Friday, May 27, 2005

Opening Doors

In the early eighties, I worked for an ad agency. A woman, Linda, who worked with us was, and I'm sure still is to this day, a staunch feminist. Now, I have nothing against the ERA and all that. My only problem was that she just did not like men. She wasn't a lesbian. She actually was married to a really nice guy. He was a police captain, but, she managed to turn him into a veritable milquetoast. You could ask her about the weather, a seemingly innocent topic, and she would somehow twist it into some kind of warped discussion about how most meteorologists are men and how much women have suffered because of male meteorologists. Any topic. So, as a male, you couldn't expect to have a conversation with her without somehow feeling guilty about yourself. She hated Republicans, yet she was registered as one. I sensed an inner confusion.

Another woman, Terri, worked with her in the same room. She was seemingly normal, in a sense that she didn't feel as compelled to destroy the male id. One day, at lunch time, we all kind of poured out the front door at the same time. As I walked out, Terri scampered up behind me. I held the door open for her. She said, in a rather bitter tone of voice, "You don't have to hold the door open for me." I let go. Bam. Caught her off guard. She was so caught up in her contempt she never saw it coming. I said, "Terri, I would hold the door for anyone behind me, whether male or female. It's just the polite thing to do." I mean, heck, I slow down for squirrels in the street. I had this gut feeling that Linda had brought in one of those body snatching pods and it had taken over her body and mind. A few days later, she apologized. She said she was wrong and it was totally out of character for her. Of course, I said I was sorry for letting go of the door, too. She said, no, it kind of opened her eyes. You work with a person, day after day, year after year, bent on indoctrinating you to some cause, it's got to have an affect on you. Terri never showed an ounce of disdain, nor acted impulsively again.

I think that most people aren't always afraid of change with regards to whatever movement arises and sustains itself, whether social, political or religious in nature. I think people are more apprehensive due to the militant nature of so many of the proponents. They just scare people off.

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