5/28/14

#YesAllWomen . . .

C'bawwwwwn, Suhn. This is just. plain. uncomfortable.
A horrible thing befell our country on Friday night when a pathetic little "man" - we should not bother to learn his name - killed six and injured thirteen people because he was horny and frustrated (that is the best I know . . . my emotionally stunted brain won't let me learn too much about these incidents) but there is a vague (and not worth the cost, I would like to clarify) upside to what happened . . . a discussion came out of it. TWO, technically.

The first was a father of one of the victims telling politicians their sympathy could, should, and perhaps WOULD suck it. For a grieving father to be so poignant and selfless is admirable.

The second (and louder - at least for those, like me, that seem to live their lives through social media when events like this hypnotize our nation) . . . the #YesAllWomen campaign.

If you are not on Twitter all day, errrrrryday (and good for YOU) the "#YesAllWomen" campaign was a sound off on how ALL women are/have been objectified, harassed, maligned, disrespected, and otherwise minimized in the raging libidos of their lesser counterparts. How big of a "thing" was this hashtag campaign? Click on this link, scroll down, and watch the time lapse video/map thingy that shows the campaign lighting up the world (or parts of (to be less dramatic)).

I'm not going to really wade in to the conversation. My sense of humor often gets me in trouble and I have a tendency to dismiss Internet phenomenons where participants try to out "deep" and out "philosophize" each other (and - to be clear - this campaign ranks high on the all time list for that) BUT I will simply say two things:
  1. I agree that no woman "deserves" to be marginalized, harassed, mistreated, or attacked in any way much less in a sexually aggressive way.
  2. All men (even the most saintly of them) are guilty of doing at least a shade of the above at some point in their lives - many so much so that the "men being animals" graph is not even a bell curve so much as a steep climb like that yoddler takes on The Price is Right
I am NOT excusing it. I'm a NOT accepting it. I'm NOT even trying to explain it. I've been reassured that it is part genetics, part sociology, part poor decision making, part ignoring, part whatever. It doesn't matter, sadly. You and I can't fix it (on our own). I'm simply acknowledging simple (and tragic) facts.

I am not shy about my lust cues (that sounds as creepy as humanly possible) and I have been known to flirt a few times in my life (to be clear my low self esteem and lack of confidence with "The Ladies" doesn't exactly find me toeing the proverbial line too regularly but I've had my moments). I pride myself on always backing away when even the slightest cue was given to do so but I am ashamed to admit I've certainly made women uncomfortable in my day and that is regrettable. I'd be a liar if I pretended that the pubescent (and by that I mean still-happening) brain of Sean Amore was not a leering dullard. I had a credit card devoted to pornography shortly after college. It was what it was. 

I love women (which also sounds as creepy as humanly possible in this context) and I respect them a great deal. I have a mother. I have an ex-wife. I have a daughter. I have loads and loads of women I am friends with and that I would dare say I "love". I have dated several women and have even laid with a handful of them (it is creepy words in a blog post day, clearly). I can not imagine NOT holding women in a minimal regard. I can't imagine blatantly and intentionally making them feel "less than" and/or to hate me in the process. To physically take advantage of a woman seems unfathomable and yet . . . it happens every day in America.

I can't imagine any man doing some of the things (much less all the things) mentioned in the Tweets tied to this campaign and yet - here we/they are.

It is all tragic. The death of these innocent people is horrible. The grief their death has caused is inexcusable. The pain, suffering, fear, and loathing so many women carry (those that participated in this campaign and the millions more they seem to (accurately) speak for) is unacceptable. 

I am sorry, ladies. For anything I've ever said or done - as unintentional as it was at the time - that might have negatively impacted you. More importantly, I'm sorry that so many men will not accept the reality that you are and have been hurt in the past.