I suppose if I could say one good thing about Donald Trump (making Hillary Clinton look like a better US Presidential candidate isn’t “good”, as she’s hardly a saint), it’s that he’s made me feel better about myself. Purely by accident, of course, because I’m not an American voter, and even if I were, he only truly cares about himself and (possibly) his business cronies. I’d never vote for him… because he doesn’t want votes from people like me, he wants latter-day Brown Shirts, and I’m better than that.
You may remember my vitriolic outburst against racist scumbags in my own country, emboldened by Brexit but always with us; indeed, I was uncannily prescient about how they’d go after gays next (according to a song sung in Trafalgar Square)! I also somehow predicted in that post (not that it took a “yuge” mental leap) that Trump would salivate at the thought of access to nukes, but naively, I had no idea about the depths of his sexism… yes, I’m on about the recording of him boasting about grabbing women by the P-word and so on, something which incenses me.
No, I’m not on the Internet just to say “ooh, I’m offended”, so if you’re reading, Stephen Fry, please rein in your contempt (well, for that specific thing at least, I know I’m not as erudite as your good self!). What I want to say is that I genuinely feel I’m better than the scumbags voting for Trump because, in addition to Muslims and Mexicans being kicked out, they appear to want women returned to their former second-class status (some even apparently want the 19th Amendment rolled back), in the same way that I feel I’m better than the aforementioned sub-humans who join the BNP and EDL in this country.
Why? Well, first of all, the reason I’m incensed is that there’s this notion that all heterosexual men are supposed to be like Trump — brash, arrogant and trash-talking women while around other men. Now, I’ve been told off in the past for letting the side down (how naively I thought back then that I’d only complain about my love life just that once!), and indeed on one occasion, by a friend I respected, for not thinking about a close female friend in sexual terms. I’ve never been that way, and never been comfortable with this so-called “locker room talk”; I think it’s because I don’t want to share my sexuality with other blokes — I want to find a woman for me, not so I can compete with those buttmunches, as generally other men’s opinion of me is irrelevant and valueless.
And no, I’m not “p*ssy-whipped”, or a “well-trained man”, responding in some kind of Pavlovian manner to psychological manipulation by the “superior sex” — I got here on my own.
(Well, okay, maybe it’s thanks in some part to my mother and grandmother, as well as “female best friend” and “other female best friend”, amongst others — but rather than training, they simply showed me that women deserve respect!)
As with never wanting to get drunk (I was once wrongly complimented for this apparent “willpower”), it’s not some conscious opposition to my nature, it’s the way I am. I’m an intelligent and compassionate person who doesn’t see empowered women as a threat, or demand that they “know their place”, and I’m not trying desperately to prove I’m “modern” and “right-thinking” in the face of feminism, fearful of ending up being lumped with the scumbags I despise. I agree with feminism — or at least what it’s supposed to be, the drive for gender equality.
This is why I no longer think I’m some immature manchild. Yes, I play violent video games (just got Doom for my birthday — thanks Mumsy!), listen to heavy metal (*cough*GWAR*cough*), watch cartoons (though Futurama and South Park aren’t exactly for kids!) and make goofy jokes all the time, but I don’t arrogantly flirt with women like they’re obliged to submit to me, and then insult them when they fail to respond as they “should”. Those are the truly immature men, the ones who are stuck in a worthless past that we shouldn’t aspire to restore, thinking they’ve some $DEITY-given right to do whatever they want simply because of their genitalia.
(Like Trump, of course, but let’s not give him too much airtime in this blog…)
I don’t want all heterosexual men to end up as second-class citizens, desperately trying to atone for simply being attracted to women, as some kind of sins-of-the-father reparation (I’m sure you’ll recall me saying something similar three years ago, and probably many times thereafter) — it’s the swaggering, arrogant kind I consider to be relics of the past. Forgive me for my hubris, but I truly believe I’m better than them — not because I grew out of that immature chauvinism, but because (aside from holding some foolish opinions after getting hurt now and again) I was NEVER like that, and never wanted to be. I don’t understand why men act in such abhorrent ways towards women, and frankly I hope I never do; it reminds me too much of the bullies at school.
Yeah, I’ve long fantasised about women (because I’m not gay, just in case that point isn’t clear), but never about abusing or degrading them, or treating them like disposable objects. True, I want to be a dashing hero who rescues a beautiful damsel (which you might still think is a bit old-fashioned), but rest assured she would come to me out of desire, rather than reluctantly believing she’s obliged to “reward” me. And yes, since it’s a fantasy, I’d have the lovemaking abilities of a god, and leave her utterly satisfied — not to gain some kind of power over her, but to make her happy.
I think this newly-discovered maturity is why I hold no grudge against any of the women I’ve dated but with whom it didn’t work out — especially the most recent one, who I really thought was a keeper. It was disappointing, but I’m glad she was honest with me that she didn’t feel the spark, and I didn’t demand she retroactively pay me for the meal, like some kind of refund (yes, that kind of thing actually happens, for a tabloid definition of “happens”).
I know I’ve complained in the past about how hard it is to find someone, but I’ve grown up during my search over the past few years (perhaps in part thanks to this blog), and I’m sensible enough now to know it’s not because womankind as a whole is too stuck-up to give me a chance, but just bad luck and a lack of self-confidence on my part (and low motivation when I was in my 20s, possibly because I had close female friends and didn’t feel a desperate yearning).
Of course, I might just be a great big coward who’s afraid to try anything too forward with women in case I get accused of heinous sexism (and wonder whether a richer, better-looking guy would be condemned for the same action), but I like to think I’m actually a good guy by nature… am I right? Can I chart a course between swaggering Scylla and sulking Charybdis*, and be quietly confident with the right woman, thrilling rather than offending or boring her?
(How many Trump supporters know what I mean, or even think anyone should care? I’ve no problem with a lack of knowledge, but their rampant anti-intellectualism is something I utterly despise!)
If I do find someone and raise a family with her, and other good guys do the same, will this lead to a new generation of men who behave like civilised beings instead of cavemen, but instead of doing so out of fear of retribution from female peers (or cynically in an attempt to get girls), do it simply because it’s the right thing to do…?