“ The Catholic Church makes a very sharp distinction between a hysteric and a saint. The same thing holds true in the art world. There is the sensitiveness of the hysteric which has all the appearance of creation, but actual creation has an individual force which is an entirely different thing.” From: Gertrude Stein : The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.
I hold the same opinion for many of what I call “The outrage of the bourgeois beauties”…beauties not a reflection upon their physical appearance male or female, so much as a mocking of their petulant protesting. Most vociferously from the petty bourgeois class of “approved commentators” who lambast males of whatever stripe for their lack of attention to the details of various forms of unwanted ogling and man-handling listed in every reputable publication either material or ethereal that has neither the courage nor the readership numbers to question such a list….and it goes on and on…
And much is legitimate outrage…let us agree on THAT..we read of such outrages in the news every day…and there can be nothing but the most severe condemnation of those cruel and vicious acts…and then we read of the war-crimes and the treatment of refugees all over the world..and we sympathise and in some relevant cases identify with those people…and we DO feel for them..one and all….but then we don’t go condemning EVERY ethnicity that could be associated with such cruelties…not every political party adherent that votes for those policies most hurtful..and so we ought to acknowledge that not all males..or even a scant majority are cut from the same cloth as the most vicious and the most cruel….we get on with our lives and hold such angst at arms length from the everyday needs of our attention.
The recent “Good men / Bad men” debate has crossed that line, where the grouping together (whether in indignant intent or media reported association), the good with the bad was a classic case of throwing the baby out with the bath-water. Sure..the shout from the pages of social media gives ample example of “men behaving badly”…with the most vitriolic emphasis on ; “MEN!”….and I don’t shy away from the suggestions that heterosexual males do spend an inordinate amount of time cogitating over the delightful curves of the female of the species…just let one curvey-female swivel-hip past a loose group of idle males, not connected through acquaintance or friendship and nearly every man-jack eye of them will flicker toward that most attracting and beguiling sight…
We don’t make the “rules”, Mother nature does..we are just subject to them with or without consent.
Notwithstanding some of the more serious abuses on women, there have been a number of what can best be described as frivoless complaint against male instinctive behaviour. So many and varied is the rising scale of real or perceived injury it would be fruitless to describe them..the gist though seems to be outrage at the lack of sincere concern of us males to yield our necks to the yoke of accusative submission…and all that is heard is “good men” silence.
As I said above.. Notwithstanding some of the more serious abuses on women, most men have stood silent witness to some moments of inglorious action by women they have known…but we hold our tongues in respect of that old.. and honourable.. adage : “A gentleman never tells”….However, in light of some revealed what I would bravely call ; petulant accusations by some Ladies of late, I feel it incumbent upon myself to give..if only in hint and certainly NOT in spitfulness..to some actions by the gentler sex that would be best left “under the counter”.
As I have written in a past article on the site vis: “The Hungry Womb” and “Write Again, Blue Eyes”.. I hold no criticism against any woman seeking to address that indescribable hunger that needs attending…but there are some moments….when the “need” is more delightfully salacious than serving, and the adventures that arise (if you’ll excuse the pun) from those “fullfilled needs” give lively entertainment to us “innocent bystanders” of the “play of life”. And so surely there is room yet on the canvas to allow the “art of life”, where it is still the norm’ to expect the males in society to be the protagonists and initiators of social connection, to display in full majesty it’s beauty and depth to an appreciative audience?
For instance, we won’t criticise “Tracy”, who on her “hens night” before her wedding next day, back in the seventies, took a shine to one of the male strippers in the club she and several of her closest friends went to and ended up banging him on the back seat of her friends Datto’ 120Y..so that nine months later when the baby was due she confessed to the friend that she didn’t really know whose baby it was…except that her husband had a huge mop of rich red hair…while the other bloke . . . But it was resolved upon the actual birth when the child had light wisp of fair hair..
“Geeez!..he looks like YOU Mick!!…Geeez!, he’s got YOUR eyes!…Geeez he looks just like YOU!!”…and Mick was happy…he was chuffed…he never knew..and who’s telling…not me!
And then there was my own personal experience of when I was in my mid twenties and attending a medical to qualify myself for employment up at Paraburdoo iron ore mines in WA…I had to attend this medical examination…the doctor who conducted the medical was a dark-haired woman in her forties, if I recall…and when it came to the hernia test, as was the practice in those days..I presume..not ever having that sort of test done on me before..but I was a young male and if I may modestly remark ; of reasonably handsome appearance, and very fit and healthy…and being stripped down to my jocks, she sat on a chair in front and gently cradled my testicles in her hand..
“Cough!” she commanded……and I did…
“Again” she directed..and I did…
“And another”…she spoke…and I did…..and this is where the strange thing occurred…instead of taking her hand away, she looked into my eyes and smiled nicely, gave my testicles a gentle squeeze and said..:
“I may be an older woman..but that doesn’t mean I lack a younger woman’s desires”….and she then moved away to go on to complete the examination…
Now…that moment has haunted me and caused me some distress right down to this present moment..where here I am writing of it…because, you see…if instead of being that shy befuddled young man, I had a degree more suave sophistication in me, I could have replied to her admission with all the quiet masculine assurance of a “James Bond” type and, to keep on theme, even perhaps performed a touch of “Roger Moore” on the examination table right there and then…and none but two willing adults would be the wiser…and I could NOW rest with no-regrets.
But let us not hold spiteful to what might have been..:
“But what avails the ache
Of remorse and weak regret?
We’ll battle for the sake of
The men we might be yet!”…….Henry Lawson..; “Men we might have been”.
Yes…there are other moments of such memories best left filed away in the archives of “too judgemental”…and perhaps there are other people who would like to leave those “incriminating social faux pas” lay on the cutting-room floor, after all, there are civil laws for civil crimes and there are cultural rules for social infringments and upon the latter, I would hint that perhaps for the lesser interpretations like “ogling” or the perceived “grope” instead of caress, we leave such moments to rest upon the many likewise outraged infringments against humanity by either fate, circumstance or situation..in the “outgoing” tray on the office desk?
And we again draw from that rather forceful lady writer of the thirties..; Gertrude Stein and let the “Art of life” write the story….
“ After all, as she always contends, no artist needs criticism, he only needs appreciation. If he needs criticism he is no artist.” (Ibid).