Dear Men

Dear Men,

We get it. You don’t like us women very much. 

Before you tell me you have a mom (duh) or a wife or daughters (poor things) or that you grew up with sisters (whatever) just save it. I am truly tired of arguing with you about this. I am weary of being disappointed by “the good ones.” The bottom line is even your version of “like” feels a lot like hostility. If you were a friend, you’d be toxic. If you were a partner, this would be abusive. And so I have realized it’s time to move on from this relationship and move towards acceptance and that’s OK. Because it’s easier to realize you have never liked us and you’re never going to, than to think there’s a path forward, especially when we women have been expected to forge this path all on our own while you continue to tell us why our brush clearing skills suck. No, we’re always going to be the understudy for an actual man in your eyes. I’d rather go someplace where I can be the lead. 

You’ll have to forgive me for my bluntness, I know it makes me seem nasty and unlikeable, but it has. Been. A. Week! It has been a week, on top of a four years, on top of a lifetime for each and every one of us non-males, many of whom have had to deal with your bias and resentment a lot longer than I have. This week was the Democratic National Convention, an event that when held four years ago held so much hope and promise for so many women. We got to celebrate our first female Presidential candidate from a major party. Or at least we got to celebrate quietly. We were told that being too loud about it would seem like gloating to the white guy she walloped by 4 million votes and his fans, who used every vile, misogynistic tool in the book to tear her down, labeling her a “witch,” lying about her record, and calling us “cunts” for defending her. But in her we saw our own experiences: A woman who had worked hard her entire to life to become more qualified than the men also going for the same job, because she knew she had to be. 

And because we don’t get the luxury of dwelling, we threw our energy and support behind four other dynamic women running this year and silently seethed as you systematically told us what was wrong with each one of them, blind to the double standard you were judging them by. You called Kamala Harris a cop for being a prosecutor who put away child sex traffickers, as if you hadn’t criticized Hillary Clinton for defending a pedophile as a public defender. So what kind of lawyers are women allowed to be in your eyes? No lawyers? That seems really “woke.” 

But the good soldiers we are, we tell ourselves that Biden is a “good man,” swallow Anita Hill and Hyde, and celebrate (quietly) Kamala Harris’s historic nomination for Vice President. And we turn up for the party’s convention like our other marginalized siblings, to watch and cheer as always from the cheap seats, but with no lack of enthusiasm. We were crying by the Pledge of Allegiance, even though our alleged allegiance is with you, men who call our issues a distraction while showing us day after day how much you don’t like us and how you never will. We choked on the complete lack of respect the party showed us by inviting a Republican governor who defunded our healthcare to speak. Instead we chose to “go high” and give Michelle Obama a standing ovation alone in our own homes and throw virtual parties to watch a lineup that included bad-ass female trailblazers, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Kamala Harris. We were never going to get justice that it wasn’t Hillary being nominated for a second term or that Sen. Harris wasn’t the one at the top of the ticket. But we had this to bring us joy and inspiration. 

But you couldn’t let us have that, could you?

While our eyes were glued to the grace and grit that Hillary Clinton was displaying on our televisions, Noah Schachtman, editor of The Daily Beast, tweeted50 minutes of emotional fire, followed by a wet blanket,” in reference to her speech. This was the same day that MSNBC host Chris Hayes had the brilliant insight that Biden’s message “calm, steady, compassionate leadership representing a big tent of Americans spanning the left, center and center-right, isn’t really that different from Clinton’s 2016 message!” concluding that it’s the sexism, Stupid. Sexism that Hayes himself continuously promoted through all of 2016, perhaps most notoriously in the twitter equivalent of a gang bang when he, along with Politico correspondent Ryan Lizza and Crooked Media Editor-in-Chief Brian Beutler, declared that Trump was going to be to the left of Hillary and in fact already was!

This is why we can’t have nice things, like capable women leading our country, instead of con artists who’ve murdered nearly 200,000 of us with their cruel indifference and incompetence. Schachtman and Hayes and Lizza and Beutler are all “journalists.” They’re supposed to be unbiased and yet they clearly aren’t. They perpetuate the same double standard that Hayes has just discovered (Welcome, Chris! You’re the Christopher Columbus of feminism.) And the problem is, they control the narrative. Their stories, their commentaries, their bigotries and high fivin’ sick burns on social media perpetuate the story that the female candidates are lackluster, shrill, unlikeable, duplicitous, ambitious and unqualified and then call us “bad candidates” when we can’t win against that.  Men, when you are in charge and you refuse to check your own misogyny, it is the women who will always lose. And you seem to be OK with that, so again, I have to assume, you just don’t like us. Because why would you set up people you liked to fail? Who treats people they “like” like this?

And speaking of men who don’t take responsibility for their complicity in the Trump administration, two days before all of this, in celebration of the 100thanniversary of the 19thamendment granting some women (White ones) the right to vote, James “Living my Best Life” Comey, tweeted out a picture of himself in a tee shirt that read (and you’re going to love this) “Elect More Women.” I’ll wait while you stifle some more rage. These men and those like them are the deadbeat dads of women’s rights: They fucked us and they refuse to take responsibility for the result of it.  

Men, you have gaslit us all so much this week, I can still smell the fumes. In Kansas on Monday, 19 year old, Aaron Coleman won the Democratic primary for the state’s House of Representatives. Just a few years ago, Coleman circulated naked photos of a 13 year old girl when she refused to send him more, drove another one to a suicide attempt, and is considered a progressive candidate who promotes the platforms of Bernie Sanders. If this is the Democratic candidate, who are the Republicans running against him? The ghost of Ted Bundy? 

I don’t how it is women haven’t gone all Season 2 Episode 7 of Sex Education yet, although I did order a bat and some goggles from Amazon. All of my life I’ve had to hear how feminists hate men, and I’ve always said, “That’s not true.” But now I have to ask, “What have you ever done to make us like you?” Because all we have done is try to make ourselves more “likeable” for you and it’s never been good enough. Maybe it’s not us. Maybe it’s you. I’m being kind, using qualifying language because I’m told I sound too bitchy when I don’t. But there are no maybes about it. Yes. It is you. It is all fucking you.  

Dear Men, it’s not that we hate men, it’s just that we don’t find you that likeable. It’s your turn to thread that needle for the next hundred years or so. 

Signed,

A bunch of bad ass unlikeable, ambitious women

 

 

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