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. My sisters and I didn’t need to be told how we should be treated by a man; we were shown how it’s done.
The #metoo movement brought about the cultural restructuring of gender roles. The calling out phase is over, so it’s time to get on with it. If we allow ourselves to be mistreated, that is on us. We promote what we permit.
The catalytic role of women has exploded with power and purpose. Just scan the magazine rack this month and marvel at the collective accomplishments of dozens of impressive women. Alexandra Morgan, the Olympic gold medal-winning soccer player on Time Magazine. Melinda Gates on Town & Country with the compelling headline “This Woman will Change the World”. My favourite is Michelle Pfeiffer on the cover of Entrepreneur Magazine, touting her philosophy of never compromising. Women have equal opportunity to rule the world, and it has never been more evident.
Throughout my career, most 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 two sons, but I also experienced a relationship with an abusive narcissist. There is duality in my perspective.
Coming out of a horrible relationship with a really bad man coincided with the passing of my dad two 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.
I have recently been blessed with a very good guy, and the positive energy he has brought to my life is substantial. In my orbit, I have so many good men around me from my business partner to my brother-in-law, to the husbands of my dearest girlfriends. It is in this context that I offer up a list of the best of the good-guy traits.
- He supports you unconditionally
- 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, beautiful, desirable and protected
- He is completely honest, even when you may not want to hear it
- He considers you when making decisions
- 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 feminist, I have bought into this narrative. Good guys are all around us, and we just need to feel worthy of them.