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{I found this in my records from May 2012, my response to an outright belligerent woman on LinkedIn who went too far in defending against sexism in Freemasonry, crossing the line into a dark, wholesale criticism of men. I think what directed her at me was demonstrating statistically how children are better off raised with a father in their lives versus being absent.}

I’m going to do everything I can to not trigger your ire, but for all your talk of equality, I can’t be sure you will listen to what I’m saying simply because I am a man. At this point I can reasonably expect you will take even this observation as a slight rather than a much-needed criticism.

I would agree some of the men here need a lesson in equality and have issues with women for whatever reason. But with me the fact you are barking up the wrong tree in spades says something. And most of the other men who disagree and have politely explained their position without prejudice — some of whom have even chastized their more chauvanistic brethren — have been unfairly cataloged by your sweeping assumptions about their character, intentions, even divorce rate.

I find your tirades offensive and more importantly for you, unhealthy. You are entitled to feel the way you do from your own personal experience, and create a world-view that supports your psychological defenses, but projecting your feelings on others like this is the worst sort of bigotry, more than any ingorant “male” comments I have seen here.

But before you shoot the messenger, you need to know that you are talking to an extremely UN-typical male, known to be more maternal than paternal in parenting style, considered more emotionally excessible than any other men my loved ones know. I am attracted to and sing the praises of strong women, believe in a matriarchal society, have strong women heroines, embrace feminine representations of the Divine, you name it. Frankly, my wife would put questions of my character to rest faster and more forcefully than I would if she chose to weigh in here.

And even though I was in a highly abusive relationship for years where the roles were reversed from the expected norm, I have astoundingly positive relationships with all the many women in my life. (And that is why I value my Lodge being all male — to learn how to appreciate and nurture relationships with MEN more.) But my point is that when facts or figures burn your soul and you are eager to be offended and talk of “not needing” a man or being “told what to do” so vehemently, something is off-kilter. You are making yourself an unecessary perpetual victim in your mentality under the guise and intention of not being one, and that is the worst thing one can do to oneself.

I truly wish you well in your life, and am glad things seem to have turned out well for your children — you deserve credit for that, especially under the circumstances and challenges you have described. But you will always have an opportunity to look inside yourself to let go instead of hold tighter to the patterns of perception and reaction you and your past have created. These things do affect the people who love you, and the people who want to accept you out in the world for who you are, as a human being as well as a Woman.