I Love You... But...

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“I love women.”

I’ve heard this said a thousand times. Usually at the start of a refusal to accept something a woman has brought to the table about how hard it is for us to walk in our world as it exists today. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, #MeToo, and what now feels like a barrage of conveniently labeled ‘Hollywood’ sex scandals hearing this tired disqualifier trotted out by some guy on a bus one day a while back, who peaked at my phone and noticed I was reading about the latest developments in the Roy Moore circus, was simply enough for a life time. I laughed.

I love women, but…

Can we agree to engage in some judgment free honesty for a second? Let’s make a ten-minute agreement between you and I, that for as long as it takes you to read this, you have my permission to accept as well as state the ugly with fearlessness.  Nobody can see you. SJW’s aren’t going to show up at your door with tar and feathers. Your ma isn’t looking down from anywhere (or up for that matter) waiting to catch you in a moment with your hand down your pants; and I don’t know you from Adam. Let’s start from the premise that to be human is to err on the side of trashiness and move up from there.

Are ready? Raise your hand if you love women.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you believe that there are enough women who will lie about sexual misconduct, just to get revenge or for political motivation, to warrant some form of hard evidence before you are willing to risk making a man’s life difficult by taking her at her word.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you honestly believe that most girls don’t know what they want, and sometimes need to be warmed up to the idea of having sex with you. You love them, but the first no is just foreplay. Keep asking, buy them a few drinks, lead them somewhere alone and 9/10 they come around. You don’t view this as force because you didn’t hit them or anything.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you’re comfortable living in a world where you’re afraid to send them out without you, because “some guy might”.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you don’t think about the difference in power dynamic between the two of you, besides how hot it might be in the bedroom or how it might help you get them there.

Keep it raised if you’re comfortable pushing as far as they’re going to let you push, because you honestly believe they could stop you at any moment if they wanted to, or you’re happy to take advantage of the fact that they can’t.

Keep it raised if you know why they’re afraid to piss you off. You’re banking on it for time for them to see what a great catch you are when you corner them on the street, in the grocery store, in the park or at the club.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you don’t know any of the statics surrounding the climb in spousal abuse and homicide.

Keep it raised if you know some women wind up in a bad situation and you have your suspicions about some couple in your community but it’s not really your business.

Keep it raised if you love women… but it doesn’t affect you very much when you hear that men visiting violence upon women is still their leading cause of death in 2018.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you don’t believe her when she says she didn’t want that guy to touch her. You know what she’s like, and you firmly believe a woman shouldn’t advertise what she isn’t selling.

Keep it raised if for you it’s that simple, and your nothing she says will change that much.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you get mad when women talk about their fears because you feel like they’re saying something personal about you.

Keep it raised if you’re comfortable with your hurt feelings superseding the need to have the conversation about what women fear and what needs to change so they don’t have to.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you laughed at that meme that suggested if your girlfriend loved you, she should reward you with a blow job for doing the dishes.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you laughed at all the “shot gun dad” jokes you’ve ever heard.

Keep it raised if you honestly fear your daughter is going to meet some guy who will treat them like you treated a previous partner.

Keep it raised if you still consider yourself one of the good ones.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you expect them not to make you pay for other men’s mistakes.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you think they have no place in your field.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you think she shouldn’t get paid to leave her job. She chose to have a kid after all. You didn’t.

Keep it raised if you love women…  but she shouldn’t expose her breasts in public even if it’s to feed a baby.

Keep it raised if you love women… but think they don’t make good politicians.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you worry most of them are shallow and don’t appreciate good men anymore. You’ve been burned a few times by the ‘friend zone’.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you don’t see anything wrong with a doctor refusing to tie a twenty-year-old woman’s tubes. She might regret that choice someday!

Keep it raised if you love women… but you aren’t here to hear them tell you that “some guy who might” was you, because you could. And you did.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you voted for Donald Trump even after you heard his ‘locker room talk’.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you’re fine with how men apparently talk about women in locker rooms. You think it’s harmless.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you don’t see a connection between how men talk about women in private and the rise in spousal abuse and homicide.

Keep it raised if you love women, but you don’t see a connection between the way men talk about women in private and the wave of Me Too stories.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you hold to the truth that Not All Men are sexual predators, so nothing needs to change.

Keep it raised if you’ll continue worrying about your daughters, wives and sisters, every time they have to go out in the world and interact with strange men who might.

You love women, so you’ll continue to police their behaviors and their choices in an effort to protect them, and when something terrible happens to a friend or a neighbor you’ll think “thank god my girls are smart enough not to do X and end up hurt like her”.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you had no idea so many women in your life had been hurt like that. You honestly wonder why they never spoke up before.

Keep it raised if you love women… but you’re beginning to realize you really haven’t seen them up till this point in your life.

Keep it raised if you’re still pretty cool with that.

If your hand is still raised, congratulation’s for being a certifiable walking trash can (otherwise known as a human being). I hope you have a better idea now why ‘loving women’ is actually not one of the qualities you should list on your Tinder profile when describing your no doubt sparkling personality, but I promised you no judgment so you’re free to go on your way. Good night and good luck to you out there.

But if you lowered your hand at some point, then I want to congratulate you as well on your excellent impersonation of someone with a hint of empathy.

Your ability to be a “basically good person” while also being the worst sort of trash, was I think, the best example of humanity witnessed all year. If you were trying to be something other than human, I regret you failed, but the good news is you now have something new to think about.

It may lead to some better choices in the future so that you’re a tad closer to being basically good all the time, and have fewer instances of resembling garbage.  We all do the best we can. Goodnight and good luck to you