This is an apology to all the men out there.
If I ever made you feel like you should step down, give up, shut up, go away… If I ever made you feel that you’re unnecessary, unneeded, unwanted… If I ever made you feel like I just ran over you (with my words, my resentment, my enthusiasm) like a ten-ton truck… If I ever made you carry my lady-purse, or told you that you have never provided for any of my needs… If I brushed you off and said, “never mind, I’LL do it!”…
God, I’m sorry.
There I was complaining about the sorry state of chivalry, and the truth is that I helped eradicate it. I was the one who decided that I didn’t need to be saved, that I can take care of myself well enough, that I could damn well open my doors and jars, that I can pay for my own dinner, and I sure as heck can bring myself home through the bad part of town.
If there are no more gentlemen in the world, then I have done my part to get rid of them.
If there’s anything I’ve learned, honoring someone is all about treating someone as a human being. It’s about putting that person first before me, and saying, “lookatchoo, awesome one you are.” If you’re not a Christian and you’re reading this, then at the very least we agree on something: that all human life is precious. (Don’t be sarcastic on me now; Think about why we mourn deaths and write long books on existentialist angst.) That means the one you just called an asshole is, whether you like it or not, precious.
I would like to think that I’m a strong woman. And that I was made strong because I was surrounded by strong-willed men. To survive in their company meant that I had to be fast on my toes, quick with the retorts, and able to keep up. And somewhere along the way, as I was learning how to be The Independent, Strong, 21st-Century Woman, I had forgotten to lead a quiet and pure life, sheathe my strength in gentleness, and coat my strong words with love.
For other women, you can have the matriarchy. I’m sure that’s working out for you, and you’re all incredibly happy with that arrangement. As we can tell by the ever-thriving industry of therapists, psychiatrists, self-help books, and anti-depressants. Not to mention the desperate phone calls to your “support group,” and the desire for a strong drink nearly every night.
I would much rather sit down and gaze with pride on the strong men that surround me, protect me, and who nurture my womanhood. I lose nothing by submitting my strength to them; In fact, I lose nothing when they ignore me, pass me over, or whatever. I just want to honor them because I want to honor my God.
Of course, honoring is not about bowing over backward and letting mistakes go by unnoticed. There’s still such a thing as justice. But no matter what that person’s sins are, whatever damages he has caused, it will never mean that I have the right to hate (never that) or demean, degrade, or unman him. He’ll answer to Someone higher than both of us.
I’m making a decision to honor men.
Some of you already deserve it. You know who you are. For every time you opened my door, watched over me, served me and my sisters, loved on us so purely and sweetly… I honor you.
And some of you might not deserve it (the honoring part), but I’m choosing to believe that with a little more honoring, with a little more making space for you, you’ll learn to step up and take charge. In other words, you’ll learn how to be a man. I want to honor you. I need to honor you, because I need to be a woman as well.
The goal is to live like a queen in this fallen, beautiful world. Which means you, you men, need to remember how to be kings.
PS: I promise not to think that you have a thing for me if you open my door. Just as long as you promise not to think that I’m into you just because I smiled into your eyes and said, “up to you.”
PSS: No pet names. Promise.