1. You are a white man. Don’t ever forget it. Don’t ever deny it.
2. Your voice is never the only one in a space.
3. Laugh until all the air has been exhausted.
4. Cry until all the tears have been used up.
5. You have the power to silence others. Dismantle it.
6. Your privilege will not guarantee happiness, but it will always assist you.
7. Dialogue, don’t debate.
8. Bigger muscles don’t make you a bigger man.
9. But a bigger heart does.
10. Love the person, not the body.
11. Don’t be stuck in guilt.
12. You too have a story.
13. Love your flaws for they are only flaws because society said so.
14. Recognize your privilege incessantly.
15. Don’t rape.
16. Don’t silence others by taking their personal experiences as an attack.
17. An open podium is not an invitation for your words.
18. Be an ally.
19. Not a savior.
20. Sex can be for pleasure or for emotional ties.
21. The same goes for women and their sexuality.
22. But never should be for power or dominance.
23. Don’t co-opt someone else’s struggle.
24. Be a pussy, because pussies are the strongest fucking things in this world.
25. Educate yourself.
26. Others are not there to teach you about their oppression.
27. You are born from a lineage of strong and fierce women. Remember your strength comes from the hearts of women.
28. Naš Jezik — a portal into generations of your ancestors.
29. Drink and get high.
30. But ask for whom you are doing it.
31. Your hands are there to embrace. Not to twist into fists.
32. Ask for permission, not for forgiveness.
33. Never assume things are lying there to be taken.
34. “Fuck bitches get money” is not your anthem.
35. You have a culture. Don’t take someone else’s.
36. Your words have immense power. Choose carefully.
37. True and honest friendships are a necessity.
38. Being “cool” is not.
39. Always validate emotions, especially your own.
40. Embrace and name your fears
41. Voice your sorrow, love and humanity
42. You will never know what it is like to live with oppression. So don’t assume you do.
43. I will teach you how to change a tire, squat 200 pounds and how to lead, so that you learn the immense and infinite ability women have.
44. Create poetry so that your words may bring beauty into this world.
45. Get dirty at music festivals.
46. Don’t be colorblind.
47. Appreciate diversity.
48. Don’t demand others to tread lightly for your comfort.
49. The size of one’s body is not up for judgment or critique.
50. Women’s cycles do not make them irrational.
51. Don’t be afraid that your unearned superiority may one day crumble.
52. Things do not need to be expensive and fast to be appreciated.
53. Let your date pick the dessert.
54. Travel. Soak in museums and architecture during the day. And the biggest clubs at night.
55. Individual actions do not exist. They are influenced by society, peers, genetics, politics, history and much more.
56. No one is purely good or purely evil. If someone is argued to be one or the other, they’re probably hiding something.
57. Dance to Beyoncé.
58. Don’t listen to anyone that tells you you are not worthy of their love because they are too good for you.
59. No one is disposable.
60. Someone’s sexuality is not up for interpretation.
61. Including yours. I expect you to come out of the closet — as straight or not.
62. Many people will apologize in your presence for their opinions, stories and looks. Don’t accept it.
63. Don’t insult others by using a word of an identity or body part. It only perpetuates your power.
64. A woman’s outfit is not an invitation.
65. Neither is a man’s.
66. No one’s presumed aspirations are tied to their identities. Neither are yours.
67. Be an anti-racist feminist.
68. Your worth is not related to your height and hairline.
69. Don’t assume someone needs help or doesn’t need help. Ask.
70. Cherish honesty and vulnerability. Both your own and those of others
71. Ask for directions when you’re lost in life.
72. People come in all shapes and sizes. And they’re all beautiful.
73. Take vacations often.
74. Don’t compliment a woman only on her looks. For then you really don’t see her.
75. You are a bigger threat to a tall, dark figure in a “bad” community than they ever will be to you.
76. Good intentions are not an excuse.
77. The police will hear your cries over the thousands of others. So don’t cry wolf.
78. Any resistance you may have to accept, acknowledge, and divest from your privilege is a form of oppression.
79. Compassion lies within you. Unleash it.
80. Don’t push love away to seem masculine.
81. Buy roses and light candles often. Each day is a special occasion.
82. Know that you being a man will not make me worry any less.
83. Don’t ever drive as recklessly as my father.
84. Understand you did not get anywhere purely on merit.
85. I did not win “best-dressed” to have my son wear sweatpants or pajama pants outside the house.
86. Ask for permission. Not forgiveness.
87. Behind the words “whore” and “slut” are women whom society has mislabeled to exert power and dominance.
88. Don’t ever cheat with someone else’s heart in your hand.
89. End relationships honestly and verbally. Don’t simply disappear.
90. Everyone has to eat. Don’t judge the way someone fights to feed themselves.
91. Sex is a learning process.
92. Know your limits. Your limits to give. Your limits to drink. Your limits to lift. Your limits to run. Your limits to work. Your limits to rage. Your limits to stay awake. Know so that you can stop and take self-care.
93. Don’t become too busy or rich to forget your own mother. Talk to me each day.
94. Learn how to feed, hold and care for a child. Your partner will thank me.
95. Recognize bullshit.
96. Question norms.
97. Doubt everything. Even this list.
98. When we’re both old and gray, we’ll drink and sit in silence. Because in our old age, the arguments will be exhausted. True understanding is met with silence.
99. Teach everything I have taught you to your own sons.
100. You too need liberation.
101. You will always first and foremost be seen as a white man. Know what that means.

Maja Tosic can be reached at tosimaj@umich.edu.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.