Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … October 8th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3088)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Woman: November, 1976. Forty years ago.

 

Man: That’s before you and I were born.

 

Woman: I know, but they do have history books. You might want to check one out sometime.

 

Man: Why? It’s just a bunch of older people doing the same dumb things we do with less cool clothes.

 

Woman: I assume you’re trying to be funny. Anyway, it was the November issue of Playboy Magazine in 1976, when Jimmy Carter, running for President, made a statement. Everybody was very upset that he did an interview with Playboy. But the admission he made rang out all across the country, reverberating with everything from respect to ridicule.

 

Man: Wait a second–I think I remember this. Something about his heart, and lust.

 

Woman: Yes. When he was asked if he had ever cheated on Rosalynn, he said no, but he had “lusted in his heart.”

 

Man: Where did he get that?

 

Woman: It’s something Jesus said. The quote is, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery in his heart.”

 

Man: That sounds a little “prudey.”

 

Woman: That’s the way you might take it, but it’s not like that–especially with what’s happened in the last 24 hours, with Donald Trump’s comments about women.

 

Man: Absolutely ugly and distasteful.

 

Woman: That’s not what I’m talking about. The real problem is that equality between the sexes cannot be achieved as long as men see a woman and think “lust” and women are grateful for that, or even proud to be show horses.

 

Man: But there has to be an attraction between the sexes.

 

Woman: Yes, but a man can’t look on a woman just to lust after her and think we’re going to progress the race. It is a setup for inconsideration, abuse, violence, rape and even murder.

 

Man: I see. Because if his intentions are rejected, then he feels that she’s failed to fulfill her part of the bargain by being available.

 

Woman: Exactly. So you see, the problem is not what Donald Trump says, but the way we try to isolate it off and pretend he’s the only one who feels this way, by insisting that men have only one thing on their minds.

 

Man: And therefore, women have one thing on their minds–to try to fulfill that mental image of “sexy” so as to gain importance and worth.

 

Woman: So the key here is, how can we look on each other as people, knowing that in the process, every once in a while some passion and lust will rise up, but it will be based on a mutual understanding.

 

Man: It’s funny–most people would listen to what Jesus said and think he was a tight-assed religionist. But really, he was a humanist trying to get the male and female to honor one another without demanding the initiation of physical intimacy.

 

Woman: You hit it right on the head. So my prayer is that through this discussion about Donald Trump, we’ll get to the real root cause of inequality.

 

Man: Let me guess–until men know that the greatest way to welcome a woman is to include her emotionally, spiritually and mentally, we will continue to have flagrant outbursts from jerks who misuse women to prove their virility.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … August 27th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3046)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: My girlfriend broke up with me.

 

Dear Man: Well, don’t look at me. I know you too well to be your girlfriend.

 

Dear Woman: I wasn’t flirting–just sharing.

 

Dear Man: And I was just kidding. What happened?

 

Dear Woman: According to her, nothing. That was the problem. She said I was too predictable.

 

Dear Man: And predictable is a problem because…?

 

Dear Woman: Because of the way we began. I think we believed we were overall attracted to one another, but it was just a sexual connection. We thought we could transform that spark into something more lasting.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t that true of every relationship? You start off with the hots, it chills, and then you try to find something cool.

 

Dear Woman: I don’t think so. I think there are relationships that are just sexual, but we’re afraid to admit this to ourselves, so we try to force conversation over delivered pizza.

 

Dear Man: So what is the difference between a sexual relationship and another?

 

Dear Woman: Well, let’s take an arbitrary number. How about 422? Yes, after the 422nd time you have sex, about everything that can possibly be physically discovered about each other has been completed. So then you either have a personal interest which sustains the coupling, or you start picking at each other, looking for a reason to split.

 

Dear Man: So do you think it’s about a personal interest?

 

Dear Woman: No, I don’t think a personal interest sustains two people, either. It must become a mutual interest. There has to be a reason to coagulate.

