Please Allow Me To Apologize For My Gender
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Politics and Activism

Please Allow Me To Apologize For My Gender

An open letter to women from an ordinary guy.

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Please Allow Me To Apologize For My Gender
Photo by pixel2013 courtesy of Pixabay

Dear Women,

It’s been a crazy year, I know. We’re finally realizing the extent to which you’re silenced, harassed, abused, belittled, held down, undervalued, and underpaid. High profile rape and sexual assault allegations seem to be pouring endlessly out of every filthy corner of the country, and every time I think I’m starting to understand the shit you’re going through I find out, yet again, that what I know is just the tip of the iceberg.

So let me just say: I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because as a male, I feel like I should have an explanation for you, and I don’t. The stories I’m hearing are just plain creepy. I have never been accused of lacking libido, but even I can’t imagine a scenario where my hormones would be so uncontrollable that “no” would stop meaning “no”, or that I would fail to recognize the many ways that you can say no.

A look of horror, for example, or an attempt to walk away. Those things mean no.

I’m sorry because as a male I feel like there should be some “guy way” for me to tell other men that there’s nothing glamorous or powerful about acting like trash in front of women. I feel like I should have the right vocabulary to explain to the Harvey Weinsteins, the Louis C. K.s, the Steven Seagals, and the Donald “Grab ‘Em By The Pussy” Trumps that they discredit our entire gender by letting their dicks be the boss.

I’m sorry because as a male I feel like it’s my responsibility to set a good example for my son, but I can’t raise everyone else’s kids, too. I wish there were a “How To Find Out That Women Have Vaginas Without Thinking That Means Women Are ONLY Vaginas” class, and I could teach it to young boys before their pigheaded fathers ruin them.

Instead, I can only give you one good man – my only son – and it doesn’t feel like enough.

I’m sorry because as a male I should have known all along that I didn’t understand what you were going through, but instead I assumed that women were just complaining or being dramatic when they spoke up about abuse. I assumed I understood the situation better than you do, when actually I didn’t have the first clue. I assumed the world couldn't possibly be as nasty as you made it sound; that men couldn't possibly be as weak and desperate as the perverted little bitches you were telling me about.

I’m sorry because as a male it feels like there should be something I can do for you. Something to make up for everything men have done to shame and overpower you. Some door I could open and say, “Here it is: the path to being treated like a human being, instead of a sex organ. Equality is right down the hall, on the left.”

But the reality is that I got to walk through that door so long ago myself that I don’t remember where it is. If I did, I’d go out of my way to hold it for you.

I don’t know what it will take to fix this. My gender has always been known to have a fondness for yours. If it were a fondness based on respect and appreciation, it would be nothing but good for both of us. Instead, it’s a fondness that’s been perverted by power and become contemptuous.

How do you reverse the damage that’s been done by power? Do we have to take power away? Do men have to suffer the humiliation of being “only good for one thing” before they’ll realize that it isn’t healthy to think of other human beings that way?

All I know is that not one single #metoo was ever okay. Not one single man ever should have thought it was. But somehow, a lot of them have, and it’s not easy to change what’s been going unchallenged for so long.

So I’m sorry, Women. I’m sorry on behalf of my whole gender.

I don’t know what else to say.

Sincerely,

An Ordinary Guy

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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