“Character in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and nations alike.” Theodore Roosevelt

I still remember the day my mother said to me.

“You are not going out dressed like that.”

To this day. I don’t even remember what I was wearing but I know there was a tense stand-off between Mum and me, before I had eventually caved. As a mother now myself, I understand her sentiments. I have talked about the issue with my own daughter, (not that she has yet shown an interest in short skirts and plunging necklines. Nonetheless I have already told her about this dispute with my own mother. I have explained that in an ideal world, she should be able to wear what she wants but that this is not an ideal world. I have also been places where it didn’t matter what I had worn, I had still been constantly harrassed. We have also watched together this video of a respectfully dressed young lady being catcalled every few steps.

This can happen almost anywhere.

I am of an age now where I would probably appreciate the occasional whistle but I do remember how excruciating it used to be at times. I once went miles out of my way to avoid workmen up a telegraph pole.

Thank you to all the men who held and still do hold doors open for me or as in the case of some lovely men gave up their jackets when we were suddenly booted out in the snow while dressed flimsy evening dresses because an alarm had sounded or who have helped me carry a heavy suitase. I remember the guys who have insisted on seeing me to my door, often when we weren’t even dating. These were the kind of men, who truly made me go weak at the knee.

I encountered just such a man a few years ago. It had had nothing to do with his his looks, just his amazing integrity and strength of character. He had not had to enter my space in any way. He had not sought to charm me, He had merely held his ground and insisted on not allowing me to let go of a few dollars he wanted to pay me, because a few pieces were missing from a item I had purchased.

Yes I took a walk on the dark side and paid a high price for it but there are wiser women out there than me, who don’t have to learn the hard way that strength of character and integrity, are the qualities which really sort the wheat from the chaff.

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