Dear Men

Before I start, a disclaimer:  For the purposes of this posting, "Men" shall refer generally to cisgendered men who are attracted to women.  "Women" or "we," on the other hand, will refer not only femme-identified people, but all people who present or are perceived femme regardless of sex or gender identity.  This is not meant to be exclusionary, but rather is because I need to be understood by idiots.

Dear Men,

You are not "a nice guy."
I know you aren't
because of how hard you're trying
to convince everyone around you
that you are.
The louder you scream "not all men,"
the easier
it is
to identify
that you ARE DEFINITELY
one of THOSE men.
The PROBLEM men.

Dear Men,

If your response to a woman saying
"This is why we are afraid"
while posting an article
about A MAN
SHOOTING AN INFANT
because he was rejected by a mother
is not with disgust
and grief
and remorse
and heartfelt sympathy,
but is instead with
SELF RIGHTEOUS DEFENSIVENESS
because "NOT ALL MEN" are like that,
because "I AM A NICE GUY,"
then YOU
ARE PART
OF THE PROBLEM

Dear Men,

You are not
"a nice guy."
When nice guys are told about boundaries,
they respect them.
They don't condescendingly try
to convince us
that they're nice enough
that boundaries need not apply
to THEM.
They don't demand
that we calmly
and rationally
explain our trauma
to THEIR satisfaction
before they accept
that our reasons
for wanting our boundaries respected
are good enough
for them.

DEAR MEN,

WHEN WE SAY
THAT WE ARE AFRAID
WE DO NOT WANT YOU
TO MANSPLAIN TO US
WHY WE SHOULD NOT BE.
WE WANT YOU TO BACK THE FUCK OFF.
After years of being harassed
and violated,
and watching our friends
and sisters
and strangers
and people just like us
and people who are nothing like us but it doesn't matter because there is nothing about who they are or what they were doing that could possibly have made what happened reasonable
being harassed
and violated
and murdered in the streets
because they didn't respond
the way MEN WANTED THEM TO
we are,
as a collective,
traumatized. 

Dear Men,

I should not have to have instructions
written on my body
in order to remind you
that it belongs to me,
and yet
my Amazon wishlist is full of clothes that say
"Don't Fucking Touch Me"
and "Don't Tell Me To Smile"
and "I DO NOT CONSENT"
so that in case I need to prove in court
that MY CLOTHES DID NOT SAY THAT I WANTED YOU TO TOUCH ME
my clothes will,
in fact,
VERY CLEARLY SAY NOT TO.

Dear Men,

We just want
to exist
in public
in peace.
We just want you
to not force yourselves
into our space
when you haven't been invited.
We just want
to not have to be afraid
 that you will hurt us
or kill us.
But I guess
that you're SO FUCKING NICE
that that's just too much to ask of you.

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