First of all, YES, I know it’s been many, many months since I wrote a Letters To My Future Husband to, well, you. And for that, I am truly sorry, but in my defense, I have been sort of busy tearing up the writing scene!
Speaking of writing, here’s something I’ve been wondering about for the last couple weeks: Do we talk a lot about that essay I wrote way back in 2017…? Now, I’m pretty sure you know exactly which essay I’m talking about. You know, the one about how I challenged blatantly disgusting misogyny and got trolled on Twitter — all for standing up to horrible bullying.
And, oh, the comments! Don’t even get me started on those. I told myself, “OK, Melissa, you ARE NOT going to subject yourself to that rubbish, right?” But do you think I listened, Sweetpea? Of course not!
Apparently, I just had to do the exact opposite. I scrolled through comment after comment, and, honestly, it was all just more of the same. Some of my favorites — I’m paraphrasing, of course…
–If you can’t handle criticism, get off social media
–Men are bullied online just as much and as severely as women
–You do have the same rights as men, so stop your whining
There was also lots of “feminist” this and “liberal” that, as if those were somehow bad words or things to be ashamed of — for the record, I am VERY proud to be both those things.
Oh, and of course there was the comment from someone on Twitter about how all these letters to you reek of loneliness.
That last comment actually made me think. Not because I agreed with it or because it hurt my fragile feelings (cue sarcasm…), but because “loneliness” is the last word I’d ever use to describe these letters. That’s not the sort of journey I’ve been on these last nine years in writing them.
I mean, are these letters really all about you? Are they just about you? No offense, but you’re not the center of the universe; and I mean that with all the love in my heart, mind you. Because before there will ever be a Mr. Melissa Blake…there will just be me. Melissa Blake. And that’s something I’m OK with. Granted, I wasn’t always comfortable with that, but I’m getting there. In the end, maybe that’s half the battle right there.
Anyway, the more I think about it, the more those types of comments prove exactly why I needed to write this essay in the first place. They’ve given me a crystal-clear glimpse of the man I don’t want you to be. An arrogant, disrespectful, misogynist mansplainer who can’t handle a strong, assertive woman.
What happened to all the good ones?? The last six months have brought out the absolute worst in so many men. Where are the good ones? I sure do wish they’d show themselves. They need to come out of hiding because for the life of me, I can’t find them anywhere. And, trust me, it’s all very distressing.
But, of course, you’d never be that guy, right, Sweetpea?? Until we meet… xoxo
[Photos via We Heart It]