I had a man say one of the most heart wrenching things to me recently. He told me that it was a terrible time to be a man right now. This has stirred so much in me that I feel it is my obligation as a woman to do my part in correcting this.
When we see movements that are transcending our own sense of prejudice like #metoo we run a very damaging risk of simply shifting the play. We are not doing enough right now to actually dissolve the issue, we are simply pointing and blaming.
As a woman I cannot be comfortable that my brothers are feeling backed into a corner and muted. I cannot feel comfortable that I am blaming him for the behaviours of others. I cannot feel comfortable in directing my anger for not having enough from him and instead I change the conversation.
I tell him that I trust him and that I love him. I tell him that I have been hurt and therefore I withdrew from him. I was afraid of him and I didn’t know how to not be afraid. I tell him what it did to the fabric of my being when I felt betrayed by him. I tell him that I responded with a lack of trust I had in him to look out for me and to feel safe with him. As a result, I felt I needed to protect myself and I had to be all things. I tell him I can see that this made him feel emasculated.
I know that men find it very difficult to understand a woman and her needs. I also know that he does not have a compass that speaks the language of women and therefore relies heavily on my navigation. For this I have so much patience for him and I will take the time to articulate my needs and my emotions. I know that the very thing which is so incredible about me as a woman is the thing he finds so hard to process. My emotions.
I have so many emotions and they can sometimes be running simultaneously. How can I expect him to be trying to process the emotion I am expressing now when he is still trying to process the emotion I exhibited 5 minutes ago? I have such patience and understanding that from me, he receives mixed messages and the difficulty that erupts because I am shaming him for acting on what he believes was a green light. Rather than honour him with a gentleness in correcting him, I abuse him or shut him down for getting it wrong.
How can I persecute my brothers for not being an expert on my language when I have not tried to show him? I have been frustrated with him and angry at him and somewhere along the way, I showed him I did not trust him and he gave up. He then started behaving towards me in a way that was from hurt and pain. When he acted out of hurt and pain, I shut him out further. I persecuted him and then I accused him of not being a man.
I told him that I didn’t want him to open the door for me because I can do it myself. I didn’t recognise that he feels good doing things for me and this is symbolic of doing things for me. I then yell at him for not doing the things I want him to do but he thought I told him I didn’t want him to do things for me. He gave me what he thought was my worth and rather than show him my value exceeded what he gave me I accused him of giving me less because I was a woman. I left him helpless and confused and rather than command my worth I acted like a child and demanded he give me more whilst withdrawing my love (my worth) for him.
I told him to treat me the same way he treats another man, he competed with me and challenged me to a race because that’s what men do. I cried injustice because he was faster and had an unfair advantage. I screamed when he responded to me like he would respond to any man who accused him of this very thing but yet I am angry when he won’t treat me the same as a man.
I want to tell him that I know I have tried to stop his growth because I was so scared of giving him more power. I did not trust that as much as I have evolved over the years so has he and he is not the same man as yesteryear.
I want to tell him that I love him and I trust him. I love him and trust him so much that I will not insist he asks for directions. Because I know that no matter which way we go, I trust that he will get me there. I know that this is the way he needs to navigate through life, with a deep sense of trust that he will get to where he needs to every single time and will make sure he doesn’t leave me behind. I know that by making him stop for directions I am emasculating him and questioning his direction.
I want to tell him that when he has things going on in his mind, I know that he needs the time and the space to figure it out. I trust him so much that he will come back to me when he has it figured out and I will not interfere with this process. If I can’t trust him to work it out himself, how can he possibly feel he can keep me safe from danger? When I question this, I do not trust him. I simply hold a quiet supportive space for him and allow him to come to me if he needs it and not be offended if he doesn’t.
I trust him so much that I don’t want to lock him down. If being with me compromises where he is going, I do not want to take that away from him. I will happily love him no matter what even if he can’t be with me.
I want to tell him that when he adores the way a woman looks and is mesmerised with how she acts, it is not shameful. I am here in all of my beauty with all of my curves and bumps as something different to what he’s used to and it is enchanting to him. He sees magic in me and I don’t want to shame that out of him. When I shame him for seeing the beauty in women, he has to go to secret places to fill that need, places that allow him to feel free because I did not. I then berate him because I feel betrayed and wonder why he is confused and does not trust me.
I want to say to the men in my world that I trust you and I love you. I will be your reference point for understanding the language of a woman because I understand your language. All I ask is that you trust me in return. Trust that I am willing to take the plunge but you have to take it with me. If we don’t jump together we cannot change anything. If we don’t jump together things will only get worse and you will not be ok and I will not be ok.
We need from you to open your hearts to us women who are acting also out of fear and tell us that it’s ok to trust you. We need from you to be constant for us and we need from you to step into integrity. We need from you to make sure that your word is your honour and we can trust what you say to us. We need from you to promise that you won’t try and conquer us, instead you will allow us to reign with you. We need from you to trust in us with the same level of intensity that you want us to trust in you.
This is what gives us women freedom to be ourselves and allow you the freedom to be yourself.
I promise you, if you treat us women like Queens, we will back you without question.