Updated: Aug 24, 2018
After a painful divorce my sister and brother-in-law graciously let me live with them. I’ll never forget what my BIL said to me in the midst of depression and angst, “Don’t look at the top of the steps and think you can jump, look at the step in front of you. Take action on what you can do today, and get it done!” That literally set a new course for my life.
As a child, my brother was willing to fight a neighborhood bully for me even though I totally started it! Now, as a dad, there is no type of “bully” that would stand in his way to promote his children’s success and security in life.
When I think of my late father, the ultimate measure of a dad, there are countless images and thoughts that swirl through my head where he encouraged and empowered me. Over all it was his spirit that I loved. He was always patient, loving, and open. He delighted in his children which made us naturally run to him during the good and the bad.
Though this blog is mostly for women and women’s issues, in light of father’s day, let’s celebrate dads and men in general. Good dads are SO important. Good MEN are so important! As much as our collective male-induced trauma is a male problem and needs a male solution, the men who are championing solutions and change need to be triumphed.
What Makes a Good Man?
A lot of women have had negative, even traumatic experiences with a few bad men, myself included, and the massive amount of bad press, though necessary, doesn't improve the male image. It's easy when you've been hurt by a guy to label the rest as "all the same"; however, if you do so you potentially risk losing positive future male encounters and relationships. So I argue there are plenty of good men out there and you can spot them if you watch closely because they exhibit the following characteristics:
Supportive of Himself and Others
Partner in Others’ Growth
Communicative Despite Emotions
Inclusive (of gender, race, etc.)
Values & Develops Meaningful Relationships
Know A Guy Like This? Champion Him!
The following ways in which we can champion the men in our lives are not to be confused with sacrificing our own voice and needs for the sake of his; however, these are things we could be doing for our fathers, brothers, partners, sons, etc. in order to celebrate them:
Compliment Regularly & Sincerely
Do Something Unexpected for Him
Give Him Space
Take Interest in His Passions
Maintain Open Dialogue & Rational Communication
Listen to His Fears & Dreams
Don’t Emasculate (especially publicly)
Be a Safe Place to Fall
His & Her Impact
Ladies, as we rise up against “the fury”, as Tracee Ellis Ross names it, it’s important we outcast the wrongdoers but uplift the right and just men. We need to partner with these men in order to have a positive future. If we continuously lump them all together, we will only have two versions of men: 1) men who disregard our rights and infuriate us more; and 2) men who are too scared to speak up because we treat all men as if they were our personal attackers.
I personally now know more gentlemen than I know jailable jerks but because we expect men to be gentlemen just as we expect kids to do their homework and chores, it often goes unnoticed. Even if being courteous is ingrained in these great men we know, remember they’re still choosing to continue this lifestyle. Praise them for it. Tell them you notice. Show your gratitude. Know a steadfast man? Thank him. Do it in front of your sons, in front of the next generation. In this way we, as ladies, can make a change for a better future.
Men - be commendable, be humble, be respectable, be a gentle man. In this way we can make a change for a better future.
Happy Father’s Day to all the real men out there, and thank you :)