To be a man of power and importance these days one has to be squeaky clean. Every infraction, no matter how long ago, risks revelation. Past and present behavior may be put under the microscope at any time.
I don’t feel sorry for the Brett Kavanaughs of the world. They behaved (and often continue to behave) with entitled impunity, as was the custom of their times. So what? Slavery was a custom, too, and we don’t defend the slave owners as men of their times. White plantation owners should have known better. Careless misogynist harassers should have known better. After all, they could have heeded the wisdom of this 17th century fable.
“What did I do to be so mutilated by my master? The sorry state I’m in! Do I even dare appear in front of other dogs? O, king of the animals, or more like their tyrant, who would dare do the same to you …”
So bellowed Mouflar, a young dog. The people who had cut off his ears without pity were not touched by his pained and piercing cries. Mouflar thought he was a lost cause.
He saw with time that he’d actually gained a lot. He was of a nature to pillage his kind. So many misadventures would have sent him home with his ear in pieces. Quarrelsome dogs always have a torn ear.
The less we leave exposed to others’ teeth, the better. When we have only one spot to defend, we can protect it in a rumble. Mister Mouflar, armed with a studded collar, bears witness. Now that Mouflar has as much of an ear as I have on my hand, a wolf wouldn’t know where to attack.
Parents complain these days that it’s hard to know what to teach their sons, because the world is so perilous. They act as if teaching their sons how to behave with women is tantamount to cutting off their ears. Actually, maybe that’s just what needs to be done. Boys and men need to learn to keep their floppy … ears to themselves. They also need to learn how to treat women with respect. Starting with the golden rule. Accord women the same dignity as Mister You expects to receive, regardless of the power structure between you.
If men can follow those two simple guidelines: Respect and stay zipped. Then fewer dangly parts are exposed to others’ teeth. Misunderstandings will still arise. Getting self-righteous rarely solves the problem. Brett, did you have to be such a textbook jerk? Kindness, on the other hand, is the studded-collar that protects against unintentional or momentary missteps.
Men may think their ears have been clipped if they can’t drink to excess and fondle unwilling women, but in time they may come to see that without such youthful (or midlife or geriatric) boys-will-be-boys behavior they are less exposed to the She-Wolf’s teeth. Meanwhile women will have a better chance at success in their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Harassers rob women of their life’s potential. A side note: Whoever calculates the economic damage done to women who have denied themselves opportunities because of fear of harassment should win a Nobel Prize in economics (or maybe the Peace Prize!).
In the end, we will all benefit. Women and men will be able to enjoy their lives more and without fear.
What are these Fableogs?
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