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#68176 - 11/08/03 01:00 PM Underserved Bad Rap
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 260
Loc: Europe
A few things have been ticking me off lately, and I am probably hypersensitive because of what I am going through.

First of all, I was in a group talking about the parable of the Good Samaritan. You know: a traveller is beaten, robbed of everything and left for dead. A priest comes down the road, walks around him and on by. Then another religious official goes out of his way to neglect the victim. Finally the Samaritan helps. Anyway, as we pondered the story, one woman asked, "I wonder what would have happened if the characters had been women?" To this several women in the group smiled, nodding smuggly, and one spoke out, laughing, "It would never have happened."

That hurts for me to write about. As a male survivor of both male and female perpetrators, it hurts for me to hear that
(1)It is part of men's nature to hurt others AND (2)Women don't hurt others.

At the same time, I find a prayer for churches to use, and it has these words: " We confess that, even in this faith community, many women, children and some men are beaten adn abused--verbally, emotionally, and sexually--..."
WHY do they write MANY women and children but SOME men. Why do the numbers have to be there. I can believe that, even if reporting were fully accurate, men make up the majority of abusers and the minority of abused BUT does that mean male survivors count less. I think the prayer suggests that...and it really hurts.

Finally, I was reading THE WONDER OF BOYS by Michael Gurian. He does not address sexual abuse very much, but there is this sentence, "The pain and legacey of sexual abuse is impossible for the nonsurvivor to imagine" (Yep.) and then, "The pain boyhood sexual abuse inflicts on society is stunning, for so many boys who have been abused become men who abuse and otherwise become antisocial."

If you dare, read that second sentence again. HOW DARE HE!!!??? What I hear him saying is that my abuse as a child is a problem because if the threat it makes me to society. He does not back up his assertion, and perpetuates a very harmful myth.

I am being beaten in many directions. My masculinity was destroyed by what my brother did to me. My masculinity became shameful because of what my mother did to me. My masculinity incriminates, according to my women peers. Finally, books say my abuse incriminates me.

Am I making any sense? Is there anyone willing to show me how to be a man, not be ashamed for it, AND be open about my abuse???

I feel shame about myself, but no one else has a right to assume such hurtful things about me.

_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#68177 - 11/08/03 01:14 PM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Hello Learnig2remember!

I think that a lot of things that are said about men are said without thinking, and not meaning it to be harmful. Both men and women have so bought the John Wayne form of manhood that they are sure no man can be tender, sensitive,caring, and feel genuine pain every bit as much as the female of the species.

I am saddened that you are hurting so by the remakrs made. I do know Michael Gurian and I can assure you that he did not mean that comment as a put down of our suffering. He is simply trying to show how harmful abuse to a boy can be. I think that there may be as many women who become abusers as men. It is just that I have never seen any stats on that.

Thank you for showing us that we need to really look at abuse as an act against humans that is devastating, regardless of the gender.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#68178 - 11/09/03 02:52 AM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
stride Offline
Member

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada
L2R and all,

Having taken 5 years of psychology, stats, criminology, etc, I can assure you that the stats confirm at least two things:

1) Far more men are victims of violence than women (consider, for example, the commonplace occurences and reality of males being the victims of violence in school yard fights, street fights, bar brawls, muggings, drive-bys, homicides, etc); and

2) Depending on how abuse is defined and which studies you look at, women are as likely, or more likely to be abusive towards their partners than men are. (For example, if you include throwing things, hurling insults, negating thoughts/feelings/beliefs/character, etc, the stats that I've seen coming out of university studies--including some studies conducted by *female* researchers--indicate that women are just as frequently abusive towards their partners as men are--if not moreso. We are just less likely to inflict *serious* physical injury.)

I once worked seasonly (between semesters) at a Body Shop (perfumes and toiletries franchise) where we were required to wear various Body Shop T-shirts as part of our staff "uniforms." One Christmas we were given "Stop the Violence Against Women and Children" T-shirts to wear. I refused and almost lost my job over it, insisting that I would be quite happy to wear a T-shirt that read "Stop The Violence [Period]" but would not help perpetuate the myth that women are the predominant victims of violence in our society, etc. They are not.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the source information for those stats and studies, but they should not be too hard to find with a little effort. Naturally, they're not something one is likely to find in popular media, but the research and stats--from very respectable sources--exist, nonetheless. A search via the resource computers at one's local university should yield more information for anyone who is interested.

