Feminists are often mistaken as “Man Haters”.
And because I call myself a feminist, I also like to emphasize that I love, respect and admire both men & women equally. (Feminism MEANS the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men – READ THIS)
Except after my last “situationship” went south a few months ago, I’ve been really jaded. I felt myself slowly slide into man-hating and I started to blame eveything on men, and thought that my life would be a lot better without them.
My professor in college told us that our experiences shape the way in which we see the world.
He told us that your expereinces are like bugs that fly into the windshield when you’re driving. They alter what you’re able to see, sometimes blocking your view.
So if you think about all of the expereinces that have gone “splat” against my view of the world, it makes sense that I got jaded…
I was raped by a man.
I have been talked down to by men.
I have been lied to & used by men.
I have been manipulated by a man.
I have had my dreams squished by a man.
I have been honked at & catcalled by men.
I have been sexually assaulted by men.
I have felt worthless because of the way men have treated me.
Men, have made my life way harder than it needs to be and hurt me in so many ways. These experiences have created a reeeeally nice layer of bug guts on my windshield, and after so many hurtful expereinces with men, I started to feel like I would never meet a good man in this world.
Dramatic I know, but remember my windshield was dirty, and any time I thought about men, I couldn’t see clearly – only a dirty windshield.
Last week, I assigned homework to our interns to write Thank You notes to three different people. I made it my homework to write each of them a Thank You note as well, and as I was writing, I thought it would be nice to write a note for each of the two men I work with too.
One of the men is Kelby,
and when I sat down to write Kelby’s note, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for him.
Kelby is disciplined, listens to loud Electronic music, works out so that he can “look good naked” (his words), is very organized, clean, and leaves a lot of space inbetween you when he gives hugs.
I realized that he is a beautiful example of what a good man can look like – not becuase of his taste of music or love of working out but because of the way he’s treated me. And because of him, it’s impossible for me to be a “man hater” because to be a “man hater” I would have to hate all men, and I don’t hate all men because I love Kelby.
In my note to him, I thanked him for making me feel respected, heard and valued always. I thanked him for his vulnerability, his loyalty and for the way he communicates. At the end of the letter I asked him to hold on to these qualities, even though the world might tell him otherwise, because they make him an amazing man.
I made Kelby read the note before I left that day, and when he got down to the bottom of the letter he smiled, and gave me a hug. This time, with no space inbetween.
That day, I realized that we don’t celebrate our men enough. We don’t celebrate and thank them enough for the qualities that make them good humans. And I think we should because our culture constantly tells them that hyper-masculinity is the only way to be a man.
So I decided to write down a list of men in my life that I love and admire to write thank you notes to.
And that list is now longer than the list of men who have hurt me.
This has been one of the most healing things I’ve done.
Who knew that Thank You Notes could make such great windshield wipers?