Dear Men,

We’re not the enemy.

I know we formed a community and pushed for rights

Rights that should have been ours in the first place.

We took the most miniscule of injustices and brought them in the spotlight.

We fought for ourselves

And that made you feel cornered.

I don’t blame you.

Suddenly the whole world was calling you wrong and cruel and ‘chauvinistic pigs’.

You did nothing wrong to anyone.

Suddenly the women had a support group and their problems were being talked about.

We have all been victims of patriarchy, haven’t we?

Then why did you get abandoned in the silent struggle against misogynistic ideas?

But we didn’t forget you, I swear.

I didn’t forget you.

I remember when you were three and the only toys you were ever bought were fighter tanks and GI Joes

Then you grew up wanting to unleash the warrior inside of you and society dubbed it ‘anger management issues’.

When the funny boy in the school bus suddenly stopped talking one day

He had been touched in private places by a scary man

He never told anyone but you

You never told anyone but your walls with enclosed fists of whispers and promises of vengeance.

When your grandmother died and your sister had the liberty to cry on her grave

You swallowed back your tears and watched your father put an arm around your sister

“Don’t be a little girl now,” he said to her.

When the first time a girl made your heart race with a few words on a note passed during class

You wanted to tell her that her eyes shined brighter than the stars

But being poetic is gay

Boys are not mushy, right?

When you had to trade your dreams in exchange for a stable job

Because you’re the man of the family

It is your duty to carry the future on your shoulders.

You’re tired of opening doors and getting flowers

I know.

You’re tired of listening to feelings you never get to express

I know.

You’re tired of being known by the few qualities you wish you never had

I know, I know, I know.

We know.

I swear to you, we know.

We formed a community and pushed for rights

And we’ve been waiting for you to join us.

We’re only on the opposite ends of a spectrum

Not on the opposite ends of a war.

Don’t believe them when they tell you that we hate you

‘Female superiority’ is their new farce for dividing and conquering.

We always said “our” struggle, didn’t we?

We know what it feels like to wish for a shoulder to rest our head on

To look around a crowd of faces who are supposed to love us unconditionally and yet find none.

(Unconditionally: regardless of gender)

And I promise you that your sister saw you swallow your tears.

Whether you know or not, she’s fighting for your rights too.

You’re not alone.

Yours truly,