Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Goodness and Respect

A while back I attended an event called “Can I Kiss You?” in McGuire Hall. The speaker’s name was Mike Domitrz and the lecture was all about dating and healthy relationships. I went into this event expecting it to be all about using protection during sex and the expression “no means no”. However, I found this session to be very informative about relationships and respect for women. The crowd of students was very involved in the lecture as it was very interactive. I learned a lot from this lecture and also found that I was able to relate it to some works we have read for class.

The lecture started with Mike bringing up some volunteers from the audience. He asked the volunteers a few questions about relationships and dating and they responded with the typical responses that teenagers would give. When the guys in the audience were asked if they would ask a girl’s permission to kiss her the majority of them said no. A few reasons why they wouldn’t ask included they thought it would be awkward, and that it ruins the moment. I learned that asking for permission to kiss a girl shows her that you respect her more than anything else. Later in the presentation Mike told us the story of his sister being raped. He was in college when he got a phone call from his mom telling him what had happened about four hours earlier. Next, his sister came on the phone and actually asked him if there was anything he needed. I thought it was incredible that someone who had just been through so much could ask such a selfless question. I found myself agreeing with just about everything that Mike was saying about dating and relationships throughout the entire lecture.

From this presentation I learned the importance of respecting women. The entire talk was supposed to teach both guys and girls about dating and healthy relationships. However, I felt like I learned more about respecting others and respecting women. Mike proved to us that it is better to ask a woman’s permission before you kiss her. If they give you their permission then thats great and if they say no then at least you’ve showed them that you respect them. I also learned about the goodness of people. I thought that it was incredible that Mike’s sister was asking him if there was anything he needed only four hours after being through such a traumatic experience. I felt like her expressing concern for another showed what it meant to be truly good.

I found relations between the “Can I Kiss You?” presentation, the novel Whale Rider, and the short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. The idea and importance of respecting women is clearly evident in both the presentation and the novel Whale Rider. In Whale Rider, one of the major conflicts is the conflict between male and female. First we see this with Koro Apirana and Nanny Flowers arguing with each other and then we see the ignorance of Koro towards his granddaughter Kahu. Koro doesn’t give Kahu an opportunity to prove herself just because she is a woman in a male dominated tribe. His lack of respect towards women can be related to the lack of respect for women a guy has who doesn’t think it is important to ask a girl’s permission to kiss them. In “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the idea of being truly good is presented. The grandmother in the story was an example of someone who was selfish. She waited until it was too late to try and be a “good” person. The story tells us that a good person is someone who is quite the opposite as the grandmother. Mike’s sister showed that she was a truly good person in expressing concern for others when she was just through a horrible experience. She was the opposite of the grandmother in “A Good Man is Hard to Find” in that she was extremely selfless and cared for others more than she cared for herself.

The “Can I Kiss You”? presentation opened my eyes to a lot of information about relationships that I did not know about previously. I learned that stepping out of your comfort zone and asking a girl’s permission to kiss them displays the respect you have towards them. I also learned the true definition of being a good person. I thought the story of Mike’s sister was unbelievable and I didn’t think anyone could ever be so selfless in their actions. Caring for others and putting others ahead of yourself is what makes people truly good.

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