Dear Men: An Open Letter
This is my letter to men, something I wrote at a time I was extremely angry at all men in that irrational sort of way. As I write I quickly discover it is not men that I’m angry with, but myself.
I hate you. Today I hate you. I usually love you, today I hate you. Why?
I hate the way you make me feel. You don’t have to even do anything!
You know what I hate the most? I envy you. I am a gay butch man trapped in a woman’s body. I want to ride motorcycles, fix cars, build houses, hunt. I’m not a girly girl.
I don’t like putting on makeup. Though I look great in dresses, they aren’t as comfortable as pants. I hate doing my hair. I enjoy swearing more than doing my nails.
Yet I do all of that so you men like me. Ug! Then I wait to see if you are online. Are you going to write me? I can’t be friends with any of you really (If you are my boyfriend’s friend, then we can kinda be friends, but not really. And if I don’t have a boyfriend, we can’t be friends. Well, we can, however I will just lead you on. Because really, do you want to hang out with a chick you can’t fuck? Or you are leading me on?)
I stop my business for you. I change my location for you. I take on things I would never take on for you.
Why is there a difference between us and you? Why do I want to compete against you, and do better than you? Why do I want to prove myself to you?
You know what men? I don’t hate you. I envy you. I’m angry I get left behind. I’m angry I can’t travel the world as safely as a woman. I’m frustrated that my purpose is supposed to be raising children. Being a mother comes naturally, it doesn’t mean I want to do all the work!
I wish I could not care like you do. To let all of the world’s problems run off my shoulders. To not be labeled crazy, to not have you assume I’m trying to trap you in any kind of anything. To not have you assume I like nails and makeup and going to spas, that I don’t have anything important to say, and that I can’t be smarter at something than you.
Truthfully, men, I love you. I don’t understand you. I don’t understand why we are different. Is it a cultural thing? Is it a made up thing? Or is it real? I can’t believe one chromosome would make such a huge difference.
For one of the first times in my life, I’m starting to find women’s company surprisingly enjoyable. No agendas. No sexual tension. We are just growing to better ourselves, and you aren’t distracting us!
I find myself being pulled to single women. Proud single women (who are raising their kids). All without men.
Look men, I don’t want to live my life without you. I really don’t. Yeah, you are a little naive when it comes to other’s people’s feelings. Yeah, women are more emotional. That is why we are moms and you are dads. We each have our role, and I’ve never given you a hard time for forgetting anniversaries, or not noticing my new hair cut or new dress. So forgive me if I’m a little emotional. It isn’t controllable (well, in my case, I do suffer from depression so I am on medication. However, most cases, we are just more emotional than you!)
I want to spend the rest of my life with one of you. Why can’t I find that one? Is it really that difficult?
I mean, I’m relatively attractive, I like a lot of the stuff you like, I enjoy having sex regularly, and I don’t want kids. A couple of you have been so close yet it hasn’t worked. Why?
Am I really forming myself to fit you? In the past, have I been afraid to say what I really want to say in case you won’t love me?
I don’t know. All I know is what the future is going to bring. I’m not going to leave things unsaid. I’m not going to sit passively when I don’t like something that is happening.
It was different when I was younger and wanted my own children. I thought that I really needed you (which is not true in any case). Now, I don’t.
I’m committed to make a difference with the children of the world. I’m committed to making a difference through my stories.
That may or may not include you.
You have always been the bread winner, the provider, we have been the homemakers, the child raisers. It is a natural role for us. We fit together so well.
So why is it that you can barely shave or bathe for us, you can be ugly or fat and still be widely successful, yet we have to be perfect? Who decided that? Was it you? Is it because your sex has ruled the world so long that you can do whatever you want and we have to beg for attention?
I grew up with 5 brothers. You would think I would understand you more, or would have figured out how to “keep one of you around”.
I haven’t. It’s so easy to be a part of the gang, and since I’ve gotten prettier by managing my weight, its so easy to get laid around you. Then all I have to do is not want you and boom, you are super interested in me.
Who do I really want to be? Can I be the strong woman I know myself to be, and still have one (or more) of you fall in love with me?
That thought scares me. I want to be that woman. I am that woman (look, I travel the world, I speak 2 languages fluently beside English, I run my own business, I live an amazing life!). Yet I try to hide who I really am. Because really, would a true man want a woman like me?
The answer is yes. A true man would want a strong woman to be a partner. I don’t want someone to take care of me. I clearly can take care of myself. I can be homeless and within 2 days I will find a place to live and I will find a way to make money. Been there and have done that.
I don’t need you to take care of me. You know what I want from you? Understanding when my emotions go haywire. Help me through the hard times and don’t label me crazy. Trust me. Truly trust me. Don’t discount my opinion.
This is what I promise to you. Next time, when I commit to one of you, I will truly commit. Twice now, I’ve said that, and it has freaked me out and I have run. Perhaps I’m the runaway bride, except I don’t take it that far and I’m the runaway fiancee.
You know what else I promise you, men? I promise to figure out myself before I date one of you again. I promise not to lose myself when I do start dating you. You will know who I am immediately. No question. That way, we can both clearly decide if we are a right fit.
All I know, is my pattern, my probable almost certain future, I’m no longer interested in. I want to be able to know myself with you and without you.
I’ve spent the last 3 years getting my past out of my future. This year, I get to discover who I truly am. When I’m done, I will know the true me. Then I will start to practice bringing myself around you, and we will see what happens.
Oh men. I love you so. I’m sorry I’m ultimately a woman. I try so hard not to be the bad parts of women and hold on to the good so you like me. I’m done. It’s not working for me.
It’s time to be me. Really me. Then you can decide if you want to be around me.
None of us are perfect. I don’t hate you. It’s more that I hate myself, what I have become, trying to impress you.
Well, no longer. I declare a new future. I will be me, you will be you, and we will go from there. How does that sound?
Men, you are awesome. I love you. Thank you for listening to me, for putting up with me, for being my best friends, my father, my grandfathers, my brothers, my friends, my crushes and my lovers.
Hilary (a woman)