If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


29 OCT 2017

DELFT - It gives hope when the news reports on sex and behavior. There are opinions in the back and forth about what is allowed respect, what is disrespect, and what are we doing now. The hope from the current round of accusation and denial is for a version of 'Truth and Reconciliation' to emerge from emotions. Often, one sex does not see an issue the same way as the other. There is only one reality but two differing attitudes toward it.

One view is that men want respect from others, 'others' includes women, and go about it within bounds most of the time. Success draws fame for the one enjoying the ride. Society admires the aggressive man who takes what he wants. Media feature a heroic man and the women he wears like he owns them, but we know that is just entertainment and not a serious role model.

Just Winking


The BBC reported on an interview with Woody Allen (US film, comedy) thus: 'He said it was important to avoid "a witch hunt atmosphere" where "every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself".' Unless you work in an Entertainment industry, why would anyone think winking at a co-worker is professional behavior?

Why was I making a crude joke in my office? Just us men, right? I'm not getting on that Access Hollywood bus. People retain what they were taught and have seen around them; however, Usually, that is modified over time by sense and experience - growing up. Apology applies to a single mistake. What of the person who commits ongoing, sex-linked intimidation?

A person's pride can be fed with praise and result in someone who feels he may demand sex as he pleases. When their stories come out, we are disgusted: "women are sacred" and "he has no values". Even if being very attractive is not part of your job, you might be propositioned for sex, by someone able to dangle opportunity. Sex and: you get the job; you increase your chance of a career; I will be your patron and protect you.

Consider who among us does not wish to appear their best around other people? Most choose clothes that 'look good' on them. Many seek to have a healthy, toned body, if only because being in shape feels better.

When I was mid-twenties, a woman invited me over to swim in her pool. Once I was in short trunks, she looked me over and said that my body was tasteful but not flashy. I laughed then and still remember today, pure ego.

My partner is Dutch; I am American. Coming to a door, I stand back, extend my arm to open it for her. She wonders what I am doing and could we just go inside? My role with a woman is a result of my childhood rearing.

That said, I have learned to 'just go inside'. Not always so: I made a sexist joke at work to a male co-worker; a woman across the shared desk overheard. I was wrong and apologized at once; I was ashamed.

Role playing, whether sex goddess or alpha male, is of the mind, and seems adolescent. If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, willingness is less clear. The issue is over what is mutual and what is forced on another.

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen