I sit up in bed as my husband waltzes into the bedroom, coffee cup in hand. He looks at me and giggles. “I love the look on your face when I bring you coffee in the morning,” he says. Then he kisses me on the forehead and hands me my latte.
Most of my mornings start with my angel husband bringing me coffee. If I may boast a bit, he also cleans the kitchen, cooks meals, goes grocery shopping, and mops floors. I married a good man. A man who is kind and decent and responsible. A man who pulls his weight and treats me as his true equal. We’ve been married 18 years. This is who and what he is.
I know many would say I’m lucky, and in some ways, that’s true. I recognize what I have and certainly don’t take it for granted. But my husband is not a unicorn. He is not the only good, kind, decent man I’ve known. Not by a long shot.
But we don’t hear a lot about these men in society. We hear about the misogynistic jerks. The men who mistreat their wives and girlfriends. The men who brag about sexual assault. The men who rape girls behind dumpsters. Those men exist in larger numbers than I care to think about, but they are not the majority in my life. And I’d bet money they are not the majority in society, either.
There are so many outstanding men out there whose goodness goes unacknowledged. The dads I babysat for as a young teen, who drove me home late at night and never made me feel uncomfortable. The guys I dated in my younger years who respected my boundaries and always stopped when I put on the brakes. My male friends and family who aren’t embarrassed to call themselves feminists because they believe in equality.
To celebrate these men and the countless other good men out there, I’d like to offer a virtual toast:
Here’s to the good men, the decent and kind and hard-working ones who we know we can count on.
Here’s to the men who say how they feel and who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable.
Here’s to the men who don’t use testosterone as an excuse to be an a-hole and who believe that locker room talk shouldn’t include degrading women.
Here’s to the men who can’t possibly understand what motherhood does to a woman’s body, mind, and spirit, but who do their best to support their children’s mothers through it anyway.
Here’s to the men who know that fatherhood is a hands-on job and who don’t refer to taking care of their own children as “babysitting.”
Here’s to the men who champion the women in their lives, who encourage them to pursue their dreams, and who don’t feel threatened by women in positions of power or influence.
Here’s to the men who appreciate the unique-but-equal contributions women have to offer, who actively seek more female representation at all levels of society, who understand that they lose nothing by working for equality.
Here’s to the men who recognize that men and women are like the two wings of a bird, and that unless both wings are strong, the bird of humanity cannot fly.
Here’s to the men who are genuinely disgusted by the Brock Turners of the world, who shake their heads in bewilderment at stories of domestic violence, who cannot fathom using their physical strength to control or hurt a woman.
Here’s to the men who reject society’s message of “boys will be boys” and who know that low standards of male behavior is an insult to them.
Here’s to the men who get it, and who try to get other men to get it too.
I know a lot of these men, and I bet you do too. If you don’t, you need to seek out new men to hang out with. Truly. Good, kind, decent men are out there, everywhere you look.
So here’s to them, the awesome men of the world. May we find them, may we know them, may we love them, and may we raise our sons to be them. Cheers.