I wrote a post on my blog on Friday night about why men aren’t listening to the plight of women, and why that is bad for us. It left me emotionally raw after writing that article because I exposed myself on a level that I don’t think I’ve delved into yet; my core, my central thought processing system; it’s a very private place you know. And something happened to me that I didn’t quite expect. A bi-product of writing about why women aren’t being listened to. It took me by surprise.
I felt very alone.
Not alone in the all-encompassing sense of the word, but alone in my struggle to make sense of the world through introspection in my writing. I am an avid reader of a few great woman writers and equally some of the men that have stepped up to the podium to be heard, but, everyone seems to want to talk about what’s wrong about the world, what needs to be done to fix this big abhorrent stinky cesspit that we seem to be spiralling out of control into. I think that’s amazing, that people have some awesome ideas about how to tackle what’s thrown in our faces daily.
But no-one wants to step up and ask, how do I change? So that I can be a better person and make a better difference in this world? No-one.
One lady I read lots and draw quite a lot of inspiration from, Darla Halyk, coined it best on Facebook on Friday evening when she stood up and said,
“You are the problem, I am the problem, we are the problem. Until we can see no colour, no race, no religion, no weakness, no difference. NO DIFFERENCE. There will always be the incessant disdain towards others, us, you, me, them…fucking everyone.”
And this, right now, couldn’t resonate with me any more if it tried. We spend too much time blaming each other for not listening, not acting, doing too little, doing too much, and just so many instances of blaming each other that I feel no-one is listening to either.
“He did this”
“She said that”
When is someone going to stand up and take accountability for their part in this whole mess? You see it with the Feminist movement, great women, standing up, shouting about what needs to be done, who needs to do what, but no-one actually sitting there and asking themselves whether or not they could do better to improve their situation. Resolutions always start by giving way to something. Sacrifice.
When I first started writing I genuinely thought men had a lot to learn about life in general, that taking a more holistic approach to their world would improve their circumstances tenfold, and improve their relationships with women. And this is truth.
But I was biased. I’ve only been close to men throughout my life. My closest friends have been male, and before Natalie I rotated in male circles only meeting and getting to know men. I was shy. But the more I improve, the more I read some blisteringly awesome articles by some well-balanced men and women, I’m realising now that women equally have a lot to learn too. We can only play this blame game for so long, right?
Someone is going to have to question themselves sooner or later, right?
Here’s what it’s like for lots of men.
I hate talking about my issues because I live in a world that’s dominated by the patriarchal rule. Or so I’m continually told. My issues should take a back seat because it’s already easier for me as a man. Which I agree it is easier, but that shouldn’t make what I am experiencing any less relevant.
I was brought up by my mother who taught me to love everything about women whilst simultaneously hating everything about my own gender. She didn’t mean it to turn that way of course, but my dad was poison, and the only way she could think about protecting me from him was to downplay his very essence. The very part of him that made him, him. He was my asshole Dad that was untrustworthy, unreliable and unlovable. Since he was my only real role model – that made me feel I had no chance.
For men, growing up, it feels as if we get lumped with the problems of the world. We are the destroyers, we create bombs, make wars, are a bunch of rapists, even writing this, it feels as if I’m whining over nothing, but I know through education that this is a result of a society that downplays the emotions of men just as much as men downplay the feelings of women. I feel we get stereotyped and pigeonholed too much. I feel myself wanting to cry out, “Not all men! I’m a good one”
I talked about male fragility in my last post on my blog, it was quite soul opening to say the least, realising that I should just sit there and listen to my wife without turning the conversation onto me.
But I bet women are reading this and thinking, saying,
“Not all women! I love men! I’m a good one!”
Now you know why we do that.
I don’t think it’s a matter of male fragility but more so a matter of being widely stereotyped by a large group, knowing that you aren’t any of this, knowing that some of the wild things other men get up to just isn’t in your nature, and the feeling of having to instantly defend this whenever you walk into somewhere new. But it’s cool, lady reader, if you’re reading this. I know you’re good. Most people are good, most people want the best for others and enjoy seeing the rest of us inspire and smash new heights.
Like everything, the small few spoil it for the rest of us.
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