Friday, January 14, 2005

Guilty...but why?

As men, what are we?

There are things in my head--questions mostly--that can barely bear examination. For example, why are we (meaning men...and not men in the sense of humanity, but men in the chromasomal sense) so freely and easily controlled by sex and sexuality? A broad (no pun intended) question, I know...but one that seems to need asking.

Sitting early yesterday morning in a large metropolitan airport I was once again faced with a burning question about the members of my gender when it comes to dealing with the opposite gender...nay anyone we find attractive to be more fair and correct; why are men so needy, lewd, and indiscreet? Oh, of course most men think they are being discreet, but no no there is hardly anything about our leering that would suggest discretion. Two examples from the morning of 13 January 2005 come as a blatant example of the bluntness and uncontrolable/seemingly incurable male behavior to which we are all prone.

First, while parusing the latest and lamentably last issue of Freeze Magazine--one who's passing will leave a void in the literary development of many skiers--while waiting for boarding to begin on my flight to Chicago from Albequerque I sat and watched as the crowd began to grow. Among that predominantly male growing crowd were four people I thought of note. Person number one was my dear dad, who is a good man, despite some of his faults. Persons number two and three were two men with unfortunate hair. One of these men looked to be in his 40s or 50s and was wearing what can be described as a "cosby sweater" and his companion was a twentysomething with a "George-Cloony-circa-E.R. era-roman-hairdo". The fourth and final member of the silent melodrama that I watched being acted out in the terminal this sunny morning was a shapely young woman who appeared as though she could have been anywhere from her mid twenties to mid thirties.

The action unfolded thusly: The young woman approached the gate as she walked down the terminal. I looked up from my ski-porn long enough to assess that yes, she was good looking, but I wanted to know more about the everyday life in Are, Sweeden, so it was back to the ski rag. All of the sudden my father uttered the tell-tale old man phrase of seeing something pleasing but probably unatainable and my attention was grabbed by the slightly lecherous "oh MY" that issued from his lips. (First of all there is something about that phrase when it comes from an older gentleman that has a sort of foppish quality to it, but we are not going to get into that today, other than to say that it often sounds like the "oh MY" should be followed by "what DOOO we have HERE!?" But that's just the way I feel about old men being creepy, and that's neither here nor there within this discussion.) Anyway, over the next three quarters of an hour I was intrigued not by the actions of the young woman in question, but by the actions of the other men around me.

Q-1: Do men really think that women cannot see them when they do the none-too-subtle "look over the shoulder as though taking in your surroundings but really just end up staring at a woman" maneuver?
A-1: I submit that, yes, a great many men fancy that they are quite the sly fox when busting out this move, when, in reality, even if the woman at whome their attentions are being directed does not catch their gaze there are other people around who see their actions and wonder why their gender is so creepy. Although guilty of the same activities now and again myself it seems all the more pathetic when you catch someone else in the act of sneaking a peek. If you find a woman attractive, talk to her. Chances are a lot of people are too scared to hit on her and it may be your lucky day and you'll find a special gal...(funny advice, I know because many of you who know me can attest that I am the last person to take action, even when intense attraction is involved, but it is SOUND advice, even if the author here is trying to live up to it himself.)

Q-2: What is up with men's fascination with sex?
A-2: Turns out that while sex is a lot of fun it's a very strange activity once you get down to brass tacks. If it was meant as something purely as a tool for reproduction why does it feel so good? Are the good sensations a necessary way for humanity to involuntarily bolster population levels? Truth is I don't know but next to making-out sex is about the weirdest thing normal people do. Everyone knows that sex sells, but why is that? How did so many men around the world get behind the idea that "If she'll just take her top off I'd be glad to give her a good portion of the money I have on my person right now?" The sex industry is a multi-million dollar a year moneymaker all because it has been proven time and time again that men will throw money at exposed body parts without any realistic hope of love or relationship. There is something about the hope that men get from naked women that buoys men's generosity and ultimately their wallets. It's mind boggling, really.

The second industry of this Thursday last is that a taller gentlemen who was standing to fiddle with his items in the overhead compartment allowed a flight attendant to pass him in the aisle, but then gave her the full body once-over with his eyes when she had passed. Supremely creepy, this move was noticable to everyone except those directly involved in the action. Somehow there is some cuircut in men's brains that makes it impossible to just allow any relatively young and fit woman to pass by without making her the source of scrutiny and/or fantasy.

Try as I might to rise above these problems I recognize that I am a member of the male gender in modern society and I will still foster urges that ought to be repressed to check out every woman that walks by. I don't want to be dirty and weird. In fact, I want to be able to base a woman's appeal on the things that come out of her mouth more than what she's wearing, but it's a long process of reprogramming my own mind, and I'm getting there--slowly but surely I am getting there--and someday it will be all about personality and all anyone will have to look for in the opposite gender is someone who it is fun to spend time with and everything else means fuck-all. If we all keep looking we'll find that special man, woman, someone special that we all would like in our lives without becoming a spectacle of unwitting embarrassment to those around us in society. Because, that someone is out there, we just need to hope to find them before it's too late.

-A.R. Leith

p.s.- If you're bored and online check out and That's all for now and I'll try and make things more interesting and updates more frequently in the future.

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