growing up, Home, politics, self-acceptance

Why Can’t a Moose be President?

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I became aware of the “double standard” pretty early, but I was stunned when my dad explained dating once I hit puberty; he told me that many men see women as “pieces of meat”, as that had been his experience growing up and especially while serving in the US Marine Corps during WWII. In my early teens, I had a great deal of resistance to this idea; having read a lot of magazines, my head had been filled with romantic notions, aided and abetted by pop songs of the 50s and 60s. Even back then, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” sounded pretty innocent and non-threatening.

It often takes me a while to process difficult emotions, and this past year has been especially challenging in that regard. Like every woman I know, I’ve been sexually harassed, and although such abusive treatment has diminished in my advancing years, it’s still a fact of life which grieves me deeply, as I’d hoped we would have made more progress as a society in regards to treating ALL people equally and equitably. Alas, that has not been the case – a fact that has been rubbed in our collective faces, especially since Election 2016 when DT became PussyGrabber in Chief.

I almost wish I could just point the finger at “toxic masculinity” and leave it at that, but I think that having the inequities of our society in such bold relief, in regards to race as well as gender, has encouraged intolerance and contempt for one another. It’s no surprise to me that more people are coming forward these days with their stories of being molested – there have always been “dirty old men”, but as I feared, these men have become emboldened by the so-called leadership of our country. It’s now officially Open Season  on the female gender. What else can we do besides #metoo ?

I’ve recently taken comfort in revisiting YouTube videos featuring kinder, gentler men from my youth, the cadence of their voices and the kindness in their demeanor – men like Art Linkletter, (whose warmth and humor reminds me of my uncle Larry), Mr. Rogers, who liked you “just the way you are”, and my favorite, Captain Kangaroo  The Captain sang, told sweet stories, dealt with challenging cohorts like Dancing Bear and Bunny Rabbit – he even did his own housekeeping! And he featured the absolute BEST political candidate: Mr. Moose – whose campaign promise, “if you elect me, every American will have antlers! (or uncles!?) … and all of our friends will be bunny rabbits!”

Sounds a lot better to me than promoting pussy-grabbing.

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2 thoughts on “Why Can’t a Moose be President?

  1. david berger says:

    I’m with you, Marilyn. Or should I say “Me too” for missing the kinder, gentler American ideal. I was never a big poetry lover (although I do have some favorites). The American Songbook taught me about romance and feelings. That seems like so long ago. Anyway, I’m trying to say that there are still some men that feel left out of today’s aggressive, insensitive, material world. If you haven’t seen the video of Fred Rogers testifying before Congress, treat yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your delightful essay Marilyn, and now we’ve seen the awesome testimony David described.

    I don’t think there are any fewer tender, gentle men, I think our last president was one of them and each of us knows one very well. PLUS I have GREAT HOPE for the generation, just coming of age.

    I don’t know Captain Kangaroo, not having grown up here, but I will vote for your moose if you point him or her out to me.

    Love,
    Gerry

    Liked by 1 person

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