Photo by Veronica Giorgetti at FreeImages.com.
Since pairing up with my old college girlfriend to start this blog and moving in with another girlfriend while I’m launching my freelance career, there have been several occasions in which men – these are professional relationships mind you – have asked me leading questions to find out the answer to one burning question:
Are you gay?
Each time this happens, I make good use of my meditation practice, breathing in deeply and breathing out deeply, so as to not scream out some rant about how this is so none of their business.
Then last week I ran across a post encouraging women to write about their Soul Sisters, the ones who are there for us when we need them the most. And it got me thinking, how do we turn around men’s initial response to women being supportive of each other from a question about sexual orientation to a discussion about the depth of character of these relationships?
I believe men have to take responsibility for this by choosing to view women as people first, and as sexual beings second. We are worthy of having men’s default reaction to us be to treat us with the respect afforded people who are pursuing our dreams, helping our families, and working on self-improvement. So this is a shout out to all the men already doing this – the ones who leave considerate comments on social media, the ones who work to help build up women’s self esteem, and the ones who make the choice to be respectful to a woman up front, no matter what she’s wearing or what gender she’s attracted to. These are the male feminists, a word that Webster’s defines as promoting gender equality.
Why do the men who stand up with us rate so high on our radar? Our attraction to them isn’t about romance. It’s about Soul. To be blunt, they are spiritually evolved enough to stay out of the group mob mentality and follow their own inner guidance. In other words, they are under their own control, not their peer’s and not their libido’s. This shows true strength of character.
Here’s some other reasons we love to be in the presence of these men:
They are trailblazers. Being a good example of how to treat women can be a lonely place to be, but these men do it anyway.
They have courage. Let’s face it, it takes a special kind of hoospah to stand up for the feminist movement if you are not a woman. It could mean bullying and alienation from your Brothers, but these men have an inner resolve that helps them handle any negative consequences that might arise from treating women with dignity.
They pay us a living wage. When I come across a male feminist in my freelance work, I don’t have to justify my rate to him because he already understands it’s fair. He also doesn’t ask me about my boyfriend, husband, gender preference, or tell me his personal problems. This professionalism is a welcome ray of sunshine in a sad sea of attempts at manipulation and boundary pushing.
We feel safe around them. When men choose to heckle women, leer at us, or make derogatory comments, it’s not just the look or the comment or the heckling that is disturbing but the fact that we now have to decide, often in an instant, “Is this man coming for me, or just yucking it up with his friends?” It’s exhausting to constantly be on such high alert against attack. So when a man comes along who makes the choice to be respectful, we’re able to relax our guard a bit and just be ourselves.
They have bothered to evolve. This one’s worth mentioning twice because it’s so key to the equality equation. We are all born into a world that has many preconceived notions about other genders, races, and religions. These either seep into our Souls or are rejected by us as incorrect. Male feminists have decided to look at their own thoughts and actions regarding women and put them on a higher plane than the the ads on TV, the social media bashing, and the general over-sexualization of the feminine that is depicted in our culture.
Women are the heart of the planet, and the clear cut signs of the heart being cut out of the equation for far too long are all around us. By refusing to regard us as our sexual orientation, our clothes, or others’ surface depictions of us, male feminists are doing their part to create a higher standard of treatment for the Guardians of the World’s Heart.
Thank you for being stand-up men.