The prompt word, “dirty,” for today’s post is brought to you by Jim! Thanks, Jim! To find his “dirty” post, click here. And say hi while you’re there!
There is so much talk about “Toxic Masculinity” these days. Guys my age struggle with this. I was raised with the words “be a man”, coming from my father, society, and my own recollections.
“Being a man” wasn’t a difficult concept to live by. Boys don’t cry was a common mantra. I was encouraged to be strong, to open and hold doors for a woman, to always pick up the check, to not drive off until my date was safely inside. Of course, I was also encouraged to be a lothario.
I witnessed my male counterparts as they cat-called, crotch grabbed, whistled and otherwise made fools out of themselves in front of women. I always knew the line and when it was crossed. I was (and still am) flirty, but not dirty, and I am respectful of women.
In turn, I also have expectations of women to be strong and able to handle themselves. When a man crosses the bridge from flirtatious to inappropriate I expect, and have seen it on many occasions, a woman to put a man in his place. I love those women. There is never an excuse for a man to offer unwanted advances or lay a hand upon a woman.
See, I know that a woman can open her own door. I know that she has her own coat and umbrella on a cold or rainy day. I may not need to follow her home to make sure she is safe. But I still do these things, because that’s how I was raised.
It’s not toxic. It’s part of being a man.