Dear men of any age who live with women,
Congratulations on being selected as a worthy partner for cohabitation or marriage. Out of the pool of your peers, you have been selected to be loved and cherished above all others (or at least to share your residence). Bravo! I am throwing virtual flowers your way while clapping my hands! Whether it be marriage or cohabitation, both come with some unspoken agreements.
First and most trite of all, please lift the seat up when you pee, flush, put the seat and lid down, fix your pants or kilt, and wash your hands. It seems like a no-brainer, but a sleepy woman walking into a dimly lit bedroom who needs to pee, but proceeds to land in a ceramic bowl, is not a happy partner. Happy wife, happy life!
It’s a no brainer, but I totally get that the world was your urinal when you were bachelors and you often don’t have to maintain a high sense of toilet awareness until you are in a relationship with a woman. I get it. Again, you are no longer alone. Put the seat down.
Second and most importantly, let’s talk about safety. As a man living in a world where you are of dominant size, you probably get to walk anywhere you want without worrying about safety. We women are not like you. We aspire to be treated with the same privileges, but society hasn’t caught up. There are still predators out there who look for opportunities to victimize women.
YOU can help us in small ways. Your micro-support can greatly improve our worlds. You want us to feel safe, right? Please start by leaving the porch light on at night. Yes, a simple light on when we have a late appointment will help us walk up with confidence. And if you aren’t going to be home, a light on helps us check out the area for our own safety. We need to be able to see if we will be ambushed.
You walk through the world without this worry, but I can tell you from experience, I have walked to my door and had an ex-boyfriend waiting in the dark to ambush me. What was once a casual act was forever changed into another area where I am unsafe. Your small flick of the light can help.
Going further, what is it with turning off the light in the car? When you get into a dark car, you do not fear for your life. It’s not like that for us. Even though I might no longer look like the demographic from scary movies, I might be attacked in my car. I might have inadvertently walked in on a burglary. I wouldn’t get in if I saw someone in there. Believe me, I check. Women check because we know that this is another way to be killed. If we leave the light on in the neutral position so the light turns on when the car is unlocked and you disable it, you have undermined our safety. You, the guy we picked above all others. Cut it out. Just because it hasn’t happened to you doesn’t mean we haven’t experienced a million micro-aggressions against our safety.
Third, are you aware of the lifetime achievement award we get from a society that likes to blame us for misfortunes perpetrated by men? Men grope, hoot, holler and say lewd things to us as we go about our day. Men are the perpetrators, but we are often accused as accomplices to our own victimization. We get asked,”When you were attacked, why wasn’t the light on? What were we wearing?”… Please note that you can contribute to our safety, and you can contribute to the conversation by addressing the behaviors of bad men.
Please, stop acting unaware of what kind of crap we face every damn day.
This brings me to a secret huddle I’d like to have with you. We picked you to be our trusted companions above all others. That means we expect you to step up your game on our safety, with your actions and your words.
For the love of God, don’t allow others to demean us. It’s not funny. Silence aligns you with the enemy of our safety. If other men objectify us, make a plan of what you will say as a super-cool ally. You got this. We believe in you.