Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Feels like it’s better to stand back and observe things these days rather than plunge into the world of “alternative facts.” The other day, for example, I observed on the radio, if that’s possible, irate conservative callers on the Michael Savage show bemoaning the fate of Bill O’Reilly after his dismissal from Fox News. I was listening for a while as I waited for my wife to come out of the post office, since the car radio picks up only hard-right programming on the AM band in our part of the county. You could easily cook up a conspiracy theory on that if you were so inclined.
Caller after caller blamed O’Reilly’s victims, while Savage referred to the women as “harridans.” They said that political correctness and feminism are out of control in this country and that we’re destroying men and masculinity. What’s wrong with a man complimenting a lady’s nice dress at work? How come a well-meaning gent can’t take notice of a young woman’s new hairdo or how toned her legs are in those sheer pantyhose? And Savage, ramping up his voice to “man the barricades!” volume, said women out there need to think of the men in their lives — fathers, sons, brothers, cousins — who are being treated so unfairly, deprived of their instinct to express a healthy, natural attraction to the opposite sex.
In other words, O’Reilly didn’t do anything wrong.
Of course, they left out the parts about O’Reilly banning women from his show for not playing sex ball with him, for intimidating them and threatening to ruin their careers. And we all remember the puke-inducing phone call to one object of desire, in which he masturbated over a shower scene with a soapy loofa, “or that falafel thing,” as he put it. I can think of a place where he ought to shove “that falafel thing.”
Callers to the Savage show, by the way, refer to him as “Dr. Savage.” That’s because he got a PhD in “nutritional ethnomedicine” at Berkeley in 1978.
But I’m just an observer, and I observe that these callers are so invested in some kind of alt-right, Ayn Rand worldview that, in worrying about those poor men who can’t leer and insult women anymore, have forgotten their own daughters, especially younger women just now coming into the adult world in a state of optimism that they can do anything they want in life. These callers care more about Don Draper’s right to coerce his secretary into having sex with him or she’ll lose her job. They think she can always change jobs, just as Trump said he hoped that Ivanka, in such a situation, “would find another career or find another company if that was the case.” I am not making this up.
As an objective observer I find this interesting, though, stepping out of my role for just a moment, it would have been nice to think that men, especially influential men like Bill O’Reilly and Dr. Michael Savage, would have evolved enough over the last fifty-plus years to respect the women they work with and to consider their daughters before they indulge in something they’d hate for their daughters to have to endure.