What Are Men Good For?

I’ll tell you this much, and of course I speak only for myself.  If you’ve got yourself a dead possum, a good man will pick up the deceased by its tail and drop him into the trash bag.  For this reason alone, I would plead the case for the masculine gender in any court in the land.

I had such good intentions.  I went out to survey the situation.  I located the proper tools for removal.   I had a very nice conversation with the huge turkey vulture whose lunch I was determined to steal away, apologizing for my intended rudeness.

There’s nothing like confronting a dead critter to remind you just where your personal limits lie.  I’m sure there are many women who are tougher about these things than I.  Come to think of it, I know several.   And I would be the last to want to fall back on old stereotypes.  I’m sure there are many men who would be at least as squeamish as I in such a situation.

But really, there’s toughness and there’s toughness, and sometimes those distinctions fall out along gender lines.

There’s been so much written lately about the ragged frontiers between the sexes, especially with the Steubenville case in the news drawing attention (regrettably, yet again) to rape and the skewed attitudes some boys apparently have toward it.

A very brief but fabulous video has apparently gone viral, the gist of which is: What do you do with a girl who’s passed out drunk?  You make her comfortable and cover her up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eZxv5WCWivM

There are a lot of points I could make here.  Girls, drinking yourself into a stupor is a bad idea.  Boys, wherever you got the idea that the weak or defenseless are fair game (no matter how poor their judgment), you’ve been wrongly advised.  Some of the people you’re listening to have betrayed your trust.

At a time when equality is advancing in so many ways, kids are still flailing around under the influence of a culture that perpetuates the weird idea that human beings come in only one gender – yours, whichever that may be.   All those other alien-but-attractive creatures out there belong to some “not quite really human” category, easy targets to be exploited, manipulated, or otherwise treated as if they exist solely as props in our own little play.

Here’s a newsflash: the hormones that can drive you to despicable, harmful actions, can also propel you toward humanity, even nobility.  The payoff’s better, and longer lasting.   And no messy consequences, like jail time.

So, I’m rooting for the men, and hoping the boys among us will find some better guides and guidance; that someone will take the time to personally illustrate to them that we really are all human.   And I’m aspiring to man up a little myself, the very next possum that comes along.

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