Men Who Take Baths
We can’t face the battle if everyone is fighting it differently.
What does "being a man" mean to you?
My mom raised me so she was the father figure in my life as well as the mother figure. She taught me how to be a man. I wasn’t close to my dad until much older. My mom taught me that being a man is the same as being a woman. It’s being true to yourself, being respectful, empathetic, and having good moral hygiene. It’s about understanding and perspective.
How can women include men in the feminist movement?
Educate your allies. Just because they’re on your side, doesn’t mean they’re saying the right things yet. We have to be looking for knowledge so we can come to a common understanding. We can’t face the battle if everyone is fighting it differently. We need to have the same message if it’s going to be heard.
Men need to be having these conversations with men, as well. It’s everybody’s duty.
How do speak to other men in your life about women?
The men in my life are generally on the same page as I am. We don’t speak disrespectfully. We have in the past and we don’t anymore. There has been growth. My friends and I actually sit and have long conversations, like four or five hours at a time. A lot of it is just about how we’re feeling, something we did and how we felt about it, and that ends up coming around to our relationships with the women in our lives. It feels healthy just to talk about it because that’s new. It’s not something that men have been known to do. It’s good. Men need to be having these conversations with men, as well. It’s everybody’s duty.
What do you think would change?
Well, the conversation would be happening more frequently and that makes it feel more upfront. It becomes something that needs to be dealt with. More conversation creates more understanding between both sides; all sides.
We’re supposed to take a step back and be allies. We’re not supposed to be at the forefront.
Why did you say yes to this?
It’s a conversation that needs to be had and I don’t always know how to take part in it.
Have you felt excluded in the past? Does the word feminism imply that you’re not welcome?
No. I’m sure there are people who use it to justify feeling that way but when I think feminism, I just think misunderstood; wholly misunderstood. I don’t feel excluded. In fact, we’re supposed to take a step back and be allies. We’re not supposed to be at the forefront.
So is the way in which you live your life how you’re an ally?
I hope so. Living life openly, with open ears, listening to what’s being told, and open arms. Accepting the challenge. This conversation is a challenge but it’s one I need to face.
I keep forgetting that I’m naked in a bathtub and look down and realize, right, everyone else isn’t.