'Low gender esteem' presented by Keisling


At the risk of sounding like one who takes himself too seriously, I feel compelled to respond to John Keisling's column which was printed in the Valentine's Day issue of the Wildcat..

Under the assumption that the piece was an attempt at humor, I would simply like to clear up any misconceptions the public might have acquired after reading Keisling's article. It seems to me that the author has an extremely low gender esteem. For instance, Keisling writes, "what we (men) must strive for to reach that ideal (true love), to be worthy of it and of the women whose hearts we seek to win." This statement assumes that men are inferior to women and, as the entire article suggests, must attempt to become something which they inherently are not just to match up. Accordingly, Keisling argues that the "masculine ideal...is about courage, strength, ferocity, stoicism, analytic problem solving, adventure," whereas femininity encompasses "empathy, grace, comfort, delicacy, tenderness, and emotion." Obviously, Mr. Keisling has never made the acquaintance of a female athlete (strength, stoicism, adventure), or a male dancer (grace, emotion). Of course, judging the author by his words- "For True Love, of course, can exist only between a man and a woman," he probably assumes that all male dancers are just "fags" whom he would never associate himself with anyway.

In fairness, one may be able to overlook Mr. Keisling's gross generalities of gender for the sake of good humor. After all, we must be able to laugh at ourselves to truly achieve unity for all peoples. On the other hand, the author's blatant dismissal of the possibility of true love in a non-heterosexual relationship is not only offensive, but discriminatory and homophobic. One should be able to expect more from a university publication.

Lastly, I would like to address the author directly. Mr. Keisling, I am deeply regretful that you have, according to your article's footnote, achieved such a high level of education without truly being educated. Maybe someday you will be able to be proud of the man that you are, and finally drop your "Artistic Tough Guy" facade. I am sure the real you would impress the women of the world far more than your romance novel, wanna-be, tough guy ever could.

Darwin L. Tomlinson
fine arts photography senior