Login NowClose 
Sign In to thecouriertimes.com           
Forgot Password
or if you have not registered since 8/22/18
Click Here to Create an Account
Close

Teaching respect with a baseball bat

In the late 19th century, after 30 years of practicing psychology, Sigmund Freud was still asking, “What do women want?” In 1967, Aretha Franklin spelled it out for him.

For a couple of weeks now, the media have been covering the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings, and it’s stirred up the perennial controversy about proper respect for women.

I learned respect for women the day that Bonnie Maples hit Red Hull on the head with a baseball bat. Before the nightmare of pueberty hit us, we boys who grew up in Bucktown seldom gave girls any thought at all. Then one day Bonnie, our 12-year-old pre-women’s lib version of Gloria Steinem, challenged us to a baseball game – the neighborhood girls against the boys. We laughed and told her the idea was ludicrous (or would have if we had known that word) but eventually agreed and played the game.

Chuck Avery is a former high school English teacher, published playwright and dramatist.

It was the expected rout, and on the way back to the neighborhood, Red was laughing at the humiliated girls – something to the effect that biology was destiny – when Bonnie ran up behind him, holding a bat above her head, and, using a swing that we boys would have used only to kill a dump rat, hit Red square on top of the head. The resultant “thud” was heard all over Bucktown and issued in a new respect among us males for the opposite sex.

The hearings involving the appointment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court have been hugely entertaining. The plot is nearly Shakespearean – a combination of “Macbeth” minus the murders and “The Merchant of Venice” without the “pound of flesh.”

While Professor Christine Ford was relating the nightmare of being held down on a bed by an intoxicated teen, I commented to my wife Michelle that life would be much more serene if nature had designed humans to reproduce asexually – like fishing worms. Most of the world’s mayhem – at least that part of it that involves humans – began with Genesis 5:2, “Male and female created them He.”

The problem is, despite all the sex change surgeries that have become so common today, we can never get inside the mind of the opposite sex. Those who have had sex changes, from Christine Jorgensen to Caitlyn Jenner, have said that they had the operation because they already thought like the opposite sex. What we need is to be able to transport someone who has always been comfortable with his or her gender into the other – at least for a while – so that they (a gender-neutral pronoun) can think and experience life from that viewpoint.

As far as I know, such a transformation has never happened except in fiction. In Greek mythology, we can read about the character Tiresias, who was transformed into a female by the gods for seven years. Even then, his motive was partially sexual, and when he was restored to his original male self, I doubt he treated women with any more respect than before the experiment.

We have previously seen proceedings similar to the Ford/Kavanaugh hearing. In 1991, when Clarence Thomas was nominated for the Supreme Court, we heard Anita Hill testify as to the nominee’s crude behavior and sexual harassment when she worked in the same office with him. Her testimony seemed believable and forthright. The F. B. I. investigated and found evidence supporting her story. It didn’t matter; Thomas was approved and still serves. So, now it’s possible that we have two Supreme Court judges and a president who are alleged sexual predators.

All I can say is that if Christine Ford’s story of attempted rape is accurate – and I’m not saying it is – Judge Kavanaugh is lucky Bonnie Maples and her ball bat weren’t nearby.