When Carl Thornton Jr, one of the most intelligent radio interviewers whose microphone I’ve had the pleasure of gracing with my breath, asked me about obligation today – and what I meant by that in my book – I knew I was on thin Georgian ice.
I answered by speaking about the obligation of the feminine to please, that as little girls or grown women we are expected to smile at the masculine world. And there are consequences, major or minor, for not responding as a woman should.
Notice how I avoid using the word ‘men’? This is so folk will listen, maybe, without falling into man-hating-holes and thus hijacking my point.
Women are encoded with the pleasing gene. Whether its an obligation to smile or an obligation – and I knew it was coming, I am skating close to that thin ice – I am about to say ‘sex’ on Georgian radio . . .
This is a state that jails teenagers for having sex with someone on the other side of that fine line called ‘minor’. And jails them for a long time.
In the time it took to think the words ‘I am about to say sex on Georgian radio’, the word was out.
And I moved on. And the interview moved on.
My publisher, sitting in the station foyer during the interview, said the phones ran mad for a time – perhaps because of a small word, perhaps for reasons this particular foreigner may never know.
This morning I helped the Rotary Club hand out dictionaries and coloring-in books to kids at Stevens Creek school, up the road from my publisher’s house. As I was
being photographed left, right and center I read the back of the coloring-in book and blinked at Rotary’s impressive mission.
They have four principles they borrowed from US businessman Herbert J. Taylor, known as the ‘Four Way Test’ for ethics.
Of the things we think, say or do:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
I wonder what I would have thought about a coloring-in book with a small speech about this on the back when I was five.