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Dear B.,

Mostly because you never say not all men is the reason I can even consider not all men. I have a brother, a father, some friends with great qualities. Men who love honestly. Men who would kill men who’ve hurt me if I gave the go-ahead—this pseudo-power I have, like an empress holding her thumb up or down, I should be smitten by it, right? I’m not. They would go all Reservoir Dogs not out of territoriality, but because my pain nearly broke them and they don’t like that feeling. Because you’re a writer and I’m supposed to be one, too, I want this letter to be better than it’s shaping up to be—to encapsulate the strange way that I both love and loathe men, want to be protected and want there to be nothing I, we, need protecting from—but instead of profundity I get on Facebook and strip my friends list of straight men I don’t know. Some I block. Once upon a time I would accept and accept, but that little girl has been deactivated. I guess this letter exists because of why I didn’t unfriend you. Cat vids and outrage, we agree on everything. I’ve never met you but I’m grateful for how you stand beside those who hurt, those who aren’t like you, and not with a puffed chest or cocked gun. The men I block because I can’t, I can’t, you call them out, you don’t let them get away with it, you don’t let anyone forget, day after day, until the someday when I will, I will. Your never saying not all men makes you not all men. And it makes me feel safer. Like I can identify safe and not safe. Like I can keep myself safe, like I can stand, too, and be better than I was shaping up to be.

xo S.


Love letters to my Facebook friends project