In the bottom drawer of one of my file cabinets sit hundreds of rejection letters. These are from publishers, editors, agents, etc. for countless submissions of books, articles and stories. Some of the letters are nice; some include reasons why; some, probably the majority, are soulless standardized form letters. All have the same impact: momentary depression, then resolve to try again.
Did I mention I was stubborn?Of course, like most guys I’ve had twice that amount (or more) of rejections from women. It ranges from the rejection by the girl of my dreams when I was 10 to my request to sit by her in the school lunchroom, to that night at The Continental Club when 10 different women turned down my request to dance (several were even dancing in place as if they were keen to hit the dance floor).
Oh, and let me bring up here how men are required to make First Contact—as I’ve blogged before. So although the rejection still stings, we guys get used to the soul wrenching experience. No, we're not immune to the pain of the psychological slap to the face, but we drive on regardless.
I bring rejection up because it is tied to the notorious “#metoo” phenomenon. It's closely related to my blog about cat calling. Some men are good at approaching females, some not so much. Some smooth, some irresponsibly boorish. Some can knock off a woman's socks with a line, some get their blocks knocked off for saying something crass.
So a natural outgrowth of this is that some men who know they are required to make the first move, take it too far. Those who have a little prestige or power, may even begin to use that status to push the envelope. Some of these even enter the realm of going waaaay too far (sexual assault).
Now understand that I’m not implying that because men must make First Contact it's okay to be a little aggressive as long as you don't go too far. I am however implying that women have a hand in this. No, not blame for it, but responsibility for initiating an almost Pavlovian-ingrained male trait.
So why can't women understand that they have a hand in creating the situation that precipitated the #metoo problem? Just like I shouldn't be blamed for getting robbed, women shouldn't be blamed for some guy accosting them. Just like I shouldn't be blamed for waving around a bunch of money, they shouldn’t be blamed for wearing provocative clothing or walking too close to a coworker.
guiding a male behavior pattern.
Face it, men have always been aggressive when it comes to meeting females. It began when cave men would kill to claim a fertile woman to take back to the cave, transformed to a sailor home on leave from the war in the Pacific hitting on the girl serving sodas at the drug store and morphed into today's bar scene of some guy asking to dance.
Along the way, humankind has changed and modernized, but for some reason, women taking a hand in First Contact never has. So they've championed for the right to vote and equal rights, but stayed mum on taking responsibility to get a relationship off the ground.So excuse me if I only give passing acknowledgment to those #metoo advocates. No, guys shouldn't assault women or abuse them verbally, but until women make a change in behavior themselves, expect guys to make as many unwise approaches as smooth ones. After all, I've learned to never take cash out of my wallet until absolutely needed.