A Mans Love Letter By Charlie Costict

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I’ve listened to the stories all my life. It was my naivety in observation and my dismissal in practice that blinded me. The terror, the horror, the pain, the grief, resentment and the damage. My kind have truly wreaked havoc on you. We continue the act in practiced unison and unrelenting ignorance. At times even I feel the attempt at emotional resuscitation seems futile. Plunder of the woman heart, soul and body is social norm and its thieves rule with an iron thumb. Embarrassment befalls me reminiscing on the moment I decided to be an advocate for the other gender. The faux shelter of being “One of the good guys” blinded me from my responsibility of creating not a shelter but an environment of men who no longer have to perform ally-ship but rather change mindsets of our fellow man.

I’ve watched and repeatedly indulged in oppression so normalized it felt like routine. I held things as precious as a woman’s trust and carelessly dangled it over cliffs, over mountains and unfortunately over fires. I was a boy with a magnifying glass ironically blind to my actions creating forest fires destroying the very fruit which gives me life. Somehow women took that slash and burn behavior and became resilient, prepared yet and still to farm greater crops.

We don’t deserve you perhaps we never did. Whenever I see a Queen, I can’t help now but to think of what she has been through and why she even entertains us. I watch you take hurt too volatile for us to deal appropriately with and find unnecessary strength, unnecessary hope and unnecessary independence. Forgive me when I say unnecessary for I do not mean unneeded but instead unwarranted.

We pushed you to those plains of separation, reluctance and endurance. My kind have been disillusioned into thinking being strong made you suitable when in fact being strong has its weaknesses. Guarded yet expectant….confident yet fearful. You have apologized for not being welcoming, presentable and optimistic. You have apologized to our oppressors and apologetic to our conditions on behalf of those who haven’t appreciated your contributions.

You remain at the front lines with and without our presence, yet we continuously neglect you. Blissfully unaware of the tyrannic parallels and conveniently amnesiac transgressions. Yet you feed, clothe and protect because society dictates you be the caretaker, lover and forgiver. One of the true beauties in this world is a woman who still loves us despite our faults and mistakes.

My apologies in this regard would just be but a band-aid on a giraffe’s neck wound. My apologies must take form in action against those who wish to continue said conditions. My admiration comes not just in the basking of beauty, intelligence and allure. It’s not just in the hair which smells of heaven or skin that reflects the splendor of Blackness. It’s not just the carefree, unapologetic, effervescent ways that make you unique to this world. You demand respect, love and care because of all things you are but first…human.

Life as we have allowed it hasn’t given you that right. It hasn’t given you the chance to be unafraid, only the option to be weak. Weak by standards you haven’t had a voice and given either the choice to be human or to be strong. As men we find our humanity in being strong, taking advantage of others weaknesses in order to feel alive. Within that we have wished death on others be it mentally, emotionally or physically.

We as a tribe have usurped humanity, bending its definition, its importance and its law. Bound to its faculty, we’ve neglected those whose loyalty to us super-cedes their suffrage, exploitation and betrayal.

The least I can do is give my oath to protect but more importantly educate and enforce gender equality. It’s easy to say you love women especially Black women but not enforce that love. To sit by and watch quietly as those we supposedly love get manipulated, abused and killed is violence. It is violence towards women and violence towards ourselves as a people. The mission I dare take is betrayal to injustice, betrayal towards patriarchy and betrayal towards status quo. I’m willing to take it because I not only acknowledge my participation but my consent for others to continue such disgraceful behavior. My love for you all will not end in sweet words but rather bitter action. Love isn’t just in words or performative feminism. It’s in believing that all are equal and deserve to be treated as such. It’s in loyalty and unbiased communication, more importantly, it’s in respect. This is my letter of love to the one true treasure of life…our women.