As a proud feminist and champion of women’s worth, I have cultivated strong views around equality and how we should be treated by everyone (not just men). Since I could walk and talk, I was part of a family dynamic where women were honoured every day thanks to the best guy I knew, my father. My dad treasured my mom, valued her opinions, supported her passions and viewed her as his equal in a generation where that wasn’t the norm. We didn’t need to be told how we should be treated by a man, we had a front-row seat to the way it should be. Show don’t tell was an important family value.
The #metoo movement brought about the cultural restructuring of gender roles. The calling out phase is over, so it is time we get on with it. If we as women choose to be mistreated in life that is on us, we promote what we permit. Women power is thriving, just scan the covers of all the most popular magazines lately. Women grace most of the covers, oozing power and purpose.
Throughout my career, many of my coworkers and bosses were men. I endured plenty of sexually charged inappropriate banter directed at me, but some of my favourite colleagues and bosses were men. I had a successful 10-year marriage to a good man who fathered my 2 sons but also escaped a brief abusive relationship. There is duality in my perspective.
Coming out of an abusive relationship coincided with the passing of my dad 3 years ago, so I lost proximity and objectivity. We know the difference between a good guy and a bad guy. What we tolerate has more to do with our own sense of worthiness.
Great men are everywhere. I now have a wonderful, kind, smart, funny and interesting man in my life and the positive impact is substantial. My sister is married to a great man, and my closest girlfriends have gems for husbands. It is in this context that I offer up a list of the best of the good-guy traits.
- He supports your goals, dreams and adventures
- He treats you with respect
- He is intelligent, mentally and emotionally
- He listens without feeling the need to solve
- He challenges himself to be better
- He is humble
- He has a great sense of humour
- He doesn’t take himself to seriously
- He has great friends
- He values family
- He is thoughtful
- He is loyal
- He is a gentleman
- He is confident
- He appreciates you
- He is kind and compassionate
- He makes you feel happy
- He makes you feel beautiful and desirable
- He makes you feel protected
- He accepts you for exactly who you are
It is a complicated world filled with so much spin and hyperbole around gender in a new social structure. “Toxic masculinity” is thrown around way too casually and as a champion of women’s worth, I have bought into this narrative. Good guys are all around us, we just need to feel worthy of them.