…but MaleSurvivor Executive Director Christopher M. Anderson thinks that reflexive and stigmatizing rhetoric that degrades people should be.
I don’t know if Hanna Rosin hates men. In fact, I know almost nothing about her.
Perhaps Hanna Rosin is a lovely person, and were we to meet in a coffee shop and strike up a conversation at random I might find her witty, charming, and endlessly fascinating. There’s a lot about Hanna Rosin and her opinions that I don’t know, so I’m not going to make any sweeping statements about her, or use her as a measure of the character of all women.
But there is one thing I do know. Her willingness to elevate crack smoking Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to be the paragon of modern masculinity angers me so much that I almost want to pick up the pipe.
Actually that’s not true. It’s not Hanna Rosin that would make me more likely to smoke crack. Nor is it the fact that I’m a man. But there is something that does actually make me far more likely to become addicted to crack, heroin, or other form of serious drug. I am a survivor of significant childhood trauma and abuse. And I’m far from alone.
Over 60% of both men AND women have experienced at least one significant form of trauma and/or abuse. And as adults, while it’s true that more women are victims of domestic and sexual violence, more men are victims of violent crime overall than women (29.1/1000 vs 23.3/1000 according to 2012 DOJ statistics).
Given the sheer scale of the epidemic of violence and abuse that we all endure, it’s mind-boggling to me that people are so stubbornly blind to a rather common sense proposition.
Men suffer violence and abuse in extremely high numbers at least on par with women. Yet for men, it is infinitely harder to find support than it is for women. Therefore, it is absolutely no surprise whatsoever that men are displaying more and more signs of falling apart.
The ACES study and studies of people who struggle with PTSD (a significant proportion of whom are veterans returning from military service) show clear correlations between traumatic experiences and significantly increased risk for major depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and a whole host of medical problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
No victim of abuse or trauma is more or less deserving of our support. It is never easy for survivors of abuse and trauma to get access to the compassion and support they need to heal. There are many communities in this country where male victims of sex trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual abuse are ignored, turned away, or flat-out disbelieved. On college campuses young men are exhorted to “stop raping” (and not without reason) while few, if any, are told where they can for help if they were the ones who were raped. We need to be teaching all people not to rape, while supporting all victims and survivors.
No, instead it’s far more fashionable to craft cutesy stories about the end of an outdated and obsolete white male patriarchy that is all too easy to ridicule. But where in Hanna Rosin’s world is a man like Mayor Ford going to be allowed to turn to get help? For Ms. Rosin and her allies such a concept is impossible to comprehend. “Men” as she defines them are one-dimensional, obsolete, and we should celebrate their impending extinction.
The more I think about it, the less likely I am to want to share that coffee with Ms. Rosin after all. Granted good old Rob might not be an ideal drinking buddy, but I know that if he were to ask me for help, I’d be willing to listen and give him the support I could in order to help him recover. It’s no guarantee that he’d actually change, but at least it might make it a little bit easier for another person to take that step.