Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mr. Hyde visits the Thurber Brigade

While jogging through the greenbelt near my home I encountered three kids huddled around a broken toy guitar. It looked like one of those things that if you push a button it would play a song and the user could pretend to be playing that song. Basically, a visible air guitar.

Anyway, it obviously was not working and the kids were trying to fix it. There were two boys and a girl. As I drew nearer I could hear them and the girl wanted to take it to her Dad to fix. However, the large boy to the right of her thought by banging it on the sidewalk it would fix it. The girl protested vigorously but as she was much smaller, and the other boy was rather muted (probably fearful of the larger guy), the big boy prevailed and proceeded to bang the thing on the cement.

Of course it didn't fix it, and for all I know (I had run past them) it broke even more.

Now, before I go further, let me state that I often do my best thinking while jogging. My mind seems to clear from other things and I can meditate on things I believe important, or can delve deeper into philosophical thoughts. On this occasion, it was the latter.

As I continued down the green belt I thought how those children were the perfect representation of our society. The female a representation of reasonable thought, the smaller boy just like the masses that go along apathetically, and the bigger boy the typical male who believes force can solve everything.

For years I've postulated that our society advances by male and female working in tandem. The male is the wild stallion whose muscle can be used to build; the female, using reason, must tame the stallion so that his work can be productive. 

In a previous blog I mentioned how often women think men are childish when we males begin to jostle and elbow each other. This isn’t childish behavior, this is male behavior. We’re a much more aggressive species and it’s natural for us to use this aggressiveness. But I’m not going to rehash that thought.

No, I just wanted to point out along similar lines that men often think it’s reasonable to use force to fix things. A guy is making too much noise at the next table? Shout at him angrily to get him to quiet down. A cop encounters a man sleeping on the sidewalk where he shouldn’t be?  Kick him in the side.  A guy cuts in line? Push him violently out of it.  A dictator of a country gives the president the finger? Bomb the hell out of that country.  Okay, this last one is taking it to extremes, but you get the picture.

We guys like to use force.  Some might say we're violent, often evilly violent.  I don't think we're inherently violent, it's more that we're aggressive and sometimes can take it to extremes if not controlled.  We’re bred and taught this at a young age. If you accidentally break the lamp while running through the house, Dad will spank you to teach you not to be so reckless. If you want to impress your friends at school, you have to prove your physical prowess, either through sports or pushing that little guy into the locker.

So this is where women fit in the society equation. They must tame that wild stallion.  Instead of letting Dad paddle Junior, maybe she can get him to talk to the tyke instead. Explain how the boy must be more careful. 
When rough-housing between men begins to escalate, instead of egging their men on to teach the other guy a lesson (think bar fight), maybe the women could urge both men to calm down and think of the consequences.
When wars are going on, men on the front line dream of going home to their wives.  Wives of men in power can often open those men’s eyes to the suffering of the men on the front line.

I mentioned this before in a blog too, one of the best episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 involved women in power. They were space refugees looking for a new home. When asked why men were not in charge, the answer was: oh, no, men are far too emotional.
What I am getting to in all of this is that as much as I think it’s funny to talk about the differences between men and women, to point out the goofiness, bad habits and traits of each, it’s quite clear that men and women belong together as a team.

Humankind has made some amazing advancements over the centuries and it’s all because the stallion and the horse trainer worked together to make it so.

Oh, I will keep making fun of women drivers, keep pointing out the mixed messages we guys get from women and probably irritate one or two feminists in the future, but rest assured I understand how the game is played.