I was driving through town this morning while a pretty young woman in a sundress walked down the sidewalk beside the street. She couldn’t have been much older than my own daughters, probably just barely old enough to buy herself a drink.
Maybe she had a college class to get to, maybe she was going to work. Maybe she was just getting a walk in before the real heat came later in the day. I confess that I thought about none of those things this morning, as my male eyes flicked sideways behind my sunglasses to track her a little longer as I drove by. Then I felt a little silly as I fixed my gaze back upon the street before me. She was certainly not there for my benefit, and I needed to mind the driving. Still, I am a straight guy. My attention inevitably lingers, at least a little extra bit, on an attractive woman. Boys will be boys.
I have heard a lot of men complain that feminists insist we shouldn’t notice attractive women, or maybe even that we shouldn’t be physically attracted to women at all, and then complain that those feminists crazy, or just hate men. As I am trying to feel charitable, I simply note that those men are wrong. To my knowledge no prominent feminist tells men that our innate attractions to women are wrong or oppressive. That would, in fact, be crazy. None of us can fully control who catches our flitting attention, all we can do is behave appropriately once we realize where our minds have gone. Other than a few fundamentalist preachers, I have never heard anyone insist that the very fact of attraction was a sin.
I have heard feminists say that when I, or any other man, finds a woman attractive, I shouldn’t catcall. Or gawk. Or actually go and grab her. I used to wonder why anyone felt the need to point out such obvious things; now I simply despair that such basic principles still need to be pointed out at all.
Certainly, I didn’t gawk, or catcall, or worse this morning. To do any of those things would have made me at best a creep, and quite possibly a criminal. A blog post about being a pretty typical dude who tries to steer well clear of the Creep Zone is a rather silly thing to write, I realize. No one deserves accolades for being an absolutely minimally decent human being, and I certainly aspire to more than meeting the absolute minimum of human decency.
Alas, it appears that some of the most powerful men in the US, and indeed the planet, somehow fail to clear even this lowest of low bars. I certainly understand why Senator Gillibrand prefers not to name the perpetrators, but I confess that I would love to have the opportunity to donate money to someone running against those bastards.
Our bar should be higher.
PS: Of course, the interwebs always can provide examples of worse offenders. They are bastards, too.