Oh my gosh, are these men afraid.

Rich men and poor men. White men and black men. Those in corporate offices and men in the corridors of political power.

They are jumping at the slightest sound. Looking behind them as if a monster were lurking in the shadows about to pounce.

OPINION

Women! There’s a scary sound.

They can accuse you of anything. Make any kind of allegation. And suddenly your life is changed forever.

Once upon a time, in the good old days, some would say, things were different. Men could point the finger at a woman and accuse her of being a whore and she could be tossed out of her home into the street.

Her children could be taken from her.

Her own mother and father would turn their backs and lock their doors.

If a woman was raped, she “was asking for it.”

A male supervisor could have his way with a woman and fire her if she refused to cooperate.

This was the way of the world for women. You didn’t get to vote, didn’t have standing in the courtrooms and religious leaders told you to go home and do what your man told you.

The politicians who made their deals and the laws in men’s clubs didn’t much care about women, if they bothered to think about women at all.

Actually, that’s not quite true. They were valued property, like horses, pigs and chickens. The women took care of the children, cleaned the house and cooked and were of some value because you didn’t have to pay the help.

A man could take pride in his wife, if she behaved herself.

If she didn’t, if she was “hysterical” and you could always find a willing male doctor to perform some surgery, removing her sex organs.

Or they might provide some medication to calm her down. If all else failed, you could have her locked away in a mental institution.

For more than 100 years, an intelligent woman who went to college had her pick of jobs. She could become a nurse or a teacher. Well, some did go on to become other things, but not many.

And so, as America rose to become an industrial giant and one of the wealthiest nations in the history of mankind, women taught most of its children in public schools. They weren’t paid very much because they were women, after all. America became the most literate society in the world. Some of the greatest minds in the country were teaching our kids.

Of course, in a lot of families, female children weren’t educated. Book learning was for men. Women were for breeding.

Women were beaten, sexually abused, medically mistreated and even murdered. Their complaints went unheard. Their reputations could be destroyed simply by starting a rumor.

Men didn’t care. The system worked pretty well for them.

And then things changed.

That’s why so many men think it is just plain awful that women nowadays have so much power. Of course, women still are preyed upon sexually by doctors, relatives and employers. Women still are physically and emotionally abused by men who are addicted to drugs or power.

But they can testify in the courtrooms now, tell their stories on Facebook, and through newspapers and in television interviews. They no longer have to sit in silence and take it. They may not always get justice, but they can and do fight back.

To so many men, this just seems wrong and unfair. Our president, who yearns for the good old days, is one of them.

They whine like, well, men.

Toughen up guys. Take it like a woman. You’ll survive. They did for centuries.

Email: philkadner@gmail.com

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