 

Dear Man: Coagulate? What an interesting word.

 

Dear Woman: Yes. It’s like blood clotting, You have so much going on with each other that you turn into a common scab.

 

Dear Man: Honestly, I think that’s the end of that analogy.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, you’re probably right. But if a sexual interest does not have a personal interest which ends up with a mutual interest, you’re going to bounce off to the next piece of heat.

 

Dear Man: You know where I think the problem is? Women get trapped in the idea of being thrilled to be wanted, and men think it’s enough to want.

 

Dear Woman: I suppose it keeps procreation going on, but it certainly is not the climate for a good give-and-take between a man and woman.

 

Dear Man: I’m a woman. It’s not enough to be wanted. That’s what I need to tell my daughters. Many men will want you. You can’t comply simply because it feels good to be told you’re pretty.

 

Dear Woman: And I’m a man. It’s not enough for me just to want. I want–I have this little trigger in the lower part of my body that confirms the necessity. But it doesn’t mean that I should subjugate a woman or that I should make promises I can’t keep.

 

Dear Man: Human sexuality is screwed up, and that’s why gender wars are unleashed, and equality seems impossible.

 

Dear Woman: When I have children, I will teach the girls that it’s not enough to be wanted, and the boys that it’s not enough to want.

 

Dear Man: And I will teach my children the same, and tell them that the only way to ultimately show respect to another person is to make sure, at all junctures, that they are making their own choices.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … August 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3032)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Hey, I got the message you wanted to see me.

 

Dear Man: Yeah, I have a job interview coming up and I wanted your insight.

 

Dear Woman: Okay…

 

Dear Man: You seem reluctant. What’s the problem?

 

Dear Woman: I’m not reluctant. It’s just that you’re really smart, you know what you’re doing and you’ve gotten jobs before…

 

Dear Man: I know, but this interview is with a man, and I thought you could give me some tips on how to approach it.

 

Dear Woman: (chuckling) You do understand, it’s not like there’s a real “Hair Club for Men” and we get together once a week to discuss our plans.

 

Dear Man: I know that. I just want to get an edge so I can get off on the right foot.

 

Dear Woman: Well, the wrong foot is thinking there’s a context for dealing with other people.

 

Dear Man: What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: Once we start boxing people up by sex, race or any way at all, we’re showing both our disrespect for them and our insecurity about ourselves.

 

Dear Man: Gee, whiz, I just wanted some advantage…

 

Dear Woman: OK. Here’s an advantage. Work on your content. And here’s your content: “This is who I am, this is what I want and this is what I can offer.” In that order.

 

Dear Man: Isn’t that pushy?

 

Dear Woman: No, pushy is when you think you can look some magical way or produce some mystical dialogue that suddenly makes you appealing to a male boss.

 

Dear Man: There are prejudices.

 

Dear Woman: Yes, there are, but you won’t overcome them by giving into them. Find your content. Don’t try to outsmart. Instead, out-start them. Anticipate the questions and provide the information you know he will need. Then gently guide him to the questions you want him to ask you.

 

Dear Man: How do you do that?

 

Dear Woman: Balance. If you hear something you don’t agree with, say right out loud, “That hasn’t been my finding.” It will surprise him. It’ll make him ask questions about why you differ. Nodding your head and smiling is the best way to make sure that you don’t get a job. Stop worrying about the context. In other words, “I’m talking to a man so I should do this.” Focus on the content: “This is who I am, what I want and what I can offer.” Then if he is not in the same place you are…well, you wouldn’t want to work there anyway, right?

 

Dear Man: I hear what you’re saying but I don’t know whether I can do that or not. I’ve spent my life trying to please.

 

Dear Woman: I understand. But it’s time to take steps toward clarifying your content instead of groping around, trying to find the context and submitting to it.

 

Dear Man: I’m so glad I called you.

 

Dear Woman: Oh, you would have figured it out. But in the process you might have missed out on a good job or two.

