All this men bashing and slandering has me dismayed. I can’t imagine what effect it has on the truly good and conscientious men of the world, but I can imagine. I know it has a chilling effect on the young men who aren’t responsible for any of the crap people, especially women, complain about. They aren’t old enough to be responsible for any of it.

The Barbie movie obviously isn’t going to help matters. That’s a separate topic I don’t plan on addressing because I have no interest in seeing the movie. Reading the plot summary and other analysis is horrifying enough.

I want to profile three men who I know don’t deserve all this bashing and slander. They are entirely unconnected with each other and unknown to each other. All three exemplify what is good in this world and what is good about men.

The three are my father, my first husband, and my second husband.

My Father

It’s been nearly 50 years since his death but I still remember him with fondness. He was a wonderful father. I don’t think I’ve idealized him over the years because I remember his eccentricities and faults as well as his other qualities.

He had a demanding job that often took him from home traveling. He called us frequently wanting to talk to us all. Picking him up at the airport is a special memory. We had routines that we enjoyed. For example, vending machines were a novelty at that time and he would allow us to pick out a favorite candy bar and let us operate the vending machine, poking the buttons and putting the coins in the slot.

He took us everywhere with him when he was home, out to buy milk, shopping, and running errands. He even took us to the Church when he worked on his callings. In the hard-copy world of that time, work usually had to be done at the chapel. We played in the halls and kept busy while he worked.

He rough-housed and played with us outside. He helped us with schoolwork and any other tasks we had. I remember being distraught and crying over a math assignment I had right before he died. He stayed up late with me and helped me finish it. Even then I realized what a sacrifice he made. He had to get up early for work and got very little sleep that night. He didn’t complain or chastise me. He just patiently and lovingly helped me.

And he was loving. He constantly and consistently told all five of us kids that he loved us. Those memories are still vivid.

He was especially well-liked by church people. He served selflessly. People were drawn to him, respected him, and sought his company. This changed abruptly when he died. All this socialization and goodwill abruptly stopped. It underscored that he was the reason it had existed in the first place.

Sadly, his character and reputation eventually got vilified in our family. I’ve come to realize that some of my siblings, who didn’t know him as well as I did, don’t view him the way I do. Slandering and character assassination over the years have resulted in a very different view of him.

His flaws have been amplified over time and his good qualities have been minimized, or forgotten entirely. Some even deny he had any good qualities.

However, I remember him well, and fondly.

My First Husband

I lost my husband to cancer a few years ago. The years have allowed me to put a few things in perspective that I couldn’t see clearly at the time, mostly how stoically he endured the physical pain and discomfort he experienced.

These physical challenges accumulated and amplified over time. He adjusted to them and didn’t really complain. Because he wasn’t generally vocal about them, I tended to forget about them. He only mentioned them when they were extreme. Looking at them now in their entirety, I realize the magnitude of what he dealt with and what horrendous difficulties he endured.

Towards me, he was unfailingly kind, loving, patient and thoughtful. As I reflect on our life together, I can now realize the enormity of what he did, especially for me. He was so generous towards me as well as others. He put others first, except when physical pain or the emotional pain of being discounted and ignored for so long became too much. It wasn’t often.

However, when it did, I realized that my own selfishness and self-absorption had distorted my own behavior. Others occasionally took advantage of his kind and generous nature. He endured it.

After we learned of his terminal diagnosis, he spent much of his time and energy taking steps to ensure I was going to be comfortable and taken care in every respect after he was gone.

There were just four weeks between our move and his death. He researched shower heads and bought me ones that suited the new apartment and my needs better. He also researched, purchased, and installed room darkening curtains to help me sleep better given how badly I was suffering from insomnia. He did all of this while he was actively dying.

I miss him, his kindness, consideration, and his love. But mostly, I just miss him.

My Second Husband

I knew my second husband was a sweet and thoughtful man but our first days, weeks, and months together really amplified it.

I was sick on our wedding day. I couldn’t handle eating a bite of wedding cake without almost retching. My temperature soared to 102 degrees F on our wedding night. It was awful. He tenderly nursed me through my illness.

The day after we moved most of my belongings to a storage unit and the house, I fell out of the moving truck and broke my right leg and my right arm. Unable to do much of anything because I’m right-handed, he again tenderly nursed me and attended to my every need. I couldn’t even go to the bathroom without his assistance. He never complained when I woke him up out of a sound sleep when I needed him.

He transported me everywhere I needed to go and even fed me in those first few weeks when I couldn’t  feed myself. As I healed and my abilities increased, he still cut my meat for me because my strength was so limited. Besides caring for me he did all the housework and farm work while enduring the additional tasks my difficulties imposed on him.

He didn’t complain. He was gentle, tender, and loving. I have ample reason to believe this is how he treated his prior wife, who also died from cancer.

My abilities have increased but this has not changed his sweet and thoughtful behaviors. He tells me and shows me he loves me multiple times a day. He punctuates this with kind and thoughtful gestures in so many ways.

I don’t think this will change and I have ample evidence to suggest his attitudes and behaviors are long-term, mostly because his son has them too. He obviously learned them from his dad.


Even my current husband will concede that “there are a lot of jerks out there.”

However, my men aren’t among them and I’m not going to bash men in general. The bashing doesn’t turn the jerks into thoughtful and kind men. I don’t imagine the bashing has any effect on jerks whatsoever. I suspect they’ll remain jerks.

It does have a chilling effect on the men who are good men and the young men and boys who aspire to be good men. They shouldn’t feel that they will be vilified no matter how good they are or try to be.

In effect, they are being vilified for being male, not for being jerks. It’s a losing proposition for them. They can’t change their gender even if some in society suggest otherwise.

There are good men. They exist and serve all around us. They quietly go about the business of life, providing for and supporting their wives, children, employers, colleagues, subordinates, communities, and others.

Often, they do all this while subordinating their own wants and needs.

Good men do exist!

So, let’s hear it for them!

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