Sunday, February 01, 2009

I know males are necessary, but...

Maybe it was all the testosterone after the Super Bowl, I don't know. I only know this was Super Bowl Sunday because all the papers said so.

I was leaving the condo complex this evening, to park the car outside as our garages are still full of junk. Tuesday is when that issue gets resolved. Another car was pulling out of a parking space ahead of me so I stopped to wait. Nothing special about me doing that, it was Sunday evening, I'm not rushing anywhere.

A car pulls up behind me, and the driver leans on the horn - very seriously. It just caught me wrong so I got out and walked back to his car. A very red-faced man screaming

"Do you want me to kill you? Do you want me to {expletive deleted} kill you?"

This screamed from inside the car, with the windows all closed and, who knows, perhaps with the doors locked.

I shrugged and said "Not particularly. I just wanted to know what was wrong" and returned to my car.

This is the second time in my life I have been faced with this kind of excessive, violent threat. The first time, a car was driven directly at me. The driver in that case, I concluded, had just seen too much television. Of course nothing happened, although I may not be making sufficient allowance for stupidity.

Most of the violence in the world can be laid at the door of males. Gruesome, excessive, exaggerated violence. This is not to suggest that the female of the species is a wilting violet. I don't believe that for an instant. But the numbers really stack up on one side of the equation.

I, for I am male, have had my own fantasies of, what's the term, "ultra-violence" (thank you Stanley Kubrick), but in the realm of fantasy they remain. And it was a fantasy for the idiot behind the wheel of the car this evening. There was no way he was going to kill me. It would have taken him too long to achieve it and my car was still blocking his.

It was a road with too poor an end for him to really go down it.

But that is not the case in so many parts of the world. The road is well-trodden. In fact it is a wide and mighty highway, strewn with the bodies of, all too often, women and children.

This really has to end. Parthenogenesis is perhaps too radical a solution - though males would have little defense against the necessity of it, from the perspective of the species, should it ever come to pass on a wide scale.

I am in favor of far wider access to positions of power for women. Throughout society, throughout all societies. This is not likely to lead us to sit, join hands and sing. The world is too complex and difficult a place for that. But we would likely stop killing and maiming one another with the current levels of efficiency and enthusiasm.

Too simplistic? Probably. But there are real differences between the genders. The numbers tell us that. It's time to place a bet on the other side of the equation.

For myself, I can only try to add my reactions and attitude to the non-violent side of every situation in which I find myself.

This evening I drove out of the complex and pulled to the side of the road to allow the car behind me roar past. And roar it did.

He may not have followed through on his reaction to me. There is something about trying to kill someone with your bare hands that is - difficult. The real danger is that he had 2,000 lbs of vehicle available to him and he wasn't in complete control of himself. It's probable nobody died tonight at his hand or under his wheels. But it's not his fault they didn't.

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