Sex-ism

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I’m not a great feminist like I’m not a great father.

But I try.

I don’t like the word ally, even though I understand it and want to be what it implies.

What I am is male. A white male, in fact, living at the height of my species’ dominance and the pinnacle of my sexs’ power.

Entitlement isn’t a concept or a designation you either fall into or you don’t, if you’re white, male and living in America, you’re entitled.

Here I am, writing about myself. When what I intended to write about was women.

As a whole, as the other half of the same species. Not the them that we came from or the diminutive half. Just women. As an entity, complete and undefined by my half of the equation.

I’ve been reading too much, recently. Reading the thoughts and shared articles of my friends. Reading news analysis I’ve found on my own and reading several books at the same time.

My mind is jam-packed with information. So much so, in fact, that I have a hard time processing it all.

I’m worried about my wife and daughter. Worried that the last gasp of powerful white men who wish to remain in control, or at least die with that in their memory, make laws that influence their lives.

I’m not in control of anything.

But I look like those who are. I have gray hairs on the side of my head, a long beard and white skin, among other determining factors.

I’m striving to unlearn my DNA.

While championing my daughter and her brothers and getting to know my partner who started out in one world and who transitioned to another while I watched.

If you look at the cross-section of our political leadership today as a photograph of our history, you will inevitably see a group of white-haired trolls seeking to retain wealth and influence through power. Though you’ll probably just see a bunch of white hairs in suits and ties making decisions in their best interests or of those who gave them the most money.

If you look up past that picture frame, you will see something beautiful and strong. Something bold and yet refined. Something gifted and yet familiar standing in the background.

I look back across my almost 23 years with my best friend, the better half of me, the softer side. And I see a warrior, a goddess, a champion, a mother, a badass and a woman.

I look at my eleven-year-old toothy, creative, long-haired wunderchild, and I see the future in her big smile, blond hair, blue eyes and sense of wonder that makes me shiver.

It’s not that I don’t see that in my boys, but their story is well documented. Their place in history cemented and solid. You can transform history, but you can’t rewrite it permanently. They lived at the end of the age of men and the dawn of women.

What is sad is that there must be ages and dawns at all. We are joined by more than blood and lust and evolution. We are two sides of the same coin. A blister on the same skin or a lock of two-toned hair.

In the midst of the rise of the age of women, there is a fault line that runs deeply between them. Their cousins, aunts and mothers and numerous male relatives cry foul at the encroaching change. They cry out, because they fear change. They create doubt, which leads to a withdrawl, which silences their voices.

I think what bothers me is the predictable nature of my sex. The vindictive, controlling, power-hungry desire to repress and enslave.

I’m raising my daughter and trying to love my wife through the lens of knowledge that my sex is grasping at straws and hell-bent on hanging on to control.

But the chorus bells of women and men who would bring an entire sex down based on old principles, old gods, old ideology long bred and inoculated by Sunday school teaching, are going silent. Just not soon enough for the tastes of those of us who see things progressively, one generation greater than another.

In my old age, will I recognize the me I am now? The disdained ally, the weak link of his sex, the decrepit monster lies in wait for nobody but himself. The insomniac, the dreamer and the has-been.

How do I champion my daughter and my wife and remain a member of the old guard? How do I break free of the pedigree I carry? Or does it die with me?

 

 

 

One thought on “Sex-ism”

  1. I know it has a ways to go, but every once in a while I look at a woman or a girl and think how much safer and freer she has it than ever before. I grew up in St. Louis, a place where too often every conversation, if not every sentence too frequently contained the n word. I moved from there as soon as I could. In a similar way, I move away from anyone who engages in the war of the sexes. Fearful people deny themselves the wonders of life and sully the air they breath. Too many men and boys are afraid of anything they deem as feminine–colors, textures, flowers, fragrances, foods, activities, and more. How manly is that?

    I like the word “variety” much better than that silly word that business and government officials use that has it’s roots in being divided and separate. I enjoy and celebrate with enthusiasm the variety in my life wherever I can find it. Women and other Souls that are different in some way from me bring this variety into my life and sometimes reignite the Wow of Wonder in me. I get to discover something new or a new way of viewing something I thought I knew.

    During these times when the fearful are so anxious to share their fears with the world and try to establish them as the norm, I feel it’s important to take a little bit more time to appreciate the people they fear and engage with these people more so they know their existence and company is enjoyed and even treasured.

    One day I was pushing my cart through the grocery store and a woman stopped me. She told me about all her fears and concerns about what was happening in the world. I told her to stop listening to and watching and reading the news and to start watching the love that is in evidence all around her. The news too often focuses its light and magnification on the things that fan the flames of fear so like a moth we continue to hover around this harmful light to see where and how it spreads. This feeds an addiction and creates profits. We have an unprecedented ability to know so much about whatever is happening in the world. Polluting our minds and emotions with the worst that is happening every day is kind of sick. Explore, instead, the wonders inherent in the variety our world and it’s people (and animals, plants and fungi) have to share. It will change your life for the better.

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