Let’s Hear It For the Boys

Gentlemen, we need to talk.

By this I mean, I’m going to talk and I hope you’ll listen.

A lot of you out there are good guys. You love the woman you’re with. You support her in the things she thinks are important. You share the housework. You share the burdens of your lives together.  

Let me say, “Yay!”

You get it. You understand that the woman you’re with is a person in and of herself and is not just an adjunct to you.

But there’s still a problem.

Now I’m not going to bore you with a litany of facts about the culture we live in. I’m not even going to point out that there’s still massive inequality between the sexes despite over 150 years of struggle by women because you know all that. Patriarchy hurts us all.

The problem is when you get defensive and worn out with hearing about these things from your partner.

I understand.  It sucks.  You’re a good dude and there’s world of crappy dudes out there.  I get that you just want to say, “But that’s not me!  I’m not like those other guys.  Look, I hate rape and rape culture.  I hate that women get paid less than men.  I hate all the same stuff you hate!”

And that’s when you’ve missed the point.

See, when your partner – or any woman for that matter – shares with you her frustration with the society we’re in, she’s not talking about you.  She’s talking about herself.  She’s talking about the grinding frustration and daily assault on who she is because she’s walking around with a vagina instead of a penis.

This isn’t about you.

And no matter how frustrated and annoyed you are with hearing about yet another shitty thing that some other dude did, trust me, it’s not even a fraction of the frustration she feels on a daily basis just living in the world.