Written by E
I don’t understand why
men are more likely to commit suicide,
have a higher risk of depression,
and other types of illnesses.
From your birth, you have better opportunities.
Compared to women, I mean.
You are strong and capable.
With the physical and mental fortitude
to shoulder heaviest burden.
You are taught to believe in yourself.
To demand respect, to command and lead.
To be able to fight harder and stronger than anyone else.
To be able to push on forward,
forging your own path.
That is what it means to be a man.
You are expected to take what you can,
without any expectations of giving back.
You can do what you want, become whoever you decide to be.
You are a man.
Your lives are better than women by far.
Women will never match up to men’s physical strength.
And we face the higher likelihood of assault on our persons daily.
Assault that would most likely come from a man,
who is stronger and faster than we.
In the street, in broad daylight,
among our own family and relatives,
within our group of friends. Among strangers.
In work, in church. In our daily coming and going.
We deal with your scorns and mocking,
of our natural monthlies, the blood that has been used
to give birth to you and others.
We endure continual contempt
of our intelligence, our very being.
Taught to be silent,
and to never question.
Women are ingrained with idea that we must constantly doubt themselves,
that our mental and intellectual capacity will never
be as good as any man.
We die in childbirth,
struggling to give life in the world including yours.
We hunger for education,
for better access to health care and opportunities.
We politely refuse advances,
not because we are “teases,” but because
we fear any sort of violent retaliation.
We are taught to never say “no” to men.
And even if we do have the courage to say “no,”
The world teaches both of us that women are to never be taken seriously –
so our no is twisted to really mean yes.
We are expected to give,
without any recognition or appreciation.
To receive nothing for our contributions.
For us, life is about giving.
And never receiving.
And so we push on,
because we constantly strive to define
and to build up our own sense
Maybe because we work harder for less,
strive more only to have so little,
hunger a little more…
that we cherish the little things that
make our lives better,
even if it is just a little.
We appreciate small things,
because we work hard for them.
You are a man.
Strong, capable of being kind.
Brilliant, resourceful and bold.
Treat women in your life
the same way you want everyone to treat you.
Thank you to the men out there,
who protect, who build up, who encourage.
Thank you for what you do,
and may you have strength through the bitter days,
love to patiently endure through the years,
and wisdom to show you the way.