I’ve entered into the Twilight Zone.
I’ve been a cop for 19 years. My record is clean as a freaking whistle.
Well, it was. Until January. When I held the door open for a woman and she wrote into my department to accuse me of being sexist and a bigot.
Now I’ve got a blemish on my name because I was a gentleman. And you know what? I’m going to wear it like a battle scar. But you need to know about what happened. Because it could happen to you.
Or, one might say, it could happen to #MeToo.
First, some context on me. I come from a long line of police. My brother. My dad. His dad. All officers.
We’re also all Christians from the south. We believe in respect. Dignity. Chivalry.
I laugh at the term “toxicity of manliness”. If treating women like gold makes me a bad person, then call me the devil.
When I heard that Vice President Mike Pence limits his one-on-one time with women, I totally got it. I can relate. It made me angry when the liberal senator from California slammed him for it.
Sen. Kamala Harris said it’s “ridiculous” and “outrageous”.
“I disagree with him when he suggests it’s not possible to have meetings with women alone by himself,” the president wanna-be told MSNBC, the news wanna-be.
Shocker. She always seemed like she liked him. (Insert sarcasm emoji here.)
“I think that’s ridiculous ― the idea that you would deny a professional woman the opportunity to have a meeting with the vice president of the United States is outrageous.”
Harris was talking about in 2002 when Pence said he “never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side.”
Critics suggested he doesn’t see women as professional equals and that women who work for him aren’t given the same opportunities as men.
His press secretary, Alyssa Farah, shot that idea down in a tweet to Harris.
“I’m a female Senior Advisor to Mike Pence & am wondering why you are repeating this false claim?” Farah tweeted. “He’s elevated women to positions of leadership throughout his career & relies on their advice & counsel. Get your facts straight.”
Hi, @SenKamalaHarris: I’m a female Senior Advisor to Mike Pence & am wondering why you are repeating this false claim? He’s elevated women to positions of leadership throughout his career & relies on their advice & counsel. Get your facts straight. https://t.co/oCTHKQpcdn
— Katie Miller (@VPPressSec) March 14, 2019
In fairness, Harris is the same woman that joked with Ellen Degeneres about killing President Trump, Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions:
Degeneres asked Harris: “If you had to be stuck in an elevator with either President Trump, Mike Pence or Jeff Sessions who would it be?”
“Does one of us have to come out alive?” Harris asked, to a roaring cheer from the audience.
Even Degeneres applauded the senator’s wit.
Here’s the thing. This whole “me too” movement has men on guard… and the whole B.S. attack on Kavanaugh when he was the Supreme Court nominee proves that anyone can make an accusation for any reason and destroy everything you’ve worked for.
And so, needless to say, I’m incredibly careful around women. My wife and kids mean too much to me for baseless accusations to take them away.
So imagine my surprise when I was called into my supervisor’s office and reprimanded with a note that went into my file.
“Read this letter,” he told me.
To Whom It May Concern:
I have never felt as disrespected as I did today by one of your officers. He was walking ahead of me into Dunkin Donuts and saw that I was behind him. He turned around and gave me a sneer, then stepped back and forced me to go in front of him. I have no doubt he did it so he could check out my ass.
“After you, ma’am,” he told me. I told him “I’ll open my own door, thank you very much.”
It was bad enough that he gave me that condescending attitude of calling me “ma’am” – but to make matters worse, he refused to go in front of me. “I insist,” he told me. “No, I insist,” I told him. “Please – he said. A woman should always go first.”
How DARE he. There was no need to be confrontational, first of all. The way he looked at me was degrading. The way he forced me to do something I wasn’t comfortable doing was even worse. And I just KNOW why he forced me to go in front of him. I just know he was undressing me with his eyes and I felt violated and sexually assaulting by that pig. And I’m not calling him a pig because he’s a cop, I’m calling him a pig because he’s a dirty male. He doesn’t reflect on your department and needs to be removed.
And lest you think I’m just some low-education person, I’m not. I have my PhD. And that is why I serve at the discretion of The People on the City Council. Any questions, contact my office.”
I had no words. Was this real life?
“I’m sorry, but the Chief is making me write you up,” my supervisor told me. “It’s nothing personal, but we have no choice. We don’t need those people breathing down our necks, we need to show that we’ve addressed their concerns.”
I was flabbergasted. I wasn’t just shocked… I was hurt. I was insulted. Quite frankly, I was so angry that I wanted to quit on the spot.
The department that I believed would always have my back didn’t.
And then I turned my anger to that woman. And then quickly shifted it again to society.
How did we get to this point?
I’ll tell you how. A movement that should have been an opportunity to call out sex predators like Harvey Weinstein turned into a witch hunt where EVERYTHING is sexual harassment.
I don’t hold open the door for women to make them feel inferior or incompetent. I do it as a sign of respect. But now we’re trapped in a societal no-man’s-land, where you can’t do anything right.
Reason is gone.
I went online to see if I was alone. And while I didn’t find any other officers in any of the groups I’m in talking about this, I did find that men like me have picked up some surprising female allies.
French actress Catherine Deneuve wrote a letter signed by 99 other influential French women, disagreeing with the Me Too movement. It criticized it sharply, saying:
“… as women, we do not recognise ourselves in this feminism, which beyond denouncing the abuse of power, takes on a hatred of men and of sexuality.”
How can we combat actual sexual harassment, sexism and bigotry in these times? If EVERYTHING is sexual harassment, then nothing is. And it leaves good men wrongfully feeling both guilty and resentful.
And so I’d like to end with a note to the woman who wrote the letter… and anyone else who might feel I was in the wrong.
I understand that culture shifts are trying to teach us there’s no biological difference between a man and a woman, but there is. There are many, actually.
This doesn’t mean women can’t protect themselves. Defend themselves. Speak up.
But the hunter-gatherer DNA in men – actual men, not the man-bun toting hippies that sip green tea lattes – means that we will ALWAYS be protectors of women.
When we hold the door for you, it’s a sign of respect.
When we call you ma’am, it’s not talking down to you… it’s elevating you. It’s a show of dignity and honor.
If you believe that chivalry should die, then there’s something wrong with YOU – not with ME. If you believe being a gentleman is sexist, then you’ve been corrupted by the media and Hollywood.
Let me tell you how we raised OUR daughters. You are strong. You are smart. You are intellectual giants and you can and will accomplish ANYTHING.
But you also shouldn’t have a hardened heart. When a man wants to treat you like a lady, take it. You deserve it. You are worth it. You are loved. You are cherished.
I’m sorry that society has created a culture of animosity. Of hatred. Of anger.
Perhaps we can overcome it with love. Family. Respect.
I’m on board… are you?
It all starts with a simple gesture… like holding open the door for someone.
The Officer You Called A Pig Because He’s A Gentleman