Monday, August 10, 2015

How Men Treat Women

This thing about Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly got me thinking about how a man ought to treat a woman and why. I don’t know what they teach in New York City, but I was raised in Zalma, Missouri, where I was taught such things as a man should never hit a woman, a man should hold doors open for women, and a man should surrender his seat to a woman. And none of that had anything to do with how much I respected her, just the fact that she was a woman. Coming from that background, to see someone like Trump belittle a woman as he has done with Megyn Kelly, I am shocked. There are some lines that a man should never cross.

From Trump’s perspective, he sees his comments as justified. It is his belief that Megyn Kelly had an agenda to attack him. Even though she used his own words to do it, he believes she was angry and was out for blood. Let’s assume he is correct. What’s wrong with him crossing that line and belittling her?

It goes back to the reason boys are taught not to hit a girl. By the time they reach manhood, boys have the strength with which they could do significant damage to a woman and you can be sure that women are aware of this. If a woman has reason to fear a man, she does not have the freedom to act as his equal. Lacking the means to defend herself, she will choose her words and actions so that she will not anger him. But when a woman knows a man will not harm her, she is free to speak to him as an equal. That is also part of what doing things like holding doors for women and surrendering a seat on a bus communicates. It isn’t that a woman is unable to open a door, to stand on a bus, or to carry heavy packages. But that simple gesture tells a woman and any who happen to see it, “I will not harm you. You are safe.”

Treating all people with respect is important, but I believe it is even more important for a man to treat women with respect. A man should never give a woman reason to fear him. People are watching. If one man belittles a woman, another man may see that as acceptable behavior. What manifests itself as the words of one man may well manifest itself as a physical attack from another.