OK—it’s official—Trump will take the presidential oath in January and a lot of women are not happy about it. Why?
Now I for one did not get how upset people were about this election. I participated in the election, but on election eve I had one of my suicide prevention talks to give at Furman University and by the time I got to the hotel room, I was wiped out. I turned on the TV and the election was still too close to call so I turned it off and passed out. Woke up the next day and Trump is our guy. Got in the car and drove to my next talk in Charlotte. I purposefully avoided all news stations so I could enjoy the ride. We did our suicide prevention thing in Charlotte for the construction industry, drove home and logged into Facebook and Twitter only to find out it was the end of the world. People were freaking out about his election since early in the morning and the majority of them were women. I did not get it.
Why? Because I do not get women, and it’s not their fault—it’s mine. I never really put forth the effort needed, but this election cycle a few women taught me something about their species that helped me to understand them better whether they know it or not….let me explain.
I was doing one of my award-winning talks on suicide prevention (award-winning as in the host school gave me a tee shirt at my first talk…I count that as an award—disagree? Sue me!) at an unnamed university and I could not find the building I was to speak in, so I asked a young lady for directions. Her response took me by surprise. She asked me if I wanted to go the quick way or the safe way? The quick way or the safe way? I looked puzzled and she said the safe way had lights and call boxes, the quick way was more of a shortcut between some buildings. I replied quick way as I was getting anxious to set up my talk, and I realized just then because I am a guy, I never had to make that distinction. It was always the quick way. If I encountered some undesirables, or the term du jour, a bucket of deplorables, I would walk quickly on by and not make any eye contact. Simple. If they wanted trouble the most I could lose was my phone and wallet, which meant a visit to DMV would be in my future, but I would survive. Now for women, they could lose their phone, wallet, and a piece of their soul if there was sexual aggression added to the mix. That is never an issue for men…really never, and I don’t like talking in absolutes.
Second woman who helped me understand their plight told me on several occasions on her walk home from work that a car would slow down and some nasty phrases would spew from the male inhabitants. Again this never happened to me whether I took the safe way or the quick way. This just does not exist in my world.
All of this leads me to this conclusion on why women lost their minds with the announcement that the Donald was going to be our president, women are scared more often than we men like to admit. Scared—flat out scared. OK, looking back on the word scared, it may be too strong—ladies can you help me here? Can we say most women have to be at a heightened level of alert when they go out and guys just cannot relate. Fair? A level of alert that guys rarely have to deploy, thus we really do not comprehend the rationale behind this need to be on your “A” game all times.
Back to Trump. The things he said about women were inexcusable and to many, he represents all that is wrong with guys. To women, Trump is the guy that grabbed their ass in a bar and when they turned around he denied it. Trump is the guy who tells the stupid sexist joke right before the meeting begins. Trump is the one with the wedding band making an unwanted pass. Trump represents all that is wrong with men, and to tell the truth when I was young and drinking, I did my part to bring our reputations down as well. But Donald was not young when he said some of these things. Donald was not drunk—not saying that is ever an excuse for any behavior—but he was of a sober mind when he said these things.
I sort of get it now. I get why these women were upset that he got in the office and not Hillary. Don’t understand it fully, but I am starting to get it. I did not take the quick way at arriving to this level of thinking, nor did I take the safe way, but I got here and I sort of get the outrage. I’m getting closer…