Soft Boys

Soft Boys

Even at my advanced age, I know very little about women. As an only child, I had no sisters to compare notes with and both my parents were not only modest but also terminally shy about their bodies for my growing interest. Forget about anyone but an 11-year old friend telling me about the birds and the bees. Consequently, for most of my formative years, I was almost completely in the dark about such personal things. For all I knew, girls were just soft boys.  

There were no men’s magazines available to provide some elementary though lascivious knowledge for me. The only pictures of nude women I had ever seen were in my neighbor’s National Geographic and of course there were that stash of nudist magazines that a few of us found in the weeds in front of Forest Hills High School when we were 11. But those did little to alleviate my nagging curiosity about the opposite sex.   

I sometimes side with professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady when he queried why can’t a women be more like a man? But, in reality, would we be any better off if they were just like us as the trend seems to indicate since they burned their bras and adapted the accoutrements of the weaker sex—us? 

The comedian, Stephen Wright, once jested about women: You can’t live with them and you can’t kill them. I think he only told that joke one time. While women and some men might not find that very amusing, I think it explains the dilemma of man’s situation during life in the 21st century.  

Most times I prefer their company to that of my boy or men friends. I don’t know why, but I felt differently around them as a class and got most of my jollies in grade school by teasing them and pushing them in the bushes on the way home from school. It is hard to explain, but even as an adolescent, I sensed there was something essentially different about them. Maybe it was their smiles.  

I think veteran French actor Maurice Chevalier had it right when he proclaimed Viva La difference! He always felt that he owed a great deal to Heaven for making little girls because they got bigger every day. I don’t know if the world would be better without them but it certainly would be more boring.  

Women can inspire men to be better, more decent human beings just to earn the privilege of being near them. Women take the edge off the nasty side of men when they are true to their sex. When they are not, we both sink to subterranean depths.

No man can light up a room with a smile as can the average woman, except maybe the late Joe Garagiola. Then there is the shape of their bodies. When their hormones kick in and nature starts to distribute their weigh and ample fatty tissues to their chests, hips and thighs, their presence takes on a more commanding presence. 

Let’s face it, elementary biology proves how our bodies were naturally designed to complement each other in every conceivable way. My adolescence was a period when I spent many an agonizing moment trying to learn to dance to their unfathomable melodies. To ignore this unassailable fact of life is to ignore the basic rhythms of life. It is to court moral depravity and even mental illness. Today’s current thinking that there are almost as many varieties of sexual identity as Heinz has products is insane. No wonder so many of our teens are on pills, drugs of all kinds. Their elders have allowed them or maybe caused them to imagine such confusion of ideas and thoughts that they feel alienated from their culture at large.

Now, in my dotage after a half century of marriage to the same woman, and my subsequent second marriage to Anna 18 months ago after Judy’s unexpected death three years ago, I know and understand even less of what goes on between their ears. I was taught how to think by the Jesuits who laid a fundamental foundation of logic, reason and objectivity in analysis for the multitude of problems, issues and choices that have confronted me throughout my life.  

In my limited experience with women, those subjects seem foreign, even extra-planetary. Sometimes I believe that all women must have originated from the Far East…no, not New York, Philadelphia or Boston but China, Japan or the Philippines. While their bodies are often breathe-taking, their personalities, often charming and feminine, their minds remain mysterious, unfathomable and inscrutable. 

Not too long ago I had gotten an earful of their kind of thinking that perfectly demonstrated this idea. I was vainly trying to give driving directions to Lena, my long-time massage therapist, when in a sudden burst of emotion she told me, you guys just don’t get it. We (all women?) just don’t understand north and south…

Most female thinking is intuitive, especially about other people, though I hate to admit it, they are right more often than not. This admonition would explain why women get so angry with their men for not stopping to ask for directions when they are lost. I believe that inside each man is the soul of a wilderness explorer. Take Columbus, for example; he thought he was discovering India. I will wager he never stopped for directions.

Women long for the security of proper directions because they usually have no idea where they are and a man’s stubbornness just feeds their insecurities. I understood this truism even better after my flight with a woman pilot to Indianapolis in a prop airplane many years ago. I didn’t mind so much that she was female until she stopped three times to ask directions.

I know the world abounds with millions of misogynistic men in foreign countries and those in this country, who aspire to follow the Playboy philosophy of octogenarian Hugh Heffner, a very poor role model for men of any age. But I do not know what got into their heads in the sixties that led to a Sexual Revolution where millions of women rebelled against their own bodies and their very nature.  

With the rubric of equality hanging around their necks, women wanted to be treated equally with men in all things. Many feminists preach their silly gospel that men and women are fungible and all women were interchangeable with men in every way. Equal pay for equal work, women in combat and other revolutionary slogans urged the troops on.  

But, in reality, they lobby for Gender Norming in the military, fewer work hours, major in Education and English, instead of the sciences and mathematics. Women tennis players demand to be paid as much as men tennis players, even though their matches are the best of three sets, instead of the male’s best of five. Equal pay for equal work?

Posters in the seventies, depicting a woman lining up at a urinal exposed the very heart of their absurd argument. This reminded me of a sign I saw on a visit to Alexandria, Virginia in the early sixties. It read: If women ever get equal rights with me it will be a great step down for them. Truer words have never been on a billboard.

Just what has all of the above done to the male sex? Now that we are knee-deep in the 21st century and the battle lines between the sexes has hardened, men find themselves facing an intractable movement that takes no prisoners. 

To make matters worse, after a few generations of feminist mothers, men seem less virile and more adolescent and lazy and prone to depression with a deep fear of women. It might explain why there seems to be a vast increase in male homosexuality and the vast breakdown of marriage and the concomitant inability of men to commit to long term relationships. Perhaps my title is really a double entendre.  

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Written by
William Borst