Among the many features I like in the Wednesday Journal, my favorite is Ken Trainor’s weekly column. The topic is usually one of interest to me, and he writes very well. I especially liked his “Gender gap and the pursuit of happiness” on Sept. 5. I read it as a thoughtful statement of the attitude that mature and considerate men hold toward women, an attitude of high regard, appreciation, desire to bring happiness and regret for failures to do so. At the time I read this column, I intended to write a note of thanks to Mr. Trainor and the Journal. This went the way of many good intentions and was still on the back burner when I received the Sept. 12 issue.
The only letter of response to the gender column was that of Anna Bloomer [Trainor’s gender ramblings are so pre-feninist, Viewpoints]. She read the column very differently than I, called it “pre-feminist ramblings” of a man stuck in the ’50s. Maybe I, too, am stuck in the ’50s, but I consider myself a feminist/humanist of deep conviction. Ms. Bloomer took the sentence: “we can’t look at you and think at the same time” out of context and found it offensive. That sentence was preceded by “you have the most amazing effect on us. It goes far beyond desire. It has more to do with beauty.”
The differences between men and women are all too often the source of conflict and misunderstanding, but they can also be the source of interest, amazement, wonderment, fascination, and extraordinary mutually beneficial relationships. It was the spirit of latter possibility that I heard in Mr. Trainor’s relections on gender.