It was awesome seeing you at the Julie Ruin show last night. They were just as good as I thought they would be (and so much witty banter!). I had a revelation during their set though and it hit me like a hammer: I’ve never thanked you.
Before I met you in the early ’90s I was just average dude in a patriarchal society with average shitty dude attitudes and emotions. You were the friend (and later, girlfriend) who opened my eyes to the larger world with larger problems. You were the one who played Bikini Kill and Heavens to Betsy for me. You were the one who showed me issues of Jigsaw and Girl Germs. You were the one who introduced me to third-wave feminism.
But more than that, you were the one who took the time to explain to me why things like women-only spaces were essential. It happened so slowly and gradually (really, across the entirety of the ’90s) that I didn’t see it happening at the time, but looking back, it was a full education. And because of that education I am the man I am today. Not a perfect man—still learning, still changing as he sees the problems within himself—but one who acknowledges those imperfections and wants to wage war on them, both in his personality and in society. I am a better romantic partner because of that education and, I think, a better person in general.
There is literally no facet of my life that feminism hasn’t touched, and all of it stems back to riot grrrl and the knowledge you shared with me.
I never thanked you because I didn’t realize what had been imparted to me at the time, but I’ll thank you here, now, and publicly because everyone deserves to know the difference you made in my life.