Cheers,

Stride

_________________________
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

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#68180 - 11/24/03 11:23 AM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by jacobtk:
back in april or may of this year, my college had a domestic violence week. a friend of mines pulled me over on the way to class and clipped this clothes pin to me, and i found out later he'd hassled the women's department for ignoring male survivors and was asked to leave the premises, despite being a paying student.
As a university grad. myself I found that the whole "violence against women" thing got really spun out of proportion to the point where I was afraid to go out at night.. I found in my university days (or daze?) that there was a prevailing "radical feminist" view that pervades "university thought". The predominant notion about abuse in that environment was that it was perpetrated by men against women. I think part of it has to do with the whole excessive drinking and partying environment that can and does put women at risk for date rape that really fuelled the whole thing (as a survivor of attempted date rape I can attest to the fact that environment is really "charged").

I have to admit that in my university days (late 80's early 90's) there really was not much acknowledgement of violence as a societal issue, its effect on HUMANITY and SOCIETY as a whole, and the whole "men vs. women" approach that "radical feminists" have really helped create an "us vs. them" approach. I think its pretty safe to say that society has raised the issue of violence against women to the point where people acknowledge that it exists yet I for one would like to see the whole issue to be raised to be "violence in general", particularly as I'm now involved with a SA survivor (male).

I think what you saw at that particular university has to do with the particular age group that is predominant in universities - lots of people in their late teens and early 20's are radical about a lot of thigns whether it be animal welfare, environment, politics, womens' rights. Its just that "phase" in peoples' lives when they get radical about a lot of stuff.


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#68181 - 11/24/03 06:13 PM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
From tonights local paper, The Shropshire Star -

Drive to combat domestic violence.

The High Sherrif of Shropshire, Julian Morgan, will launch a new programme to combat domestic violence in the County tomorrow - which is International Day for Violence Against Women.
Following a conference organised by Mrs Morgan in May, there will be new ways to reduce violence against women in Shropshire, while supporting victims and families.
The new programme will see classes set up next year to address men who hit their partners.
Research has shown domestic violence in the UK is steadily rising, with 110 women killed by their male partners in 2001.
Men also suffer, with 12 men dying every year at the hands of their partners.
Mrs Morgan said ; "with over 150 people attending the conference, it has given the County impetus to work towards greater support to those at risk.

************

We did get a mention this time, which is more than men usually get.
But it is a smaller problem - statistically anyway.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#68182 - 11/24/03 07:40 PM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
Bill_1965 Offline
Chat Mod Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/29/03
Posts: 1983
Loc: Flint, Michigan
Well, as both a survivor of SA and domestic violence, I don't feel that I am small, statistically.

It is a big conception issue. When I had my first wife arrested for beating me, the police came back and wanted to arrest me. Saying that there is no way a guy lets a women beat on him without hitting back. WAY, because I didn't, not even during any of the multiple occassions.

Bill

_________________________
Pain is Temporary; Quitting lasts Forever. - Lance Armstrong

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#68183 - 11/25/03 07:59 AM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 260
Loc: Europe
Late 80's/early90's were my college years,too, PAS. What I remember was the anti-date rape campaign. I'm glad it was so radical because it had to be. But much of it was also anti-male when I was pretty sensitive to those messages. Having been abused (although I did not yet consider it that) I felt(feel) pretty low about my own male-ness. The propoganda that hit me in college just confirmed that male=bad, dirty. Even now those feelings are a hard for me to deal with.

It is true though, that extremism is natural for that age group.

I'm feeling a little shaky as I write this stuff and I'm not sure why. It just seems unfair that I can see both sides, but "they" don't see mine.

Thanks for the support and feedback everybody.

