An Open Apology To All Good Men
By Mandy Wildman
Warning: This is going to be a ranticle, so if you can’t handle passionate emotion, go back to what you were doing. This isn’t for you.
I was part of the 70’s ‘Burn your bra’ movement, barely. (No pun intended).
I was actually too young to participate and anyway, being raised in England, such outrageous behavior would have landed me in a strict boarding school instead of the London theatre school I wanted to attend.
I understood the concept (be treated fairly, get paid equal money for doing the same job) but I have never – to this day – understood the backlash against ‘men!’ that occurred as a result and that even now, decades later, I am having to explain to my son.
Frankly, it pisses me off.
Now I have to stop right here and admit that I like men. I always have. Starting with my dad.
My pastor as a child (Brynley Thomas – a sweet Welshman who loved his ‘flock’).
My headmaster at the school where at age 11, I was permitted to write, direct, and cast myself in the leading role of a production of Cinderella in front of the whole school.
The teenager who sat with me one night in Singapore and showed me how to play chords on the guitar that began my musical career.
The acting coach who taught me how to pick up a video camera and direct my first no-budget feature film.
The handful of philosophers who have shown me my spiritual path.
The doctor who delivered my baby naturally, long after a c-section had been called for and we had refused.
The orphanage director who handed us our beautiful (wailing) twin toddlers in China.
The man I’m married to now.
The beautiful son we have together.
If you are a man who has ever felt the pinch of blame, been called ugly names, or been discriminated against simply because of your gender, I want to apologize to you on behalf of anyone who may simply have misunderstood your intention or were taking their frustration out on you.
If you have done any good things in your life (and I’m sure you have) I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I want to thank you for the time you held a door open for someone you didn’t know.
I want to thank you for every genuine compliment you’ve ever paid someone.
I want to thank you for all the times you’ve helped someone when you didn’t have to.
I want you to know that your acts of kindness – greeting cards, notes, gifts, bear-hugs – have not gone unnoticed but are actually very much appreciated.
I want you to know that you are cared about and understood and that you are not wrong just because you are a man, and anyone who tries to make you believe that is lying to themselves.
That’s all. I just wanted to make sure you knew.
Have a beautiful life.
P.S. I also want to thank you for actually WEARING those socks, the ties and the ugly sweaters. . .
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