By R.J. Beaumia
I love women. I adore them.
My idea of a perfect evening: Put me in a room full of an assortment of women and a case of wine. I hope a few of them are difficult or mean; they’re my favorites because when you strike the lode of their generosity it’s the richest.
Ultimate afterlife dinner party guests: Gloria Steinem, Margaret Cho, Emma Goldman, Frida Kahlo, Billie Holiday, Gail Sondergaard, Ethel Rosenberg and, of course, Madonna.
I was the typical gay boy who sat with all the women in my family in the after-dinner segregation of the sexes. Half of them had Appalachian accents (I guess I can say hillbilly, because I’m one myself) and I loved to hear them talk. Such beautiful phrasing, vocal cadence, and timing.
I would watch my mother, who is shy and sweet in mixed gatherings, become her true clever and funny self when alone with the other girls in the family; yes, that includes me.
The women in my life have been my greatest champions and mentors. From my mother to my grandmother to the Franciscan nuns in my grade school to my college professors, they have nurtured and appreciated my talent. Some of them have given me opportunities that a gay man would otherwise not have in this world.
Women see me. They don’t turn their nose up at me because I’m fat or bald or a dick smoker. They know me for the beauty of my mind, the richness of my spirit, the tenderness of my heart – and my love of men in “wife beaters” and paper lanterns on bare light bulbs.
I was inspired to write this homage from the ovarially challenged to the testicularly challenged by our friends over at Focus on the Family (writing a column based on the philosophy of James Dobson is like cheating on a test, and just as fun).
On FoF’s Web site there’s a section entitled “Is Your Son Glad to be a Boy?” In this section there’s a letter from one of America’s concerned parents (second in importance only to “the children” in the hierarchy of worth) saying, “My son had the saddest look when he came home from school today… He says his teacher doesn’t like any of the boys in his class. She has repeatedly reprimanded my son for being too rambunctious. Now he’s deathly afraid he’s going to fail second grade.” Probably the fear of every 12-year-old in this person’s family.
Focus comes to the rescue to assuage this parent’s fears with the incisive sociological analysis the group is most respected for. Apparently, two of the main reasons why America’s little firemen and football players are ashamed to be boys are because of radical feminism and favoritism shown to girls in our schools.
Yes women, you and your cabal have it easy and you know it.
You get paid more than men and you get hired before men. You monopolize the boardrooms of banks and corporations worldwide. Women run amok with impunity in the streets of Tehran and Mogadishu while the men cower in doorways, fearing castration.
Now you’re taking your agenda into our public schools. According to Thomas Sowell, who FoF calls a “respected professor of economics at Stanford University,” there are federally financed programs that prevent boys from acting like boys. They’re forbidden to run and jump, and they’re forced to wear dresses and “act like girls.” And I’ve also learned from the professor that the U.S. Department of Education passes out tracts about radical feminism – with our tax dollars!
I trust an economics professor to be an authority on social issues. I’m also going to have my eye surgery done at Home Depot. By a respected woodworker.
What are some of the remedies for the “female bullying” being done to our future spunk chuckers? Ask lots of questions like, “John, why are you so sad?”
Because I’ve got a bible-thumping, tight-assed, ignorant, Republican bigot for a parent.
Even in the dialogue surrounding gay men’s issues, there’s talk about “being a real man.” I don’t mean in the role-playing sense or in the “straight acting” sense. I’m talking about when homophobes say we’re not real men, we counter it with, “Oh, yes we are!”
This line of thinking springs from the most elementary form of misogyny in our culture. Does carrying your reproductive organs around in a sack entitle you to some sort of VIP pass into the Studio 54 of humanity?
Unfortunately the answer to that is “yes.”
Most days I’m just happy to be breathing on my own, walking on my own, being able to read the words in a book, or eat an orange. Yes, it doesn’t take much to please me, and yes, I have “put out” for an orange.
The point is, I’m human and that’s the best thing there is. I don’t give a shit about being a “man” or an “American” or any other nonsense. Those things mean absolutely nothing to me.
Years ago there was a follow-up album to the Knack’s hot debut “Get the Knack” called “But the Little Girls Understand.” The title made no sense and the album fizzled.
The title was right though, the little girls, and the big girls as well, do understand. They know about being human and about living. This has been their lesson to me and I love them for it.
So, Focus on the Family, as I sit here in my dress, not running or jumping, I’m still having a better time typing than you’ll ever have.