Meditation on Loving Men Charlene Jones

Like you I’m watching the news every day for another name to add to the graveyard of yesterday’s sexual mores. Like you I jump on fb and a few other places to discuss the nuances, explain the processes, explore the experiences between man and woman.

What I’ve learned from my head scratching, soul searching, he-did-it-not-so-badly-as- the-other-one but still he did it, didn’t he, is this: my problem is I love men.

I love men and always have from the time as a toddler lagging behind my older brother’s blue jeaned body, his little white t-shirt a beacon through the tall grasses out back, his voice eliciting a parade of possibilities, fun, excitement and adventure through my body. How I loved him!

I love men and this has tangled my life because I fantasize without this weakness I’d easily be, happily be rabid, a nail biting, brittle haired hag spuming the latest rhetoric from books of other women haggard and worn down with battling men.

I love men and always look toward to a man who can flirt, whose words evoke that steady stream of champagne in my veins just for this moment because for this moment he acknowledges my femininity. Talking with my sisters just can’t quite do that.

So the flirting and conversations and the poems! Oh the poetry written by ee cummings, W.B. Yeats, Pablo Neruda and so many more men, setting us, my sex, in our rightful place beside the moon with our power of pulling tides, creating gravity and gravitas, making the Earth spin in her orbit. Only and merely our rightful place.

I love men and nothing, not the incest and humiliation by my brother, not the lies and betrayal, and not the rape and molestation I endured has stopped my love of men. 

And my sisters too, love men. All my sisters, whose voices do not raise me to the moon but who trudge alongside me despite they were raped the night before, despite buckling under the sudden remembrance of an uncle, father, brother whose incest bent their tiny bodies and their childhood, my sisters walking beside me as we pick up the children’s clothes (both boys and girls) get them ready for their baths, help them prepare homework, as we clean the house and shop for groceries, my sisters who last night received his fist in their face or pregnant belly, but still get up today and walk beside me, go back to work and keep this world revolving.

Now, when our truth, silenced for every generation before us by men and women alike, now when our truth reveals its ugly bruises, its rotten core right here in front of us, some people raise concerns for the men, that we may not love them enough. Perhaps one of them may be accused and it won't be real. 

This may happen—we may identify one or two men who do not quite deserve this; on the other hand, how many women for generations have endured rape silently, beatings silently, have just shown up the next day without recourse to trial, lawyers or anyone to take their part? This is history. 

Still I love men. I don't wish to see any man accused unfairly especially since in today's climate he stands to lose his career and more. This is the present. 

It has taken our fairy tale movie medium to expose the worst underbelly, to acknowledge what we and generations of women before us have struggled with: men hurt and have hurt us forever.

My statement to you who are so concerned about the men: we will not stop loving men. It's just that now we demand they stop hurting us. This is our future. 

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