Woman, how we have failed you.
I’m not the perfect man. I’m no prince on a white horse. If I’m a knight at all, I’m a knight in ill-fitting, dented armor. I have lost my fair share of jousts. I’m picky, and on the surface, I seem shallow. I have my preferences and at face value they very well may seem like appearance is far too important to me. I won’t apologize for them, because they’re mine, and I am content to like what I like. If you’re curious, my taste in women is like my taste in music. Eclectic, but with a preference for a general type. I like petite women, but that’s neither here or now. (And alternative rock, if you're really curious.)
What I am not, is the man who is going to tear you down because you don’t suit my tastes. I owe you more respect than that, whoever you are, however you’re built. I owe myself more respect than to treat you like you have failed me by not living up to my expectations. The problem here isn’t you. It’s the man who expects you to fit his expectations and takes it out on you instead of owning his opinions and preferences.
Woman, I am sorry. How we have failed you. How we have broken so many of you with our failure to take responsibility for our own tastes. How have we broken so many of you? Who taught you to have such misplaced respect for the thoughtlessness of men? What men in your past failed to build you up as you deserved, what women failed to teach you to respect yourself beyond the weight of a man’s opinions?
This apology isn’t license for complaint. I have no sympathy for the woe-is-me of the dissatisfied pouring out their bitterness on Craigslist. The rampant insecurity is, quite frankly, exhausting, and exponentially less attractive than any physical feature that is either in excess or lacking. Whoever said the most attractive thing a woman can wear is her confidence had it right. (That goes for men as well.) Wear it like baseball player’s lucky underwear.
Woman, I can give you nothing but my own perspective. My raw, honest, 90-degree from the stereotype perspective. If you take something from that perspective, I don’t want it to be simply the literal weight of my words. Take the understanding that different people want different things. Take the understanding that there’s someone out there who thinks your body is beautiful, who loves your broken nose or your button nose, someone who desires a woman just like you.
One of my major incongruities with the drooling, poorly mannered slobs who treat women as though they are tools for masturbation rather than partners in life, activity, and joyful acts of mutual exploration, is that I’m not particularly fond of large breasts as a rule, and certainly almost entirely against the concept of aesthetic surgery excepting reasons of health and reconstruction. I have an eye for subtle detail and smaller breasts do not detract from the natural shape of a woman’s structure. I enjoy their sensitivity, the lasting nature of their perkiness, and find the most fascinating curve of a woman has much more to do with the line of her ribs as it gives way to the valley of her waist before rising with the swell of her hip.
It astounds me how many of the women I meet who take my breath away honestly believe the mirror is their worst enemy. Women blind to the fact that every eye in the room has noticed her, whether she’s in yoga pants or an evening dress. Women convinced that they are, in their own words, undeserving of attention and simply unattractive.
Who did this to them? Who cut them down? Who cut them short and belittled their beauty as they grew? Who was it that failed to get the message when they read the story of the Ugly Duckling and pecked at her self-esteem until she failed to recognize the swan when her feathers finally turned white?
It makes me livid.
I am sorry we have failed so many of you. You deserve better. You deserve to wear push-up bras, water bras, no bra and have the gentleman for whom you want to take them off enjoy you as you are. You deserve to have him be happy you let him see you without one in the first place instead of being a total cock-fuck who thinks its okay to treat a woman like she’s just the grass on this side of the fence. You deserve to know, without getting vain or prideful about it, that you are beautiful and desired by men who want you, just the way you are.
Woman, how we have failed you.
I can’t give you anything but a promise to be the change I want to see in the world. I’ll hold that door for you, I’ll treasure your gifts to me, offer you my vision of the swan you are and ask for nothing in return. I won’t take you for granted. I won’t tear you down when you’ve granted me your vulnerability, passion, and intimacy. When I teach, when I talk, I’ll try to be the actions louder than words, an example, and pass on the respect you deserve from other men. When the moment calls for it, I. will. demand. it. from them. You deserve no less.
I recently started teaching a new follow how to dance. She asked what she owed me in exchange for her first lesson and I told her the pleasure of her company was enough. The truth is I’d do it just for the chance to stare into her eyes. They may be the most beautiful brown eyes I’ve seen in my entire life. And that's enough.