@Lee (Farmerboy), I mean topics like This one of mine which pretty much just say what I'm feeling at the time, ---- though of course since this was! one of my early topics it also contains many appologies as well since back then I pretty much had to say sorry after every single post since I felt so afraid I was pushing my problems on other people. This is again why I mention the point of sharing emotions, since for me it was somehting that was helpfull, but equally was something I found really hard, not because of wanting to hide, but because I felt so scared to lumber my problems on other people which I know for a fact was a simptom of my own feelings of worthlessness.

@lee (traveller), I agree on the natural progression of things, and especially on responses, indeed probably like Rocco, Eric and some other vets around here, the longer I stay on the forum the more I find I am trying to offer something vaguely helpfull to others, rather than posting stuff myself, which naturally means more responding than posting actual topics for discussion.

@Buck Jude and Letuski, I absolutely agree. One of the nastier social phenomena I've seen is the tendency of groups to talk about priviliged experience. "I'm an X! you can't understand what it is to be an X!" It doesn't matter whether "X" is gender, country, racial grouping, religion, sexual orientation disability or whatever (indeed part of the job of the thesis I've just finished writing on disability was to debunk some of those notions by disabled groups).

Yes, different people have different experiences, but just as paul said there is a little thing called empathy and imagination, by which we can at least make an effort to understand the experiences of others. This is to me one of the main faculties of a group like ms, since while the experiences! of guys hear are no more or less similar than any group of men from all over the world, the faculty of empathy is a bit more increased by the fact we are here for a specific aime..

To take one simple example, I myself was never abused by a parent or adult, nor was my own experience anything less than blatantly harmfull. There was no ambiguous or complex relationship in my abuse, just purely and simply being the but of other people's jokes for purposes of public humiliation and sadism. Does this however mean I'll stay out of discussions by people who are concerned about their relationship to their abuser or missed out on having a true parental relationship? heck no! If I think I could be able to say something helpfull I will try, and certainly in the past I've myself got great advice from guys who's experiences were pretty different from mine.

One thing I will say though is that group identity is something of an insidious beast, especially when it concerns a group which endures some sort of disadvantage. I've seen this myself in groups for blind people over hear in England (one reason I tend to steer clear of such groups myself).

So while I would never discount the experiences of prejudice that people of a given group go through, it is probably a good idea to remember that those feelings are not universal, and indeed in catagorizing anyone outside the group as "against us" people in such a group are themselves guilty of a prejudice, ---- ie, pre-judging another person based on what group they do or do not belong to.

Whether this sort of thing happens on ms I don't know, since I haven't been around long enough to read many of the threads or make an evaluation, but it is certainly something I've noticed happening in other communities so it might be worth remembering for future reference, since it can be quite easy to slip into such thinking, ---- heck I'm pretty guilty of it myself sometimes.

Myself, I really hope Ms continuous being as helpfull to other guys as it has been to me, and I'll try and check in occasionally in the future myself too.

Luke.