I realize I should've done it sooner. I shouldn't have waited for one particular day to tell you how I really feel. But I hope you're doing well. Better than yesterday. I know we haven't always made things easy for you and we're sorry for that.
A lot of men around the world are going to express their gratitude to you, today, and I hope you accept all the appreciation you get.
I wanted to write to you today to talk about everything I have learnt from you.
You see, I didn't exactly grow up in a very gender neutral surrounding. From an early age, I was sub-consciously conditioned to segregate between genders, to make clear distinction between men and women, to project the unnecessary expectations imposed on genders in my daily conduct. The concept of gender neutrality didn't exactly exist in my naive under-developed mind.
You have had an enormous effect on my evolution as a person. I wouldn't be the person I am today had it not been for all the women in my life. As I continue to conform to societal conventions, you continue to break the shackles that shouldn't have been imposed in the first place.
Of all the roles you have assumed in my life, I feel the need to thank you for each one of them.
To my mother,
Who not only birthed me but also underwent great deal of pain to bring me up. The trouble I put you through in all my existence can't be compensated for and that's why you deserve more than just one day to celebrate you. As I evolved into who I am today, I try to imagine the amount of pain I put you through during child-birth. Sacrificing your body to give birth to a child isn't appreciated enough. As I went from one stage of life to another, committing mistakes along the way, you stood firm by my side, without ever giving up on me. And I can't thank you enough for that. I hope you'll forgive me for every time I've made you cry. I didn't intend to.
To my friends,
It wasn't until I hung out with you that I realized we aren't any different, contrary to our social conditioning. Thank you for being around me when I needed a shoulder to cry on, thank you for not shying away from expressing the way you feel. You don't know this but I've had a lot to learn from you in all the years I've known you. Every time you behaved "unlady-like", you exposed my naive self to a side of human behaviour I was previously unaware of. You helped a great deal in breaking the gender boundaries we were conditioned with. Thanks for that. I'm proud of everything you are and everything you will be.
To my girlfriend,
Thank you for agreeing to go out with me knowing that historically, my gender hasn't always been nice to yours. I can imagine the amount of courage it must have taken to go out with a stranger you did not know. Thank you for helping me embrace my vulnerabilities and insecurities. Thank you for appreciating the femininity in me, as much as you appreciate the masculinity. Your contribution in my overall evolution as a person is really understated.
To my sisters,
This is long due and you know it. We grew up together in one house and yet our surroundings were different. You protected me from the world while exposing yourself to the regressive conventions that were imposed on you from the society. Thank you for fighting back, it inspired me to reject the social conditioning we grew up with. Your endurance and fighting spirit made me the rebel I am today and I would've been someone entirely different had it not been for you. I can't thank you enough for your existence.
Dear women, all the men in the world can't thank you enough for everything you have done for, with, against us. Thank you for making us who we are today.