Manhood and Violence

It makes no difference whether you do some one or on a regular basis. Keep a count of how many you have been guilty of commiting. Have you ever:

Pushed or shoved someone
Held someone to keep them from leaving
Slapped or bitten someone
Kicked or chocked someone
Hit or Punched someone
Thrown objects at another person
Locked a family member or significant other out of the house
Abandoned someone in a dangerous or high risk place
Refused to help or abandon someone close to you when they were sick, injured, pregnant, etc
Subjected others to reckless, drunk, or impaired driving
Ridiculed or ignored a person’s feelings
Insulted or otherwise attacked a person’s religion, race, class
Withheld approval, appreciation, or affection as punishment
Continually criticized a person, called them names, or shouted at them
Insulted, isolated or drove away a person’s family or friends
Humiliated a person in private or public
Took money away from or stole from, or otherwise controlled the financial affairs from others
Threatned to withdraw financial support from someone dependent on you
Harassed a person about affairs you imagined he or she was having
Raised your voice to dominate a conversation or assert control
Used your body size to threaten or intimidate
Punished, neglected, or abandoned your children when you were mad at their mother
Threatned to physically hurt a person or their family
Told jokes about women, homosexuals, bisexuals, or made demeaning remarks about them
Treated women as sexual objects
Been jealously angry, assuming a woman was your property
Criticized a persons performance or adequacy as a sexual partner
Withheld sex and affection
Used names like “whore”, “slut”, “dyke” or worse
Publicly showed sexual interest in or had sexual affairs with another person after entering into and agreeing to an implied monogamous relationship.
Had sex with someone you know didn’t want to(i.e. if you have said something to convince or manipulate someone into sexual interactions).

These are all forms of physical, emotional, and sexual violence. It is a long list and has things on there that we don’t like to admit that we did. However, I was always told that all the issues we are told not to talk about are passed on. These things don’t happen because men have testosterone. It is because men limit their options. Every 15 seconds a woman is battered by a man. 90% of all violence against women is done by men. We learn from an early age that men are not to have feelings. If you are not in control, you’re not a man. Anger is safe and manly. Hurt equals weakness. If anyone questions your masculinity you must fight. For a long time, I carried myself by not showing emotion, not showing any kind of weakness, or any kind of vulnerability. As I go through my scrap book of athletic achievements and college years, most people would think I was a shallow, womanizer. If I was with a woman, my friends would ask the next day “Did you hit it?”, “Did you smash it?”, or “Did you knock it off?”. All de-humanizing women. I look back and I am very uncomfortable with how violent the language was/ is and so I struggled for a long time with who I really was on the inside. No one ever questioned my masculinity when I played sports. But there came a moment when I realized that I had to take care of the man inside. Masculinity was a mask for me and until I talked about it was when I really found out who I was on the inside. Boys look to other men about what it means to be a man. What are we teaching them? Feelings and emotions are tools that help you deal with life and when you constrict them the results are actions from the list above. Here is my challenge to men. It is a challenge that has been issued by women for years. Challenge what men say to each other in all male environments, how you define masculinity, what you encourage from other men, and use language that does not de-humanize women. Do you remember falling in love before and not wanting your friends to think you were “pussy whipped”? That is the kind of fascade I’m trying to do away with. It’s okay to fall in love, cry, and be vulnerable. Saying things in private that differ from your real feelings just maintains and accepts attitudes that are unacceptable. Men have to confront other men on this. It is not optional. If you don’t want the women in your life to be victims of the above list, take a stand. Stand up and say I will not abuse women and I will not support violence against them. Violence against women is a men’s issue and men have to confront other men, otherwise, it wont end.

Published in: on November 22, 2007 at 12:17 am  Comments (1)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. suprising and nice to see a self identified feminist ally! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: