I haven’t always been comfortable around men. I haven’t always had the easiest time getting close to men or developing friendships with them.

I’m definitely not the only one.

As woman, I have found it easy to pinpoint, demonize, and antagonize mankind for the mistakes of the few who are too vocal and foolish. I may have avoided a man or seven until I believed that he could provide the emotional and relational support I thought he was required to give me. I didn’t wipe the slate clean, I just layered on my lens of brokenness and asked a man who had never wronged me to account for the mistakes of one who did.

I am not downplaying or downgrading the mistakes that terrible men have made. I have been poorly treated by a lot of people.  I’ve been cat called. slut shamed, and silenced by people in real ways. Though this may have looked more male or feminine, based on your personal experience, humankind has and will continue to fail us, mostly because we all are human.

I am learning that good, kind, and honorable men are capable of failing us. I am also learning that well intentioned men often make mistakes, especially when uneducated, unaware, and operating out of terrible or difficult circumstances. Simply, because no one lived by example, well and with the grace to cover the inevitable mistakes we make.

I’ve found that it’s been very easy in life to thrash on manhood. As a woman, it’s easy to pinpoint man because they hurt us in a very specific and personal way, right in the jugular, often times attacking and crushing my ego, dignity, and pride.

To you, good man – I think it is incredibly hard to be you in our world. As feminists everywhere are screaming at me, I am 100% genuine. I don’t think enough of you get credit. I don’t think a lot of you realize that we see you.

I see you investing in yourself and others around you. I see you walking without example or spaces to be vulnerable. I find that to be incredibly lonely. I don’t think I would be half the woman I was if I didn’t get to wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t think there are places or even relationships where you get to do that.

I see you developing, cultivating, and believing for stronger male relationships. I love you for it. I adore you for it. I admire and appreciate you for understanding its extreme value, its power, and its need.

I am here to say that I’d like to be the kind of woman who is able to admire, respect, and stand with men – instead of looking to them for perfection in a world that I am not perfect in. I hope that I can be the kind of women who reminds others of the immensity of that gift – to be kind to humans, despite their shortcomings. As a woman who wasn’t always able to see that, I hope I can give that lens to women who need to be the nurturer or the person who propels the men they know forward.

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Living love boldly, courageously, and without fear.

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