Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … October 1st, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Woman: I’ve decided to write a blog.

 

Man: Oh, really? Well, I’ll read it.

 

Woman: You don’t even know what I’m gonna write about.

 

Man: I still can be supportive.

 

Woman: That’s my point. I’m going to write about the fact that minorities in this country will not receive the respect they desire until they learn how to give equality and honor to women.

 

Man: Wow. That’s strong.

 

Woman: It probably is. And like most strong ideas, it certainly needs to be tempered by reason. But I would rather start off with a bold statement and trim it back than take a trimmed statement and say it boldly.

 

Man: I suppose. But when you say minorities, what are you talking about?

 

Woman: Well, let’s say Blacks, Latinos and Muslims. Jesus made an important statement. He declared that “the measure we put out to other people will be measured back to us.”

 

Man: That he did. So what you’re saying is that you believe the Black, Latino and Muslim communities fail to give women the status they deserve, and therefore end up suffering themselves.

 

Woman: Exactly. Even though there are many strong humans who are women in the Black and Latino communities, there is still an underlying message that to some degree, women are subordinate.

 

Man: I notice you left out the Muslims.

 

Woman: I didn’t leave them out–but in the Muslim community, it is even more pronounced that women are supposed to take a role rather than having an equal place.

 

Man: What do you mean by “taking a role?”

 

Woman: I’ll give you an example. During the Victorian era, it was considered that women would stay in the home and men would do the work–breadwinner, as it were. Simultaneously, in the world we were struggling with prejudice against immigrants and also the evil and indignity of slavery. So because we did not know how to treat women, the other aspects of human interaction were also stalled.

 

Man: I can see your point, but you certainly know that the Black, Latino and Muslim communities will cite many examples where the females in their cultures are revered.

 

Woman: There’s a difference between being equal and being revered. Matter of fact, you can revere someone so you don’t have to give them a voice. You can say, “Doesn’t she make a great mother? Isn’t she a wonderful cook? What would we do without her organizational skills?” But you’re still withholding her God-given privilege of even footing.

 

Man: I see that. But I still think you’re going to meet a lot of resistance from these communities with your blog.

 

Woman: As well I should. Making a statement is not establishing a truth. The truth is a quest that is fulfilled after we’re confronted with many statements.

 

Man: So what do you think they should do in these communities?

 

Woman: Question themselves. It’s the very best we can ask of anyone. Stop being so sure you have your own natural order that works, and instead, realize that women are more than “baby mamas,” spitfires and humans who have to wear head coverings to establish their submission.

 

Man: Do you think that’s even possible?

 

Woman: If you had told a man in 1874 that a woman would be on her way to the polls to vote for Hillary Clinton, he would have called you a ridiculous liar.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … September 17th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Do you want to have children?

 

Dear Man: No, but I’d like to have a family.

 

Dear Woman: What’s the difference?

 

Dear Man: Huge! A family is a group of people sitting around the living room, all of which have been potty trained and know the working end of a Kleenex, enjoying pizza night and watching Disney movies.

 

Dear Woman: And children would be…?

 

Dear Man: Creatures who suddenly appear, squalling and pooping everywhere, trying to control the environment.

 

Dear Woman: That’s pretty negative.

 

Dear Man: I’ve always found it better in life to work backwards from negative to find positive things, instead of leaping in with happy-go-lucky, to later retract your statements because of the abundance of weirdness.

 

Dear Woman: I would like us to have a baby.

 

Dear Man: You see, that’s the problem. Vestiges of male chauvinism and female oppression lie dead-center in the middle of this process of procreation. It’s further accentuated by the new domineering attitude–especially in black and Latino communities, which portray women as “Baby Mamas,” and these conquering studs spreading their seed across several different mothering units.

 

Dear Woman: Wow. That’s harsh. Maybe even racist.

 

Dear Man: Sexist is worse than racist. I don’t care if you’re black, brown, or whatever color you are–if you’re treating the mother of your children like she is a nanny, then you’re wrong.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I wanted to have children together.

 

Dear Man: But what does that mean? In our society, we have single moms, but single dads are kind of a joke. In other words, if a man stays home and decides to take care of his children we think he’s a lazy bum, but if a woman does it, she’s a responsible female who has made a positive choice for her youngsters.

 

Dear Woman: I can see that. But how would you rectify it? I mean, what would you do to even the playing field so men and women can be perceived as partners in this project of birthing and raising a child?

 

Dear Man: Get rid of sentimentality. Mother’s love is not stronger than father’s love–not in our species. A woman getting tears in her eyes because she’s thinking about her children does not mean she loves them more. You love them more if you work with your partner to turn them into decent human beings instead of rapists, serial killers, televangelists and politicians. And not necessarily in that order.

 

Dear Woman: I think I understand what you’re trying to say. You want me to be as invested emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you are forced to be physically.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. The same amount of effort it takes to transform my body into a birthing machine is the same kind of commitment I want both of us to have, to change ourselves into parenting units.

 

Dear Woman: So what would you change?

 

Dear Man: As I said, get rid of the sentimentality about mother’s love being superior to father’s love. Then involve the man in the process of the conception, birthing and raising of the child as an equal participant, not merely a bread-winner. And stop putting special significance on one sex over another when it comes to the care, maintenance and maturing of the child.

 

Dear Woman: I agree with all of that.

 

Dear Man: Maybe you do. But that will mean that most nights you’re not going to be able to go off with your buddies and watch the game, but instead, stay home with your child and me, watching the game on TV, laughing and doing puzzles.

 

Dear Woman: I can do that. Matter of fact, when you explain it this way, it seems like the way it should be. But because we want to maintain the superiority of the man over the woman, we manufacture this false sense of “ultimate motherhood.”

 

Dear Man: Absolutely. I don’t mind having children with you if we can change diapers, change attitudes and change directions as parents together.

 

Dear Woman: Most people will think that’s weird.

 

Dear Man: That’s why most people have children that are out of control instead of offspring they can be proud of.

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The First Valentine … February 14, 2013

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I wake up this morning terribly curious about what miracles St. Valentine would have performed to gain his station in the Mother Church. It is required in the Catholic experience, that each saint have two confirmed miracles. What would they be for Val? Maybe he lived in Hollywood–and was able to stay married for more than seven months. Perhaps instead of just saying that women are equals to men, he believed it and followed through. Maybe he enjoyed shopping and cooking with his spouse.

I’m not sure. But what I know about love, romance, women and the interaction between the sexes, I learned elsewhere. I learned it from a man who never treated a woman any differently from the dudes hanging around.

  • He didn’t create a separate message for men and another one for women, pretending they were at odds with each other.
  • Simultaneously, he demanded that women be human instead of following the darker parts of the internal nature.
  • He called them on their lies, not winking and pretending like it is a female prerogative.
  • He welcomed and blessed their children.
  • He forgave them when they fell.
  • He honored them when they made a good point that he hadn’t considered.
  • He included them without exception.
  • He never separated them off into women’s meetings.
  • He made them apostles and messengers of what was dear in his heart.
  • He was not ashamed to accept their financial help, citing some sort of macho philosophy of only men being bread winners.
  • He praised their faith.
  • At no time did he ever make them the butt of a joke, even when he was alone in a testosterone-driven circle.
  • He protected them against religion, politics and culture, which wanted to relegate them to being “birthers” instead of fellow-laborers.

I didn’t learn much from St. Valentine. Everything I learned about how to treat, love, labor and interact with a woman was imparted to me at the feet of the Master.

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