Dear Men in My Life...

Subject: Dear Men in My Life...
Date: 7 Aug 2018

Dear men in my life, please stop teasing me for being a woman.

I know you don’t mean anything bad by it, I really do. And I’m sure for most of you, if I had told you sooner you probably would have stopped. All I can do though is tell you now.

Yes, I have those things called feelings
Dear men in my life, I know I can get all kinds of emotional.

Some of you have called me “over emotional.” Sometimes you tell me to calm down, sometimes you tell me to not overthink or to not overreact.

Dealing with my feelings isn’t always fun (trust me, I don’t like it most of the time). That emotional side of me though is part of my womanliness. When you get upset with me for having feelings, or tell me that I have too many feelings, than it makes me want to hide how I really feel.

Even in this, this open letter I am writing, I’ve been afraid to speak up because I’ve been told I can be oversensitive. I’m not asking you to let me fly off the rails. I’m only asking that you take a pause and think about it from my point of view, and maybe I’m the right amount of emotional for the situation more often than you think.

And when I’m not, try supporting me through it and (calmly) help me see a better perspective. Because that is a strength that you have as a man.

Being a woman is my greatest strength
Dear men in my life, help me embrace the best part about me.

I’m a woman! Shouldn’t that be something to celebrate and not cower from?

It is easy for me to forget though, so I need help! I need that safe space where it is okay to be vulnerable, emotional and “girly.”

Having the emotions I do is why each one of you is still in my life, because I care way too much. Have I ever inconvenienced myself to do something for you? Have I ever supported you or encouraged you?

That’s the woman inside of me. I’ll never give up on you.

Even though I’ve created an outward appearance and habits that diminish my femininity, I don’t feel any less like a woman. Perhaps though I would have an opportunity to embrace it more if I didn’t feel like being a woman was such a burden.

I know it isn’t your fault
Dear men in my life, I’m sorry for the men who have ruined me.

Such a womanly thing to do, apologize when it isn’t even my fault. But I am truly sorry. I’m sorry because I’ve sometimes let men into my life who haven’t treated me well.

These men, who are not you, have created this doubt inside me. Creating feels of ugliness, shame and great sadness. Because of these men, the innocent teasing you may sometimes do actually ends up being really hurtful at times.

What kind of teasing? I think most of you can think of one or two times you’ve dismissed me jokingly with a, “because you’re a woman” comment. Maybe it was more along the lines of giving me a hard time for being weak because I am a woman. Or not being able to do something because I am a woman.

Because I want to feel connected to you, and included, this joking attitude eats away at me slowly. It reaches into dark parts that you don’t know are there. The dark places that were created by those “other men” that I shouldn’t have let into my life.

The ones who call me a bitch. Who tell me I’m not wanted. The ones that have told me if I don’t put out, than I will never be loved.

The ones who told me that I’m fat, ugly and undesirable as a woman.

So unfortunately you are going to need to man up for the lesser parts of your gender. The ones who have treated me so wrong. The ones who have led me down the path of hating myself.

Maybe it shouldn’t be your responsibility, but if you don’t watch out for me, who will?

Don’t forget, I am a woman
Dear men in my life, I know most of you don’t even notice that I am indeed a woman.

I know that to you I am not THE woman. You’re my family and my good friends.

One day though, I know you hope that THE man comes along for me that will see me as THE woman. Most of you are even actively praying for that for me.

So how do you want that man to treat me? How do you want that man to find me?

I look to you, the men in my life, to be an example for how that man should treat me and behave around me. I know it can be easy to forget I am a woman because you don’t see me like that.

Sometimes you make crude jokes or gross comments. Sometimes you talk about other woman a little rudely. Sometimes I join right in.

My personal responsibility in this is I have allowed myself to lose my femininity and identity as a woman when I am around you. This has been my coping mechanism for years. My crutch. Not because of you, but because of my own insecurities. I’ve been okay with you treating me like another “one of the guys” though because it was better than being alone.

And because I’ve been ashamed of being a woman for a long time.

We live in a society today that pushes a concept of feminism that I don’t think would be recognizable to the woman in the 19th and 20th centuries who started the movement. This isn’t wrong, part of the beauty of being a woman is embracing the truest parts of yourself.

The truest part of me though is I am a traditionalist, and I desire a relationship where I can practice traditional gender roles. I believe a man’s strengths are different than a woman’s strengths, and that is a beautiful thing in it of itself.

I deal both with women who think that I’m dumb for wanting this, and men who treat me poorly because I am a woman. So sometimes it has just been easier to give in and give up my identity as a woman, but I don’t want to anymore.

I want to be woman. I want to embrace my strengths and forgive myself for my weaknesses.

I’m blessed to have you in my life
Dear men in my life, this is the part where I get really sappy.

I’m very thankful to have you in my life, watching you with your women and seeing the love you share with them. This gives me hope every day that I can find a man like you for me. Who will love, cherish and protect me.

I love all of you with all of my heart. So help me figure out how to love myself. As a woman.