Medical Fact: Optimum “levels of estrogen in men are essential for a healthy libido and improved brain function….”
Word Fact: “Malkin: An old diminutive of Matilda; formerly used as a generic term for a kitchen-wench or untidy slut.” Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, New York
American Cowboy Fact: “We watched four boozed-up cowboy types kick a faggot half to death between the pinball machines.” Hunter S. Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
When Barry Bonds hit home-run number seventy in 2001 it was caught by a fan named Charles Murphy who was asked how he felt when he caught it. “The rush of estrogen was incredible,” he said. That’s one of the funniest, and truest, sports lines I’ve ever read, even though many people are confused by it and let it go by like a called third strike. Mr. Murphy’s interviewer didn’t get it either and suggested that he should have said “testosterone.” Wrong.
Yes, we all know that “testosterone is for men” and “estrogen is for women,” but the fact of the matter is that all of us, male or female, actually have a mixed bag, so that even Mike Tyson has a little “girl” in him, albeit hard to find. That Charles said he experienced a spike in estrogen is completely believable because Barry Bonds is the closest thing to SuperMAN in human form, steroids or no steroids, and to have caught the shot off his two-pound, 31-inch-long cannon, the recipient, regardless of sex or sexual orientation, is bound to experience a “rush” of estrogen.
Which brings us to the boy in Florida who wore high heels to school. The principal told him to remove the shoes because even though Riverview High didn’t have pinball machines, he was still going to get his butt whupped if he didn’t get rid of the shoes. “As a principal of a high school…I have to make sure he’s going to be okay,” Principal Heilmann said. “Anytime anyone goes out from, quote, ‘the norm,’ or anytime anyone wants to make a statement, you have to be willing to take what comes with it.” Apparently the principal wasn’t willing to take what comes with a male student wearing girlaphenalia, so off came the shoes. Is this not the reasoned response that has most of us nodding in agreement, for “boys will be boys,” teasing and beating each other, and, besides, they’re just high-schoolers? Well, I’m not nodding. High-schoolers turn into adults.
Heels, no heels, long hair, short hair, lip gloss, no lip gloss, it’s no big deal one way or the other–the world turns. What is a big deal is the principal telling children that if somebody doesn’t like what they wear or what they draw or how they play the harpsichord or sing the national anthem, they must “be willing to take what comes with it,” and not just criticism, but beatings, rape, or murder by goons, brown shirts, pimply-faced schoolmates or anybody else who has a majority view or official sanction as to what thoughts are proper, what life views are acceptable, or how music should be performed.
Years ago the gay community began voicing its disagreement with the prevailing view that homosexuals could be rightfully beaten or killed simply because their behavior did not conform to or sit well with the majority of society’s members, and before that, Malcolm X was saying much the same thing regarding another community of minority standing. My question is, “Who’s running the school? The principal? Principles of decency instilled by education? Or the student body’s goblins and their hounds?” If the principal says he’s in charge, then why isn’t he passing out tire irons? Malcolm X would have.
Which now brings us to the “slut walk.” Tire irons, effective in the short run, must give way to efforts at education, and that’s what I think the “sluts,” untidy or not, working in kitchens or not, frumpy or not, are trying to tell us. A policeman echoing Principal Heilmann’s “belief in justifiable mayhem” by stating that those women who dress provocatively are responsible for being raped makes as much sense as saying a rich man who wears a Rolex is provoking common citizens to snatch it off his wrist. “You’re under arrest! What’s that? The suit was wearing the Rolex on his wrist? I see. OK, give him back his Rolex and you scram. As for you, keep that Rolex buried in a deep pocket and out of sight. And if I ever see it on your wrist again, I won’t lift a finger to stop the person that steals it from you.”
If Principal Heilmann can’t instill values of decency and acceptance in our children, we should at least be able to expect our police and other public servants to uphold the rights and freedoms of anyone who isn’t committing a felony, regardless of how or where they wear their bras and Rolexes, and that would be a good start, don’t you think? And we do need to start somewhere, otherwise we’ll never stop reading stories about bullies lurking in stadium parking lots and in the stands amidst those fans who dare to catch a home run ball and run the risk of an estrogen spike that sets off the hounds.
I wonder if Charles Murphy was wearing high heels when he caught Barry Bonds’ home run.