When I began my writing career, and then my radio show, I promised myself I’d avoid politics. I’m breaking that promise via this first column of 2012, though it is not exclusively political. I’m old enough to remember when people spoke the truth, even if it was uncomfortable. Political correctness has comprised that value in my opinion. And, one of my strong beliefs as a parent is we must speak, live, and model the truth for our children. With political correctness, that often means going contrary to what they might be taught at school.
Facebook made a minor change in how its interface worked, if that is even the right terminology. I went into a minor fit, immediately e-mailing a techie friend for help, in my momentary panic, because it seemed my Facebook “Wall” was gone! My friend was unavailable and after a little while of searching around on my profile and my “page,” I was able to figure it out and all was again well with the world.
I realized how my parents felt when they were trying to learn to program their VCR and never could master what seemed like such a simple thing to me. How such a minor change on Facebook could panic me and result in my kids looking at me cross-eyed like I was a simpleton (well, my kids do that all the time) was almost comical.
There was a slogan in the early days of the feminist movement that went something like, “A woman needs a man as much as a fish needs a bicycle.” I was part of that generation, that also said, “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” among other things equally foolish. I seem to remember that whoever said that, about not trusting someone over 30, was a rock ‘n’ roll star that still tours, now in his 60’s. I wonder if he’s changed his mind? For my money, the only good thing that came out of the sixties was the music. I just wish more performers and Hollywood in general would just stick to their craft!
My former showbiz life coincided with the breaking of the so-called glass ceiling, which was quite real for a long time. Many women were now reaching the corporate and other hierarchies that had heretofore been denied them. However, instead of bringing their feminine instincts, skills, and traits to these newfound positions, many were adopting the worst of the existing masculine behaviors and habits. They were going to be just as tough, just as hard working, and just as ruthless.
I am more and more troubled by how male and female roles in our politically correct society have evolved. Clearly, I may just not fully understand and accept these changes, but I want to understand for the sake of my boys. I’m trying to teach them to be men, how to treat women, and to prepare my sons for the current social environment and workplace that we live in. And, frankly, I need to learn and adjust for myself, as this column will show.
I was raised in the fifties and sixties, where men and women had casual conversational fun with each other, both in the work place and out of it. It was fun and not harassment, to be clear, and included healthy banter and even occasional flirting. But, today this is forbidden and larger companies have seminars on proper work behavior that, I believe, limits camaraderie and rapport between colleagues. As communication often is via e-mail, the chances of misunderstandings are only enhanced.