 

Dear Man: So, content, not context. Out-start them instead of trying to outsmart them.

 

Dear Woman: That’s it. Good luck.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3018)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: You didn’t ask me my opinions about the political conventions.

 

Dear Woman: Well, no, because I know you really don’t like politics.

 

Dear Man: That’s true, but there is one incident that grabbed my attention.

 

Dear Woman: What was that?

 

Dear Man: Thursday night, when the Muslim father who lost his son in the war in Afghanistan, Mr. Kahn, spoke to the gathering.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, I saw that. Very moving.

 

Dear Man: I know that’s the popular view, but it bothered me.

 

Dear Woman: What troubled you?

 

Dear Man: He came on the stage with his wife. She did not speak for the whole duration of the event. She remained turned toward him in submission, wearing a hijab.

 

Dear Woman: You mean that head covering?

 

Dear Man: Yes, exactly.

 

Dear Woman: It’s just a Muslim thing.

 

Dear Man: I disagree. It’s not a Muslim thing. She stood in submission, did not speak, with her head covered, as he railed against Donald Trump, in support of Hillary Clinton for President. It was a massive contradiction.

 

Dear Woman: I disagree. You just need to be more tolerant. We need to give religious freedom to people–to have their traditions and honor their culture, otherwise our country becomes bigoted and self-centered.

 

Dear Man: I know the spiel. But when a man, who, by the way, was extremely intense, with angry gestures, stands beside a woman who is not speaking, who is looking on adoringly with her head covered…well, I get nervous. I feel it’s good to give spiritual leniency to people, to worship as they deem appropriate, but our country should not allow oppression to exist in the name of God. For instance, we certainly didn’t honor the traditions of the South and give them cultural “roominess” when slavery was at stake. I’m sure they could have made the point that no slaves were rebelling and that everything was working fine, but we still fought the Civil War to relieve the stupidity of a bad culture.

 

Dear Woman: I see what you mean, but I don’t think it applies in this situation. This is part of their religion

 

Dear Man: No. It’s not. It’s part of their tradition. Tradition is the way that people decide to conduct their religion. It has nothing to do with faith. It has nothing to do with a God who created all men equal, and that includes women. What happened on that stage was wrong. If we want to condone it because we’re afraid of speaking up to a religion’s tradition, and demanding equality, then let us call ourselves cowards. But if every Christian church in America suddenly decided that women should not be allowed to speak and had to wear head coverings, we would remove their tax exempt status. We can’t have two different standards. If he wants to support Hillary Clinton for President, he needs to let his wife be his equal.

 

Dear Woman: Maybe he does. Maybe it was just a decision on their part to have him talk because she was nervous.

 

Dear Man: Then in my opinion she shouldn’t come on stage. Standing next to him, turned in his direction, staring at him with her head covered, communicates subservience. Doesn’t the Democratic Party want equality? Or are they just looking for a bump in the polls from an angry Muslim man speaking against Donald Trump?

 

Dear Woman: You realize, nobody agrees with you. Everybody thinks that Mr. Kahn was one of the highlights of the convention. They think that allowing her to appear on stage in the head covering showed tolerance.

 

Dear Man: Tolerance becomes cowardice when everyone is not included. There were many people during the Civil Rights movement who were angry at Dr. King because he came into a situation that seemed to be peaceful, and stirred up trouble. But had he not pointed out the inequity of Jim Crow, the South more than likely would still be arguing about “colored restrooms” instead of transgender ones.

 

Dear Woman: I see your point, and I guess by your standards I’m a coward, but I think that sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone.

 

Dear Man: You see, my point is that “well enough” is never achieved by leaving women out of the equation.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 16th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3004)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Man: Did you ever think, just for discussion’s sake, what if the story of Adam and Eve were true?

 

Dear Woman: From the Bible?

 

Dear Man: Yes. I don’t mean religious–I mean, what if the telling of this tale was overall accurate, if not specific?

 

Dear Woman: OK. I can see that. But where are we going?

