Ugh, I’m fed up. I have had this controversial thought for a long time…and then I think…well, maybe it’s not controversial at all….maybe just people are not having this conversation.
I have 5 brothers, 3 sons, a phenomenal husband and also was lucky enough to have a really great dad and grandfather. I have lots of male friends and have worked with countless men over the last 25 years of my career. I love men. I love women. I love people. I always think it’s weird when a group of humans is divided into groups based on how they were born (essentially what their bodies look like) and then all labeled to be the same because of how or where they were born….even though inside they all have a different soul and a different brain and a different set of circumstances that they were born into. Sometimes we want to make things easy and decide that all men are the same, all women are the same, all green people are the same, all Idahoans are the same, all blonde people are the same, all rich kids are the same, all poor people are the same…..blah blah blah.
I’m on this rant because someone forwarded me some disturbing articles about the way lots of young men feel like they don’t have a chance because of how men are perceived….stay with me here.
Throughout history….very unfair, wrong and even evil things have happened. (Also very good things have happened). Unfair, wrong, evil, barbaric things have happened at the hands of ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE. ALL KINDS. Men, women, all races, all colors of hair, all sorts of upbringings.
More people are being born into the world every day. Little kids are running around who are female..and male……some with black hair…some with light skin….some with dark skin….green eyes, brown eyes, blue eyes…..some come to school with designer clothing and some come with whatever they could find to wear. These little kids are likely already getting labeled, in many cases, by the history of people who were born who look like they do. Isn’t that weird? We don’t even know what is in their little soul yet and we often label them because they are a boy and a man hurt me once….or girl and girls grow up and hurt people. Or kids who look like that grow up into people who do this or that…….
I just hope what I am reading is not true. That because historically there have not been equal rights or treatment for human beings……that we want to punish people who look like the ones who did the unfair things historically, who are just now growing in the same world that we are growing up in and were born as a boy or a girl or a certain race or whatever “kind” we have labeled someone…….that we just go into autopilot and put those people into one big pile and never give anyone a chance.
When you read things like “all men are pigs” or “all women are gold-diggers” or “all men are just man-children” or “all women are bitter”…….it’s pretty unfair. AND if you believe any of those things……where is the hope for our kids? Where is the hope for ANY of us?
There are messed up people. There are EXTRAORDINARILY loving and good people…and there is everything in between. None of it has anything to do with ANY common denominator except being a human being…..because you will find all of it in EVERY group that you could ever group people into. You will find very unkind people in churches that claim to be all about kindness….and you will also find the kindest people you will ever meet. You will find unrelentingly selfless and serving people who consistently help others in places that your church told you to stay away from….and you will also find dangerous people there, no doubt (as will you find them at church).
Here’s what I am trying to say……..give people a chance. ALL PEOPLE. Let them know that you believe in their goodness….and that you believe in each other. Don’t lump people into ANY kind of group, ever……because our kids are watching. When you lump people into groups, and your kids happen to be in those groups….you are programming them to be expected to behave a certain way. Understand that people can and will change as they learn better and new ways. Understand that probably the more we each have feelings of hate and judgement about men or women or any subcategories that exist in our world, the more we probably need to look inside and find places in ourselves that are unhealed and not allowing us to love EVERYONE and accept everyone.
Today what I read was about men….although this goes for EVERY group, every human. Men…I love you. I believe in you. I don’t think anything is your fault as a group. I need you in my life. My life has been unquantifiably blessed by you. (I have also been very hurt by men….but it wasn’t because they were men…it is because they were human. I have also been hurt by women….and I’ve been incredibly blessed by women….I have also hurt men and hurt women.) And men, I hope you will do the work you need to do to heal if you feel like men are bad, or if you feel like women are bad (especially if you have been abused by women)…..or if you feel like green people are bad or people who eat bagels are bad, or people who like bowling are bad. I hope you will heal until you know that there are just all kinds of humans, and they are found in every group.
AND…..my fellow sisters. If it is true that you might believe that men are bad…or that men are pigs….or that men are useless, selfish, sex hungry animals…..or that ALL men want to make more money than women and forever have power and control over them……I hope that you will also be able to heal to wholeness (especially if you have a history of being abused by men) and see that men are part of the human family also…and that while some men are in great need of a new way of seeing and living their life so that they are not selfish and power hungry (the same goes for some women and some humans generally)……that there are also a majority of men who want to partner with us….who believe in us….who want things to be equal and who are so tired of this fight that they were born into. They just want to be seen as souls….not as an automatic enemy simply because they were born with boy parts. And the women too…..we just want to be seen as souls.
I want you to know that I have been surrounded almost my whole life by men who support me, see me as an equal and respect me. In turn, I have done the same for them. I have also had many experiences with both men and women where I was marginalized, abused, taken advantage of, disrespected and expected to behave as if I am below them. BOTH men and women.
I wish this were a bigger conversation. I wish we would disband all of the groups and just be honest with each other instead of make more alliances that divide us further. History sucked in so many ways….but we are a different people now and we need to give each other some grace and a clean slate before making judgments.
Let my name be on the record as a woman who does not hate men, or blame men…..and one who also believes in equal rights for all human beings….for the women, and for the men…..for all of the people.
Have a beautiful day. hug someone you thought you weren’t allowed to love because of the group they belong to….just see what happens. It’s pretty miraculous.
Your human sister……..