I was at a baseball game with my family sometime in my early teens. Were sitting in the upper deck of “The Jake” where the rows were crammed tight with our knees nearly touching the shoulders of the people sitting a row ahead. There was a woman sitting in front of my Dad and I can’t remember what she looked like, its all faded to some unused part of my memory.
What I do remember is my Father leaning in close to me just as the game started and whispering in my ear “Take your dick out and tap that lady on the shoulder with it.”
My Dad wasn’t so quiet that my Mom didn’t hear him.
“Robert! Don’t do that. Butch stop it!”
Butch is my Father’s nickname, one that was used to distinguish him from my Grandfather.
I can’t remember how I reacted. I remember feeling uncomfortable, which means I probably chuckled a little bit because I didn’t know what else to do. I was thirteen or fourteen at the time, but I knew that it was wrong. Not just because I was in public, but because something deep down told me it was not okay to force yourself on someone like that.
It doesn’t matter how old Peter Sagan is what he did was wrong. Not only does the ass grab show a total lack of class, but also a flagrant disrespect for women. The world is by and large – as James Brown said – a Man’s world. A lot of times this is a detriment to women.
Everywhere I go I am bombarded with images of sexualized women. Its been this way since I, all of us – well most of us — were little. But I also know the difference between what I’m being sold and the world as it is. That means I understand that a woman is not an object for me to possess or have my way with. Bottom line.
The notion that “boys will be boys” is outdated and exists with the understanding that men don’t change as they get older, but become better at concealing their chauvinism. That attitude also goes a long to keeping woman quiet, when they should be speaking out. This boys will be boys attitude creates a proto-rape culture in which it is okay for young men to act disrespectful because they are young boys.
In this case it is the Woman’s fault for wearing the skirt. It is the Woman’s fault for being a Podium Girl (another thing that’s a bit fucked up). Harassment by young boys and human beings who think their “Men” is not a condition of work. Its just plain bullshit.