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Not long ago my youngest was talking to her dad and I was in another room eavesdropping.  She was talking to him about boys and men and how she didn’t like them staring at her. “Why do they have to do that?” she asked, completely disgusted. Like many young girls these days, she’s confused about the attention she gets and confused also by her own desire to seek it. The world, feminism, and all the negative messages about men, don’t help matters at all.  All she ever hears are these negative stereotypes about stalkers, rapists, and assorted weirdos. If a man so much as looks at you, he must have evil intentions.

Objectifying women is supposedly bad, very bad, but Fems never really tell you what that message does to young girls, who are in many ways going to be biologically motivated to seek such objectification. All this nonsense about objectification is a real shaming message for boys and men, but also consider what we’re doing to girls who are going to someday desire that attention.

So her dad said, it isn’t disgusting at all. He told her he used to watch me all the time when were first dating. He told her he would drive by my work to try and catch a glimpse of me. He would ask about me, if people had seen me and what I was doing.  He told her that he couldn’t take his eyes off of me, that all he ever wanted to do was stare at me, that he lived just to catch a glimpse of me.

Trust me, I was falling madly in love with him at this point, from my secret hiding spot where I was eavesdropping, until he said, “Mostly I couldn’t take my eyes off of her because I couldn’t believe how much fried chicken she could eat.”

Oh dear, too funny. It’s true you know. Until I met him, I’d never really had fried chicken and certainly not the kind people make here, where you coat in it bacon grease, bread it, deep fry it in butter, and then bake it. I’m pretty sure such things are now illegal these days. The Trans Fat cops will kick your door down and haul you away.

I really do love this man and I regret some of the hard times we’ve had, some of the stress I added to him. It took me quite a while to cast off several unpleasant things I’d been taught about men and women, things that are so much worse today, things my own daughter is now struggling to unlearn.

I remember all those times he had to patiently explain to me that I wasn’t being very nice. It’s a dreadful thing to admit, but at the time I really didn’t know any better. If you don’t have any good role models at home and you’re born into a world that teaches you that men are to blame for everything, it does a lot of damage to potential relationships.

It’s really rather appalling, but a bit amusing to remember all the times he had to explain to me that I cannot throw things at him, cannot slam doors in his face, cannot scream at him. Cannot with hold affection, cannot glare at him, cannot refuse to speak to him. Over and over again, he had to explain that it wasn’t nice.

I really do empathize and I imagine it must be rather awful to fall in love with somebody you cannot take your eyes off of…..only to have them act as if they hate you all the time. That’s really an awful thing to do to someone. Unfortunately I think it happens a lot. It’s sad because what men really crave is respect and what so many women are taught to give is contempt.

****REPOST FROM 2015

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