_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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#68184 - 11/25/03 11:05 AM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by learning2remember:
I'm feeling a little shaky as I write this stuff and I'm not sure why. It just seems unfair that I can see both sides, but "they" don't see mine.
As far as the "they" that you speak of - I can only assume that you are speaking of the "radical feminist" groups at univ.?

While I cannot condone any anti-male OR anti-female behaviour, perhaps a bit of insight - in my short 33 years on this planet I have already encountered MANY experiences and environments where I have heard/felt a lot of anti-woman sentiment -I have done a lot of non-traditional things in my life (sports, aviation, work in forestry and agriculture) and have met with a lot of flack and resistance and outright hostility - and some people who have been dishing it out have been very very overt at why they were doing so and it may be easy for people to say to "let it roll off" but a lifetime of that crap... All I am trying to say with this ramble is that its really really hard not to let a lot of resentment build up in you after a lifetime of this shit. OK enough of my rant.. stepping down of my soap box now \:\)

While I can understand where the anti-male thought process and sentiment comes from, it doesnt bring any sympathy to "our" causes to alienate men, nor does it do anything to bring to light the plight of abused men. I just dont think that is the place to make a "feminist" point when someone is dealing with an issue as difficult and painful as abuse!!

Anyhow, enough placing of us into little tidy boxes - this whole issue of abuse in general gets kind of strange when we start "categorizing". There's all kinds of statistics and categories out there - domestic abuse, abuse in general, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, and I dont think it serves us a lot of good to start dividing and conquering and get into a "who is worse, women or men" kind of discussion - in the end, abuse is abuse is abuse and the effects are devastating and are common to all survivors, male or female!


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#68185 - 11/25/03 11:19 AM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
PAS Offline
Member

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Originally posted by Lloydy:

We did get a mention this time, which is more than men usually get.
But it is a smaller problem - statistically anyway.
Again we have to be very careful in this particular discussion - the article posted by Lloydy is about domestic physical abuse by one's partner - statistically men abused and killed by male partners is MUCH smaller statistic (probably due to the proportion of homosexual vs. hetero. relationships).

However we shouldnt use stats from articles such as this to translate across the situation that you all are dealing with here on MS - what happened to you was sexual abuse inflicted upon children or adolescents - which is not quite but more evenly dished out to boys and girls (I think the stats are something like 1/4 girls are sexually abused and 1/7 boys).

But again, this does not mean that there is NOT a very real problem for adult men who are seeking treatment/support for sexual abuse they suffered, most usually as a child or teen. Perhaps its hard for people to see the strong adult male as once being a vulnerable child!


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#68186 - 11/25/03 10:50 PM Re: Underserved Bad Rap
learning2remember Offline
Member

Registered: 10/21/03
Posts: 260
Loc: Europe
I was waiting to take some flak on that "they"in my previous post..and well deserved.

Generalization and polarization just don't help.

I was having trouble being more specific than "they," so I should have taken more time to think.

Maybe it will be more helpful if I explain part of my struggle with all this. (I never can remember when or where I've revealed some of this before, so I apologize if I'm being repetitive.)

POSSIBLE TRIGGERS AFTER THIS POINT
POSSIBLE TRIGGERS AFTER THIS POINT

Because of my experience with a male perpetrator, I feel very emasculated. I have not often felt like a man and have often not identified myself with men. Even when I daydream about accomplishing a goal, I do not picture myself as a man.

Part of my recovery means reclaiming my masculinity.

But if masculinity means being like him....

Complicating matters is my mother, who seemed attracted to my developing body when I was a teen. That made me feel extremely uncomfortable with being a man. Ashamed, really.

So..I have this struggle to identify myself as a man challenged by shame I feel about being a man, not to mention a little fear about what it means to be a man in light of what one man (actually he was just a large teen much older then me) did to me.

Shaped by this confusion, I encounter some movements (maybe not even whole movements but simply outspoken individuals) which are hostile toward men, often labeling men as violent, and it doesn't help me.

Maybe enough said, and thanks for the reminder that it is more helpful to talk about myself then about some "them."

_________________________
"This is not my shame, this is their shame." Mona Eltahawy

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