Dear Men People,
I started this post as a letter to women people. Then I got frustrated and wrote a letter to evangelicals. And for the briefest of moments I considered wasting my breath on the Giant Cheeto that is the Republican candidate for president.
Then I took a breath. And here is what I exhaled…
I love you. I do.
I have a deep abiding love for you and all you bring to the world.
I love the men like Ken, Kris, Safwan, and Russ who have pushed me further and further in my career. These are the men who propelled me forward, asked me to speak on behalf of our products, told me I was the leader until I knew it myself.
I love the men in my life like Greg, Don, Tim, Chad, Tyler, Cuyler, Mark, Geno, & Max who have been my friends. My throat clenches even as I type this because these men…this blessed handful…have stood with me when I’ve cried, when I’ve feared, and when I wasn’t certain of anything anymore. I love them so.
My nephews…Zachary, Jacob, Logan, Benjamin & Lucas…grown men who are my friends in different ways and by various means. Men who I know would protect me from harm and do some bodily harm to any who attempt to move too close.
And so so so many other men…I love you so.
And my love for you is why I have to tell you quite bluntly what it means to be a woman in this election season. What it feels like for the feminine energy around us to get taught, tight, nervous and engaged in that all to familiar need to protect herself, body and soul. If for one moment I could lay my hand on the shoulder of each man I pass in the street, in the hallway at work, on the elevator and transmit the fear of womanhood…the fear of pussy grabbing…the fear of parking garages…the fear of “funny uncles” who come into little girl bedrooms…the fear of the one who looks at your short skirt and glass of wine in your hand and believes it is a permission slip…the fear of the man who crosses the street even as you cross ahead of him to see if he is actually following you..the fear of the words spoken about your body as if it were a thing that did not have an owner but that was somehow up for auction to the bravest man who would take it.
This is the reality for many of us.
The reality of this election is that Donald Trump has been the ultimate trigger warning. His words have set women’s teeth on edge, made the hair on the back of our necks bristle, caused gooseflesh on our arms, has made us wrap our own arms around ourselves as covers for our breasts, has caused us to fold our hands politely in front of our wombs in hopes that we could fend off the hands of the groper who would try to take possession. Possession of our bodies, of our rights, of our freedom to exist body and soul and spirit here on this earthly plane as equals.
The men I love believe I am their equal. I am not as tall as most. I am not even as strong as most. And hell…some of these dudes are flat out smarter than me on my smartest day. They do not see me for my beauty. They do not look at me for what I can give them. My body is not theirs nor would they take it, touch it, hold it, or hug it without my permission. They love me because I am me. They appreciate my sense of humor. My mind. My spirit. My intellect. My ability to be an aunty to them or their children. My friendship. My honesty.
Donald Trump does not love anyone that way.
Not his wife. Not his daughters. Not the women with whom he comes in contact. And most importantly…Donald Trump does not love HIMSELF as well as the men who love me have done.
And his inability to be an enlightened human…a man who sees himself with clear, honest vision…a man who sees the world around him in all it’s brown, black, Muslim, Female, Differently Abled, Gay, Trans, Fat, Ugly, and Diverse glory as something to FIX, to HIDE, to SHUN, to MAKE FUN OF, to ABHOR, to GET RID OF…that is not a human who is prepared at this time to have any control over me, my nieces, my friends of color, my friends of all religious and cultural backgrounds, my friends who need special aid through their days, and my amazing MALE friends.
He cannot lead us. We are not his equals. He swims in the shallows. We swim in deep water. We are creatures of the spirit. And we have come to say NO!
Not “No thank you very much.”
But “Hell no.”
“Please God, no.”
I love you men people. I do.