What's my mama gonna say?

By: Tim-Knox

I know you're going to find this hard to believe, but I, Tim Knox, noted humanitarian, former Eagle Scout, and lover of mankind the world over, am a sexist pig.

Sorry, mama. I had no idea.

I came to this startling realization after an angry female reader sent an equally angry email complaining that my recent column on the Miss America Pageant had missed the politically correct bull's eye by about a mile and a half.

Quoting this reader's email now,

    "...my assumption from how you write, leads me to believe that the "opposite" gender is little more to you than something that still needs to be oppressed by men such as yourself that allows you to leer at them from above your glass ceiling... Have a nice and dolefully sad existence... Best wishes to you in actually developing an articulate and EDUCATED opinion... I sincerely hope you (sic) learn that opinions are CERTAINLY not facts, and ignorance is no excuse for poor judgment..."

Man, when it comes to email pipebombs, this one's a beaut! Thank you, Mrs. Kazinski (not her real name, of course). Thank you very much. Can someone hand me a bandaid...

Call me ignorant (again), but I had no idea what I could have possibly done to demand such brutal retaliation from someone who is, I'm sure, on most days, a very decent and loving member of the human race. I've seen a woman pushed to these limits only once before. It was July 8, 1968, a day I'll never forget.

In a moment of sheer frustration, my mother let me have it up beside the head with her big purse because I refused to climb off Billy the Buckin' Bronco, that valiant, plastic steed who stood tied up out front of the Piggly Wiggly on 8th Street for many years.

"I ain't gonna tell you again to come on, Tim Knox!" WHACK!

I should've seen it coming. Whenever my mama called me by my whole name it meant that she wasn't particularly happy with me. It also meant that a whacking from that big purse wasn't far behind. In school, just hearing my name called on the roll caused me to uncontrollably duck for a good five minutes.

Scarred for life, I never mounted another horse, coin operated or otherwise. Maybe that's why this email bothered me so. Would I ever be able to write another column after being beaned by this irate woman's electronic big purse? I wasn't sure.

I read the email over several more times, but still my offense was unclear. What was Mrs. Kazinski so ticked about? I went back and read the Miss America column again. Still, I was clueless, which I'm sure doesn't surprise my friendly emailbomber. Maybe you folks can help me figure it out. After all, I'm ignorant, you know.

If you missed the column called "The Dust Settles on Miss America" (or missed the point of said column) here's what it was all about:

  1. Promoters of the Miss America Pageant insist that it is not a beauty contest, a statement that I took particular exception with. If it's not a beauty pageant, why is there an evening wear and swimsuit competition? Why don't they just have a talent show, ask each contestant how she'd save the world, then give one of them the crown so everybody can go home?

  2. In an admitted attempt to bolster sagging ratings, Pageant promoters allowed two piece bathing suits to be worn in the swimsuit competition this year. And this isn't a beauty contest? Please. I guess nothing stimulates the female brain like wearing a skin tight bikini. Odd, it has the exact opposite affect on the average male. It makes his mind go blank.

  3. I said that I changed channels during the talent competition because badly sung opera and showtunes have been known to induce cranial bleeding in men my age. I don't apologize for this statement. I am not a big fan of opera so even the best of opera, at least to my ears, is badly sung. And I've yet to hear a showtune that I can dance to, so sue me.

  4. I also made mention of the fact that one of the contestants sported a pierced navel while another had a tattoo in an undisclosed place, not exactly typical role models there.

  5. And finally, if the Miss America Pageant really is about brains and not beauty, as promoters say, I recommended restructuring the contest so the emphasis would be on intelligence. I suggested "...having Miss South Dakota and Miss Rhode Island play Risk for twelve hours with no bathroom break... have Miss Michigan rebuild the carburetor on a '63 Pontiac Catalina... have Miss California expound on the theory of quantum physics while trying to make a Jacob's Ladder with a piece of string that's too short..."

At no time did I say one negative thing about women anywhere in this column. My arrows were clearly (at least to me) aimed at the hypocritical pageant organizers who claim beauty has nothing to do with who wins. And I will not apologize for stating the obvious fact that not even two piece bikinis can save this dog and pony show whose time has come and gone.

I finally came to the conclusion that, being an ignorant man, the only way I was ever gonna figure out what Mrs. Kazinski was upset about was to involve, dare I say it, a woman! So I called out the big guns, the woman who has been keeping me on the straight and narrow for a lot of years now. Namely, my wife, or should I call her, "my better half."

"I don't get it either," my wife said after reading the email and the column. "Sounds like a disgruntled beauty queen to me. Now take out the trash before I get my big purse after you."

I don't think my wife realizes that by belittling disgruntled beauty queens she has opened herself up to the wrath of the emailbomber. Forgive her, Mrs. Kazinski, please. Her curse is having to live with me. Isn't that enough?

Which brings me around to one more question: If I'm a sexist pig why the heck am I the one dragging two hundred pounds of trash out to the curb twice a week. Can't I get a woman to do this?

Look, Mrs. Kazinski, if thinking that the Miss America Pageant is a load of hooey makes me a sexist pig in your eyes, so be it. If reading just one of my columns drives you to conclude that I am a man who feels women, quoting you again, "...need to be oppressed" so that me and men like me can "...leer at them from above our (sic) glass ceiling..." so be it again. That's your opinion. You're entitled to it.

As a writer whose tongue is kept planted firmly in cheek and whose feet are kept planted firmly in the muck, I know that not everyone will agree with everything I write. A wise, old newspaper editor once told me that a writer's job is to elicit a response from his readers, be that response good, bad, or indifferent.

With you, Mrs. Kazinski, I consider my job to be done.

Everything I write is a reflection of my own personal opinion of the world. I hope you will at least agree, Mrs. K, that I, too, am entitled to an opinion, no matter how "ignorant and uneducated" you may find it to be.

To finish, let me assure you and everyone else that if I am indeed a sexist pig, I am of the passive pork variety. After antique British sports cars and well-worn cowboy boots, I think God's greatest creation is Woman. Man comes in at number 7, just after riding lawn mowers and just before all beef hotdogs.

If you read this column with any regularity, Mrs. K, you'd know that I have a wife and two daughters who seem very happy with me. I also have a mother, sister and elderly aunt who depend on me to be the designated male in their lives. When any of these women call, I drop whatever I'm doing and run to their sides. If I don't, it's big purse time.

So, am I really a sexist pig, Mrs. K? I don't think any of the women in my life would say so.

Still, if you still have a problem with me, maybe you should talk to my mother.

Just watch out if she's carrying that big purse.

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Tim Knox, Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, Radio Host Founder, The Insiders Club, Giving You The Power To Start Your Business Today www.theinsidersclub.com Bestselling Author of: "Everything I Know About Business I Learned From My Mama" www.timknox.com

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