Dear men. (I wanted to include "angry vaginas" in the title but couldn’t come up with anything witty)

I probably think you’re an asshole before we’ve met. Part of me wants to be sorry about that but the rest of me remembers what experience has taught me. Which is that you are probably an asshole and I’ll find out soon enough. I’ve been sorry in the past- sorry that I hold my past experiences over people, sorry that I sabotage relationships before they begin, sorry I’m so hard on men. But then once I discover that the next guy really is an asshole too, I’m ashamed for ever being sorry. So now I’m not.

I never wanted to be the kind of woman who listens to mad-girl music and gets together with her girlfriends, cursing the male species while eating fried foods and vocally contemplating becoming a nun. Honestly it’s embarrassing. I don’t want to hate men. I know a handful (a small handful, mind you) who are actually really respectable and amazing men, and there was definitely a period of time in which knowing them gave me hope that maybe my encounters with men, though highly unfortunate, were rare, but in fact knowing these decent men has made me all the more aware of how many inconsiderate pricks really are out there. MANY.

My particular brand of dissatisfaction lies namely with Christian men. My qualms with unsaved men are on a much smaller scale because I think it unfair of me to expect much from someone who has no great example to follow. But men who say they love God, yet refuse to love their sisters really unnerve me. How should a man love his sister? He should care to protect her heart by being mindful of his words and actions. He should desire that she know what to expect from men, by being the kind of man she can look to for some semblance of a standard. He should treat her as if she is valuable; as if she were created by God.

I’m not suggesting that Christian men need to be covering puddles with their coats and calling a girl’s father before spending any time with her, nor am I side-stepping Christ and saying that men need to replace the standard He has set. What I am suggesting is that men in the church look different than men outside of it. I don’t pretend to know what makes men tick. Sure, I could recite hypothesis after hypothesis of how each generation is losing family values due to the way our culture lives, and father-figures are being replaced by mother-figures which in turn leads to some psycho babble analysis of why men shuck responsibility and avoid relational commitment. And yes, I’m sure that’s all good and true, but where does that leave women today? Accepting 30 year old boys as a poor substitute for men because daddy didn’t teach them how to stand when they pee? Don’t consider me completely void of compassion but my childhood was less than ideal too, so you won’t see me handing any Get Out of Adulthood Free cards.

My standards are high, yes. And clearly my tolerance is low (and decreasing at a rapid rate). And okay, I should probably stop calling men “assholes”. But I feel entirely lost, and rather hopeless in navigating how to be a friend, a sister, and a single woman to anyone of the opposite sex. Either I have to be that girl (who unabashedly orders bridal magazines and looooves babies and just can’t wait to buy a house and sew some shit) or I have to pretend to be naive (“why yes, I’d love to hang out with you ambiguously until I’m forced to bring up the DTR at which point you’ll probably tell me that you thought you might like me but now you realize we’d make better friends”). These options SUCK.

I’m not suppose to openly voice that YES, I’D LIKE TO GET MARRIED. Because everyone knows that will scare men away! But really because I don’t want my desire to get married to be confused with I’ll marry any man who’ll have me. I am not hunting for a husband. But because, by God’s grace, I recognize that men and women do operate differently I realize that boundaries are important. Lest some friend desire to spend curious amounts of time with me, I know that eventually my brain will start producing chemicals that, in the voice of giggly little school girls, will sound like DOES HE LIKE ME? DOES HE LIKE ME??? And since men so often either don’t recognize or refuse to acknowledge these fundamental differences because they selfishly like the attention they know they get by being cryptic about their intentions, I’m forced to set boundaries. Awkward, borderline-childlike boundaries. And it’s exhausting being the only functional adult in a relationship. Which brings me to the point of bashing men on the internet.

It’s okay if you think I’m a bitch, or crazy, or just so damn typical. It kind of proves my point. And if you don’t, well that’s great, because in case you can’t tell by now, I’d really love for someone to prove me wrong.

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