Like so many older men, I came of age in a time when females were routinely taken advantage of by males. But I was never in a position to exercise dominion over the so-called weaker sex and thus I feel I’m unlikely to be caught up in the ongoing inquisition.
I learned early never to harass girls. All I have to do is try to bend my rigid right index finger and I’m reminded of the time I splashed water in the face of a coal miner’s daughter at the municipal swimming pool. Instead of splashing back, she countered by grabbing my finger and twisting it hard, which resulted in a double dislocation. I was too humiliated to seek medical attention. I mean, what would Doc Adams say if Matt Dillon were to come into his office nursing an owie inflicted by Miss Kitty? Likewise, after Diana Snow stabbed me with a number two pencil in the third grade after I had yanked on her pigtail, I didn’t run crying to the teacher. No, I just sucked it up, and ever since, whenever I’m tempted to yank a pigtail, all I have to do was look at that graphite tattoo, and immediately the urge goes away.
In high school, I wasn’t on the football team, so there was no chance I’d ever be caught in a compromising situation with, say, a pompom girl. No, I was in the marching band, where the girls wear slacks—same as the boys—and as a result neither gender has the upper hand. Honestly, I can’t think of a singe instance where a male member of the marching band ever got lucky.
In college I didn’t drink, nor did I belong to a fraternity. Academically, I was only good at things that didn’t—and still don’t—matter, which has lead to a career entailing countless hours spent hunched over a keyboard in a lonely garret with no gal Friday around to fetch me coffee and bolster my ego. Writers don’t look to get laid; they only want to get paid. Shoot! I shoulda gone into the ministry.
Or politics. Or show business, which of late has become pretty much indistinguishable from governance. Fact is, a man who occupies a seat of power, be it in Washington or Hollywood, can grab and paw females to his heart’s content. “And if you’re a star, they let you do it,” as someone once said.
As for us little men, well, best to keep that fly zipped and raincoat buttoned because–believe it or not–you CAN be arrested and sent to jail for sexual assault. Would that the same rule obtained for the orange ubergropenfuher who currently occupies the White House.