 

Dear Man: Working on that premise, do you realize that you and I–a man and a woman–were created, generated, evolved–whatever term you want to use–to be equals?

 

Dear Woman: I suppose that’s true. But that’s not the way it ended up.

 

Dear Man: No, but let’s step away from how it ended, and instead, talk about where it began. Both man and woman had equivalency and respect.

 

Dear Woman: I got that. So what happened?

 

Dear Man: You see, that’s the key. If we follow the story, it still makes sense in our world today. Because what you have is not a poorly defined sexual relationship or an inadequate parenting situation, or even an inability to speak to one another. It’s a failed business relationship.

 

Dear Woman: I think I understand. What you’re saying is, Adam and Eve’s equality stemmed from being in covenant with each other to achieve a common purpose, and when that was removed, then the frailties of each one were suddenly thrust to the forefront.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. So what we have today are men and women trying to get along with each other, already having experienced a bankruptcy together.

 

Dear Woman: That’s far out.

 

Dear Man: So if you want to get back to the Garden relationship, you have to understand what the problem is. I have to ask myself, can I trust you?

 

Dear Woman: And I have to ask myself, can I trust you?

 

Dear Man: And finally, can we work together without lying? Because this is what brought them down. They didn’t trust each other so they lied to each other–and then came together to lie to God.

 

Dear Woman: So you’re saying that all this fuss they make in society about the differences between men and women is really just a coverup about an abiding mistrust and a fatal flaw–lying.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. If I have confidence that I can trust you enough to tell the truth, we can address the real problem and work out almost anything.

 

Dear Woman: But if I can’t hear it, and get my feelings bruised or my masculine pride shaken, then I strive to make you insecure, too.

 

Dear Man: Of course, this is all based on the story having some believability.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I’ll tell you this–it sure is a hell of a lot better than acting like men and women are hopeless.

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … June 18th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2976)

Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: Are you looking for equality?

 

Dear Man: Absolutely not.

 

Dear Woman: Well, I think I know you well enough that you’re not going to settle for inferiority–or pursue superiority.

 

Dear Man: That’s right.

 

Dear Woman: So isn’t the whole thing about equality? Even hearkening back to the Equal Rights Amendment?

 

Dear Man: That would have been a mistake. You see, the word “equality” is a trick. Thomas Jefferson used the word “equal” in the Declaration of Independence–while still owning slaves. For many years in the South, there was a proclamation of “separate but equal,” which was supposed to make everything right. But of course, it didn’t.

 

Dear Woman: So what you’re saying is, to a certain degree we are pursuing “separate but equal” between the sexes.

 

Dear Man: Exactly. We have created a Jim Crow situation between men and women with all the books, jokes and rules that are enforced in our society.

 

Dear Woman: I get it. Things like “man cave–chick flick.”

 

Dear Man: They connote that there’s equality–a place where each gender has dominion, but keeping us totally separate from each other.

 

Dear Woman: So is it possible to be separate and equal?

 

Dear Man: Not unless the power is equal. In other words, if men are in charge of almost everything, then the stream of equality that trickles down to women will be subject to their whim.

 

Dear Woman: Just like it was in the South during the Jim Crow era. They claimed equality, but because they were separate, and the white population had domination, the black folks had to rely on the white interpretation of equality.

 

Dear Man: You got it. It sounds a little complicated but it really isn’t. Separate but equal was the way the white community in the South tried to control things while making it look like they were creating equality.

 

Dear Woman: In other words, when we say women do this and men do that, we’re separating them off, while insisting that in the separation there is still equality.

 

Dear Man: That’s why I don’t want to be equal. I want to be equivalent.

 

Dear Woman: Interesting word. So where do you see the difference?

 

Dear Man: It’s a situation in which men and women head for the common ground–human. Attributes, emotions, preferences, desires and skills are not viewed by gender but instead, solely on talent and choice. We’re working on this in racial relationships–the black community is not trying to be equal. They’re trying to establish the fact that we’re all equivalent.

