Respect in all shapes, sizes and gender differences

Tribune News Service

Kaley Patterson
A&E Editor
@KaleyKayPatt

I had a conversation with a man who was intimidated by my intellect. Actually, I frequently have conversations with males who are petrified by me.

This isn’t to say that all of my conversations with men are ingenuous. I have numerous male friends and colleagues who are compassionate and can hold a conversation with anyone of the opposite sex.

But when I converse with a guy who ends our chat because he can’t be comfortable with my thoughts and opinions, I’m perplexed.

When I have encounters like that, I’m reminded of a specific scene in season one of “Mad Men.”

Tribune News Service

Tribune News Service

The show is about a New York advertising firm in the 1960s. Men ruled superior and women were nothing more than a secretary plaything.

The firm received a client who sold lipsticks and were looking for a new way to sell their product. The head honchos rounded up the women in the office like cattle and put them in a room with a two way mirror to observe their reactions to the lipstick.

At the end of the “experiment,” one girl stood out, Peggy, who handed one of the advertisers a trash can full of tissues the women had used to wipe off some of the lipstick. Peggy handed him the disposal and said, “Here’s your basket of kisses.”

The man responded, “Well, that’s cute. Who told you to say that?” Peggy, confused by his question, said, “I just thought of it. Isn’t that what it is?”

Like Peggy, I’m distraught when men are taken aback by my thoughts.

I had a conversation with a man about the Oscar-nominated film “Selma.” We had both seen the film and had differing opinions. He thought the movie gave the town Selma, Ala., a bad reputation, while I believed the film gave negative connotations to the ideals of that time.

We both agreed the movie put President Lyndon B. Johnson in a negative light. I was well-read on the topic, and informed him the original screenplay was centrally focused on LBJ, but it was dropped, and the director of “Selma” switched the main character to Martin Luther King Jr.

After I enlightened him, the man shied away from our conversation and me. I didn’t realize his actions were due to my intellect because I thought the conversation went well until my friend pointed out that the man is uncomfortable around women who are well put together.

This confuses me, because don’t men want a woman who is independent? I think it would be annoying to be with someone who couldn’t function on their own, who relied on you for all of their choices – but that’s just me.

It’s a question the opposite sex has asked themselves, their peers and dating websites – what do men/women really want. I honestly believe both men and women want to be loved and respected.

A man does not respect a woman when he finds her ideas asinine.

I’m thankful for my dad who always listens to me. He does tell me I talk a lot, but he always does with a smile on his face, a chuckle and a compassionate look in his eyes. We have conflicting views on a number of topics, and we’re both so stubborn, but we know we can’t change each other’s minds.

He accepts my opinions, and I his.

But I may be spoiled by the great man my father is, and I think that’s why I’m confused when men don’t listen or try to understand me.

I inquired with my father about the man with whom I had the conversation over “Selma”. I asked my dad why the man was so uncomfortable with my insight. My dad told me, “Well, there’s a time and place for you to speak your opinion.” Enraged by his comment, I shot back, “But it was over a movie. Why can I not voice my opinion over a movie?”

Dad simply said, “Some men just aren’t comfortable.”

The definition of feminism according to Google is, “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men.” Huh? Equal to men? How can we be equal to men if we’re completely different human beings?

I don’t want to be a man. I want to be a woman. I think “feminism” is more than it’s definition.

It’s comfortably being a woman no matter what the circumstance or conversation.

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