I very much admire the Star columns and blog by Antonia Zerbisias. She's smart, funny, and fearless. She researches and thinks and gets things right. How many journalists can you say that about?
But the quality that most impresses me is her willingness to take on that sad and whiney bunch known as 'men's rights activists', or, The I-Blame-Feminism-for-My-Fucked-Up-Life Gang. (And no, I'm not linking to any of their sites. I do not want them tracking back here, because I am NOT willing to take them on. You can get a taste of their insanity in the comments to this recent AZ blogpost about violence against women.)
I am and have been lucky and/or wise in choosing the men I hang around with. They are Good Guys. Supporters of women and women's rights -- though some would probably cringe a bit if you called them feminists. Good and responsible fathers if they are fathers. Loving and supportive partners if they have partners -- and most do, because they are Good Guys.
So, an odd thing happened yesterday evening. A very old friend of my sweetie's came to visit. He has recently retired and moved to the country not very near by, but he lived here for most of his life and has a wide circle of friends. He doesn't get to town very often, so the jungle drums started beating and within about an hour of his arrival, there were five Good Guys sitting around drinking beer and catching up with each other.
And one woman -- me.
Very funny stories were being told in answer to questions like 'Have you seen So-and-So?' and 'Did you hear what happened to Somebody Else?'
Inevitably, they got into telling old stories about So-and-So and Somebody Else. (BTW, whoever said that men don't gossip had his/her head up ass.)
They got onto one guy whose life could be described as fraught, or maybe hapless is better. In addition to various other adventures, this guy is notorious for fathering children then refusing to support them. As is his brother. One of the guys said: 'Yeah, well, you can talk to Bro 2 about his failures as a father, but if you want to stay friends with Bro 1, you don't mention it.'
I hadn't been saying much, but I turned to the guy -- someone I've known a while and like a lot -- and said: 'Huh?'
Moi: 'Jeebers, Jack, you've known this guy for decades, helped him through all kinds of shit, and you won't call him out on this inexcusable behaviour? You're a Good Guy. If you won't call him out, who will?'
Squirming ensued. Other Good Guys developed an avid interest in the ceiling.
Jack squirmed a bit more then said: 'You're right. If he won't do the right thing, he should get himself fixed so he can't father any more children. Next time I see him, I'm telling him that.'
Heads nodded in agreement and we returned to our regular programming.
So, will he? Dunno. Will it do any good? Unlikely.
But here's the thing: If the Good Guys won't brace their Not-So-Good brothers and pals on their bad behaviour, who will?
Us feminazis, I guess.
And take the blame for that too.