As long as we are a nation of “us vs. them” gridlock will reign. At some point there will have to be an acknowledgement that both sides have more in common than that which separates them. Certainly that is the hope, but in truth there are many who maintain that one group — as a whole — is less moral, honest, gifted and decent than the other. Sorry to say, I agree.
I am loathe to admit that I am one of those people who feel that one side is in fact less moral, gifted and honest. And that would be men. I’m not easily embarrassed, but sometimes I am ashamed of my gender. Now, to be clear, I am not ashamed all of my manly brethren, only some/many males, particularly those in recent headlines.
Can anyone in their wildest dreams (or nightmares) imagine former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or Condoleezza Rice, texting lewd pictures of themselves to a young person as Anthony Weiner did to several young women?
Or how about the former governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, telling staff he was hiking the Appalachian Trail when instead he was flying to South America to hang with his Brazilian mistress? To be clear, who of us isn’t fond of Brazilians, but could anyone conceive of Governors Mary Fallen or Maggie Hassan doing something as foolish as that?
Then you have San Diego Mayor Bob Filner who is accused of aggressively sexually harassing several young women, including a Navy rear admiral. Evidently, Filner confused the title “rear admiral” as not a rank but an invitation.
And who can forget Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, who was arrested for trying to pick up an undercover cop by playing footsies in an airport restroom.
What offends me as much as Wiener, Sanford, Filner and Craig’s behavior is their arrogance in doing something so stupid and so easy to get busted doing. I have no respect for an inept criminal.
Now contained in this group of losers there are Democrats, Republicans, conservatives and progressives, old and young. What they all have in common is that they are all men.
I love being a guy. True, our life expectancy is slightly shorter than women’s, but we spend a lot less time waiting for our turn in public restrooms. Generally men, all things being equal, are stronger and faster than women. I particularly enjoy this because if I wasn’t a guy I would be even further behind my mate when we bike, hike and ski. But still there is a creepy-gene that is absent in women yet present in many men. Take restrooms, for instance. I double-dog-dare you to Google “Hiding under public toilets” and see what comes up. You will get countless stories of people getting caught hiding (sometimes filming) under outhouses and Porta-Pottys — all of them men.
I won’t begin to suggest that women are more intelligent than men, only less stupid and definitely less creepy. You don’t have to look far to find foolish statements and bad behavior issued by both sexes but it seems men have the “creepy” behavior market cornered.
I don’t think this is necessarily the case in the animal kingdom. Granted that in animals there are distinct behaviors confined to each gender but as far as one being more prone to aggressiveness and cruelty there seems to be more in common between the sexes. On the other hand, in the human race, men are almost nine times more likely to commit murder, four times more likely to drive recklessly and three times more likely to drive drunk. The only arena in which women can hold their own, crime wise, is embezzling. They are almost twice as likely to steal from an employer — and a woman is way more likely to yell at her husband because he neglected to buy organic lettuce because the other stuff was half the price. (Sorry, I shouldn’t have personalized this.)
Seems the biggest disparity between men’s and women’s bad behavior, is in terms of sex. Perhaps this can be explained by testosterone vs. estrogen. It has been said that women need a reason to make love and men only need a place. For women it is often about love, connection and intimacy; some men need to look no further than a cell phone or a Porta-Potty.
For the record, even though I’m a guy, I would never do any of those above-mentioned creepy acts. Granted, wives are nine times less likely to murder, but I already have two strikes against me due to my poor lettuce choice, so I don’t want to take the chance.
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on TV-8-Summit and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.