that’s perhaps why I see what I see, but it’s also why I don’t understand any other way and believe in much less confrontational relationships between men and women than appears to me to be becoming the norm, which saddens me.

Hmm… that seems like another rambling expression of a lot of differing things to me, but it’s probably the best I can do for now 😉

Addendum: something else has occurred to me that I realise I didn’t make clear – I’m talking here about people who are at the very least acquainted with each other and not total strangers. I cannot recall ever hearing the cat-calling that some commenters mentioned, not even in the UK (though I’ve certainly heard OF it there), so I guess I must’ve just been lucky.

Get Over It!

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2009 by AF

You know, I’ve never fully understood the PC brigade about almost anything in general and the anti-sexism thing from many women in particular. I often thought something along the lines of, “What the hell is going on with them?” Since I’ve been blogging, though, things have become somewhat clearer.

It seems that there are two things going on of which I didn’t take account. Firstly, the UK has done what it always does and copied the US, although, as is so often the case, Britain and the Brits are entirely different from America and that explains to some extent why I never understood. In the UK, many women go on about equality and take an “I’m me and I’ll behave how I like and I’m entitled to this that or heaven knows what else, etc.,” attitude and the fact is they’re pretty much in control of a lot of things. If they’re not then I’m sorry for saying this but it’s because they either don’t want to be (that’s fine), or they’re too lazy to be (and a lot are), in spite of oodles of positive discrimination in their favour.

In the US, though, it does seem that things are probably a bit different and never having lived there, I didn’t get that bit. It seems to me, from what I read, that there is a lot more far more seriously sexist attitude from a significant number of men over there. But then everything seems to be bigger and sometimes more violent or extreme in the US, doesn’t it? Maybe a few of you can enlighten me further – particularly the females amongst my readers who have mostly always seemed to me to be extremely fair and well balanced members of their sex.

In Spain, where I spend most of my time, women are often delightful – why else do you think I’m here? They get un-PC remarks all the time, but they don’t take offence. In fact, many of them seem to revel in the fact that men find them sexy and attractive (and whole lot of them certainly are – very!) and the males are not afraid to comment on it. But then, as I observe and understand it (and like everything else it’s a generality and there are exceptions), just because a man thinks a woman looks hot and comments on it, it doesn’t mean he assumes that she would be interested in him either emotionally or physically. He might hope for such luck, or even dream about it, but that’s it! Incidentally, it’s a very definite no-no to call a woman “hot” here (in Spanish) – it’s just not polite because in the local jargon it means she is available to almost anyone and that’s not something most Spanish men would automatically think of any woman. More importantly, the women know that, so a few sexy comments don’t make them feel threatened or uncomfortable, just complimented and feminine.

I think that’s nice all round: men are men and women are women and each respects the other without needing to be particularly wary about their natural reactions – just how it should be.

Truly Scandalous!

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2009 by AF

This item from the UK Daily Mail is scandalous in the extreme, but without any of the nicer connotations that come with consent…

“Flatmates Amy Overend, 19, and Melissa Cooper, 22, barricaded themselves in their rooms and rang 999 when four men sneaked into their hospital accommodation shouting abuse.

But when they called again after an hour they were told they were classed as a ‘ secondary emergency’ because they were behind locked doors.

Miss Overend then called her father, an ex-magistrate, who repeatedly called the control room to demand that someone was sent round.

By the time officers arrived the gang had run off, but the nurses were worried they would return.

Cambridgeshire Chief Constable Julie Spence said the force’s response fell ‘well below’ the standards expected. She added that the fact that it was dealing with a high volume of calls at the time was ‘no excuse for the poor handling of the incident’.”

That isn’t just scandalous, it’s ?@/!ing pathetic! Of course, although it would still be lamentable, it would be a little less worrying if under English law the young women were permitted to protect themselves properly by opening up with a pump action shotgun, if the assholes got through the door. Typical of police advice would be, “If you use violence to defend yourself, madam, it must be proportionate, or we’d have to arrest you! Leave it to the professionals.”

Yeah, right! If and when they get around to it! So the current situation would appear to be that you’re damned if you shoot the assholes and raped if you don’t – great!

