On this Mother’s Day – the hardest day of the year for me as a woman who has wanted children and as a woman who has lost her own mother – it seems appropriate to share a post that speaks to all of us as women. Thanks to James Prescott for this gift. And thanks to every woman who mothers in whatever way that mothering comes.
Dear women of the world,
Before I dive in properly, I want to apologise. This letter is written to you by someone who doesn’t understand you fully. I also have no intention of patronising you, talking down to you or treating you in any way unequally. So if any of this comes across this way, I apologise from the bottom of my heart.
My desire as man is to empower others – both men and women. To give all people the opportuity to achieve their divine calling and identity, whatever it may be. This is in fact a calling on all of us, both men and women. I believe in equality – which means both genders treating each other equally, and to see both genders given equality of opportunity, freedoms and rights. I’m a feminist in the way Jesus was, and an egalitarian through and through. So please forgive me if this letter comes across any differently.
Now to begin, I want to thank you for bearing with us all this time.
I confess, some us men haven’t exactly done been a shining example of either humanity nor masculinity. Some of us have abused you and caused you indescribable pain. We’ve left wounds sometimes not visible on the surface, but which cut deeper than any knife. Wounds caused as much by our words as our actions.
And for this, we are truly sorry.
Problem is, sometimes these words come from places where you should feel safe. Like church. Or even from your boyfriends.
There are pastors who say God has a ‘masculine feel’. Leaders who argue passionately women have no place leading, speaking or even working. And I know many of us men we make comments which stereotype you and box you up.
None of this is acceptable or theologically accurate.
And it makes me ashamed to be a man.
Today I want to offer hope. Because there are men out there who don’t behave this way. Men who genuinely want to bless you, to serve you, empower and love you, and treat you as equals. Men, like myself, who believe we must pursue equality and end prejudice in all spheres of life.
We believe you are beautiful creations of the divine, and He wants you to flourish and fly, to be who you were created to be – and it’s our job to simply assist on this journey. To tell you who you are, and what you can be.
And the best men are men who will do their all to do this.
Truth is, most of us men – even those with ‘unequal’ views – have no intention of hurting you, insulting you or making you feel any less than us.
But because there’s little healthy definition of what a man is, and misconceptions of true feminism and political correctness, we often we act towards you out of fear. For many of us, our hearts are in the right place, but we are afraid of hurting you.
We want to treat you equally, and not talk down to you or patronize you, or make you any less than us men. But many of us are plain confused about how we can treat you in a way which is affirming, encouraging and which respects you as equals, whilst at the same time showing affection.
This isn’t your fault. It’s partly the way our culture is, and partly our own weakness as men. So please bear with us. We’re not perfect, but we’re trying.
So to conclude, I want to thank you again for bearing with us. For putting up with our at times appalling treatment of you.
As I ask your forgiveness, I also ask you would have grace with us.
Most of us are on your side, and we love you and want to set you free to discover your divine identity. We’re just a bit confused.
James Prescott is a writer and author from Sutton, near London, UK. He blogs regularly at JamesPrescott.co.uk. He recently released his first e-book, ‘5 Steps to Encouragement: A Manifesto for Changing the World’ which can be obtained free here.