Men, the pain you feel is real. The societal disregard for wellbeing of male bodies is horrible, the isolation and stigmatization we impose on young men is unforgivable, and the expectation that men must be the material provider is unfair. However, none of that gives you the right to access my body without permission. You have a right to be angry at how society has treated you. You do not have a right to demand that…
Is the second sentence a result of the first? I think it very well might be, but I have never made the connection personally. But as I read it, it now it seems obvious.
I was briefly facilitating an interesting sort of class, a get out of jail free class, for those who were charged for domestic violence. The crux of the purpose of this class was to get these people to admit that they did in fact commit the crime that they had been charged with.
For the most part, they were completely uninterested in doing that, but also…they were all in so much pain. Extraordinary pain, which was almost palpable, which they loathed to confront because it was so painful. And yet, many of them did, and grew as a result.
I say all of that to say this, allowing men to speak to and confront their pain allows them to also take responsibility for the pain they they have caused others. In saying, “hey I get it, these terrible things happened to you, but that doesn’t give you the right to also do terrible things to me”, you have probably made a connection they themselves have not made, but desperately need to and the path to these sorts of realizations is not easy for anyone.