Today, I Feel Especially Grateful to the Men in My Life

Thank you for empowering me in a world that doesn’t want you to.

Today, I’m feeling grateful to the men in my life. I feel grateful to them every day; I feel especially grateful to them today. I don’t think I tell you enough how much it means to me to have you as allies. It means everything.

As Alabama (and Georgia, and probably soon others) makes abortion illegal and women’s rights in America regress, as other nations move forward — thank you for being horrified with me, exclaiming, “we have to fix this!” and holding my hand as I cry about it.

As the male-supremacists write hateful, angry, and abusive comments on my work — work that expresses a desire for equality, not a female takeover — thank you for reminding me that my voice is important and that I need to keep writing. Thank you for showing me that you’ll have my back always against these men.

Thank you to my grandfather and dad — progressive before their time — for encouraging my independent streak, and fully supporting it through its growth. Thank you for treating me exactly as you treated my male cousins — teaching me the same life skills, making me complete the same chores, giving me the same punishments and the same rewards. Pushing us all toward the same goals (with individualization, of course).

Thank you to my best friend, who acknowledges his male privilege day-in and day-out, advocating loudly for women, and encouraging other men to do the same. Thank you for calling them out when they don’t. When they won’t.

Thank you to the man I’m dating for listening to me vent about the sexist remarks on my writing. Thank you for saying to me during a discussion on politics, “I know that as a white man, no matter what happens, I’m going to be fine. That’s why I try to use my votes and my voice for other people. Nothing’s going to happen to me. As the most privileged group, we’re responsible for using our invincibility shield to help and elevate everyone else.”

Thank you to Jason Weiland for writing this article. I loved it so much that it nearly brought me to tears. I (we) appreciate you using your voice in this way so much more than we can fully express.

I want you all to know that when I’m venting about “men,” I’m not talking about you. I want — and need — to be much more concise and clear in my wording so that you never feel included in my rants. I’m going to be so cognizant of this.

I want you to know that I know that many — probably even most — men are lovely, wonderful, empathetic individuals. I know this because of who you are, how you treat people, how you use your voices to defend the less privileged.

I see you; I hear you — and I appreciate you so much more than I probably ever let you know.