I don't know about you, but I am so glad 2016 is almost over. While I am facing 2017 with a combination of dread and hope, I can't help but think of all of the ways we can try to make the world a little better in the new year; for ourselves, our kids, and our communities. Since things are likely to get way more challenging for women and non-cis men, I am going to share a few key New Year's resolutions that all grown-ass men should make, to help in that effort.
I am privileged to know many men, including my spouse, who are badass feminists and allies to the LGBTQ community. They are committed to helping themselves become more aware of their privilege and using that privilege to help the world become a better, more feminist place for all of us. However, even the most grown-ass men I know occasionally make mistakes. Whether it's something casual like telling their son not to cry or to be a "big boy," (because apparently showing human emotions is something boys just "shouldn't do), or something as ubiquitous as calling a strong, opinionated woman a b*tch; it's still harmful. (I say this as a woman who has completely embraced and reclaimed b*tch. TBH, I am not sure that I self-identify as one, because I really like it, or because I have been called one since I was a kid. It still hurts to hear.)
I want my sons to know that it's OK to cry, show emotion, have long hair, do "women's work," like "girl toys," or even to not identify as boys at all. I want my daughters to grow up to be safe, and to have the space and support they need to have and share opinions without being chastised, called names, or be told to "be a lady." Unfortunately, I can't keep them in a feminist bubble forever, and they are already learning more about our anti-feminist world every time they step outside. I need some help. Men, I'm looking at you. I'm hoping that 2017 will be a year when grown-ass men resolve to step up and challenge the systems, casual sexism, and their own privilege to make the world better for everyone.