An Open Letter to Straight, White, Cisgender Men,
CC: Christians, the Able Bodied, etc.
How you guys doing? I understand some of you are feeling some kinda way about that women’s only screening of Wonder Woman.
Here’s the thing. Throughout our nation’s history, from the dawn of the republic to eleven seconds ago, there have been spaces available exclusively to you. Women, people of color, and queer folks trying to access these spaces risked harassment, assault, rape, imprisonment, even death. In those spaces, you defined yourselves. You had not only the physical space but the mental and emotional space, to define yourself. And not only did you define yourself, but you defined yourself as the “norm,” and everyone else, to the degree that they were not you, as the “other.”
Well, on the long road to freedom and equality, those of us who you historically “othered” are going to need some space to define ourselves within a wider sea of narratives than you have offered us.
Sometimes, that space will be physical. And while we may not always be able to legally exclude you from that space, can we ask you to not be a dick about it, and maybe ask yourself why you want to be in that space in the first place, and would you even want to if we hadn’t told you that you couldn’t?
Is that “fair?” No. Does it hurt? I guess it can. But imagine this: a child, who has done nothing to hurt anyone, requires an invasive, but life-saving surgery. Is this “fair?” No. Doesn’t it hurt? Absolutely. Is it necessary? For the health and wellbeing of the child? Yes.
So, I’m asking you to compare the pain you feel of not being able to see a single screening, in a single theatre, of a movie that will open on thousands of screens [that a lot of you weren’t planning on seeing anyway], to the soreness of that child as they recover from the surgery that saved their life. Because the space to define ourselves is necessary for our health and wellbeing, just like it is for yours.
But you don’t hear me, though.