I'm offended that as a new father I was unable to use a public 'parents room' to change my babies nappies without feeling I was intruding on a mother's only space.
I'm offended that when I was a father of five year old twins I couldn't take either of them into a change room at Kmart without being looked upon as a deviate.
I'm offended that today as a father of a sixteen year old daughter I am subjected to suspicious glances when I take her out to a cafe on a daddy/daughter date.
I'm offended that the designation of leadership roles in our home and ministry between my wife and I, based on our shared values and individual gifts and abilities, are judged by some as chauvinistic.
I'm also offended that men in general are singled out in social and political commentary as child abusers, perpetrators of domestic violence and instigators of sexist behaviour.
I am more OFFENDED by the men in our society who do abuse their position of trust and violate the innocence of children.
I am more OFFENDED by the men in our society who do use their physical strength to inflict unthinkable violence against women as a means of exerting control.
I am more OFFENDED by the men in our society who still think that unwanted sexual advances, sexist jokes and sexualisation of women is just 'boys being boys'.
I am more OFFENDED that the inappropriate behaviour of a few men in our society can leave lasting physical, emotional and mental scars for a disproportionate number of women and children whose only vulnerability is that which is imposed upon them by the distorted use of power.
If singling out the role of men in the abuse of power is what it takes to restore a right image of self in the lives of women and children, then I can live with being offended. My offence pales into insignificance compared to the greater OFFENCES being perpetrated by men who need real manhood role modelled to them by the men in our society who treat their mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and female friends with dignity and respect.
History has proven that the pendulum needs to swing in the opposite direction for a season to correct the imbalance of power in society. So guys, if you feel offended like I do, don't allow your offence to become self pity but turn your offence into influence so that we can change the attitudes and behaviours of those men who cause the real OFFENCE, which is what really makes us feel OFFENDED in the first place!