I’m pretty sure that you know who I am, as we recently met informally at an event where Warren Farrell was speaking. Just in case it has slipped your mind, we have our own Youtube video.
If you are reading this, I’d like to start out by saying the following: while it is hard for me to believe that you want it, I want you to know that you have my forgiveness. I don’t doubt for one moment that you meant everything that you said to me that night. I have no doubt that you intended to be as hurtful as possible. I’m not giving you a pass by assuming that you were having a bad moment or that you were overcome by emotion and said something you didn’t mean.
I know you meant what you said and that you probably still do. But, I forgive you regardless. I’m not a very forgiving person. There are some people in my past who have done horrible things to me that I would rather forget about than forgive.
But towards you, it is hard to have negative emotions. You may have wished to do me harm. You may have wanted to hurt my feelings, to elicit an angry response. But I don’t think you succeeded, at least, I don’t feel hurt. A few angry words thrown my way isn’t a huge concern to me, so this time forgiveness comes not as a choice, but rather because I can’t help myself.
So please understand this: I harbour no ill will towards you. If we were to meet again today, I’d do everything in my power to treat you with respect, deserved or not. I’d be willing to offer you a clean slate and would hope that you would extend to me the same courtesy.
Now, with reference to the words you shouted at me that November 16 night, I have a few things I would like to share with you about myself.
I’m 26 years old. I’ve spent my adult years living for extended periods of time in four different countries. In the moments before you assaulted me, I made friends with an East-Asian man and communicated with him in his own native tongue. I’ve made a lifestyle out of becoming better at understanding myself and others. I move internationally every eight months on average. I currently live in Toronto.
I love learning. I try to do something a little out of the ordinary every single weekend. Three weeks ago, that meant going to Warren Farrell’s lecture on a whim. I saw a poster on Queen St. advertising his presentation the day before the event.
Recently, I began to write a blog where encouraging young men to do the following:
- Become comfortable interacting with women.
- Make good choices and spend the years between ages 22 to 28 planning a life where they will be able to contribute positively to the world they live in.
- Respect the potential value and risks that come with sexual unions.
- Understand who they are.
- Make relationship and dating decisions out of value-based choices, not fear or desperation.
- Think long and hard about whether marriage is for them and what would be the best time and place for them to take on such a big commitment.
- To not live in fear of new information, but rather, to seek out reliable data and information on which to base their major life decisions.
Some of the content on my website may appear unkind. It is not my goal to be unkind. Some of what I write may be offensive to some. It is not my goal to offend anyone. It is my goal to not shy away from the truth, to be honest with young men in a way others have not, and above all, to have a sense of humour and be able to laugh at myself. Some of what I write is just an attempt at humour. Some of it is serious. I understand that for some people, it may sometimes be hard to tell the difference. If you are wonder
I try my best to live what I preach. I feel justified encourage other men to respect the risks that come with sexual contact with another person. At an earlier time in my life, with my first girlfriend pressuring me to have sex with her, I made the very difficult decision to wait to experience intercourse with someone who I felt comfortable being physically, psychologically and emotionally bonded to. I’ve kept this difficult promise to myself for years now and I can assure you that I’ve never raped anyone.
I live a very simple lifestyle. Because I relocate so often, I don’t own very many possessions. My personal wardrobe is the only part of my life that suggests any level of domestic comfort. I don’t own furniture that I wouldn’t be comfortable leaving behind at a moments notice and I can’t stop myself from living out of a suitcase as a matter of habit.
My life philosophy is unique and as such I highly suspect that our political and social views are diametrically opposed and there isn’t much either of us can do about that. However, if you are game, I would be open to hearing you out. What you said to me on that Friday night lacked value as dialogue. I learned nothing from it that I did not already know. But, I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that there is something that you can teach me.
So, if you’d like, we can go Dutch on a pair of coffees the next time I have a free Friday night. I’m not looking for a debate or an argument. I just want to hear what you would have said to me if the November 16 incident hadn’t been so emotionally charged and out-of-the-ordinary. I don’t expect anything in return. You don’t have to hear me out, unless absolutely you want to.
I have only three requests: this meeting would occur in a public place where I wouldn’t need to fear for my safety. You don’t have a good track record in making me feel safe at this point. Second, while you are welcome to bring another person with you if for some reason you are worried about your safety, I would request that we get our own table and that this conversation be just between the two of us. Third, the conversation would absolutely have to remain civil. I don’t use profanity, ever. I’d have to ask you to do the same this time around.
There are some individuals working very hard right now to establish your identity and publicly out you. I have no interest in doing this to you. Whether or not you “deserve” this is not for me to decide. While I recognize that your actions on November 16th may have real world consequences, I have zero interest in punishing you. I don’t need to know your real name and I’ll certainly do everything in my control to protect your privacy.
If your rant at the Warren Farrell protest is as much as you care to say to me, then let’s not bother. But if you believe that the words and actions that went public on Youtube are not characteristic of who you really are, I’ll give you the opportunity to prove it to me. I have plenty of reason to judge you for what you did, but I’d be the first to admit that a one-minute interaction with a stranger isn’t a fair assessment of how they really live their life and how they normally treat people.
So, while you probably don’t deserve it, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and a second chance to make a first impression. You don’t have my respect in the least at the present, but I am open to giving you a chance to earn it.
Email me if you are interested. firstname.lastname@example.org.