OPEN LETTER TO MEN
I’m writing you all today to say three things.
1. I see you
2. I’m sorry
3. Let’s start over
I see you. I see how much you want to please us, women. How much you want access to the mystery that is the feminine: to see us; to experience us; to touch us; to feel us; to understand us; to penetrate us…
We want that too.
Well I do. I can’t speak for all women, but I can speak for myself. As a woman. In this world with you.
So I’m sorry when we act like we don’t. I’m sorry we emasculated you when you were children. When our fear of your physical and economic power has been so strong that we’ve taken the man out of you, as boys, to keep ourselves safe. That’s not to say you’re forgiven or justified for using that power against us, as grown men. Rape, abuse and abandonment are inexcusable.
I am saying that I’m sorry for the women in my lineage who cut your right power down in you as a child.
When you were a boy you likely had a mother, who perhaps for her good own reasons, hated men on some subconscious or even conscious level. Perhaps she also hated women.
Perhaps she hated existence. Who knows. And yet, she may have loved you with every fiber of her being. So much that it terrified her. So much that she completely blocked out her conscious hatred of men.
But you felt it.
You felt it every time she spoke negatively about your father; she may as well have been disapproving of you. In fact, every time she said something negative about men you felt it like a smack across the jaw. You felt it every time she held contempt for a man, for authority, for society. She unwittingly taught you that being a man, wasn’t okay in a woman’s eyes.
You felt it every time she was angry at men and that anger was projected onto you. As a child you had no frame of reference. It felt personal. You felt it every time she belittled you, criticized you, cut you down. When you’re a child, and your mother is bigger than you, more powerful than you, you take that anger seriously. You learned that fighting back doesn’t work against a woman. You adapted. You hid. You numbed. You checked out. You built emotional walls so high and thick you still can’t get out.
You felt it every time you heard her make an excuse for you. Instead of helping you see your part, she put the blame on someone else. Not her son. Not her boy. That’s someone else’s problem. Someone else is to blame. You’re entitled to whatever you want, son. Take the world. It owes you.
You felt it when she did things for you, things you know you could have done for yourself. She wanted you dependant on her, she wanted you to need her.
You felt it every time she was inconsistent with boundaries and rules. Sometimes she respected them. Sometimes she didn’t. She may not have had many herself, so she didn’t know to teach you boundaries. If you said no, you were subtly punished, so you always said yes. You always gave in, even if you really didn’t want to. It wasn’t worth the guilt trips, the nagging, the fear of losing her love. To say no to a woman.
You felt it when she said one thing and meant another. You could feel that she was in pain. And she said the opposite. I’m not mad. Everything is fine. You learned you couldn’t trust your own ability to feel another person. You started relying on words over feeling. Why would she lie?
And the worst. The worst thing she did, was she turned you into her surrogate husband. She taught you codependency was the way women relate to men. Her emotional needs were met from by you instead of by an adult. She told you she would die without you. That she needed you. That you were her support, her rock, her everything. How do you say no to that? How do you support that, when you’re only a child?
But I see the kind of man you want to be: faithful, dependable, kind, honest, fatherly, funny, smart, passionate, confident, generous, attentive, romantic, sexy, productive, successful, stylish, handsome, healthy, attractive…
I see this, and I see you struggling to figure out the how. How do I become this man when all I feel is anger and confusion when it comes to my woman? How do I please her? How do I stand up for myself? How do I handle a woman when she’s angry and I’m afraid? How do I address my own hurt and childhood wounds? How do I take responsibility for myself and men?
How do I hold her and have her look at me like I’m the most brilliant man on earth?
How do I fix this?
How do I show her that I see her?
I’m sorry. I’m sorry you had to go through this as a child. I’m sorry you’re confused, heart broken, angry and frustrated. I’m sorry you don’t have access to your emotions and you feel numb, tired and afraid. Afraid of being accused of something like assault, rape or abandonment. Afraid you’ll never get what you want. Afraid of being left hungry and alone, wanting. Afraid that consumption feels more accessible than creation. Afraid of being controlled, weak and flaccid. Of not being loved.
I’m sorry you consciously or subconsciously received the message that men are bad, from women
I’m sorry you learned to fear the anger and strong emotions, of women
I’m sorry you feel like you can’t say no instead of having good boundaries, with women
I’m sorry you learned shame and blame instead of responsibility, from women
I’m sorry you were objectified as incompetent and stupid instead of a woman’s authentic approval
I’m sorry you feel hungry and consumptive instead of nourished and creative, with women
I’m sorry women have co-created this and we haven’t yet taken responsibility for it. It’s not all our fault, and neither are we blameless victims in ‘history’.
That changes now. With me anyway. I’m only one woman, but I know others. Others like me, who want to work in partnership with men. Who want to work together and figure out how to bring the divine masculinity back into men. To work towards a future where both men and women are more powerful together.
My living amends is that I will never give up on men.
I will respect men, work WITH men, and open myself up fully to being seen, felt, loved, understood, experienced and penetrated by men. I will do this with the men who are willing and eager to be MEN. Men who never give up on their aspiration to be the man they want to be. Who are willing to let women like me, guide them and listen to them. To put our heads together and create a better world together.
Let’s start over.
Let’s both take responsibility for our part.
Let’s learn to see each other as powerful human co-creators
Let’s let the divine masculine and divine feminine find union
Let’s approve of our differences in thought, word and deed and excel because of them
Let’s use rational thinking and emotional intuitiveness together as intended
Let’s raise our children into amazing humans.
Let’s redefine relationships.
Let’s solve this problem.
Act now. The entire human race is at stake.