An Ordinary Man

Or, Men 101

Gabriella Papadakis Need Not Be “Humiliated”

So one of the most beautiful parts of a beautiful woman pops out of her beautiful dress during a beautiful routine in a beautiful sport during a beautiful sports tradition and people talk about her being embarrassed, humiliated, unfortunate, etc. WTF – because of a nipple?  We REALLY have to desexualize breasts.

From A Woman Who Knows …

Catherine Deneuve… a thing or two about beauty, the movie business, and, I presume, being subjected to bad, boorish, and even criminal behavior, comes this: “Rape is a crime. But insistent or clumsy flirting is not a crime, nor is gallantry a chauvinist aggression.”  Sometimes when a man interacts with a woman, he is just being appreciative of the beauty and grace they bring to the world, albeit clumsily.  Making it so that I am reluctant to talk to females in the office, or subjecting my son to prosecution years from now for something based on last night helps no one.  Thank you, Catherine Deneuve.

Read the article: NY Times

She Speaks The Truth ….

Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur is apparently catching flack because of her comment that the way some women dress is “an invitation” for sexual harassment – brava!  The argument, I guess, is that a woman should be able to dress however she wants to and be safe from catcalls, advances, etc.  This is not going to happen.  If a woman shows off more than a certain amount of her sexuality, men – some of them anyway – are going to react.

I’m reminded of the school dress codes that are ridiculed for calling leggings inappropriate, when said leggings show adolescent young men 99% of what lies beneath and then expect them to ignore their imaginations.  I can’t follow this argument for the life of me and also wonder what would happen if men started wearing skin-tight sleeveless t-shirts, bike shorts, and, why not, cod pieces in public.  I suspect the proper specimens would be inviting commentary.

While it is true that no matter how modest the apparel, men will be rude, gross, and coarse, putting yourself on display invites an unfortunate event at least as much as a guy wearing a gold Rolex or a Marines Kick Ass t-shirt.


Time Magazine & #MeToo …

I haven’t posted any thoughts here for quite a while but an unhappy coincidence today got me to thinking. It seems like Time Magazine named the #MeToo movement as its Persons of the Year for 2017 on the day that coincided with the ninth anniversary of the day my wife last had sex with me. And before those nine years, there were at least two separate full years of celibacy.

I’m not sure why or how this happened – we’re still married (although she now lives elsewhere) and we continue to have amicable exchanges & even visits, but I have not had sex in almost a decade and while I’m older, I’m not THAT old.

No explanation was ever really offered to me. I’ve kept in reasonable physical condition, haven’t cheated on her, abused her, made her do anything she considered unpleasant – maybe one thing every once in a while that she never mentioned or resisted – and I unfailingly thought she was pretty, sexy, and the perfect bedmate. I tried to take care of her the best I could and bent over backwards for our children, who ended up in her bed far more often than I did after they were born.

Something that’s lost in the fog of this particular war is that although MEN have most of the power with which to sexually harass women, and should be cashiered for doing so, WOMEN have most of the power and control over consensual sex, which is the only kind I want. And only from her. And if she withholds it, there is not much a guy can do about it.

It’s common in these matters to point out how attractive the lout’s wife is, as if that is some guarantee that he still has access to the happy sex that helped lead to his marital status; as if the vast majority of the married men are not going to say, no, they’re not quite getting it often enough anymore if they are really honest. I’m not faulting the wives; I can’t claim to be blameless in my situation, and the fact that I cannot explain it even to myself might be the biggest part of the problem, but for whatever reason, I have been condemned to sexlessness without my consent, and there is, apparently no appeal.

Even if passion dulls and things get sort of routine and mechanical, chances are fairly good the man still has a sex drive. When he marries her, he promises that she will be his ONLY outlet; what does she promise? My wife and I obviously disagree with respect to that.

Would that justify my harassing women? No, of course not. Does it explain the bitterness, frustration and anger underlying the actions of some men in doing so? Yes, I think so; to me, anyway.

What It Will Take? Common Sense Is What

With all due respect to Marianne Schnall – and in total agreement with her goal – I think she didn’t quite get it right in today’s Commentary on about what it will take to elect a woman president.

According to her, “[t]he first step is acknowledging that we have a problem to fix and then doing everything possible to get many more women in the political pipeline.”  For the foreseeable future, she’s dead in the water right there; far too many people (many of them in my deme) simply will not make that acknowledgment.  Ever.  And as they die out, they are grooming their replacements.  We cannot wait for a first step that is never going to happen.

Instead we need common sense.  Donald Trump got elected by pretending he (“alone”) had answers to all the problems that bedevil the also-rans in today’s society; i.e., 99% of us.  Hell’s bells; I almost voted for the man because I wanted so badly to believe him – he was going to solve everything and I have so much that needs to be solved.  What stopped me was he offered no details (and no wonder, he – alone – seems to be the only one who didn’t know health care was so complicated).  If a candidate had been able to come out and make common-sense arguments for or against some proposition, I daresay that candidate would have had a good chance of winning.

But not some activist.  This was not an election in which I could really care that much whose lives mattered, or who was being grabbed, or whether somebody’s sacred lands were being violated; it was about me making it through the year.  It was completely selfish.  You show me how I’m going to make it, and THEN, but only then, will I start truly caring about things outside my orbit.  And you might be surprised with how much I agree with you.

The glass ceiling, police brutality, DAPL, DREAM, etc, are all COMMON SENSE issues; making them political ones mean the good people LOSE, almost automatically. Hillary Clinton, a supremely well-qualified candidate, lost for the same reason the Tea Party has failed to advance – like them, she got bogged down in highly-divisive social issues.  Whoever the next qualified candidate is, I want to hear from her how I can make it to the next election.


