Monday, September 12, 2011

The Hobo Philosopher

Will You Walk me to my Car

By Richard E. Noble

"Will you walk me to my car?" the young lady asked me.
"I don't even know where your car is parked," I answered.
"I know you don't, silly, but it is 2 o'clock in the morning and it is dark in the parking lot."

I was the new manager of a successful restaurant on Sunrise Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. This was the first time that any young waitress had made such a request of me. I thought that she was flirting with me. The waitress was in her mid-twenties; she couldn't still be afraid of the dark, I thought.
As it turned out she wasn't flirting with me. She was just doing what most girls learn to do very early on in their working careers – she was protecting herself against a needless but very possible attack.

This was memorable for me and I never forgot that experience. It left me with a very strange mix of emotions.

Of course, I felt very manly and protective to be walking this young waitress to her car. On the other hand I felt a profound sadness understanding that I was asked to perform this task in order to protect this girl from a possible attacker of my own kind. She was asking this one particular male to be her protector against other possible less honorable males.

On the one hand I felt pride and on the other hand I felt shamed.
After that experience I noticed that the girl and lady waitresses invariably traveled in packs. They waited for one another each evening and went to their autos as a group or at minimum as a pair.

As a male, I never had to think in such a way – or at least I never did.
When I got to be an even bigger boy and I married, I often wondered if my wife ever harbored fearful thoughts about me. In talking with her cohorts and girlfriends had she ever said; Well, if he ever lays a hand on me I'm out of here.

There was a time when even suspecting that she may have said such a thing would have hurt my feelings terribly. But today, in this state of newfound "maturity," I say to myself why shouldn't she have said such a thing? Who am I to any woman but a "male." I'm the "opposite sex"; I'm one of the "other" kind.

It is very strange to come to this realization. But as we all know there are many males who are untrustworthy, mean, nasty and even brutal. There are males who abuse their mates and even their offspring. And why should any male find that fact so shocking. Males have been murdering and slaughtering one another for centuries – via one excuse or another. And women have for centuries lived in fear of the male and under his domination.

In many foreign countries we see that their women are forced to dress protectively. They don't have to wear armor or bullet proof vests but they must disguise themselves and not appear attractive in any sexual way. It is even against the law for them to do so.

It all sounds like such a terrible situation – to be a female that is.
We think of ourselves as so sophisticated here in the United States but it was just a few years back, 1920, that we allowed women to vote. For the longest time women here in this country were discouraged from reading books; working at many jobs and occupations; there was a time not too long ago when women were not even allowed to participate in sports because it was not feminine or might damage their reproductive capacity.

They weren't allowed to dress seductively either. Sexually enhancing dress was for fallen women and women of the night. Such women were often called "trollops" and much worse by many morally upright males.

As they say we have come a long way but really not all that far. Girls are still attacked here in America and by the thousands – and they are attacked by men and boys.

Women still have to be careful at night; they have to get people to walk them to their cars or they must travel in packs or study the martial arts. It is still dangerous for a woman to be living alone in an apartment in a big city. They must be careful and take precautions that their male counterparts never even have to consider.

Many men, even in America, are still beasts; they still act bestial; they still can't be trusted. You have got to keep your eye on everything they do, even the nice ones.

I was educated here in the U.S. by women who dressed like the women I see on the TV in foreign countries. Very few nuns dress in that style anymore, but that wasn't all that long ago. I'm not that old.

This is a pretty sad state of affairs don't you think? I mean, this girls fearing boys thing? Girls have to guard themselves in our colleges, on our streets, in our parking lots, even in our military. Girls are being sexually attacked regularly in our military … and not by the enemy. This is happening to girls on active duty and in our military Academies. This is rather ridiculous, don't you think?

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