See, I already learned something — I didn’t even know femsplaining was a thing, but I can totally…
Anna Maria Ballester

Where is the line between explaining how something a man (or woman) said may be offensive and aggressive, and being perceived as aggressive oneself.

One searches for it all one’s life, if one truly wants to know. I’ve found over many decades that a lot of what I get back does have roots in my own decisions, over what company to keep and why.

I used to be drawn to people who seemed counter-cultural or dedicated to changing the world, only to find consistently in many places and among many settings that such folks tend to license themselves to all sorts of hypocrisies and low treatment of others in the interpersonal sphere.

I learned all about being judgmental, from people who almost religiously postured as if their left-of-centrism were so correct as to practically mandate their persistently judging others but allowed for no analysis of their own conduct in turn.

I found that sexually suggestive or aggressive women were often the ones with the biggest chip on their shoulder about all things male, and used sexuality to first allow themselves to be used and then call it proof that all men do is use women.

And it was not too hard to observe, that men who keep the company of such women will pay all kinds of lip service to equality-this and gender-justice-that, because it gets them laid.

In more recent years I have had the distinct pleasure of living among some pretty conservative rural farm folks, among whom “yes, sir” and “no, ma’am” are everyday parlance, and with whom sexual gamesmanship or political baiting are seen through as the childishness they are and not given a venue to engage in. I see multiple races, cultures and backgrounds in people being coexisted with and sharing an atmosphere of mutual respect, and male and female treated as both distinctly different and as equally deserving of respect, to a degree that makes all the college-town sloganeering I ever heard about “tolerance” seem silly and pretentious (which of course it always was.)

And I pretty much lost any interest I ever had in changing the world. Watching folks who think they have to, being the ones who most doggedly keep it the same as it ever was, and the ones who take no thought to changing anything being the ones who manage to make things better around themselves just by being habitually polite and sincerely decent, has caused me to re-think everything I ever thought I knew about how to make the world a better place.

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