Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 2.2.18
Stanstead, Quebec


Talking with sons about being better men

Boys, you probably feel bad these days about being male, and you should. We've been terrible. Not you, specifically, but the rest of us. My generation definitely. But it wasn't our fault. It was... the patriarchy. And the funny thing is, back then, we didn't even know the patriarchy existed, but it did, boy oh boy! And was it fun.

No! The patriarchy was the worst, especially if you didn't belong to it, even though, sex-wise, things were pretty tame back then. We didn't have your leggings and your cleavage and your booties like today. And breasts were just these vague ideas under heavy-knit sweaters. Like flak jackets, those things.

But that didn't stop us guys from treating girls horribly. When I think of the way we talked about what we did (or mostly imagined we'd do) with girls, like it was some kind of sporting event: getting to first base, getting to third base, choking up on the bat, using too much pine tar, dog on the field, rain delay...

But, boys, sex is not a competition. We have to stop thinking in terms of conquering our opponent. It's not fair. Because girls aren't as good at sports as men. That's not sexist! It's a fact. Venus and Serena who? Never heard of them.

So, no, sex isn't like a competitive sport, and definitely not a contact sport, let's make that clear. If you must have a sports allegory, sex is more like a footrace, where both participants run as teammates, respectfully, side by side, urging each other to reach their goal. But, again, the man usually finishes first.

But I don't want to get bogged down in the mechanics of sex and the need for proper footwear and how to prevent cramping and blisters, etcetera, etcetera. What I'm trying to say is that society is finally saying no to men just "expecting" sex. Again, I'm older, I've been married a long time; I don't expect sex. But you boys maybe do. And what women are saying is, essentially, you're just going to have to be nicer about it.

With everything going on, you may feel like sex and romance are simply too dangerous, that anything you do will be misconstrued or, worse, perceived as non-consensual. But that's not what the movement is about.

Look: Imagine your sex drive is an all-terrain vehicle. It serves a very specific purpose, namely helping with chores around the farm, on private property, as nature intended. Making little baby all-terrain vehicles. That's nice.

Okay, but sometimes you want to tear through the woods with your all-terrain vehicle, just for kicks -- make a lot of noise, go real fast, waste energy, annoy the neighbours. Maybe do it with other people, whatever's your thing, man. But there are rules. You can't go too fast. You need to wear protection. And you can't do it on public roads. As long as everyone agrees to the rules, it may look really stupid but everyone has a good time and no one gets hurt.

But then you get those jackasses who drive their all-terrain vehicles on the walking path, and they tear it all up and leave ruts. Deep, deep ruts! Scars in the path that will never heal! Well, until the town guys come and grade it. But these jackasses have no consideration for other people because their all-terrain vehicles are big and fast and not properly licenced, and it makes it very difficult to walk, and the police do absolutely nothing! God, I hate all-terrain vehicles! They're the worst. We should ban them altogether!

What were we talking about?

Oh yes. Sex. Basically, don't be a jackass. No rutting.

Also, don't feel you have to be the alpha male. It's not a coincidence that "alpha" starts with "A" like a certain other word. Just be yourself, be honest. If that's who you are, you should feel perfectly comfortable walking up to a woman at a bar and saying, "Baby, I'm gonna make you cringe."

So, like I said, boys, we made this mess, but you can make it right. Just take heed of what's happening, treat women with fairness, kindness, and respect, and soon we'll have a happier, more equitable society.

Of course, the other day, I read a Facebook thread from a bunch of women who said they were only attracted to men who treated them badly. You know: jackasses.

So it turns out we all have work to do. Get your sisters in here.