it should be this simple; don’t be a dick.

30 Nov

It’s tough, as someone posessing a Y chromosome, to find the right angle to talk about the recent streak of men in positions of relative power being called out for sexual harassment/misconduct. It shouldn’t be, really; somebody engaging in that sort of behavior is undeniably reprehensible, and ought to be called out, shamed and punished for it. At the same time, being a human male, I’m sure there’s been some time in my life where I’ve been less-than-perfect when it comes to interactions with my female peers, friends, colleagues, or just somebodies I’ve passed by on the street. It’s likely been nothing seriously out of sorts (I would hope), but I’ve been on this planet for more than forty years, and slightly more than half of this planet’s human inhabitants are female, and I’m far from a perfect person, so I’m sure it’s happened sometime.

My response to the statistical likelihood that I’ve been a chauvinist douchebag at one point or another is, I guess, appropriately, shame, and the desire to apologize sincerely to anyone to whom I’ve ever behaved that way to, but then, I start second-guessing myself, probably rightly, that any such apology would come off as insincere and self-serving, and it’d just be insulting to anyone I’d offer it to, so I should probably just shut up, but at the same time I want to be supportive to my fellow humans, but the act of doing so is just as likely to offend someone as not.

This is what it’s like in my head sometimes.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this isn’t the reaction a lot of basically decent (which I honestly hope is a description that applies to me) people are having right now. It should be simple, but it’s still kind of complicated because of the great possibility that at some point, I’ve been in the wrong in this particular area, and thus don’t really have the room to criticize withouth coming off as insincere. It’s a weird place to be, but then, life is rarely so cut and dried; simplicity doesn’t often enter into things where reality is concerned.

That said, I’m just going to keep doing my best to treat people with basic respect; find basically non-hostile, non-creepy ways to steer clear of people who can’t manage basic respect in return, and try to be a good neighbor to the rest of the organisms, sentient and otherwise, I share the universe with. Hopefully, that’ll be enough.

That said, I’m not wholly perfect. The particular business about Matt Lauer, who I always thought was a creepy, mediocre, awful person; one who posesses all the same unpleasant, egotistical and self-important traits of the worst faux-alpha media “personalities” I’ve had the displeasure of interacting with over the years, has given me at least a small measure of joy.

Seeing that kind of person knocked down a peg or two appeals to my sense of justice, in a world where that doesn’t happen very often. I’m just going to have to live with my imperfection.


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