I suppose the police might have arrived in time to catch one or two of the miscreants if the door had not been lockable, but do you think they might have arrived before, during, or after the gang rape was over?

What a bunch of useless jerks we have running our sick society!

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep – Is It?

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by AF
Well, that’s what they say. Age is just a number too – with which, being ancient, I wholeheartedly agree 🙂

Actually, whilst a large part (though certainly not all) of aging is surely in the mind, beauty, or relative beauty, most definitely goes a hell of a lot deeper than the skin – bone structure, personality, muscular tone, general fitness and much more. However, it does all start with the leather bag you live in and many modern skin preparations do enhance the quality and appearance of your outer layers and many women in particular (but some men too these days) are beginning to find creams and potions that do make them look younger, brighter and more alive and attractive.

Many, of course, still say, “I am what I am and I’m not going to lie and hide my age.” That is indeed a valid point, but many women (and men too) are what they are through neglect, not simply through age! It’s not just their look either, in case some of you are getting ready to shout me down with claims that looks are a shallow way to judge a person. If your whole world revolves endlessly around diapers and kids spewing up then, after a while, you’re not going to be a very exciting person to be with, are you?

People (men and women) will undoubtedly treat you differently according to how you look and they’ll also treat you differently according to how you behave. But how you behave will be significantly affected by how you feel about yourself and that in part will be altered by how you look. The whole thing’s a vicious circle: looking good makes you feel you look good and gives you confidence and that makes you look a whole lot better which makes you feel better, which… Well, you get my point I’m sure.

Susan Boyle as She WasAs an example, take the case of Susan Boyle. I know much has been said and written in the often spiteful media about Hollywood makeovers, how she was cracking up and all the rest. The fact is the woman is 48 years old, not 148! She was overweight, scruffy and without style and probably much guile either. Relatively unsophisticated, she was thrust into the limelight and the media pack got to work on her. However, the Hollywood effect has got to work on her too and, now more familiar with all the spite and the lies she needs to ignore, she does appear happy – I certainly hope so because she looks absolutely great and, naturally, she still has the superb singing talent that brought her to the notice of all of us in the first place.

 

Susan Boyle NowBefore anyone gets on their high horse and starts saying, “But that’s the point – she’s got a great voice, however she looks,” it’s NOT the point! She is a whole person, not just a voice and just maybe she’ll finally start to enjoy a full and exciting youth. It certainly looks that way because, to me, there’s now a radiance about her and that’s not from her skin’s tone either, it appears to come from inside…

Bloody good luck to her!

Thinking About Feminism

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2009 by AF

blah-blah-blahI have a problem – well, I have lots of problems, but don’t we all? What I meant to say was I have a specific problem: Strident women! I’ve met a few during my lifetime and I dare say I’ll meet more – both in real life and on the Internet.

Of course, it’s my fault, since I know perfectly well that, as one woman I knew used to say, “Women and cats will do as they please and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” Funnily enough, though, I don’t have a problem with that at all.

However, I think the reason I find it hard to deal with pushy, self-opinionated women is because, if some of the attitudes I come up against at times were from a man, I’d simply say, “F*ck off!” or something very similar … but when it’s a woman? It somehow doesn’t seem right to me. I know, I know: I should just get over it and that’s right. Like I said, it’s my fault … but still…

Online, many feminist websites do really valuable, even vital, work rooting out unreasonable bias and supporting women who have come up against controlling assholes and often been sexually and/or otherwise abused. But all that bitching about irrelevances and seeing sexism in every word from ordinary people that sometimes comes with it … Sheesh! What a cacophony!

As I’ve said before, I do love independent women. The trouble is that I also hate pig-ignorance from anyone. From a man, I suppose the truth is I don’t really give that much of a damn if he wants to show the world just what a stupid, bigoted shit he is, but from a woman that same behaviour seems like such a shame to me. Is that sexist? I suppose it probably is, in some people’s eyes. I don’t mean it to be, but then some people see sexism in everything and don’t give damn about the huge number of other inequalities that we all suffer in all sorts of instances and situations in this sadly so unequal world of ours.

