Going into this trip to Uganda, I knew I was going to be the only guy surrounded by 13 women of varying ages; however, I didn’t think too much about the implications of such a dynamic.
That is until last night’s drive to Soroti.
I woke up from a long nap, and, as I sat on our bus as we rolled through the bumpy darkness of the night, it really sunk in that I was the only guy. But rather than dismissing these thoughts, I began thinking about what they meant.
In this day and age, men are conditioned by a variety of factors to view women through a skewed lens that often leads to the mistreatment and devaluing of women.
I’ve seen it firsthand with how the women in my life have been treated, and it’s easy to think, ‘That could never be me.’ But even though I have a girlfriend that I love dearly and plenty of incredible women in my life who have helped make me who I am, I still suffer from the effects attached to years of viewing women the wrong way.
Brandi Lea, my trip leader and the cofounder of Beauty for Ashes Uganda, helps women all over find healing through their trauma — and whenever she’d bring up trauma before this trip, I’d dismiss it by thinking other people deal with trauma; not me.
But if anything, I know I’m at least on this trip to dive deeper into processing through my trauma of viewing women the wrong way, as well as the trauma I may have caused others along the way.
I believe I’m on this trip to continue the process of removing years of seeing women as objects to be conquered and rather seeing them as children of God and sisters to be loved and valued.
No woman owes me anything. If anything, I owe them damn near everything because I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.
I’m here for a reason. And you are too. Let’s embark on this adventure together.