Dear Men

Photo from http://www.komando.com/happening-now/246615/the-latest-crazy-photo-meme-baby-suiting
Photo from http://www.komando.com/happening-now/246615/the-latest-crazy-photo-meme-baby-suiting

I am writing this for my hypothetical son so that when he grows up, and someone asks him, “Are you man enough?”, he can get over it. He does not have to answer on “what it takes to be a man.” There is no effort to be a man. There is no effort to be a woman. It should always be effortless to be who you are.

Dear Men,

You must have heard this for most of your life. “Man up”, “Are you man enough?” Courage by all means has no gender and everyone has the capacity to be vulnerable. Yes, vulnerability is a capacity. If you take away the person’s need to express fear, sorrow or dismay, you are taking away what is innate in human.

Many women complain that most of their sufferings have to do with men. menstruation, menopause, or “men oppose” but believe me you are our comrades.

It doesn’t not matter if you were created first nor how you were created. Whether you are products of evolution or family planning, it does not increase or decrease your value in this world. It does not matter if you are made of steel, bronze or metal. It does matter if you come from the ground or from left over of star dust. You are too intricate, and too complicated, to determine which elements you are made of. I will simply describe you in the way that it is written in Genesis, in the likeness of His image.

If you think you are authorized, entitled, I’d simply say: You have the power. There are many kinds of power but not all kinds of power are meant to lead or control. Choose your power wisely.

Most of our lives, we imprison ourselves with brand names but brand names do not indicate our purpose in life. Let us refrain from using our gender as an excuse or privilege. “Because I am a man” and “because I am woman” cannot explain the talents we have, the principles we keep, and the sacrifices we make.

In this lifetime, it doesn’t matter who wins and loses. It doesn’t matter who leads or submits. It doesn’t matter who has more or who has less. It doesn’t matter who is stronger or who is weaker. Love is the greatest equalizer. For when we love, we based our actions not on our roles, on our strengths, but for the welfare of others.

Keep this in mind that you are not limited or defined by your testosterone.

And let’s face it. You are not complete without women. Your genetic makeup speaks so much about it. For your XY chromosome, you owe it to your mother. The mere fact that all men have X chromosome is a tribute to women. Hence treat every woman as your sister, daughter and mother. No son would want to see his mom objectified. No father would want to see his daughter get hurt.

Your role is not to save a damsel in distress. Your role is to save the world from bondage, to save it from greed and oppression. Be an agent of change. Your role in the lives of women is to uplift them. Let it be known that they do not need heroes. They are heroes too.

Read more about women, but not on how to date a woman, or how to take her out. Read on their contributions in history, culture, literature, revolution and others. We need to hear more of them because for the longest time, we left women out of the pages of our books. Let us dream together for a better place to live. And maybe someday there will be no history, herstory but only “our story.”

Flower Man

Soap. Clothes. Skin. Milk. Vanity

Daniel reminds me of my shortcomings as a woman. He spends an hour or more in taking a bath while I spend 10 minutes or less in the bathroom. He applies papaya soap, Belo soap and other facial wash while I am an advocate of strict natural beauty. Every time he leaves the house, he never forgets to have a close look on the mirror while I go out of the house without combing my hair. He drinks milk before he goes to bed while milk commercials have never motivated me to drink milk. He sells and promotes herbal supplements for health and beauty while I do not prioritize health and beauty in the must-have things in life. He cares for his body that he makes sure he has enough time to sleep while I abused my body by waking up all night and neglecting afternoon naps. He is a man who maintains cleanliness and good grooming while I am a woman by name and not by practice (that is if you want to stereotype ‘woman’.)

A man is a man regardless of what he likes, what he wears, what he smells,  and what he does everyday. He plays a lot of computer games as much as he consumes a lot of water for his bath and for good-night facial wash. He is much concerned about his invisible pimples as much as he is concerned on what to give for his girl. He might probably save money for a new jacket or‘miracle’ soap but I am pretty sure he will save more money for his future wife and children. He is a man, a ‘flower man’.

He is a man who checks his skin color and wears a white mask before he goes to sleep while I am woman who does not know how to use eye-curler and who can not remember playing Barbie dolls as a child. It all boils down to two possibilities: Not all girls like flowers and the reason why some men don’t send flowers is because they want to keep them for themselves.

What we are makes us man and woman and what we are not does not make us less man and less woman.  It’s a state of mind.