Friday, March 22, 2013

A Love Letter to the Men Who Love Women Who Love Themselves

Act #81:  Don't take your support system for granted.

Dear Spouses, Partners, Lovers, and Companions of Feminist Women,

You knew from the very first date when she insisted on going dutch, that you were in for an adventure, yet you came back for more.  When you first came up to her in a crowded bar, and she fluttered her eyelashes flirtatiously...........and asked whether or not you thought the war in Iraq was justified.  You had never met a woman who carried around stickers that read, "This insults women" and who asked you to divert attention as she snuck them on Barbie dolls on Wal-mart toy shelves. 

You knew that your life would never be the same when she regularly disappeared - not for shopping trips or to get her nails done, but to attend community forums, board meetings, and rallies.  You knew the moment you watched her stand up on that stage and utter the word "vagina" 26 times without flinching, that she may be a bit different.  And when she went to the bathroom and threw-up after watching the rape scene in Boys Don't Cry, you knew that behind her unwavering strength, lied the very vulnerability that drove her to want something better for the world. 

For those of you who stuck around, even knowing what you know about us....thank you. For getting us. 

For not feeling threatened by the love we have for ourselves.  For teaching our boys to thank us for every meal we put on the table. Thank you for all those nights that you have to go to bed alone because we are working late, volunteering hard, staying out past normal people's bedtimes.  Thank you for rearranging your schedule to care for our children so that we can make the world a better place for them...or at least feel like we're giving it our best shot.   For believing that a 5"1 woman, who can't even reach the top cabinet in the pantry, really has a shot. 

Thank you for all the little things that you do - like demanding changing stations in men's restrooms, for challenging drive-through cashiers who ask if you want a boy's  toy or girl's toy with your kid's meal, for asking the server why she automatically brings the check to you.

Thank you for understanding why we will never be your arm candy, your trophy wife, but for instead seeing the beauty that lies deep within our souls.  For holding us when the weight of injustice, the weight of the world, becomes so unbearable that we sometimes curl into a little ball of exhaustion and defeat.

But most importantly, thank you for never allowing us to be ourselves - but for always expecting us to be nothing less.

In true love and partnership,
The feminist with whom you fell in love


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