I recall hearing a comment Trump once made after seeing a homeless man on the streets. He observed that the person was a billion times richer than he was at the time. While he had no way of knowing the man’s financial status, it turns out that when it comes to the treatment of women, the homeless man may have had even more going in his favor than Trump actually knew.
I have found that even though the lack of physical boundaries on the street lends itself to language that, as we say, should not be used in the presence of women, men are respectful. There is always a certain demeanor when ladies are present.
And there are those times and places where we as women are virtually defenseless. Such as when we have to camp out in remote spots only surrounded by men. There is invariably the man who will make unwanted advances and seek to take liberties. Times when women have had to not only contend with fighting off the insects, but sleep with a guarded eye and fight off unwanted advances.
Yet, I have come to the realization that environment has little to do with the gender divide that has crept into our society in recent decades. That Glass ceilings are not limited to corporate America, but is evident in every strata of society. As in any part of society, there always seems to be a handful of men who have lagged behind the tremendous advances that have been made in women’s equality. Those men whose personalities perhaps will always cause them to seek out differences between the sexes to exploit them.
Yet at the end of the day (pun intended) the men in my community are respectful, caring human beings who value a woman’s place in society. They are able to often to carry the weight of lugging our belongings around without imposing the male bravado often associated with their gender. Like the rest of the world, these are men who despise lewdness and the unwanted advances made on women.
One night in particular stands out for me. I had locked my keys in my car and had to sleep in an area where there were mostly men. That night there was a man whose drinking had driven him to obnoxious loud rants in the area where we were trying to sleep. It was another man who despite the loud rants of this individual, spoke in calm tones. He reminded the individual that people needed to sleep and the value of respecting others. He never judged the man who was behaving obnoxiously, but asked him to move on to respect everyone else. This went on for maybe twenty minutes or so before the man finally agreed to leave, his rantings echoing in the air as he stumbled away.
I drifted off into a fitful sleep and awoke to a light misting rain, the awning of the building keeping me dry. Then I heard the calming voice of the man from the night before. He walked around and gently nudged everyone awake. The same gentleman who drove away the drunken individual also tapped on my blanket to make me and the other women aware that it was morning and the breakfast church would be opening soon. Soon we were all awake and alert enough to gather our blankets where we headed to the breakfast church at St. Andrew’s for our first meal of the day.
As I recall it was Chaucer who during the Middle Ages made the world aware that gentility, the quality of having good character and high moral standing was not based on one’s social standing. He shocked the sensibilities of the medieval man with the realization that aristocracy did not equal gentility and that this quality could be found among peasants as well.
And so it is with Trump. Neither money nor social standing has prevented him from treating women with disrespect. Trump’s attitude towards women shows that even the person perceived to be the most lowly citizen in the world can have not only be richer than him, but have more decency towards people of the opposite sex. That a man sleeping under a bridge can display the qualities of gentility rarely associated with his class in life.
We should all take note that whether sleeping under a bridge or in pursuit of the White House, respect for women is not limited to one’s station in life, but in the inherent character of the individual.