Monday, July 21, 2008

Getting his guy on

A friend writes today that by "theatricality" Orr might have meant "falsification by artsy means rather than by big emotion."  I replied that it is entirely possible that I am being unfair.  Now that my daughter is eight, I'm getting a reputation for that.

I also want to find a way to talk about degrees of sexism in a less confrontational manner.  I do like men, really I do!  I am a deeply committed heterosexual.  

There are just so many undercurrents and undertows of sexism in its various guises, most of which men (and women) are unaware.  Take the big media being hit like Goliath by the slingshots women cast at them about the Hillary Clinton campaign.  You know, watching Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews feel that shot between the eyes and then sit back and say, hmmm, did I just say something I didn't really mean, or don't wish to mean that way, or maybe somebody HAS got a point.  Pretty interesting.  Like recognizing that the speaking in Dylan's "Don't Think Twice" is not necessarily just getting his macho on and walking out on the girl, but that he's hiding bruised feelings (listen to the song--sure, go to iTunes and download it--it's a good song, you won't regret it).

That is, the wounded ego of the male takes several different forms.  And always, always, it is sitting out there on the table--a glass vase or a metal urn--that you keep trying to move carefully around, because if you knock it accidentally, it's going to land on the floor and either shatter or make a really loud reverberating sound.  And half the time you don't know what to do with it: do you stare?  admire the engraving on it?  look off to the side or ignore it?

But sexism is an awfully big stone to pitch at a guy, especially if he's just being a guy.  And it may not be the right stone to cast.  It's like calling a guy a "witch"--which just makes me think of Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "How do you know she's a witch?"  Or the way the male media will empty the dugout and charge the mound looking for a brawl when a prominent man is accused of rape.  As though the male reputation will be forever damaged, but the woman won't be.  

Sometimes, say, with Orr, for example, it's a matter of just being a guy.  He's fallen victim to "guyism": stumbling into a sort of soft sexism without really meaning to do so.   

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