Saying farewell to a rancorous 2017

January 1, 2018

It has been quite a year. Many of the people who voted for Republican candidate Donald Trump because they wanted a change of techniques in the White House got much more than they expected. Political fall-out from the POTUS Twitter feed has created fodder for late-night television hosts and detractors alike. The ongoing rancor between the two parties is not beneficial to the country.

Reading some of the Twitter feeds I can’t help but classify much of the garbage as TUI, or Tweeting Under the Influence.

The year 2017 has been called by Priyanka Jain of the Huff-Post and others as the “Year of the Woman.” If it is all the same to you, dear readers, I will opt-out of being one of the women for whom this year has been dedicated.

Members of my gender have embarrassed it and humiliated us beginning the day after the inauguration and continuing throughout the year. The big march on Washington, D.C., the day after Trump’s inauguration showed that the fairer sex could use foul language, threaten violence on a grand scale and go to great lengths for their 15 minutes of fame.

The eyes of the world were trained on the gathering and I find myself still furious at the celebrity women who squandered this opportunity to say and do something important. Instead all they did was whine about matters, drop f-bombs and repeat other vulgar words and phrases for shock value. Exercise some decorum for goodness sake.

The trashy behavior of pop-stars and actresses are a terrible example to young girls searching for role models. These future women are growing up in a highly sexualized world where their every minute may be posted on social media. These high profile women are doing themselves and these girls a grave disservice.

Stories about the harassment and assault of women from decades past have populated the news shows and other media outlets. Applying today’s standards and criteria for casual relationships to those that occurred during the time of these alleged assaults is on its own, prejudicial. That doesn’t excuse the behavior of men who think they’re entitled to misbehave but an understanding of the male-dominated culture has changed since then in many ways.

Some men have always behaved like swine. That isn’t breaking news. There have been horn-dogs among the male population since the beginning of time. Random promiscuity isn’t confined to the males of the species, though.

The women involved must bear some of the responsibility for what happened to them.

My aunt told her daughters, “If a woman keeps her place, a man will keep his.” And while this is obviously not an absolute fact there is a great deal of truth in the admonishment.

The complaints surfacing from the entertainment industry against Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and others have opened the floodgates of allegations of inappropriate incidences of the past.

Since too many cases will be reduced to a “he said-she said,” scenario, the public humiliation and cost of defending such charges may be the only consequences these men face. The cost isn’t only paid with money but with the loss of respect and the shame to all who love them. The women involved are able to sell their stories or write books about their experiences. Yet they, too, will be forever known as a woman who was involved in a scandal long after the details of the indignity have faded in the public’s mind. Thanks to the Internet the specifics of the incidents will never die.

Nevertheless, the character and wisdom of the women involved should also be scrutinized. Financial payouts and other benefits were exchanged in these cases and agreements were made. If in retrospect these women feel they weren’t paid enough they may not have learned anything from the encounter.

Visiting a hotel room alone with a man sends a strong message. Are there really women so naïve they don’t know that?

The positive aspect of the women’s movement has elevated the stature and opportunities for the female segment of the population. Equal wage for equal work is still not the standard adhered to in many occupations. There have been strides made in this area that are the result of the earnest work of many women. We demanded equal rights, equal access to education and traditionally male dominated professions but we aren’t just smaller, weaker men. We are powerful women, and with that power should come common sense about dangerous situations. We must not allow ourselves to become victims.

The New Year is a time for new beginnings. Celebrate responsibly and be careful. People who shoot guns in the air to bring in the New Year need to remember what goes up must come down. A bullet doesn’t know its intent is to just make noise. Gun and bullets aren’t toys and shouldn’t be used to play.

I’ve never understood why these revelers don’t shoot into the ground. The ringing in the shooter’s ears makes it impossible to tell how loud a noise a gun generates.

Many a New Year of my youth found my cousins, friends and I outside rapping a metal spoon on the side of a saucepan while yelling, “Happy New Year!”

Be careful on the roadways and please don’t drink and drive.

Have a safe holiday weekend. We will see you next year.

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Readers please contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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