by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
December 13, 2006
MAN, ARE THEY OFF BASE
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- He leads an all-male prayer group at his church. That means he hates women.
Yes, I know. The above sentence is utterly ridiculous
- a faulty analysis and conclusion. I did it
deliberately to prove a point - that individual
feminists and feminists groups hear this kind of
monkey manure every day.
The man in the opening statement is a real person - let's call him Henry - and he does lead an all-male prayer group at his church. I seriously doubt, however, that Henry hates women. Does he fear free-thinking, independent women? Yes.
The first and only time I've encountered Henry was when he dropped by my home where his partner was doing some plumbing work in my kitchen.
Using a common tactic (it works every time) of women to get men to acknowledge our existence, I talked to Henry about his work - his business structure; how did he feel about government interference in small businesses; illegal aliens and the anti-America employers who employ them, etc.
Sure enough, about 30 long minutes later Henry paused in the new silence and said, "And what do you do?"
Now, at this point a woman has to talk fast because the question is usually void of any real interest and most men's attention span when they are not talking about themselves is about as long as a mite's eyelash.
(If you think I invent this stuff, I do not. Psychology Today conducted some research on what they called "conversational politics" - daily conversations between men and women. Conclusion: Men do more than 70 percent of the talking and they expect women to grunt in all the right places and mutter "Oh, really? How interesting!" when a man pauses to catch his breath.)
I rushed to tell Henry about the work of my foundation and hastily gave him the web-site address we had at that time.
Next morning, as the handyman was finishing up in my kitchen, he said "Henry logged on to your web-site last night."
Ever so grateful for having my existence validated, I uttered "And?" To which the handyman replied "He said you all are just one more bunch of women who hate men."
I rest my weary feminist case - and refer you to my opening paragraph.
Do you know of any cause by any group other than concerned feminist groups to which such asinine, erroneous conclusions are applied?
If a group of black men were working to prepare African American males for better jobs in the technological field would anyone say of them "They must hate women."
Did anyone ever say of the peace-loving, cause-driven, warriors Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, "There go men who hate women, white men and the British?"
Furthermore, can you name even one individual or group dedicated to helping others inch forward into the fresh air of "Freedom, equality, independence and justice for all" who are as maligned and viciously labeled as are feminists and feminist groups?
I'm betting you can't - with the possible exception of the "gay rights" groups, and even of this group few heterosexual males rarely declare: "Them homos must really hate us real men."
On that subject, I'm betting if you scratch a heterosexual, homophobic male you'll find a man frightened to death he might have one homosexual brain cell, or that everybody might notice his need for the company of other men. Strange, isn't it, how so many heterosexual men practice a kind of emotional homosexuality by preferring the company of other men to that of their wives and children.
I once lived within walking distance of a nice restaurant where I went often for a country breakfast. Every morning there was a large gathering of men joking, laughing and guzzling endless cups of coffee. "They never eat," the restaurant owner complained to me. "They just come and go all morning, swigging down coffee until almost noon."
Emotional homosexuality? I don't know. I do know that if a bunch of women congregated like that every morning at a local café we'd be accused of husband and child neglect.
Why, then, do so many men pounce on individual feminists and feminists groups? I suspect their fear lies in feeling threatened by women who work outside the home - women who have proven they can take care of themselves. They may want a man in their lives but they don't have to have one. Of such women, one man said to me "If you women would stay home where you belong maybe so many men wouldn't be out of work."
As though the work force is not made of huge numbers of single working moms who rarely receive a penny in child support. Walked there. Did that. Cried a lot.
As though men would rush to fill the low-paying cashier, waitress, nurses' aide, chief pencil sharpener, head stamp licker, go-fer Girl Friday and Mama's Day Care positions now held primarily by women.
As though any man is going to put in the 16-plus hours any working wife or single mom puts in - eight on the job and at least that many more at home.
That individual feminists and feminists groups are subjected daily to nasty names by insecure, little men is part of the price we pay gladly for our daughters and their daughters. We pay it that they might fly and never have to crawl through the mud of male stupidity which needs to cruelly label that which it fears more than anything else in the world - free-thinking, independent women. Extreme example: Muslim men.
Independent, self-defined women are lovers of good, wise men, and they pause occasionally to call to the little Henrys of the world.
"Hi, Henry" they say. "Tell me about your all-male Bible-study group, your work, your plans, your dreams. Teach me. And if you have more than 30 seconds I'd like to tell you about my work and my dreams. And what I can teach you, Henry, you won't find at your prayer circle or in your handyman's manual titled 'How to Un-stop a Stubborn Kitchen Sink'."
Elizabeth T. Andrews is a former Orlando Sentinel columnist now living in Cartersville, Ga., where she writes poetry. She can be contacted at email@example.com or P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.