the knight question is more about guys' expectation of women more so than a woman's expectation. our society (see: rom-com) teaches guys that we should be knights in shining armor, regardless of whether or not you (you specifically and/or women in general) need/want that. soooo you're going to have to deal with that...
so, let's deal with that.
first, i cannot speak for all women
or claim a united voice,
i can only tell you my truth.
and my truth is this:
a man who is kind,
a man who listens,
a man who is vulnerable and honest,
that is the man i want to make me weak in the knees.
rom-coms be damned.
i can tell you that to see a man vulnerable is, at first, a scary thing.
it is scary in a way that is unnerving, unfamiliar, disruptive.
and that is on me.
the intensity of having someone be completely authentic
is unsettling because it forces acknowledgement of this truth:
"in order for us to tolerate imperfection and vulnerability in other people,
we have to be able to accept what is imperfect in ourselves."
let that sink in for a moment.
in order for us to tolerate imperfection in another,
we have to be able to accept what is imperfect in ourselves.
and it is this that makes vulnerability a scary thing.
we must face ourselves, a mirror.
and so we see the great risk.
the risk of being vulnerable.
of sharing everything, ourselves, and then
and then what?
fear? rejection? shame?
imagine for one moment
imagine that you risk it. you risk it because you choose to,
because choosing not to is no longer an option.
you finally say this is me. here is my story.
imagine then that someone chooses you.
someone knows you and still chooses you as a friend, a sibling, a partner.
can you see how devastatingly powerful this can be?
in order for connection to happen we have to let ourselves be seen, really seen. we must have the courage to be imperfect.
before we are male and female, we are human.
above all, we are human.
and we need help along the way.
we may pretend that men shouldn't need this help.
we pretend because someone told us to, on the playground,
they told us that you guys would be strong enough, you'd never cry, you'd fight, you'd win.
so we went on pretending, believing a lie, making each other silly, causing each other pain.
but how unfair and unnecessary, and utterly wrong this is.
we are making it unacceptable for men to posses
fear, uncertainty, loneliness and need.
ladies and gentlemen,
before we are male and female,
we are human.
above all, we are human.
and vulnerability is something only the strongest of us show.
- Quotes and bolded phrases taken from Brene Brown's TED talk on vulnerability, which you should watch.
- Post inspired by conversations with Jimmy & Rob, respectively. I realize you both are going to want to take as much credit as you can. So, beginning italcs taken from an email I received from Rob and editing advice taken from Jimmy.