One Small Point of Light

The flame of a candle is one small point of light.  One standard candle is estimated to give off 12.5 lumens.  One candle shines brightly in a dark space, but doesn’t reveal much about that space.  Each candle added increases the light, until every dark corner is illuminated.

There is a darkness that is being brought to the light from a surprising source, the political arena.  Being brought to light is something women everywhere have to deal with, from the most progressive societies to the most socially repressive.

I am not going to try to make a judgement on the political firestorm, because it seems that everyone has already decided the importance of the language or possible reality of the sexually aggressive, bullying actions.  I do want to do is share my experience with men.

I know many wonderful men.  My husband, my father, uncles, brother, sons, cousins, many men I went to school with, and many men I worked with are all wonderful, respectful men.  However not all men are respectful.

At age 12, greeting my uncle with a kiss after not seeing him for a long time, he made it clear that such actions were “asking for it ” and would deserve anything that happened. Our relationship was never the same again.  After this I avoided not only this uncle, but men in general.

In Junior High School, a boy grabbed me roughly, and I couldn’t get away.  Every boy in the school let him know this behavior was not going to be tolerated.

Sitting in a high school English class, a couple of boys were putting their hands down the blouses of some of the girls.  Everyone was laughing, even most of the girls.  If they came near me, not only would I clock them, but so would my marine boyfriend, his friends and every other male I called friend.

At age 18, I was talking to a fellow student about my brother studying Judo.  My brother, several of his friends, my sister’s boyfriend,  were all black belts.  The man I was talking to said, “A man would have to be crazy to mess with you!”  It was at that moment that I realized how important it was to be under the protection of the men in my life.

At age 19, two weeks after getting married,  a man I had known for several months offered me a soda while waiting for my ride.  I thought I knew this person, but found myself in a sexual situation that I was lucky to talk my way out of.  Exactly the type of situation my Mother had warned me to never get myself into.

The next day he grabbed me, and wanted to press his case, telling me how I should be complimented by his attention.  I informed him that my uncle was the head of the radiology department in the hospital where he was a resident, and if he ever came near me again, I would report his behavior and he would be out of the hospital.

I had more than one husband of a woman friend “make a pass,” and I have had to give up long term friendships with women when their husbands would not take no for an answer.

I’ve had to work with men who described their exploits and considered themselves a gift to women.  They could not believe any woman would be serious about not wanting his attentions.  These were men I had to be careful to avoid being alone with in the workplace, but they “did the job.”

Why complain?  Nobody would do anything.  It was just something women had to put up with.  Men were the sexual aggressors, and women should be complimented.  But no means NO!   At best, we would warn each other of the danger.

Sexual aggression must be stopped by men.  Only men can stop the locker room bragging.  Only men can keep these aggressors in line, but only if they care about their wives, mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, and other women they know and work with.

12 thoughts on “One Small Point of Light

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  1. Hi April, I found you through OM over at Harsh Reality and I am glad I did. I understand all of your post and can relate to much of it. My sister’s husband made several passes at me from the time I was 16 to 20. No matter how hard I tried to not be alone around him, without telling my sister (though, in the end, I wish I had), I had no choice as I was helping her with my nephews. I was also date-raped on my grad night and had a lot of other bad relationships with men. When I finally met someone who was good (my current hubby), I almost blew it because I had a hard time with trust. This is a very good post for men and women to read.


    1. So nice to meet you. I know there are worse experiences than mine, but that was more good luck than good management. Now a small number of people are in the news, but these are problems everyone has. We worry about creating a problem, while we live in fear. I am sorrowful for your bad experiences with men, but so glad you ended up with a good man. There are many good men out there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you didn’t think I was saying my situation was worse. It wasn’t everyone goes through whatever they go through. I was empathizing with you. You are right, there are good men out there. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. The mentality is so ingrained in the male culture that if you speak out against abusive practices, other men will quickly accuse you of being gay. I know there are aggressive, and even abusive women, too, but it isn’t to the degree that it afflicts men. Part of it’s biology, but your mention of men that couldn’t believe a woman would turn them down is exactly the kind of “God’s gift to women” mentality we heard in the video of “boy’s talk” on the bus. Anyway 59 is far past boyhood, so that excuse won’t cut it. Good write, April, and you’re right about the complimentary aspect of your prose and my poems. Social justice is a big thing with me, whatever the issue.


    1. I know what you say is true. From the 1960s to today women have worked their way into most areas, but it wasn’t without suffering a lot of discomfort along the way, plus simple lack of cooperation. I do have some shameful stories about women also. I suppose I’ll get to them sometime.


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