the men in my life are all good men, or, at least, they are men who are not violent - and that is enough for a man to be considered good; that he could be violent but is not.
the men in my life are good men. recently at a hardware store one of the men in my life let me stand behind him, just a little, in that ghosting way that girls can learn. the disappearing technique we master of shadowing behind our Good Men. this was to protect me from a man who was not-being-good.
i fall down. one of the good men in my life offers me one arm like a knight, we are laughing while i clamber back onto my feet. i give the good men in my life piggy back rides because i like to show off how strong i am. i give the good men in my life run-at-them hugs. i let the good men in my life pick me up like i am a sack of grain; i get the good men in my life coffee, i make them sandwiches, i teach them dancing.
i am a man-hater, obviously. i am gay enough the insult is sort of funny. waiting for the bus, where there are men who are not-known-to-be-good, i google how to make a fist. i can never remember if the thumb goes on the outside or the inside, only that it is imperative that i do not fuck it up or i will break my thumb at the same time the man tries to break me.
i walk my dog around the track only-at-dusk and-no-later. i made that mistake once, in august, hoping i could take a later run and maybe see the stars - i romanticized the idea of being able to skulk like a fox. the man that followed me across three lawns, two road-crossings, and back to my car - he spent the whole time whistling. the good men in my life say - oh, do you need me to come with you? and are actually asking - do you feel safe?
i fall down in a supermarket. a man i do not know grabs the inside of my knee. i do not know if the man is good, but i am supposed to give men the benefit of the doubt, so i laugh while standing. a man trying-to-be-in-my-life says what, no hug? and i have to decide if it worth it to just take off or put up with it. a man who-might-not-be-good stares at me while i walk by - i have to calculate if he’s just looking or if he’s watching. other men have badly hurt me, physically. the casual remark made is that those men are not real men. but they were real enough, to me.
there are many men who are mad at me. an entire reddit thread once was dedicated to how to dox me for feminist ranting - it was kind of funny, when it wasn’t downright scary. i have been stalked and harassed and treated horribly. they are all good men, in their own lives, you know. they are not violent, usually, unless provoked, and all it takes for a man to be good is for him to not be violent unless provoked, and i am, of course, always provoking.
a man in my life rolls his eyes. “i am sick of hearing this. we get it, all men are fucking evil. get over it.”
a man who-is-not-good shouts something unwritable at me. i have to tell the good man i am standing next to - it’s okay, this is nothing compared to what-could-be, this happens, it’s really not that big of a deal to me.
“but it should be,” he says. “it should be.”
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