And no, I’m not talking about carrying a heavy backpack along the road. Nor about assembling an Ikea bed. Not even about changing the battery in a car. All that, and more, we can manage by ourselves with no problem at all. However, without you, there’s no way we can bring about a different, better world for our children.
And so we’re clear, Dear Gentlemen, my definition of a ‘better world’ isn’t limited to a world that’s better only for us, women; it’s not a time-place where we spend all our time saving children in Africa or hugging trees somewhere in a National Park.
A better world is a world in which everybody enjoys more personal, emotional and mental freedoms. It’s a world in which big business and mass media don’t lie to you, in which politicians don’t sell out and trade your basic human rights. It’s a world in which you’ve got the TIME to enjoy life and all the wonderful possibilities it brings with it – also the one not to have to do anything at all. It’s a world in which you can afford a good life and provide for your family without constantly being under stress, chasing unachievable ideals and taking part in a never-ending rat race. It’s a world in which instead of spending hours on end stuck in traffic commuting to work, you get to travel for real, around the whole world.
A better world is a world in which you can be whoever you want without the fear of being ridiculed, rejected or insulted for it. It’s a world in which you can do things that fulfil you and express yourself in a way that makes you feel good. It’s a world in which masculinity isn’t measured by the amount of money earned, titles won or emotions repressed. Its quality shines through sustainable leadership, integrity, self-acceptance and walking the talk while being true to who you are. It’s a world that doesn’t exclude, demonise or trap anybody in tiny boxes made of prejudice and discrimination. It doesn’t suppress men, or women, or their children.
A better world is ecological, tolerant, open and peaceful. It recognizes and respects the needs, talents and capabilities of both women and men. It’s guided by a philosophy that celebrates what’s common to us all, as well as what makes us different from one another. It’s rooted in a way of living, thinking and acting that aims at balance and inclusivity by incorporating everybody and everything into the circle of our attention, care and acceptance.
I won’t be original when I say that it’s women, women’s values, women’s compassion and women’s strength that will change the world. But it will not happen without you, Gentlemen. We need you now more than ever before.
If we hear something often enough, we start to believe it. Both when it comes to others and to us. How often have you heard, Dear Gentlemen, that all men are pigs? Good for nothing? Egoistic? Aggressive? Immature and emotionally unavailable?
Hear me loud and clear, when I speak on behalf of myself and thousands of other women out there: we don’t buy into that crap.
We know how huge your hearts and how powerful your minds are. We know you’re good, loving and caring people, wonderful partners and fathers. We know the strength of your imagination, which reaches out well beyond the stars. Your support enables us to believe that we can move mountains. Your courage makes us realise that nothing is impossible.
We know you want to raise wise, strong and happy people, to give them all you can. We know that you worry about our future and want the best for our children and us. And it’s with them in mind that I say: we need your help.
Yes, we can meet in women circles and talk about what needs to be done. We can organise among ourselves and break stereotypes that we’ve been taught as well. We can demonstrate how competent and capable we are, in all areas of life. We can prove that business can be done differently, that we can cooperate instead of competing, that we can act locally, that we can make a living off our passions and creativity. We can choose healthier foods for our families and consume less. We can work on and with ourselves to become better mothers and partners. We can educate our kids, so they can make more sustainable and well-informed decisions. We can be doing all of it and we are – louder, more and more often, and with ever more courage.
But just as a child needs and wants the love, support and attention of both their parents, so this world needs both sexes to collaborate, so we need you.
We need your willingness to question the reality we live in.
We need your wisdom to see through the lies and illusion of the political, economical and social systems we all function in.
We need your courage to soberly look at the scale of pain, suffering, injustice and destruction taking place on Earth; your courage to admit that we’re all responsible for what’s going on; your courage not to fence yourself off from the truth of what’s happening and why it’s happening; your courage to recognise that we no longer have time for emotional escapes and sweeping problems under the rug.
We need your sense of justice to help those who are in need of help, to make amends to those who have been wronged and to make accountable those who deserve it.
We need your openness to all that is different and new, to all that has yet to be discovered, tested, proven and confirmed.
We need your vulnerability, so we can talk about how we feel, what we fear and dream of.
We need your imagination to dream a different dream about the world we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.
We need your leadership to show boys how to be men who know what’s important in life, who know how to nurture relationships and communicate without abuse and aggression.
We need your self-confidence that will enable you to speak with the whole strength of your voice: YES, WE CAN CHANGE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD. YES, WE HAVE INFLUENCE OVER THE REALITY WE LIVE IN. YES, WE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO ENJOY A CLEAN ENVIRONMENT, HEALTHY FOOD AND A JUST SOCIETY. YES, WE’RE BEGINNING TO CREATE THAT WORLD FOR THEM: HERE AND NOW.
We need your intelligence, so that we can find the tools and solutions leading us towards that better future.
We need your trust and faith that together we can face even the most demanding of times.
And last but not least, Gentlemen, we need your love because it helps us spread our wings and we need your support, as we’ll be taking on the same challenges and answering the SOS call of this world.
So please take our hands as we ask you for conversation, for help, for wisdom and for common action.
Because, Dear Gentlemen, we can’t do it alone.
I dedicate this blog to all the boys, teenagers, men and elders who are already showing a lot of courage, wisdom and clarity of mind by working to protect people from across the world and life on Earth itself.
I also dedicate it to those who already feel that we need to live and act differently but have not yet had the courage to say it out loud and make the first steps in a new direction. Remember that us – women – we’ve got your back. We believe in you, we love you and we’re waiting for you.
Gentlemen, if you what I’m writing about resonates with you and if you wish the kind of a world I described for your future generations – leave a comment below. Let’s show that it’s not only women who care about the state of the world.
Ladies, send this blog to your dads, brothers, husbands, sons and friends. Let them feel your love and the faith you have in them being the type of leaders this world has not seen yet. Not infallible, not ideal, not omniscient but humane: guided by their gut feelings, not afraid to try and fail, keeping in mind and heart the well-being of their loved ones and of the planet that gives us all life.