So, when Sabbatical started, I set about to write my very first book. Truth be told, I performed admirably, getting about 75% of the way to the finish line by the time I had returned to work. I would like to tell you that the reason I am still stuck at 75% is that work has been busy, but that's just not true. I've been held back by good olde American laziness.
Fear not however, there is hope! I've emerged lately with a renewed desire to finish this bugger, and that in part means blogging every day. You might be saying to yourself, "Hey, that sounds a lot like procrastination!" And you couldn't be more right. But at least in this procrastination there is an effort being made toward writing, and I'm hoping beyond all hope that I can follow that up with actual words on a page toward the book. We'll see how that all plays out in a few weeks. I've set a deadline for myself of the end of the month, so you as the internet can help keep me accountable. I have no idea how that could backfire, but it will.
Pressing on, I need to get something off my chest. Yesterday I was driving and listening to NPR, where a reporter was interviewing a few Trump supporters. When the interviewer asked the supporter if she could defend Mr. Trump's comments, she said something that bothered me to the core. (For the record, this is not a political post meant to endorse one candidate or another, so if your comment on this blog or on Facebook includes the name of either candidate you did it wrong). She said something to the effect of "Listen, I know ALL men talk like this when no one is around. Maybe in public they put on a good face, but everyone engages in this kind of talk around women when it's just the boys."
This offends me more than anything anyone has said in this past election cycle. I am a man. I don't talk like that. I hang out with a bunch of dudes in my life. We don't talk like that. To be certain, there are conversations and times in my life that I look back on and say "I probably could have done better there," but to assume that any time a group of gentlemen get together we're going to talk about sexual assault is a good bit offensive to me.
More than that, it's really offensive how much that excuse is understood in the American psyche. Not a whole lot people I know question the idea of "locker room talk" being a fabrication. It's not hard to imagine that this is simply how men talk. Why is it not hard? Because some men do talk like that, and sadly they seem to talk the loudest. But they don't represent me, and I would prefer if I not be lumped in with them. It's a reputation that a few live up to, not a majority.
And even if there were a majority of men in this country that spoke like that in private, in locker rooms, that wouldn't be ok either. Using it as an excuse is about akin to saying that murder is just in human nature, so whatcha gonna do? So perhaps this is a plea to those who find themselves in a locker room with someone who engages in such demeaning talk, to step in and stop it. Perhaps this is a plea to what's left of our humanity to say that if that's really the way the world works we ought to fix it. I don't think it's a prevalent as some imagine. I know for a fact that not all men talk that way. There are a few of us who are still gentlemen, rather than behaving like dudes.