Stories & Articles

Dear Blokes: An Open Apology to Men

Vanessa de Largie | Rebelle Society | January 30, 2017

Dear Blokes,

I am writing this letter to apologize for all the man-hating you receive on a daily basis. I honestly have no idea how you cope as well as you do.

In recent years on social media, there’s been a never-ending stream of vitriolic articles and commentary targeting you.

It seems man-hating has become a socially accepted blood-sport, and as the daughter of a wonderful father, this upsets me greatly.

What happens to boys growing up amidst this vicious hatred? And what is it doing to our daughters?

There’s nothing courageous about raising a man-hater. We can raise kick-ass girls without destroying the male species in the process.

Acclaimed British novelist and librettist, Doris Lessing, summed it up best before her death in 2013. She said:

“We have many wonderful, clever, powerful women everywhere, but what is happening to men? Why did this have to be at the cost of men?

I was in a class of nine- and 10-year-olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling these kids that the reason for wars was the innately violent nature of men.

You could see the little girls fat with complacency and conceit, while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologizing for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives.

The teacher tried to catch my eye, thinking I would approve of this rubbish.

This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing.

It has become a kind of religion that you can’t criticize because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not.

It is time we began to ask who are these women who continually rubbish men. The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests.

Men seem to be so cowed that they can’t fight back, and it is time they did.”

Men are being emasculated. They are being stripped of their identities and biological natures. There doesn’t seem to be a safe space for men to be men any more.

Humor isn’t allowed. Nuance and allegory are prohibited. What liberty will the outrage police take away next? When a man does raise his voice in the current climate, he is either mocked, bullied or labeled a mansplainer — he is unable to  win.

I want gender equality and sexual equality just as much as anyone else. But when the vigilantes attempt to achieve it via the degradation of men, my feathers get sweaty and ruffled and I have to speak up.

I am so proud to be the daughter of a beautiful gentleman.

I am so proud to be the aunt of a beautiful nephew.

I am so proud to have been the friend, colleague and lover of numerous beautiful men.

And with all that said, I’m sorry. Sorry that I can’t do more and affect change more regarding this man-hating issue that has spread like a disease throughout the world.

I wish to close this letter with another quotation from Doris Lessing:

“There’s an unconscious bias in our society: girls are wonderful; boys are terrible. And to be a boy, or young man, growing up, having to listen to all this, it must be painful.”

Best regards,