International Women’s Day

No words, other than Respect, Hope, and Love.

Emma Watson’s Chest

emma watson

Full Disclosure: I am a confirmed Emma Watson addict.

Let’s state the obvious first.  Emma Watson is lovely; that top is hideous.  And, as and many, many other outlets anxious to have a reason to display this image from Vogue note, she is being subjected to some backlash from those who think it fails to square with her well-known “feminist” attitudes (I’ve put feminist in quotations because what she is advocating is simple common sense, which I don’t think makes her an -ist of any kind).

The reason for this is because we as a society continue to sexualize a secondary sex characteristic; breasts are simply a manifestation of beauty, just as biceps and pecs are a manifestation of something we don’t really seem to have a word I can think of for – maybe beauty set free from its typically female connotation (I’ve heard women call men beautiful and it makes perfect sense, even to a straight guy), and it makes no more sense to relegate breasts to the hinterlands, only to be brought out on special occasions for that special person than it does to require guys to keep their shirt on at all times.

In the proper setting, a display of physical attributes – male or female – is perfectly appropriate and completely apolitical.  Vogue magazine is certainly a proper setting.

But I like how Ms. Watson herself put it so much better: “I really don’t know what my tits have to do with feminism.”  Beauty, brains, and common sense.  I remain a fan.

The “Orgasm Gap” reports that scientists are continuing to seek answers to the question of why women are famous for having a lower orgasmic rate then men, having had it confirmed recently that the rate for heterosexual women (65%) is far below that for heterosexual men (95%), but also below gay men (89%), bi-sexual men (88%), gay women (86%), and bisexual women (66% – their involvement with the men, I assume, bringing the average way down).

Dr. Richard Wilson, addressing his evolutionary biology class in my novel, An Ordinary Man, had this to say in response to a student’s question: why don’t women come all the time?

“Some of us in biology have come to what we consider an inescapable conclusion – that the female orgasm is an evolutionary artifact and serves no true biological purpose. It is, for want of a better term, a happy accident.”

Tanya stared at him, whether with hostility or merely intense curiosity, so he began his elaboration by looking directly at her.

“To understand this, one has to understand human embryology, which is not that different than any other kind of mammalian embryology. Although the individual’s gender is determined at the moment of conception by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome, the developing embryo does not show sexual differentiation until several weeks later. The blueprints for human anatomy are not all that different between males and females in that most of our systems operate exactly the same way; our circulation, digestion, sensory, et cetera. That’s why males have nipples, even though they normally never go on to secrete milk for the young; they were in the joint blueprint and there’s no mechanism for nature to take them out so they get built.

“Most of the female parts are homologous to the males – or vice versa. Most notably, the undifferentiated embryonic genital tubercle becomes the clitoris in the female and the penis in the male, but there’s quite a listing of sexual homologues available on the internet for those of you who might be interested.” Presumably that would be all of them, with the luckiest going on to make side-by-side comparisons in the privacy of their dorm rooms. He didn’t think it advisable to stand up there and tell them that the mons was the feminine counterpart of the scrotum, or that her inner lips matched the spongy erectile tissue of his dick. Labia was one of those words that was just a little bit too tangible for polite conversation, even in an academic setting. “The upshot of all of this is that the female body receives all of the necessary components to make orgasm possible, even if it is not, strictly speaking, essential for the continuation of the line. But I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that the sexuality of the human female is somehow jury-rigged or cobbled together from left-over spare parts as it is quite likely that its functioning, whatever its origination, has been honed over the centuries in that women who enjoyed sex presumably have out-bred women who do not, thereby tending to perfect it just like any other form of selective pressure. Not exactly survival of the fittest, but of the happiest, I guess. Alright, thank you, Tanya, for the interesting detour, but we must now turn our attention back to the syllabus.”

[NB: although I haven’t read it, it seems that Elisabeth A. Lloyd’s The Case of the Female Orgasm covers similar ground.]

All is not lost, however; as the article points out, oral sex is correlated with a much higher orgasmic rate and I would submit that it shouldn’t matter too much if a nice guy or a nice woman was doing the honors.  Gentlemen?

Attention: Kennedy OR Clinton …

There has been some speculation that the scions of two powerful political families from the same party may be interested in the same Senate seat if it opens up in 2020.  What makes this interesting to me is that the seat would open because a woman, Kirsten Gillibrand, might make a run for the Presidency, leaving two other women, Chelsea Clinton and Caroline Kennedy, potentially interested.

But what worries me is that men like me – old white guys – will be put off by too much symbolism being read into this.  I want a government based upon actual common sense (versus DJT’s alternative-reality common sense); I want my politicians to tell me – a human being – how their candidacy is going to help me and my country.

The fact of the matter is that while #ShePersisted, #NastyWoman, and #PantsuitNation might be very exciting and make some people feel better, empowered, or whatever, I will be much more receptive to #CommonSense, #JusticeForAll, #ResponsibleSpending, #AffordableHealthCare, etc., and you still need my vote.  I will never vote for women’s rights, LGBT rights, or civil rights over my own interest in having a decent job and an affordable life but if I get those things, I will embrace them, because they are, simply put, a matter of common sense.

Isn’t it great “scion” no longer necessarily refers to a male?

Deadly Serious

A 76-year-old man has admitted shooting his 62-year-old wife because after 7 months of marriage, they had not consummated their union and she still refused to have sex with him.   This leaves me at a loss for words.  Was it justified?  Of course not.  Do I understand it?  Of course I do.  If you don’t, may I suggest reading my book?