Everything has consequences. I was both gratified and surprised that my post yesterday stuck such a resonant chord for so many people. It turned out to be my second most read post in the nearly ten month history of the blog. Most people seemed to react positively — but not everyone. One respondent suggested I was going too far in extrapolating the behavior of a person at a sports event where they had been drinking to what they would likely do at work. The suggestion was that alcohol loosened his tongue and he said things drunk he wouldn’t say sober.
It’s a reasonable idea — though the individual didn’t seem that inebriated to me. My own experience is that alcohol doesn’t change people; it makes them more of what they essentially are. While the individual might not act like a boor at work, he must certainly want to — and desires almost always find a way of expressing themselves. Still, the evidence is unclear.
One fellow suggested I went too far in suggesting that our culture devalues crimes against women and that this would turn off part of my potential audience — that it, men. The assumption is that it would turn away all men but clearly he only meant those men who disagree that this might be true, not those men (and there are many of them) who deplore sexism and its consequences and are working hard to make sure it is no longer true.
It is likely correct that some men would object to my statements and would stop reading me. So what? Most people in the world don’t read me anyway. Having people who are blind to sexism not reading me is okay with me. The job of a writer is not to say things that anyone or everyone might find acceptable. If it was all we would ever read is pap. The job of a writer is to speak truth as they see it — which will gratify those who agree, make those who are open to new thoughts, think, and turn off the rest. Or, as it turns out, leave them indifferent. A friend of mine — far more successful than me — says it is better to be loved by 50,000 readers than liked by a million — you sell more books that way.
Finally, one woman — it was a woman’s name but on the Internet who knows — suggested that my facts were completely wrong and that I was only taking the position I was because I was a false feminist, a weakling who wanted to feel manly by portraying women as victims and then coming to their rescue on-line.
Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion, I guess. Certainly there are women who seem to feel that men are more the victim here than anyone else. White men perhaps (she did take a backhand swipe at Islam in her opening remarks). Personally, I don’t see this as solely a feminist issue — it is a human rights issue, as well, which includes the right to have a safe and respectful workplace. Something for which I’ve always fought for everyone. But in any case, I approved her comments for all to see. You, dear reader, whoever you are, can be the judge.
But that’s ten minutes.