R. E. S. P. E. C. T.

“Luke. I am your father. Show some damned respect!”

I respect my dad. But not because he’s my dad. I respect his labor and sacrifice to keep me and the rest of my family housed and clothed and fed. He did this so faithfully that it never even crossed my mind as a boy. C.H. Smith grew up hard, and poor, and often hungry. He did his level best to protect us from that.

I’ve had some issues with my dad. Our relationship has seen trouble. But this guy and others like him have earned respect.

This post isn’t about my dad. It’s about the ladies. Bear with me.

A dear friend told me not long ago, in some pain, that someone accused him of being sexist. He asked if I thought it was true. He pointed out that he always treats ladies with respect. Honors them. Even puts them on a pedestal.

I hemmed and hawed because I truly love the guy and I know his heart is good.

But yeah, it’s sexist, and here’s why:

Just as with my dad on the one hand and Darth Vader on the other, you gotta respect or disrespect individuals. If I just clump those two together, C.H. Smith doesn’t get the respect he’s earned. “Father” means nothing. Actions mean everything.

Similarly “The ladies” don’t deserve respect. But Jennifer (my mate) does. In my personal experience so do Christine, Kate, Candace, Karly, Shelley, Mary Ann, Jennell, Kathy, Heather, Kathy, Colleen, … Not because they’re moms or daughters or friends or mentors, but because of who each one has proven herself to be.

Respect is an individual thing. It’s not a group thing.

I’m sorry to say that treating the ladies as a group is the part of the Venn diagram where old fashioned gentlemanhood and incel overlap.

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