To All The Decent Men: Thank You
You are out there.
It seems every day lately we wake up to the news of another famous, big shot man who on the outside managed to keep an impeccable image while keeping a dirty secret. An image that seemed indestructible, but one that depended on the silence of the women they disrespected, coerced, and even physically abused, in some cases.
One after the other, demolishing decades-long, brilliant careers.
Let the truth come out and shine now while it can do some good. “Do good?” You may ask. “Yes, do good”. The truth always does good, even when it is destructive because the truth only destroys that which was standing on false foundation. The truth never destroys what is solid and true.
The truth is a fire, and that which is true is like GOLD: it only gets refined by being exposed to the fire; but lies are like dry grass, they burn as soon as exposed to the fire.
I am not against the “me too” phenomenon, — even though I didn’t post it because it seemed obvious to me that, if you are a woman, you have, at some point, been exposed to men who feel entitled to what they are not.
But what I feel compelled to express is that there are a lot of good men in the world also, who, famous or not, are decent and honest.
The darker it is, the more the light shines, and those of you who are decent shine brighter at this time. Thank you for being decent and for not abusing your physical strength; for understanding that it was given to you to serve and protect, not to abuse.
For every creep who has enjoyed the protection of the women they have used, there are many decent men who aren’t expecting recognition for doing what they know to be decent. This is a small and humble way to recognize you for being the kind of man that we can trust and never be afraid of. We need you to be this way; strong, reliable, safe. And we should not take you for granted either.
Particularly after my divorce eight years ago I had a deepening sense that being a man was not easy. Don’t get me wrong, being a woman is not easy either, but the temptations, challenges and struggles are different in nature for us.
Even before I became familiarized with some of the gender studies in my psychology classes, I perceived that being a man carries responsibilities that do not meet the naked eye; things that we don’t even think about; things that are never talked about.
Not the bread-earning kind of responsibility, but the responsibility to manage their strength and power, of being temperate, measured and disciplined; of using their strengths for good.
We are responsible for what we are entrusted, and men are entrusted with strengths they are expected to use well. Women are entrusted with different strengths and we also are responsible for using them well.
May no woman pretend that she knows exactly what it is like to be a man.
May no man pretend that he knows exactly what it is like to be a woman.
We need the humility to admit that there are aspects of nature about the other gender that we do not understand, and recognize that the reason we don’t understand those aspects is that we are made and wired differently.
Can we do this?
Knowledge begins in the recognition that we lack it.
We are made to work together, not against each other.
We need to communicate in safety, with open minds, mutual respect, admiration and appreciation for what each represents and contributes to society and the species. We need to discuss heavy-duty items like monogamy, non-monogamy, lengthy successful marriages, divorce when needed to advance our development in life, divorcing with class and dignity, and above all: growing as individuals so that our sense of worth — and connection to Source, is not depending on someone else. We need to let each other breathe and be who God intended each of us to be without suffocating each other. This is the hard work, and the most worthwhile.
Why are some men consistently decent while others become bullies?
Is it easier for someone with no power to be consistently decent?
Is it harder for someone in a position of power to be consistently decent?
What is the worth of the “decency” of someone who is decent because he lacks power?
How much more valuable is the decency of a man who is in a position of power but who respects the lines of dignity and value?
Is it a character issue alone? Is it neurological? Could it be a combination?
It takes different things to be a good man than it takes to be a good woman because each is made differently, wired differently. It might be said that a man has a longer way to go to be a good man than a woman has to be a good woman because the natural tendency of the woman is nurturing, and she does this in many ways, for example, research shows that:
- Women let men interrupt them more when they are speaking.
- Women are more likely to let a man take credit for her idea than viceversa.
- Women are more likely to not speak up and correct a man even if she knows that what they are saying is not correct.
- Men tend to exaggerate their accomplishments.
- Women tend to be modest about their accomplishment when compared with men.
To the men who know and behave better than this:
These behaviors are scientifically proven, and honestly I detest them because they are cowardly. They are designed to “keep the peace”, or to “keep themselves from being attacked” for the moment, but they do not serve men.
It is not easy to assert ourselves in a world that is male-dominated, but we betray the best interest of men, (which is also to grow up), when we enable them to be bullies and let them fool themselves into thinking that they are greater than they are. How is that doing them a favor? Challenge them with grace; be kind but firm; be brave. Develop, know and assume your worth; by doing this you serve men in the highest way possible. They are men, they should be able to take it.
We women have catered to small, insecure men for hundreds of years, (millennia), contributing to a society that hurts us as women, and ultimately, hurts us all as members of the human race.
To all the decent, intelligent men who understand the enormous value of the place of woman in the scheme of the world, who understand that women have been subjugated for millennia and who want that to stop.
These men are visionaries, they see beyond their gender and advantageous position. They know that injustice against women hurts all of humanity.
To those who control their impulses in the name of respect and decency, and to those who, despite the advertisement industry that shamelessly exploits women, retain respect for women, seeing past the manipulating schemes of commerce.
Any man whose muscles are strong enough can overpower a girl, — a very weak and pathetic choice; but to understand “I can do this, but I won’t do it because it is wrong” (and criminal); “this strength that I have is not to be used in this way”… that is character, and that is what we need.
Men: you were given extra strength not to mistreat us; we women were given grace not to manipulate you.
In any case, those of you, (too many to mention, but Tom Hanks comes to mind), with impeccable records, you have our deep appreciation, admiration and love, even if we don’t say it outwardly.
Hardship and all, I am happy to be a woman. I want to believe that, were I a man, I would be a decent one who would not abuse my strength, that I would grow up and transcend my childishness.
There are multitudes of layers to this issue of being a man in a world that has tailored (all) its systems to accommodate you. We have very big challenges opening up before us, and it is high time that they did.
Whether you are inherently decent since birth, or you became decent after denouncing your former dumb ways, thank you; I hope your life is fulfilled.
We women have a lot to learn.
Men have a lot to learn.
Let us converse.
We do need each other.
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Copyrighted material 2017