I’ve never felt comfortable in a locker room.
From the early towel whipping years of the middle school swimming unit to the rather large men at Lifetime who insist on cutting their toenails in the nude, as you can imagine, it’s not the most inviting place to be.
Yet, deeper than my distaste for the inevitable hurricane of Axe Body Spray is a disgust for the jock, hyper-masculine vernacular.
While in college I lived in a little piece of heaven they called, “Dirty D.” This tower of college chaos was closest to the athletic building and thus filled to the brim with people who liked locker rooms (and extreme binge drinking). If you want to feel bad about the future of our world, it’s a great place to start. Or save yourself the drive to Iowa and just head to your nearest gym on a Tuesday at 5:30pm.
“His wife deserves to be cheated on,” he said. “It’s her fault she’s gotten fat and ugly.”
“She must make a lot of money.”
“I’d rather go home from the bar by myself…”
…and this was by far the cleanest part of the conversation.
After mentally throwing up six or seven times, I felt that awful feeling like I had to say something, but what?! What could I possibly say to Mr. Clean and his bandit of idiots? Feeling vulnerable in a towel, I quickly put on my pants. Yes, pants would give me courage.
As the conversation went on, finally I just said, “I can’t believe you talk about women that way,” and shook my head. They were a little shocked. The two older men next to me said, “Thank you!” and one gave me a high-five.
The “bros” began to laugh. One guy finally said, “hey, were we talkin’ to you?” My eyes fixed on the vein bulging out of his steroid induced neck and I smiled. What a world we live in.
I left feeling like I fumbled the moment. I wished I’d had more time to craft a poetic and biting response. For most of the night I felt off and I couldn’t figure out why.
Only the next morning did I realize I was still upset about them, these so-called “men”. I suddenly wanted to find every woman who had ever crossed their path, sit with a them and a cup of coffee, and apologize for the selfish tornado of pain these boys have left in their wake.
After mentally planning the stalker-like logistics of this, I settled on praying for them and thought perhaps there needed to be a plan B. I decided to write a letter, and maybe, just maybe it will get passed along to some of the broken women of this world who have lost hope.
Dear Beautiful Daughter of God,
Words can’t express how sorry I am for the many “boys” parading around this world pretending to be men.
They’re everywhere—in bars, in gyms, in churches. They’ve completely lost sight of how incredible you are and how perfect God created you to be. You were our gift, made from our very rib to be our friend. Yet somehow, a lot of men completely lost sight of that. They pushed you down, objectified you, paid you less, and left you to survive on your own.
Despite of all of that, you’re totally killing it. You’re amazing. You’ve persevered in a world where 1 in 3 kids are being raised without their biological father at home (Daily Mail). You’ve persevered under high-powered men making unbelievable comments about how you should be treated.
I can’t take away the pain of these man imposters or heal the trauma they are causing in our next generation of young men.
It’s terrifying the number of young guys who are looking to our culture to define their manhood. These boys who tell their friends they’re not manly if they don’t watch pornography. Who bully each other to feel powerful. Who lust after a woman without ever considering her mind, her spirit, her soul.
No man is perfect, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but there is a new generation of men and we are fighting back. We are volunteering to mentor boys, to help single moms, to do anything we can to repair the damage of our shattered world.
Please, don’t give those moronic, bro, “get-some” idiots the time of day. You are worth so much more than their empty compliments or faked affection. Look to God for your worth my sister in Christ, come back to your true Father and let Him breath new life into your world. Come to Him and be a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
No matter where you’ve been or how far you’ve wandered, God is waiting for you with open arms. He loves more than you could ever know.
As for the rest of us guys, let us know how we can help. Be brave and call us out when we stumble. Come be a part of our community where we can support you and treat you like the beautiful daughter of God that you are.
and Your Brothers in Christ.