This Is How To Be A Good Man

Toa Heftiba
Toa Heftiba

If you want to become a good man, go to therapy. Find a therapist who’s kind to your heart but tough on all the bullshit you’ve been taught about manhood. Tell her about how your father fucked you up, how you always feel inadequate, how you haven’t cried in years. Forgive yourself for being too human not to bleed.

If you want to become a good man, stop calling other men “bitches.”
Stop calling other men “pussies.” Stop using the feminine as a weapon to keep boys in line. Erase the line; life’s cyclical anyway.

If you want to become a good man, spend time actively abstaining from sex: don’t fuck girls you don’t care about; don’t fuck your females friends; throw away your porn. Unpack the ways patriarchal power structures complicate sexual relationships. Learn what it means to get to know a woman without getting to know her vagina.

If you want to become a good man, accept that you must answer for the sins of your sex.
Accept that, even unintentionally, you’ve hurt women. Accept that you have inevitably participated in misogynistic rituals, just like your father before you and his father before him. Be critical of these rituals, but do not dwell on your mistakes. Nobody ever accomplished anything by wallowing in their guilt.

If you want to become a good man, exercise your empathy.
Learn what it means to bear emotional labor. When the women in your life get upset, don’t call them irrational. When the women in your life cry, let them cry. When the women in your life say that you’ve hurt them, don’t tell them they are wrong.

If you want to become a good man, don’t talk over women.
When a woman starts speaking, close your mouth. It might feel like agony; let it feel like agony. Let women take up space.

If you want to become a good man, consume female-driven art.
Read books with female protagonists, listen to all-girl bands, pick a favorite female actor based on her talent rather than her sex appeal.

If you want to become a good man, destroy the notion of chivalry:
stop pulling out chairs for women; stop carrying women’s groceries; stop opening doors for women. Stop treating women like delicate fucking flowers when we are human fucking beings who have been opening doors for ourselves for years.

If you want to become a good man, love what is delicate in you. Drop the armor you were handed at birth and replace it with a crown of flowers. You’ve spent so long trying to be strong, but no one ever told you strength isn’t slaying the dragon – it’s having enough compassion to set it free. You really want to become a good man? Stop trying so hard to be a man at all. TC mark

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