I Am Strong...I Am Invincible...I Am...
Thinking of this lyric in Helen Reddy's anthem: "but I'm still an embryo with a long long way to go, until I help my brother understand!"
What is it you'd like your brother to understand? That you're pushy, relentless, cunning, determined, undermining, emasculating, sneaky, overbearing...? The list could go on and on.
I am beginning to realize why I don't like women, haven't liked women, reacted negatively to women, don't trust women, would do just about anything to avoid a confrontation with a woman.
My own mother is a prime example of the things I find distasteful about women. Throughout my life she has demanded, manipulated, humiliated. She demonstrated her distaste for male decisions by arguing, silence, tears, drama, religion, illness, and yes, by subtly threatening mental and emotional angst. She didn't say it out loud but the message was clear: "you'll be sorry. You'll be very sorry if you don't comply with my wishes immediately."
The consequences would endure until compliance was achieved. This could involve grounding, spanking, restrictions of various forms, sad expressions, concerns about my going to hell etc. etc. etc. If the belt didn't work then a sorrowful expression day after day surely would. She would be astounded that anyone would think differently about something than she. Amazing woman.
So why the rant? Two reasons that come to mind immediately.
First, my mother is dying. She is going to live out the balance of her days on this earth with a clouded mind, in a building that smells of old people and antiseptic. I think she has some nerve to allow herself this final "excuse me" on the way out the door. Do I feel guilty about the whole thing? You betcha! She did a great job of teaching me about guilt...and shame...and
I doubt that I'd feel this level of resentment were it not for the situation I've placed myself in over these last 30 years.
Pastoring small churches has taught me about the meaning of bullies. I understand now why it was essential that I grow up in a culture that protects mean people and stomps on those that would be gentle. The girl on the playground with freshly sharpened nails, or the boy that laughed as he twisted my nip on the bus while the driver just sat and watched helped to prepare me for the nightmare that is the church.
The church I presently serve has more than it's share of female bullies. Well it did anyway. There is just one left, and she still runs a rampage, doing just enough to make it difficult to decide to fire her. Hell, her own husband can't stand her, why should I? I have never run into a nastier bunch than those right here, right now. Help meet? You've got to be kidding. The only man that can survive this type of trollop is a mouse.
So Helen, keep on singing your defiant anthem. I'll probably even applaud at the end, smiling inwardly at the foolishness of submitting to a woman's whims.