‘Men Explain Things to Me’

As the tagline of my blog states, one of things that we are trying to accomplish here is giving resources. Resources will be heavily books (because I read a lot). Occasionally they will be movies because we have a guest blogger (Jimmy) who loves movies. He also just happens to be the one who lent me this book. You will also notice that I will never give too much away about a resource but rather lead you to discover it for yourself.

I do appreciate the humor in parts of the book and hearing about her own experiences. I appreciate that there is intersectionality between the social construct of gender and religion. The author also speaks about culture and the influences in different settings. Settings can include college campuses, work, parties, or a different country.

Even though I don’t believe in the gender binary, I do think that Rebecca Solnit‘s book raises a lot of good points. I want to recognize that this book is very gendered as well as my following letter. After reading this book I came to several realizations about people who identify themselves as men. More appropriately cisgender men. This letter is not meant to generalize but rather serve as a reaction to these cisgender men I have encountered that are not as socially conscious as I would like.

Dear men,

I don’t need you to explain things to me. I don’t need you to wait to hold a door open for me when I’m a considerable distance away. I don’t appreciate the catcalling. My body is not me, I am not my body and my body has not given you permission to scrutinize my behind. My curves are my words and I will not share them with you. My smile is beautiful and I don’t feel you deserve it when you dominate the conversation; the what, the where and the how to. I am not for your pleasure nor do I desire to give you any.

Sure, let’s have a conversation on the social construct of the pressures of ‘being a man’ but you must be willing to have it. The ‘men’ that I truly appreciate defy expectations and treat women with respect; not as property. I’ve realized that because of the behaviors as described in this letter and others during late nights…I am scared of you. Though I know that courage in the face of fear is more powerful than anything I ever need when facing you. 

Thoughtfully,

G

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