A lot of people have been talking about how they’re scared for their boys and I have to say, I am too.
As a mom of two young boys, I’m terrified.
I’m terrified that despite all the lessons between right and wrong Seth and I will teach over the course of the next 15 or so years, history will tell them a completely different story. A story that infers it’s okay to treat women like an accessory and, to put it bluntly, like trash. A story that, at times, might even infer doing so will make them “macho”. A story in which being “macho” is the ultimate catalyst in societal advancement. A story with such a misogynistic narrative many men refuse to admit there’s anything wrong. A story that’s still unfolding. A story that could still be reality when they leave home – in 14 years.
Will my boys become those men?
It all starts at home, they say. I know, I know. But here’s the thing, what starts at home isn’t always carried out into the world. I mean, I hope it is in my boys’ case but I’ve known plenty of men who have spoken about women in disgusting ways – many of whom I’ve called friends. Why? Because they were “good guys” and they came from great families, strong women and caring men. At least that’s what I told myself. At best, those are men with good intentions and zero respect for women. Not to be confused with GOOD men.
If I had a daughter, that would be one of the first lessons I’d teach her. You’ll never have to make excuses for a good man.
GOOD men don’t summarize a woman’s value down to a pair of “fat titties” or a “fat ass”. They don’t condone cat calling or unwanted advances, they don’t assume a woman who enjoys sex always want to have sex with them, they don’t assume women who like to drink are asking to be fucked. They don’t think women owe them because they have a need only a woman can fulfill. They don’t see a woman and assume she’s there to be touched, oogled, hit on, saved or even. fucking. spoken. to.
GOOD men know and understand women aren’t here solely for their pleasure, to have their babies and raise their kids, to clean their homes and tend to their gardens. They know and understand that women are here, just like they’re here. GOOD men know equality is more than a competition of wit or strength – it’s deserving of the same opportunities, the same respect, deserving of a voice and the same rights. They know they’re typically stronger and faster while women are commonly smarter and more focused. Equality is more than singular achievements.
GOOD men understand there were better candidates than Kavanaugh – guilty or not. GOOD men understand why this spot on the Supreme Court – the highest court in our nation – was vitally important for the countless number of women who watched closely and hoped for a miracle. They understand why women are mad; they know women deserve better. GOOD men empathize without having to imagine victims as their mothers/daughters/nieces.
The problem is not enough of the GOOD men are heard over the roars of their misogynistic counterparts.
Not enough GOOD men stand up and speak out. Not enough of them find passion in defending the rights of the women they love dearly and respect immensely. I have plenty of GOOD men in my life but I can’t think of ONE who proactively goes to bat for women’s rights. That’s pretty embarrassing. For me and them. Not even my own husband. When the Kavanaugh hearings were happening last week, we were with friends driving down to Oklahoma. I, like so many women around the world, was immersed in the hearing. I streamed it on my phone while we drove into the city and at one point Seth asked me to turn it off because he didn’t want me to get grumpy. Others made jokes.
That’s a privilege good men have, they can afford to stay silent. Women can’t.
We women don’t have the privilege to sit around, thinking wishfully about change, hoping something will happen while simultaneously living a life full of safety and privilege. We have to fight for our right to make decisions about what we can and cannot do with our bodies, we have to fight to be heard and believed, we have to defend the way we dress or the activities we enjoy just in case we get sexually assaulted or harassed to ensure it doesn’t look like we were asking for it, we have to weigh the danger and risk of everything we do because the privilege of white men in America has reached a grotesque level and there seems to be no breaking point.
If you consider yourself a good man. If you, too, believe that women are equal and they deserved to be treated as such. If you believe in eradicating racism. If you believe our kids deserve safe schools and this country needs gun control. Stand up. Speak up. And don’t let your privilege allow you to become complacent until you see the change you want. Call your senators. March. Protest.
Be the change you want to see. Or consider yourself on the other side of history because today, where we are right now, your silence is complicit.
The world needs more LOUD, GOOD men.