 

Dear Woman: This makes complete sense to me. Because even though I’m trying to be forward thinking on this issue, unfortunately, I still contend that there are things that women do better than men and vice versa.

 

Dear Man: Me, too. We were trained that way. So when it comes to the gender wars, we promote “separate but equal,” which has historically proven to be nearly worthless.

 

Dear Woman: So how do you think I can confirm to you that I believe you and I are equivalent?

 

Dear Man: That’s easy. Stop assuming. Stop assuming that I won’t like a football game. Stop assuming that I’d rather go shopping than help you fix a cabinet in the kitchen. And I’ll stop assuming that you won’t like a movie because someone declared it “for women.” And I won’t assume that you’re completely uninterested in an outfit I’m buying.

 

Dear Woman: Is it really that simple? Do you really think that will bring some resolution?

 

Dear Man: What it will bring is clarity–that we’re not looking for an equality that still allows for separation, but instead, an equivalency that gives us the right to enjoy what we want to enjoy without having to distinguish it “pink” or “blue.”

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … April 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2920)

Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Woman: About three years ago, I banged up my knee and ended up being sent to a specialist in a big city about 150 miles away, so I had to spend the night in a motel.

 

Dear Man: I’m so sorry.

 

Dear Woman: Well, my story’s not about the injury–well, not exactly. Anyway, when I arrived at the motel, they only had rooms on the second floor, but said not to worry about it because they had an elevator. So I hobbled over to the elevator, spent the night, and the next morning, I was trying to figure out how I could get my suitcase downstairs. I headed off toward the elevator. Lo and behold, it was out of order. So I was on the second floor, seemingly with no way to get down. But I was stubborn. Let me tell you–I wasn’t innately stubborn because I’m a man–no I was taught that men must do everything for themselves. But when I got to the stairs, I realized that there was absolutely no way I could get down, pulling my suitcase awkwardly behind me. I was stymied. There was no one around. It was really odd because I felt this chilling sensation of fear that went all the way down into my bowels. I felt helpless. All at once, a young woman in her early twenties appeared at the bottom of the steps. She said, “Would you like me to carry that bag down for you?” My first inclination was to turn her down. The whole event happened so quickly, but I recall thinking to myself, why would I turn her down? Of course, it was because she was a girl. I’m a man, she’s a woman, so I should be helping her with her bag instead of her suggesting that I needed assistance. I delayed long enough that she piped up, “I’m really strong. And it looks like right now, you really aren’t.” I know it’s silly, but I wanted to bristle. I wanted to explain my history of immense physicality, that this was just a temporary setback. But instead, I surrendered. Surrendering is not a bad thing. Surrendering is when we realize that where we are is where we are–and it’s not going to change simply because we don’t want to be there. I told her I appreciated the help. She climbed up, picked up my bag and carried it downstairs as I stumbled my way, barely surviving the descent with the rest of my limbs intact. I thanked her. She said, “No. Thank you. Lots of guys would have turned me down and ended up hurting themselves, cursing the Earth because they were too stupid to take the help.” With this, she turned on her heel and left.

 

Dear Man: Pretty cool person.

 

Dear Woman: Yeah, I know. But when I hear people stomping around talking about “the woman card,” or “man’s responsibility,” I realize that all this production we put into the gender roles falls apart when any of us is weakened to the point that we need to be uplifted.

 

Dear Man: Sometimes I’m the strong one, and sometimes there are things I just can’t handle. I’m not stronger when I’m controlling, nor am I weaker when I exhaust my possibilities.

 

Dear Woman: There is an element to being a human which makes us tolerable. It’s when we escape the pride associated with our gender and we allow ourselves the interaction which truly makes us valuable to the human tribe.

 

Dear Man: So there is no woman card.

 

Dear Woman: And there is no man card. There’s just the next thing that’s going to happen, and whether we will be honest about how much we will need others.

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