Real Men Are Not Predators
Real Men Are Not Predators
One of my early recollections as a child is my mother pulling me, by the hand, to cross behind her and to walk on her outside when out on the street. “A gentleman David,” she would admonish me, “always walks on the outside, when on the street with a lady.” Mother’s version of “why” while certainly consistent with most historical perspectives, protection, respect, an act of chivalry, always seemed a bit bewildering for a young boy of six. Mother was insistent that I learned the behavior of a gentleman, like helping ladies with their coat, opening their door or rising when they entered a room, all of which was further reinforced by my aunt, mother’s older sister, so that I would one day grow up to be a “gentleman.” A classification or categorization that was as much a mystery to me then as “being a man” was a few years later. Throughout my youth I was continually reminded of what I needed to learn regarding my relationship with women, if I were to become a gentleman, while constantly being told what a “man” does and doesn’t do. Much of which, I was to later learn was pure blarney, nothing more than the repeated myths regarding “masculinity,” which unfortunately still permeates the male world today.
In recent weeks the news has been filled with numerous reports and accounts of women who have been sexually harassed by so-called men. I say “so-called” because these individuals are not “men” and frankly an embarrassment to those who are. They are something far less. While these individuals may have been born a male of the species that accident of birth doesn’t automatically make them a man. Because becoming a man, like so many other things, is learned. It is not simply ascribed nor inherited through birth but rather is a learned behavior. And, not surprisingly, it is quite evident that there are too many males today, who have never ever learned what it means to be a man. I mean a real man. Because real men don’t abuse women or take advantage of their size or position. Rather they believe in the value of others, are honest and truthful about themselves and their conduct. They don’t hesitate to protect the weak against the bully and don’t point fingers and blame others for errors made, they accept responsibility. And, contrary to masculine mythology, are not afraid to show their emotions.
Too many males today have a distorted image or concept of what constitutes masculinity, particularly as it relates to their relationship with women. They’ve watched too many movies and believe the crap they’ve seen. They still believe that real men don’t cry. After all did anyone ever see John Wayne cry? Of course not. Too many honestly believe that they can do anything, never make a mistake and, of course, never ever apologize. Two fisted, hard drinking womanizers’ that I thought went out with Phil Donahue. But I guess not.
Men, real men that is, are simply human. They make mistakes, acknowledge their mistakes, hopefully learn from them and try to move on. They’ve learned, been taught, that the female of the species is different. What was that book,” Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” In other words, women are simply different and as such must be treated differently. The appropriate behavior, like most behavior, must be learned, I said learned. It is not inherited. While the male’s attraction to the female of the species is biological and natural, relationships must be learned and understood to be mutual. It really does take two to tango and both, I said both, willingly participating in the dance, otherwise it just won’t work. Anything else is unacceptable and cowardly. If a male, through any and all normal and appropriate means is unable to attract the female of the species then he should simply move on. Anything else is foolhardy and spineless. An indication that while they maybe a male, by definition, they are certainly not a man. Because a real man is not a predator.
© 2017 David A. Paradine