Feminists (the more rabid ones) really do suffer from such tunnel vision that, to me, they often create more sexist feeling amongst otherwise basically decent men (and women) than normal bigotry ever does – just as George W probably did more to provide Al Qaida with a steady supply of fledgling terrorists than the rest of humanity put together.

People who are so focussed, so single-minded that they are unable to even consider an alternative view and see repression in the tiniest innocent remark are not only wrong and stupid, they annoy “normal” people to the point where otherwise supporters just think “F*ck you,” even if they’re too polite to say it. That does the cause they are championing immeasurable harm and often creates the situation they were complaining about in the first place.

I’m sorry, but I can’t see what some feminists see. I’ve tried and I’m sure that such assholes as they describe exist. But, like a lot of other things in this world, many of them seem to be American and, unless US society is one of the most dreadful places on Earth, what they so often describe is surely the exception rather than the rule. It doesn’t make it right, but since most decent people will dismiss the guy as a jerk, why does it matter?

I mean, what is their problem? If, for instance, I talked about “mankind”, I wouldn’t be referring to male-kind – I’d mean humanity as a whole – male and female – it’s just an expression for God’s sake! But many such bigots (for that’s what I think these people actually are) would like to see almost all references to gender removed from our language. What’s that about? I know the origin of such expressions is probably patriarchal, but normal people don’t think of it that way and the drive to remove such words won’t make one single person think differently, except perhaps to get the idea that all women are a pain in the ass, rather than a small minority, as is plainly the case. In fact, the feminist drive to “de-genderise” our language will homogenize it and destroy much of its richness. Now I think that is a crime!

Men and women are NOT equal! They are VERY different (thank heavens). As a generality (nothing more), most women are much better at some things than most men – and vice versa! It’s not a hard and fast rule, because there are always exceptions in anything, but it is commonly so. Long may it stay that way!

Men see women as sex objects. Until we got all this patriarchal, matriarchal, pseudo religious, political correctness  crap, that’s how women saw men too! What’s wrong with any of that? It’s nature! If you actually manage to stop it, the human race is doomed. Decent guys don’t see an individual woman that way on a personal level, but that’s something different entirely.

As I’ve said already (frequently, I know), I love independent women, but no female on this planet will actually ever be free of male domination whilst she spends much of her time thinking, or even caring, about what men think of her and the rest of her gender. Women are often the ones who unintentionally create the problem by simply not standing up for their individuality (rather than their sex) in the first place. That is often the fault of education, but don’t blame half of all humanity for the short-comings of some state education, or even of quite a few parents.

What will finally truly free women is when it doesn’t normally matter to them what men think – about women in general, or anything else for that matter.

picture - iStockPhoto.com

Gagging For It!

Posted in People, Society and Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2009 by AF

It’s probably a UK expression (I don’t know), but the male attitude that “She’s gagging for it, even if she won’t admit it,” represents is something that’s international and bothers me one hell of a lot! It might even be so, if somewhat coarse, but no guy should assume it’s him she’s gagging for it from or with!

This…

“I mean, I’ve never been raped. I just wanted to have that out there. To qualify. Because you know, I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve led a fairly normal existence. Pretty privileged. Very sheltered. I’ve sown some wild oats, done some experimenting. I’ve been taken advantage of. I’ve been… men have not always treated me with respect. And I never even really understood that, until recently. I thought it was my fault. I was pretty messed up over some things, actually.     (read the full post here)

But it wasn’t rape, okay? Okay. I’m glad we cleared that up.

And yet…”

…is on a feminist site that I liked. However, it is a beautifully written post that I think is so very descriptive.

I’ve never really understood rape – not really. I don’t see the point of sex at all without mutuality (apart from the obvious release, which one can quite simply take care of on one’s own). It just seems so … so pale an imitation of real sex with a partner who is equally eager and excited by the activity and prospects of what you are doing with and to each other.

This comment on the article…

“Hell, how about listening for ‘Yes’. ‘No’ should be the default, not the other way round.”

…for me, says it all! “No!” should absolutely be the DEFAULT until a woman (or a man) clearly, willingly and unambiguously says otherwise! Guys, at its most basic level, if you follow that principle, you just might, once in a while, miss out on a very occasional and exceptionally oblique offer of a screw, but hey! What the hell! At least you’ll be able to look yourself in the eye in the mirror when you shave.

