Good morning Lindz,
I understand your point perhaps better than most. However I might offer this perspective, and that’s just what it is, a take: I believe powerfully in catching people doing something right. In a world where there is a potent backlash (and to be fair, not without cause, but so was the initial version) to the #MeToo movement, I am finding more and more that where it’s possible to acknowledge goodness, graciousness, kindness, it reinforces those behaviors. Is it reasonable to want to expect, hope that men-women- all of us- treat each other with respect? OF COURSE IT IS. However, and this is the real problem, increasingly, we don’t. You and I grew up in an atmosphere of criticism, it’s what we do as humans. The only way I know how to change that conversation is to spend more time catching folks behaving well. I wish with all my heart that our NORM meant that we were gracious to each other. However social media has allowed us to take the collective gloves off and behave like cretins as a country. All I’m saying is that where I find good behavior- even though as you say we would hope that it’s the norm- it pays to acknowledge it. That goes for you, me, the guy on the street, the kid in the candy store. As a serial rape survivor, you could argue that I have reasons to be very angry at men. I’m not. It’s my choice not to be angry- but I didn’t get to that point overnight. It took a lot of hard personal work. I wrote a book on the power of words to uplift (Wordfood: How We Feed or Starve our Relationships) which speaks to the need that we all have to be validated for what we do right. Good human beings are out there, and I believe powerfully that one way that we get more of same out of them (male, female, gay, tranny, bi, makes no diff) is to thank, acknowledge, value and validate those very characteristics. That doesn’t make me right, Lindz. It’s just what I believe. I’ve found over the years that it tends to work, but that’s just me. If we all did what “should” be done, to your point, it would still be a very mixed-up world, as your set of shoulds wouldn’t necessarily agree with others’ sets of shoulds. In an ideal world- which sadly doesn’t exist- we might treat each other with genuine courtesy. Given that our college kids have experienced a 40% drop in empathy over the last ten-twelve years (U of Mich study), we are heading in the opposite direction. I can rail at that, or I can do my best to encourage redirection of that unfortunate arc. I get your point. I really do. I wish that we didn’t need to deal with cretins. But we do. It’s not so much a man problem as a hu-man problem that we have ceased to interact with gentility as a society. So when I see, experience and can validate what is good in all of us I will take the opportunity. Catching folks doing something right not only transforms them but it also graces us. That’s kinda a good thing. But again, that’s just me. Thanks for your comments and the chance to give it some serious thought.