[Let me tell ya ’bout the birds and the bees/And the flowers and the trees]
I have a Facebook account. Or two. Much like reading Playboy for the articles, I have a Facebook account to keep up with the cultural memes of the
day hour minute.
And recently, this little piece of bloggery was splattered all over my Facebook feed. Have you seen it? Entitled “Seeing a Woman: A Conversation between a Father and Son,” it’s an imagined dialog the writer, Nate Pyle, will have with his young son when he catches him checking out women for the first time.
Yes, you read that correctly. As if the onset of puberty isn’t hard and embarrassing enough, dear old Dad is going to make it harder and more embarrassing – and do it in real-time.
You immediately know this author is – how shall I put this? – somewhat heavily involved with his Christian faith. If the words “lust, “blame,” and “flesh” at the beginning of the post don’t tip you off, the discussion continues with those dual causes for all evil, temptation and fear:
There are two views regarding a woman’s dress code that you will be pressured to buy into. One view will say that women need to dress to get the attention of men. The other view will say women need to dress to protect men from themselves.
Seriously, read that again. And then tell me how this quote squares with what women wear on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Is Comso’s target demographic men?
This Christian father continues:
Unfortunately, much of how the sexes interact with each is rooted in fear. Fear of rejection, fear of abuse, fear of being out of control. In some ways, the church has added to this.
No kidding, Dad. And you just added to what the church added. It’s called guilt. And you continue to heap it on. Lots and lots of guilt.
If you weren’t already a Christian father, you’d make one helluva Jewish mother.
The people who re-posted this blog on my feed are normally intelligent and should have known better but, hey, his words sounded so nice, right? Because the only true way to raise a well-adjusted boy who respects women is to tell the child to ignore women’s behavior and then feel guilty (and confused) when correctly interpreting the message deliberately being broadcast.
And why is this father even thinking about this conversation years before having it? Is it because it is the father who guiltily lusted as a woman walked by?
Talk about mixed-up motives!
(Speaking of confusion, the father makes one huge assumption: his son is straight. I’m sure the possibility that his son could be gay is the farthest thing from his Christian mind, but you have to wonder how he will modify his speech if he catches his son checking out the ripped guy with the bulging biceps at some Boy Scout meeting.)
Truth is, I feel sorry for this little boy. Despite good intentions, the father is doing everything to ensure that his son is last in line – if in line at all – for the big genetic material swap-meet that’s only a few years down the road. So, I’d like to counter-program. Here’s another conversation between a father and (presumably straight) son. Kid, I hope you’re out there reading.
Hey, come here. Let me talk to you. I saw you look at her. I’m not judging you or shaming you. I know why you did. I get it. Because I was looking at her, too.
Don’t tell your Mom.
Did you notice her shape? That’s a silly question, isn’t it? How could you not? Her clothes were intentionally designed to fit and accentuate her curves. Especially her narrow waist and wide hips. Same reason why she was wearing heels. You’ll notice her hips even more now when she walks. And did you notice the subtle make-up? Gives her face the same flushed look when she is very, very excited. In fact, her entire presentation is designed to remind you that her body is a beautiful and wonderful machine that can make babies.
You’re all stirred up by that idea, aren’t you?
Of course, you are! She got me all stirred up too!
Don’t tell your Mom.
You see, you and I aren’t divinely inspired creations. We are merely products of the great web of life on the planet Earth. We are here today because over millions of years of evolution, the life that survived best was the life that enjoyed making babies the most.
A lot of people – especially those guilty church-going folks – will tell you that if a woman’s clothes give you thoughts of baby-making, you are taking away her specialness as a person. They will tell you that you should feel guilty when your eyes wander over her because of what she is wearing – or what she is not wearing.
Well, that’s just nonsense.
In fact, it is your responsibility to not let anyone ever make you feel guilt or shame for reactions that are completely natural when encountering your own species. Our evolutionary programming is so strong and well understood that it can be used to intentionally trigger a specific response. Take, for example, that woman on Fox News, Gretchen Carlson, and compare her to that woman on MSNBC, Rachel Maddow. Do you think it’s accidental that their clothes and make-up are so different? Do you think these two women intentionally want you to experience two different things? So don’t ever feel ashamed just because you understood the visual cues being given to you, son.
You wouldn’t feel guilty admiring a beautiful flower in a meadow, would you?
You wouldn’t feel guilty watching a puffy white cloud waft over a magnificent pine-covered mountain peak, would you?
You are just appreciating the natural beauty to which your life force is tied.
That woman who just walked by is a female human, an emotional and sentient being. She is a miraculous creation of a species found only on this planet.
Just like you.
You have hundreds of thousands of years of genetic programming making you feel the way you do. Just as she has hundreds of thousands of years of genetic programming driving her to remind the world that she can make babies. So don’t be embarrassed by those carnal feelings. That’s like being embarrassed by your opposable thumb. Those powerful desires you just had, like your thumb, are gifts of evolution that helped our species survive.
Don’t fear them. Don’t judge them. Don’t subjugate them.
Embrace them. Celebrate them.
Even if you never speak to that beautiful woman, she reminded you that you are alive. That is her gift to you. Do you remember when we saw Citizen Kane?
Look at me. This is important. Any healthy human on this planet would be flattered to inspire another one. To make another human appreciate the gift of life. Relish the connection you just had with your species – to life itself! – even if that woman “didn’t see you at all.”
Oh, and one more thing: About this conversation?
Don’t tell your Mom.
She won’t understand what I just told you. That’s okay. She doesn’t have to.
If I had played by your Mom’s rules, I never would have had a chance to make babies with her. Always remember, son: women desire men who pee standing up.
They just want you to lift the seat before you do it.