An open letter to the Ariana Grande bombers

Hey guys:

That was a dick move. A real show of asshole-dom. Bombing little girls at bubblegum pop concerts is not gonna win you any friends or converts. It’s not even going to make us fear you. What it’s going to do is make us hate you and make us more determined than ever to dismantle your ideology.

And don’t go around calling yourselves Muslims. You’re not Muslims. You’re an embarrassment to the religion. And you know what? You’re an embarrassment to those of us who have lived with Muslims, loved Muslims, been best friends with Muslims, but are not Muslim ourselves.

I mean, c’mon, do you know how often I have to defend Muslim refugees from idiotic, borderline (if not explicitly) racist memes on Facebook from well-meaning, undereducated people who, thanks to you, are now fearful of the billions of people who make up the religion you are desecrating?

And you turn your own people into refugees who my people are now afraid to accept? Do you realize what a bastardization of humanity that is?

And let’s say, that underneath the evil, the misogyny (and what is more misogynist than blowing little girls to bits at shows designed especially for them and expressing what they feel?), the rape, the beheadings, the total dominance of all that is good and worthwhile in the world (and that is the females in all of our lives), you have a legitimate cause, a point you’re actually trying to make.

Let’s say that. Let’s pick a cause. Let’s say that, hypothetically, western oil interests and banks have been manipulating your rulers, your elections, your lives so that you end up with, again and again, dictatorial regimes that exploit your people while they live rich and corrupt “western” lifestyles and lay down with Russian prostitutes while you live in poverty and can barely afford to feed your wife and children.

Let’s say that. Let’s try that on for size.  Ok, so now what? So now you bomb a concert put on by a pretty girl singing pretty songs and now a bunch of little girls are dead and wounded? That’s your solution? That draws attention to your issues?

And you know what? You’ve been doing this “terror” thing for a long time now, but never have you said what you want! If you’ve got a problem, you’ve got to start a dialogue! At least say something! Blowing little girls to bits does not say anything!

No, that’s not true. The message you are sending is, “I am a grade-A, misogynist asshole who has nothing but fear and contempt for women and girls and the only way I know how to express my impotence is by abusing and destroying those of the opposite sex.”

And I tell you what. I was born and raised Catholic. I learned the stories, the ethics, the mythology. But I also became disillusioned. There’s only so much hypocrisy and stories about priest-diddling you can put up with before you start to ask questions. And asking questions is what I did.

Yes, Catholicism has a lot of problems and in many, many ways needs to be pulled out of the Middle Ages. Like, why are there no female priests? Why can’t priests get married? Why the homophobia? Seriously guys, there’s enough of you who are apparently gay, it’s time to get over the self-loathing and just come out with it.

But we’ve made progress. Women are accepted much more as equals (but we’ve still got a ways to go). Women can hold jobs, have their own bank accounts, have their own freakin’ agency!

But before those of us I went to school with get all smug and say, “Well, that’s because we’re more enlightened than those Muslims,” go read your history and find out where that really came from.

That came from the women themselves! The women rose up and, like the mythical Lysistrata before them, said, “Hey men! Listen up! We aren’t putting up with any more of your bullshit! So get your act together and start treating us right or you won’t get to be in our company as your wives, lovers, mothers, sisters, aunts, companions, best friends, etc any more!” And what did the men do?

Well, you could say it was the beginning of their enlightenment. Sure, there is still a long way to go, but men have begun to realize that women are equally as important as them, that what they do affects society as much as what men do.

So Daesh, ISIS, Al Qaeda, whatever you guys choose to call yourselves in some unforeseen future as you desecrate humanity and lose any legitimate message you may once have originally had in some far off recess of history and the mind, here’s my warning to you: It is not the men who you have to watch for. It is the women. One day, the women you oppress, humiliate, desecrate, and destroy will band together and rise up against all you do.

And you know what you will do?  You will capitulate. You will give in. You will learn and be humbled and be better for it. Because these women are the best part of you. They show you how to be better men, real men. Real men do not rape, exploit, blow up little girls. They raise them, defend them, teach them to be strong, teach them that women can do everything men can do and, in some cases, do it much, much better.

You will get with the program because before too long, the program will get with you.

And in case I wasn’t clear enough the first time: Don’t call yourselves Muslims. It’s an embarrassment. Stop. Just stop.

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