Foxes, Rats, Chickens, and Harpies

Jim Mahoney
Years ago I worked with a courtly, older engineer.  Born and educated in Hungary, he was the essence of Old World manners and good breeding.  He was also one of the most genial and good-natured people I've ever met.  One day I happened to ask him what he thought of Soviet Communists.  His eyes narrowed, his face hardened and suddenly from his depths he exploded:  "Those stupid bastards!  They're still cutting the tails off of rats waiting for the next generation to be born without tails!"  The intensity of his outburst stunned both of us.  It took him a second or two to regain his composure. I never forgot his comments or the intensity of the feelings that provoked them.

Inez Sainz is a beautiful woman blessed with world-class good looks.  She is well aware of the fact and if her photos are any indication, she enjoys displaying her assets.  It may come as a shock to some sports reporters but healthy men are drawn to beautiful women.  Sometimes the attraction expresses itself in puerile behavior.  Young men, athletes in peak condition who play the ultimate man's game are not always Ivy League choirboys.  They may be professionals but they didn't all attend finishing school.

That's not to excuse bad behavior.  However, if we hold men to account for their behavior towards women isn't it about time we expect women to bear responsibility for the effects they can produce in men?  To her credit, Ms. Sainz does not appear to be the one throwing dirt about what may have happened in the Jet's locker room.  However, plenty of others are.

Beyond that, if we expect individual men and women to be responsible for their conduct, shouldn't we also expect organizations to accept responsibility for results when they knowingly mix gasoline and oxygen in the ratios necessary for an explosion?

The league and many reporters are spooling themselves up into righteous froth over the fact that some young jocks got carried away by the presence of a stunning woman in their locker room.  Do you people remember where babies come from?  Aren't locker rooms places where people dress?  Is it too much to expect of the NFL to provide a modicum of human dignity for their players?  Or does the mindless quest for equality trump all basic decency?

Why is provoking a man sexually different from other forms of provocation?  If an annoying male reporter tried the patience of a player and produced a verbal outburst from other team members would it be national news?  Why is that kind of provocation different?

Apologies to the NFL for bringing this up, but you have quite a record for hiring men who fail to qualify for good citizenship awards.  While you have a substantial financial hammer over your player's heads, aren't you also responsible for creating an environment where this sort of thing is inevitable?  Is there any doubt when you finish your inquisition you will wind up punishing men for the crime of being male, while conveniently overlooking anyone else's responsibility, especially your own?

There was a time when people understood that men are aroused by provocative images.  While we could argue endlessly over whether or not Ms. Sainz was dressed appropriately, it's reasonable to suggest if she were dressed differently, the reaction she produced would have been proportionately different in either direction.  If her interview was conducted after the men had a chance to dress, it is also quite likely things would have been different.

My mother was fond of saying "it takes two to tango".  That trite bit of common sense recognized that somewhere between "she was asking for it" and treating women like perpetual children needing supervision and protection from a performance-enhanced legal system there lays a world of respect for one's self, for the effects of one's behavior on others and responsibility for the consequences of our actions and our dress.

Today we force the sexes to mix in places that would be plainly insane to people of past generations.  Worse, when the inevitable happens we're aghast.  Isn't it time we admit that men and women are different and that though the attraction is mutual, when overexposed, it is bound to be discomfiting.  Could we please find some standard of discretion and modesty?

When will we stop cutting tails off rats?  Boys will be boys and termagants will be termagants.  Get over it.
Years ago I worked with a courtly, older engineer.  Born and educated in Hungary, he was the essence of Old World manners and good breeding.  He was also one of the most genial and good-natured people I've ever met.  One day I happened to ask him what he thought of Soviet Communists.  His eyes narrowed, his face hardened and suddenly from his depths he exploded:  "Those stupid bastards!  They're still cutting the tails off of rats waiting for the next generation to be born without tails!"  The intensity of his outburst stunned both of us.  It took him a second or two to regain his composure. I never forgot his comments or the intensity of the feelings that provoked them.

Inez Sainz is a beautiful woman blessed with world-class good looks.  She is well aware of the fact and if her photos are any indication, she enjoys displaying her assets.  It may come as a shock to some sports reporters but healthy men are drawn to beautiful women.  Sometimes the attraction expresses itself in puerile behavior.  Young men, athletes in peak condition who play the ultimate man's game are not always Ivy League choirboys.  They may be professionals but they didn't all attend finishing school.

That's not to excuse bad behavior.  However, if we hold men to account for their behavior towards women isn't it about time we expect women to bear responsibility for the effects they can produce in men?  To her credit, Ms. Sainz does not appear to be the one throwing dirt about what may have happened in the Jet's locker room.  However, plenty of others are.

Beyond that, if we expect individual men and women to be responsible for their conduct, shouldn't we also expect organizations to accept responsibility for results when they knowingly mix gasoline and oxygen in the ratios necessary for an explosion?

The league and many reporters are spooling themselves up into righteous froth over the fact that some young jocks got carried away by the presence of a stunning woman in their locker room.  Do you people remember where babies come from?  Aren't locker rooms places where people dress?  Is it too much to expect of the NFL to provide a modicum of human dignity for their players?  Or does the mindless quest for equality trump all basic decency?

Why is provoking a man sexually different from other forms of provocation?  If an annoying male reporter tried the patience of a player and produced a verbal outburst from other team members would it be national news?  Why is that kind of provocation different?

Apologies to the NFL for bringing this up, but you have quite a record for hiring men who fail to qualify for good citizenship awards.  While you have a substantial financial hammer over your player's heads, aren't you also responsible for creating an environment where this sort of thing is inevitable?  Is there any doubt when you finish your inquisition you will wind up punishing men for the crime of being male, while conveniently overlooking anyone else's responsibility, especially your own?

There was a time when people understood that men are aroused by provocative images.  While we could argue endlessly over whether or not Ms. Sainz was dressed appropriately, it's reasonable to suggest if she were dressed differently, the reaction she produced would have been proportionately different in either direction.  If her interview was conducted after the men had a chance to dress, it is also quite likely things would have been different.

My mother was fond of saying "it takes two to tango".  That trite bit of common sense recognized that somewhere between "she was asking for it" and treating women like perpetual children needing supervision and protection from a performance-enhanced legal system there lays a world of respect for one's self, for the effects of one's behavior on others and responsibility for the consequences of our actions and our dress.

Today we force the sexes to mix in places that would be plainly insane to people of past generations.  Worse, when the inevitable happens we're aghast.  Isn't it time we admit that men and women are different and that though the attraction is mutual, when overexposed, it is bound to be discomfiting.  Could we please find some standard of discretion and modesty?

When will we stop cutting tails off rats?  Boys will be boys and termagants will be termagants.  Get over it.