David Loret de Mola and Andrew Kenton

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POEM from A-Man, published by little m press:

Amen (Even Atheists Have Prayers) by David Loret de Mola

I used to skip church on Saturdays
To play in the rain
And in the last ten minutes of mass
Come back,
To take the host in, and say “amen.”
I never knew what it meant, back then.
It took years after I gave up Faith to learn
That “amen” was an affirmation,
Not some magical phrase that puts your words on a fast-track to god,
Do you know what it means?
“And so it shall be”
Lord, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And so it shall be.
It’s a statement about how quickly the human mind can change direction
A resolve that, from this day forward, you will strive to become whatever it is you said.
And even though that word has long since lost its mysticism with me,
I see the power behind the core belief.
Not “so it might be,” or “I really hope I can do this”, but simply “and so it shall be”
No excuses, no confusion, just absolution. Amen.
So I started writing inspirational poems for myself, tagging that word at the end,
And, looking back on it, all I did was create a bunch of prayers that said
“I’ll never do it again.
I want to strive to be a better man.
I hope to become a better friend.
My goal in life is to seek perfection.
I guess what I’m trying to say is: faith has many shapes to it,
And you never know what form it comes back in, when it comes around again,
But since that realization set in, it’s become part of who I am
I don’t have to be a man of God to be a man of good intention.
I just have to be a-man.

“A Letter To My Gender” by Andrew Kenton

To all my brethren,

I am declaring, unabashed, that I am a feminist. Now before you break out into an immature laugh, start imagining me in a dress, and say I have perpetrated some sort of gender gaffe, allow me to define feminism for you. Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality. So yes, I am a feminist because I firmly believe in equality and I say this without any frivolity.

Now don’t get it twisted, this is not a movement meant to belittle or bash men, but instead an effort for elevation, equalization, don’t you think equal work deserves equal compensation.

Men, I think we can all agree that there are some apparent inequalities. Look at the governments of many nations and you’ll find that few have equal representation. In the U.S. women only make up about 20% of congress, I guess that’s progress, but far from success, because inequality has an unfortunate consequence.

We regulate their bodies and prohibit their personal liberties. Like antiquated gender roles, it’s an act of control that grasps the soul and takes a heavy toll. Laws passed by men, restricting the agency of women, compounding their struggle again and again.

Some call the people who fight for women’s rights and equality, feminazis
Yeah, sure, because equality for women is the same as fascism and the attempted eradication of an entire culture.

Feminazi was a term famously used by Rush Limbaugh
That fat, repulsive, right wing talking head, whose own heart can no longer stand the detestable things he says and hate he spreads. Men, do not allow his impotent rage to engage your mind, like some sort of parasitic phage that makes you blind and unkind.

Instead, recognize the rhetoric, look at women you love, and discredit it. Don’t delude yourself by participating in dialogue that demeans or diminishes women.
We need to stop cracking jokes like “make me a sandwich, bitch get in the kitchen!”
Women deserve better and we should not be shackling them with fetters. But instead assisting in liberation, help shatter that glass ceiling, it will lead to a happier and healthier nation. If we want a better world to exist we can’t allow these negative perceptions of women to persist.

We, as a society, need to stop slut shaming. Blaming the victim for the crimes committed upon them. Saying things like “she deserved it, look at the way she was dressed!” “She should have never had that drink, she deserved to get wrecked”. These statements only validate the actions of predatory pervs. There is no justification for sexual assault or rape, those are things no one deserves.

As a man, I can never really understand the true extent of what women may experience. In some ways I’m grateful because giving birth sounds intense. But just because men and women’s experiences may vary doesn’t mean men can’t stand with women in solidarity. So men, if you believe in, true political, social, and economic equality. Throw misogyny away, and don’t be afraid to say, I am a feminist.

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