All that said, there are places where I think many feminists have got it wrong, or they give the wrong impression to men and others who are opposed to them, or who simply don’t understand the problem…

For a start, let’s get one thing straight: there are women who “cry rape” when they acquiesced totally and without any ambiguity at the time. Such women do all other women a huge disservice! Sadly, just admitting such a fact creates an enormous loophole for the assholes of this world to stroll through.

Additionally, I am convinced that women should not desire to be equal! Some would of course say they’re not equal, but better, and in some areas I’d probably agree. But that’s my point: men and women are different (thank heavens). What feminists mean (I think – and they are absolutely right) is that they are equally important and deserve the same respect, consideration and opportunities as the rest of us – and that’s true of all men and  women regardless of race, creed, age, sexual orientation and any other difference – we are all human beings. We may not agree, but we can all respect the other’s attitude and beliefs, but above all else, their person!

I’ve always supported what I’ve seen termed these days as “lipstick feminism”. By that I assume they mean women who are pro-female, but are sufficiently well balanced to celebrate the differences between the sexes, rather than looking to merge them and they don’t see anything degrading in a woman doing, wearing, saying or otherwise behaving in a way that will turn a particular man on – if she wants to turn him on! They don’t assume that there’s anything wrong in one man seeing slim women as sexy, simply because others will find the “fuller figure” more attractive. The same attitudes though, of course, are equally applicable to men.

Looked at in this way, not only are men and women different (which is after all the only reason the human race still exists at all), but each of us is an individual and we all of us like and are attracted by different things, shapes, styles, voices, colouring … etc., etc., almost endlessly. Above all else, humanity should, in my view, celebrate its diversity and that includes the differences between the sexes – all the differences. That celebration, though, by its very nature also affords men and women equal respect, importance and consideration and that’s all any of us really have right to expect and hope for.

I’ve always thought that the money and equal pay thing is a bit of a red herring. Sure, it’s critical to some women, but I’ve never thought that legislation is really the answer – but then I don’t think that legislation is ever really the answer – education, education, and more education is the key to changing almost anything and everything in human society. How much better is it if, instead of legislating to make an employer treat a woman fairly, a man respect her right decide about her own body, or a woman to respect and value herself, all that is seen by everyone as “normal, fair and right” and just happens anyway? Of course, there will always be exceptions, but I’ve always thought that all these complicated formulae that politicians devise in order to spell out what we can and can’t do could be largely done away with. America has its Constitution. Use it. Apply it to everyone with common sense by legal people with common sense and then an asshole is an asshole and it’s unacceptable to be one – jail the bastard (mostly, the bad criminals are assholes anyway)! I know that’s simplistic, but there’s some sense in it somewhere (I’m just not quite sure where).

I suppose I could have said most of this in about a thousand words less: as a man, I love women and I adore how different they are from guys. Sure, I spot a gorgeous, sexy woman walking down the road and my first thought would probably be something like, “Woah! Nice! Would I like to…” well, you know. That’s just nature and I don’t mean any disrespect by it for face to face, it’s different. I expect I might still want to … you know … but I would be mortified if I thought I’d let that show – if for no other reason than that I’d assume that a sexy lady wouldn’t be interested in a boring old fart like me (even if I thought I was God’s gift to women, I’d still assume that) – and it’d take some doing for her to convince me otherwise. More importantly, though, is that little fact – only she could do that (convince me differently) and I guess that’s the solution to the sexual part of this.

As to real liberation for women – I still think that’s down to education and the financial aspect will follow. Certainly teach men not to be assholes and give them self respect too, because that will undoubtedly help their attitude to improve! But give a girl knowledge and teach her how to protect herself physically and mentally, as well as showing her just how special she is both as a person and as a female, and you’ll end up with a confident, liberated woman who won’t give a damn what men think of her or anything else … unless a man has become special to her and then, if he wants to really enjoy their relationship, be it for one night or for life, he’d just darned well better treat her right, or watch out!

In my eyes, that’s a properly liberated woman and I love ’em to bits!