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A few nights ago I drove out to a dark parking lot to help my nephew with a car he couldn’t start. Now, I’m a jerk, so I mainly enjoyed laughing at his understanding of how an engine works. Imagine a Rube Goldberg device powered by Flintstone animals. Fine, I’m a jerk, but I’m not a dumb jerk, so I realized between laughs that this kid knows nothing because he was never taught anything. I don’t know everything, but I know that first 20 percent that covers 80 percent of the issues. The Pareto Principle of engine repair. So, I started with the battery…
This episode came to mind just now while reading more about the Weinsteins of the world. How does this happen? And it made me think of a talk I should maybe have with my nephew about helping protect the women in his life. It’ll go something like this:
See them to the door
Let’s start with the easiest of easy. There are places criminals like to strike because it’s convenient. These are called doors. It only takes a second to follow a woman through her door and then she’s alone and off the street. It used to be a rule that you’d take a date or a female friend to her door or at least wait on the street until she’s safely inside until you left for the evening. It should become a rule again.
This doesn’t just apply to houses or apartment buildings. It also goes for parking lots and garages. If you see a woman going to her car take a second or two and see if there are any sketchy creepers lurking around. Doing so takes a second. Not doing so should keep you up a few minutes that night.
Leave no woman behind
You know what’s annoying? When our friends get tipsy and won’t stop talking to some rando at the bar or party. You know what you can’t do? You can’t leave them. You wait and sit through a couple minutes of too loud conversation about God knows what and you ask how they’re getting home. And you don’t leave until you know. Now, we’re all adults, and we all know that sometimes they’re going to go home together. So you do the psychopath once over and if the guy passes that, you introduce yourself and you find out their name and talk enough so there is little doubt in their mind that you know who they are and that they are leaving together. Guess what? Sometimes that girl might even get annoyed with this. Who cares. Worry about that tomorrow if they still remember.
Deal with not knowing what to say; it’s a man’s curse, so get used to it.
Okay, young man, this one is harder. You’re going to have a female friend come home from a date or an evening out one night and she’s going to be crying. Yes, a crying woman. The tears are terrifying but it’s mainly because you’re afraid you will have no idea what to say. The bad news is that you might never know what to say. The other bad news is this is no excuse, so suck it up. Sometimes you’re going to hear some extremely disgusting things that will make you so enraged you feel like you’re going to burst because your adrenalin has nowhere to go. Such is life. You still have to do it. No one said being a man is easy, and it’s seldom because of all the bears we’re fighting. Be there for them and be ready to do something if necessary.
Don’t think sometimes
This isn’t legal advice but that’s okay because I’m not a lawyer. Sometimes you’re going to see things that simply require action. Maybe it’s hearing what that crying friend just told you. Maybe it’s a woman being jerked hard on the arm on the street. We live in an age when you’re told a lot of things about what a man should and shouldn’t do. In these instances, a good rule is: don’t think. If you feel like you need to take action to protect someone, then do it and worry about the consequences later. Maybe you’re afraid of things getting physical because you’ve never been in a fight. Well, for one, you’re already winning even if you’re losing teeth because you’re the one getting beat in that scenario and not the woman. For another, even the most one-sided fights aren’t that bad at all when you consider the alternative, which is thinking about what you didn’t do from that moment forward. Scars are much easier to look at in the mirror.
And… that’s it. That’s the bare minimum of what to know and do.