So, for a while recently, for reasons I won’t go into, I’ve suffered frustration, exasperation, and indignation on account of men.  More specifically, bad men.  Men who are bad to women (and who have been bad to me in particular).  Men who are bad in general.  And believe me, I have been wanting nothing more than to vent my rage in some public forum… such as this blog.  To just let it all out and prove, once again, how correct William Congreve was when he wrote:

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.

But, no doubt due to a God-given measure of grace and self-control, I have refrained.  For one thing, nobody wants to read it–and I don’t blame them.  For another, no matter how justified my anger might be, I would only come across as a bitter, petulant, and overall ugly shrew of a woman–and that is not what I am.  For another, enmity between the sexes only serves the devil–he helped start the whole mess, and he hasn’t ever gotten tired of congratulating himself over it.  And finally… I’m just above that.  My own character demands that I guard my passions and any words that may arise from them.

I also know many more good men than bad.  Men who know my worth and help me to know it.  These are the men who matter.  These are the men I want to write about.  These are the men who bring out the very best in me.

So, here is to all the fathers who have gone before me, from whose lives and blood I have sprung.  Here’s to all the fathers, both biological and spiritual, who have prayed for me and shown me my way forth into the world and toward Heaven, who have protected me and mended my wounds, and cherished me, commending me to the future and to God as a gift and a legacy they are leaving behind them.  Here’s to all the men who have cared more about the future and about their descendants than about themselves and their own interests.

Here is to all my friends–brothers, really–with whom I have grown up and learned.  Here’s to all the men of my generation who have been bold enough to stand firm against the assaults of our culture, those who have refused to dirty themselves and their regard for women.  Here’s to them who have dared to remain pure and honest, respectable and responsible, diligent and dutiful.  Here’s to them who are reviving that rare breed known as the Gentleman and, Lord willing, the Saint as well.  Through thick and thin, these are the brothers who walk by my side.

Here is to all the heroic men who have deemed themselves unworthy, unequal to the responsibilities with which they have been charged, and wrongly believed themselves to be inadequate when in reality, they are just weary from the efforts they have already made.  Here’s to those humble enough to cast ego aside and receive from my lips a whisper of encouragement and belief, or from my hands some small token of support and esteem.  Here’s to them humble enough to regard me as their benefactress, just as Christ regarded Veronica when she gave Him her veil.

Here is to all those men of great stature, and more importantly, great hearts.  Here is to all those men God-fearing and God-worshiping.  Here is to all those men clever, resourceful, and wise.  Here is to those who have allowed me to be daughter, sister, friend, patroness, counselor, teacher, pupil, gift, treasure.  Here is to those who have entrusted to me their love, courage, selflessness, esteem, admiration, respect, and desire–and cherished mine in return.  Here is to those who have been willing to die upon the dread hill, to shed their blood–or time, or money, or toil–that I might live more happily and securely.

Here is to all of those men who have placed themselves before me to show me my own value and worth, my own beauty and preciousness, my own goodness and genius.  Here’s to those who have shown me who I am as a woman and a daughter of God.

There are way too many of you to name–I think, and hope, that you know who you are.  I thank you and love you from the bottom of my heart!  And I humbly call upon you to pray for me, for the healing of my pains, disappointments, injustices, and betrayals at the hands of men, and that someday not too far in the future, I may find a good man, one of your true brethren, to be my husband.

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One more thing–because I’m not a saint yet–to all of those men who do not fit any of the descriptions above:  Grow up, grow a spine, trash the narcissism, and stop making excuses.  You’re an affront to both men and women.  And stop making empty apologies to me when you know I can’t do a damn thing to hold you accountable–that’s way too easy.  Instead, try apologizing to God, because He knows full well how you’ve treated me, His creature and His daughter.  Even if I don’t have a man on this earth to stand up for me, God will.  I promise He will hold you accountable and  I shall receive justice sooner or later.