Editor’s note: Amy Gerwing was one of “my writers” at another website a few years ago. Amy is a true kindred spirit and her writing packs a spiritual and emotional punch. You’ll see. Amy contacted me early this morning — it seemed she had some words, an article, in her heart and head just begging to be written. Would I possibly have a site for those words? I happily jumped at the opportunity. You’ll want to read this at least once and share everywhere. This message needs to get out, especially in light of the hostile-in-your-face “Women’s March.” Read on. Tami Jackson
By Amy Gerwing – SavingOurFuture Guest Contributor
An open letter to my very white, very male, very Christian son:
This past weekend you were witness to two historical national events – one miraculous, the other sobering. Let’s begin with the first: the inauguration of President Trump. This peaceful transfer of power has served as a model for countries around the globe – some implementing it better than others. Regardless of how we feel about the new President (which you and I have had countless conversations about, and you know mama would slap you silly if you ever talked about women they way he did), we watched the event together, and I reminded you that America is the greatest nation in the world – don’t ever forget that.
And that, my son, brings me to the more sobering event. On Saturday, you sat on the couch sifting through your Twitter feed asking me about the women’s marches across the country.
It was a great question, and I’m proud that you are trying to understand current events. Unfortunately, my answer, “I think it’s something against Trump,” fell woefully short. So I Googled Women’s March and found their mission statement: We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.
We both agreed that it sounded pretty cool, after all, for as long as you can remember, Dad and I have taught you about the importance of protecting our Constitutional rights and the importance of family.
However, as you continued to scroll through Twitter, you encountered some photos that didn’t seem to reflect this positive mission statement.
- Down with the patriarch
- Stop mansplaining women’s rights
- Make men pay for razors if we pay for tampons
- Toxic masculinity runs the party again
- I’d call him a *&^%, but that’s too nice
- If I wanted government in my ovaries, I’d screw a congressman (I cringed at this mental image)
Some signs were just downright offensive:
- If Mary had had an abortion, we would not be in this mess (at least they got their pluperfect verb tense right).
And some signs left us both scratching our head:
- This is an intersectional feminist revolution.
That one I had to Google, and I discovered that intersectional feminism is the understanding of how women’s overlapping identities impact the way they experience oppression and discrimination. To explain it further: A white woman is penalized by her gender but has the advantage of race. A black woman is disadvantaged by her gender and her race. A Latina lesbian experiences discrimination because of her ethnicity, her gender and her sexual orientation.
I know, son, it’s a lot to take in. But this is the era of the perpetually offended and we better understand how this America works, because it’s not going away anytime soon.
That’s when you made the statement that broke my heart, “Mom, is there any place for me in this new America?” I stared into your bright blue eyes offset by your Scottish white skin that tinges pink when your brain gets working hard. My eyes shifted to your younger brother, whose darker eyes and hair favored your father’s Romanian heritage. I couldn’t help but feel sad for you both.
You see, your dad and I love having boys. Of course, we adore your five sisters, but your low maintenance personalities are a refreshing counterbalance to the extraordinary amount of estrogen that runs rampant in our house. From the moment you were born, I educated myself on raising boys. I read articles, listened to books on tape (yes, they were a thing), and consulted Dr. Dobson’s Bringing up Boys almost daily.
But nowhere, in any of these great sources, did I learn how to raise a white, straight male in an age of anti-straight, anti-white male hate. Add to it that you’re also a Christian, and we’re looking at a real conundrum.
I always thought it was enough to raise children who are kind, others-focused, just, merciful, compassionate, hard working, humble and generous. But on Saturday, I think you and I were both hit with the realization that those traits alone may not be enough. Why? Because in this age of identity politics, societal elites define you by your skin color, your sexual preferences, your faith (Christianity bad, everything else good), and let’s not forget, your conviction about the sanctity of life.
It’s sad. Tragic. Unfair.
But it’s not Truth.
No one knows you better than your mom, and I know that despite the hatred that was on display, you are more than what the liberal elite says. And so, with what little wisdom I have, I will help you navigate this new America in five not-so-easy, but totally doable steps.
How to survive as a white, straight, Christian male in America:
1. Be proud of who you are. The liberal elite wants you to apologize for who you are. But I am here to tell them “never,” for in doing so you would forsake the great army of ancestors who came before you.
You shall never apologize for your great, great, great, great grandfather who served alongside George Washington to gain freedom for our country.
You shall never apologize for your great grandfather who left Scotland with little more than a kilt to seek the promise of freedom in America.
You shall never apologize for your great grandmother’s family who sailed from Romania to escape the rise of communism in Eastern Europe.
The liberal elite rail against your European roots, expecting you to apologize for them, accusing them – and you – of fascist imperialism. Just think about the signs which read – Genocide, Imperialism and Rape; the American way, or the one which decried the white male patriarch.
But you will never forget that it was through the roots planted by your European ancestors, that the tree of freedom grew extending liberty to others. Your great, great grandfather fought against slavery in the Civil War, and your great grandmother assisted Romanian refugees into her home at great risk. My mom and dad gave what little they had to help feed and clothe a Vietnamese family who narrowly escaped the People’s Army of Vietnam.
Those who’ve gone before you fought real injustice. Listen to their voices, not to some million-dollar coddled celebrity who spouts victimhood to an eager audience only to fly away to one of her half-dozen mansions. Your ancestors knew real persecution and social injustice – and fought it. Emulate them.
2. Love others. I know it’s hard. And as you grow and branch out into the world, it will become harder. But heed the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “I have decided to stick with love; hate is too great a burden to bear.” To love your neighbor is one of Jesus’ greatest commandments. Hold tenaciously to love, even in the face of angry adversaries, and you won’t go wrong.
3. Don’t marry a woman like that. Women dressed as lady parts holding profane signs are not cute, clever or funny. They are just…well…vulgar. Avoid them like the plague (Proverbs 5:6). And if they get in your face – like some did in the videos we watched – ranting profane-laced tirades, just walk away. Always walk away from an angry woman (your dad can vouch for that one).
4. Marry a woman like that. Wait, what? Didn’t I just tell you not to? Yes, and no. You see, there was a time when I – your mother – marched. No, I didn’t wear V-shaped hats that represent women’s parts (I was raised to be a lady), but I did attend a Jerry Brown for President rally and cheered on the virtues of socialism (horrifying, I know). My point is, that people change. Their horizons expand. They experience life. They have children (that’s a huge perspective changer). Many of the protestors we witnessed were young and naive, or just misled. They have a lifetime to learn that peace and justice will never be achieved through hateful rhetoric or the killing of innocent babies. Like me, the scales may yet still fall from their eyes. Who knows, you might marry one of them.
5. And that brings me to number five. Live a quiet and peaceful life. OK, I haven’t always set the best example for you in this regard. It’s easy to lash out at those who misrepresent you, especially when you believe your motives are pure. But your friends, teachers, and neighbors deserve the best you.
You know that peace will never be achieved when we constantly demonize, belittle, prejudge and cast off those who look or act differently than us.
You know that justice will never come through erratic, chaotic and vulgar behavior.
There’s a quote accredited to Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see.” It’s overused and often misplaced, but I think in these chaotic days, it fits. If you want peace, be peace to others. If you want quiet, stay industrious, work hard, and lead a quiet life. If you want change, then let it start at home, now with your parents and siblings, and someday with your own wife and kids.
And never forget, when you look in the mirror and see that very white, very male, very Christian young man staring back at you, your actions derived from the inside will always speak louder than the ignorant prejudice of those on the outside.
Amy Gerwing is a Wife, Mother, Wordsmith, Patriot, Fully flawed human being living under the grace of God.