Ethical treatment of women was never something I needed to learn

Apples To Apples

I was born into the wrong family at the wrong time in the wrong place.  Broth instead of soup so to speak. Six months later another family picked me up, dusted me off and started my voyage into the dysfunctionality of American suburbia.
I was surrounded by first and second generation Germans, Irish, Puerto Ricans, Italians and French-Canadians. There were also many Jews and no Muslims. It was the Long Island of the 1950s and '60s where mobsters lived and thrived under the guise of just another happy, patriotic, hard-working and religious bunch out in the 'burbs. The American dream manifested.
The father of one of my friends ran the local fireworks bootlegging business as well as loan sharking and "protection" rackets plus, more than likely, the skimming of government contracts and for sure - gambling, aka, he was a bookie.
Mario Puso, the author of The Godfather, lived in my hometown before he hit the big-time. The food was multiethnic, American and a mix of both.
My best friend raised champion collies. Another best friend played the bass guitar and new about stars - the celestial kind, not the Hollywood kind. Another best friend spoke German and new about the history of all things rock and roll and was a virtuoso guitarist. His dad repaired Volkswagens and I suspect was in the Luftwaffe during WWII. I suspect because my friend was born in Prince Edward Island, an Eastern province of Canada. May German prisoners of war were kept in Canada and many stayed in North America after the war.
To my surprise the Catholic church I attended every Sunday did not burn down each time I entered. It might do so now, but it didn't then. I was perpetually forgiven. The nuns were always right and the priests were true holy men of God and not pretenders to His throne. They did not allow their souls to be sullied by the crass materialism found in many television preachers I have seen over the last 30 years.
I never saw a priest in a fancy car or with his own plane or in a custom tailored suit or in a mansion.
The shows on television were filled with anti-Indian racism and included many shows demeaning women, Blacks, Irish, Germans, Polish, French, Asians and Hispanics. Equal opportunity racism as written by White men, many who were Gay and who catered to the "white bread" masses whether found in Alabama or Maine, Montana or Arizona.
Back then, everyone smoked cigarettes. No filters and no girlie-fu-fu brands. Camel, Lucky Strike and Marlboro were the most popular. Black folks smoked Newport or some other menthol-flavored brand.
Beer and Canadian whiskey were the main drinks with cocktails like whiskey sour and martinis the drinks favored by many. Black men were drinking malt liquor, cheap wine and cheap whiskey.
Back then, only minorities were involved in drugs. Back then, sexual harassment may have been common, but it was also understood to be mostly consensual. Now America has more lawyers then doctors and factory workers.
All of what I just stated shows how pervasive stereotypical popular and institutional racism was back then - even before Archie Bunker and All in the Family was a big hit.
I have revealed a small part of my wonderfully colorful youth because when I got older I still always knew it was wrong to disrespect women verbally, physically, in the workplace or in the street. It was just wrong.
After all the ethnic, cultural, academic, religious and "street" learning I did back then - it was always crystal clear to me - treat women with respect - period.
Senators, judges, actors, Congressmen, doctors, generals, low rank, high rank, managers and coworkers --- it just doesn't matter your station in life as a man. All women must be respected and those men that don't do so are scum.
Sue them, fire them, demote them, kick them where their brains are. I for one am embarrassed by my fellow men acting like animals because even animals have "rules of engagement."
When I was a kid, a young lady's dad or big brother would make sure any disrespect was dealt with - usually in a physical way. I don't advocate violence, but I would acquit any woman who broke the arm of the idiot that groped her. Have American morals reached rock bottom?
I may have been raised in the world of metropolitan New York, but I never doubted that each and every woman on earth I encountered in daily life deserved respect. It didn't matter then and it doesn't matter now whether these women are poor, rich, professional, blue collar or whatever.
Voters, law enforcement, churches and peer pressure need to step up their game to punish these disgusting morons who give all men a bad reputation.
There are women who think all men are dogs and all men only want sex and all men are allowed to act like pigs and men in power get to do whatever they want. These women are not talking about me nor are they talking about millions of men who respect women.
It is high time American men prosecute and cull the pigs among us.
From now on, I urge women to immediately complain, file charges or take matters into their own hands.
How about this scenario: Next time the doctor or your boss or the school principle touches you inappropriately, tell him you will be visiting his wife along with your friend the lawyer. Tell him your brother is a professional boxer and would be happy to rearrange his face. Even better, carry a can of mace with you and spray away - we all deserve a better behaved America.
Whatever you do - don't wait years to take action. Rabid animals need to be euthanized immediately before they infect all of us.

Gary Bégin's opinions are his own and not those of NCW Media. He can be reached via email:

User menu

NCW Media Newspapers