Over the past year, I’ve been reminded of some heart-breaking ways that our culture, even pockets in Christian culture, deem fit to treat men. I was reminded of my own contributions years ago when I went through my own man-hating stage. Yes, it may have come from some wounds, but it was far from the way to respond, and I thankfully had a wise and godly young woman to hold me accountable and walk me through it, despite some of her own wounds that could arguably be deeper than mine.
I want to say I’m sorry…
For saying you only wanted sex,
For saying you were stupid,
For saying you were just lying and two-faced.
For laughing at snide remarks and male-bashing jokes–and making them. And then not stopping them, even if you were never present.
I’m sorry as a woman, that we have assumed and spread the generalizations, no, the lies…
That you aren’t emotional, that you don’t know what to do with emotions, just because your sensitivities and expressions may be different.
That you aren’t nurturing, just because you express care and cultivate relationships and people differently.
That you aren’t good with relationships, that you don’t know how to listen, that you can’t communicate…all the while asserting that those are our areas of God-given expertise.
That you NEED our help, not as a true Helper, someone who has your back, but as someone to Fix You and Show You How to Be a Human Being–and will stab you in the back the moment you fail, whether in the eyes of God or just our own.
That you need to pipe down and stand back so you know how it feels–whether you ever did anything wrong or not.
I’m sorry that you have to suffer in a culture that punishes you for what some other men did, and even what they didn’t do.
I’m sorry we’ve dehumanized you, made you into a monster, or a demon. A laughingstock or completely immoral being.
We let the actions of evil men overshadow the others who are bad because we all are but also recipients of common grace and some even redeemed or will be, and if not, it should break our hearts.
I don’t deny that God has wired men and women differently, but our assumptions regarding how can be so wrong. It is as if we wear a lens that filters what we’ve pre-set it to show us (and by that, what we refuse to see.)
So I’m sorry that you have to live in a culture where you are damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.
It may seem strange to give such a blanket apology on behalf of women, but it’s widespread enough, and I’ve been guilty, so I say to you as a sister, “I am sorry for hurting you, for not seeing you as God does, for not giving you a chance. Mea culpa. I am guilty. I have sinned against you in words, thoughts, actions, and even in not doing what I know I should in encouraging and defending you. Please forgive me.”
And I also want to say, Thank you.