Badassery Magazine November 2017 Issue 18 - Page 21

L adies and gentlebeings, I would have to be a rather imperceptive dolt to not be aware that a large portion of the readership of this fine publication is female. Indeed, I personally believe that it's one of the reasons for the fresh and powerful insights that are found in its pages. For that reason, it may seem as if the blurb of belles-lettres that follows is speaking to the wrong audience. Indeed, it may even feel as if I'm "preaching to the choir" or worse, attempting to impress. I assure you my dear and long suffering readers, none of the above are true. I write these words because I believe they need to be said. It's my hope that this small gesture will inspire you to share them with others, no matter the gender with which they may identify. Now that we've gotten that omi- nous ballyhoo out of the way, we may move on to the gravimen of my text. reason for my discomfiture: I was being praised for showing human decency. Dear reader, what in the nine hells does it say about us as a society when we feel the need to congratulate someone for being kind? Is it that rare an occur- rence? Have we fallen that far? The answer is as obvious as it is chilling. Very recently I was perusing the world-wide-inter-web-net and read something that struck me hard, not only with its sim- ple truth, but also because it mirrored something I had been thinking about for a long time. It went something like this: "Men who support women's rights no longer have the option to be silent and pat themselves on the back for their forward thinking. Now is the time to speak up, to act, to educate others about the dangers and the realities of gen- der-based discrimination, abuse and violence." Being the dunderhead that I am, I did not instantly write down the exact quote or who said it. (If anyone recognizes the sentiment here, please let me know so that I can provide the proper credit.) Whoever it was who gave such a potent pontification, they are ab- solutely right: Men who support women's rights no longer have the option to be passive. This can also apply to many other issues in our society, from racism to homophobia, but for the sake of brevity, I will restrict this discus- sion to one issue. It's no longer enough to sit smug- ly, congratulating ourselves for being "modern" and "forward thinking." It's no longer enough for men like myself to loudly an- nounce that we're "feminists." We have to demonstrate it with our everyday actions, not just the Recently someone gave me an extremely kind compliment. They praised me for my treat- ment of women and said that I was an "enlightened soul." (Their words I assure you.) I of course thanked the young lady, and was very appreciative of such approbation... but also very uncomfortable, and I didn't really understand why. The uneasiness stayed with me for several days until I finally decid- ed to meditate on it. Much soul searching later, I discovered the 20