I am no fan of Geraldo Rivera. When he’s in the news I cringe. The guy is like that creepy grandpa that has more opinions than you care to deal with. However, as mature adults, we owe it to ourselves to hear all opinions, and to acquiesce when someone has a point.
This morning, my love asked me if I’d still love her if she got fat. Given that I’m fat, you’d think she wouldn’t even ask, but she did. And she was serious. “Of course I would,” I blurted out. Was I telling the truth? I had to think about it, but ultimately I decided that I was. However, do I want her to get fat? Nope.
That’s a terrible thing to admit, but it’s true. I’ve got the nerve to be fat and discriminating against fat! But hey, there’s no use lying: My love is beautiful as she is and that matters to me. So while currently, I am so sprung that she could weigh 400 pounds and I’d still love her, I’d still want her on the nearest treadmill.
This question of physical attractiveness though, is a question I have rarely felt the need to pose to women. Nor have I spent much time worrying that I wouldn’t get someone because of my looks. I believe that this is because I identify with the more masculine role in relationships. Or, as one very smart author told me, “I practice heteronormative gender roles in my relationship.”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying women don’t want me to be attractive. Obesity aint everybody’s cup of tea and even my love wants me to lose some weight. You’d better believe many a woman has completed ignored me as I came barreling my squat, extra wide frame into the room. However, I am also aware that some of them have looked at me and waited to see what I was “working with” first. Meaning, whether they found me attractive or not, if I was able to do the things they needed, they’d possibly consider me. And what did they need exactly? Well, I’ve noticed three overwhelming items:
- That I’m nice to them.
- That I’m faithful to them.
- That I have a good job.
It’s simple really. Men and women (and those in their roles) often value different qualities. I imagine that, if you’re a good man, you spend less time in your relationship worrying about how “fine” you are and more time worrying about being broke. I know that’s what I worry about. I’m sure few women will say the same thing.
Am I being sexist? Yes I am. Do we live in a sexist world? Yes we do. Life is a bitch that way. Most of the “isms” we hate are firmly entrenched in our cultures, society and even in our own minds. The other day, one of my friends posted that she would be “alone” before she’d ever propose to a man. This woman is incredibly successful, makes six-figures and doesn’t need a man for anything. You’d think she’d go ahead, “he-man” it out and propose instead of waiting on some man … but no. She’d rather be alone than propose.
Some things probably aren’t going to change anytime soon in this world. No matter how many brave souls may blur the lines, men and women (or those in these roles), will probably always exist with a separate set of deliverables. Men will often want to be attracted to their women. Women will often want their man to be able to take care of home.
On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera, who’s currently being vilified across the web for his statements, said:
“I know this may provoke a Stephen Smith-like reaction, but I think essentially — although there’s an increase in two-income marriages — generally speaking, the man is the breadwinner, more often than not, although now increasingly women do work. But what I think a woman brings to a marriage more than anything else, to a relationship, is her youth. Her youth is a fragile and diminishing resource. So if a woman were to invest two years in one of these marriages, and then to be rejected by the man, I think that she has given up a valuable asset that is unequal — in other words, the man gets everything and the woman gets nothing from this arrangement.”
Again, I know Geraldo is a dick. Yes, he said it on faux news. Ensue eye rolling. With that being said, he completely had a point. Now, maybe you aren’t willing to admit it, but I think anyone that can’t see some accuracy in his statement is in denial about the workings of this world. Could he have worded it better? Yes, but nonetheless, Geraldo kept it real.
Here’s what I think Geraldo should have said:
“In a world where men are primarily prized for their ability to bring home the bacon, while women are valued for looking good and having babies, men will always have the advantage. After all, beauty fades. Eggs decline. Ovaries stop working. By the time she’s in her 30’s a woman has already lost major stock.
Income, on the other hand, actually tends to grow with age. As men age, they’re considered in their prime. After all, silver foxes are “hot.” And it’s easy to look a bit more together when you haven’t gone through menopause or maybe pushed out 3 kids by age 50. The truth is that money is a far easier deliverable to maintain long-term than being beautiful. So if women are in relationships while they’re young and not being appreciated, they have gotten the short end of the stick.”
I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying that’s the way it is. Personally, I’ve always worked hard. I’ve always had a few bucks in my pocket. Taking care of home has always been my top priority. Now, I don’t care how funny or charming people may call me, I truly believe it’s the “together” qualities that have helped me get so far with women. Or I’ve dated every chubby chaser this side of the Atlantic!
It’s a cold world for women. No use pretending it isn’t. So for those of you throwing away your early, child bearing, “breasts still sitting high on your chest” years to some loser…it’s even colder. You know it’s true. Even Geraldo can’t get that wrong.
On the upside, there are always exceptions to the rule, you’re never too old to start over, worlds like “MILF” and “Cougar,” are equally as sexist and firmly entrenched in the popular lexicon as “silver fox” and “sugar daddy” and hey, overall, times are just a-changin’.
We just aren’t quite “there” yet.