Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Standing With Others

I try, when viewing a story about yet another child molestation case or rape of an adult woman (the latter being a crime I take very personally as a blow against all men as well as women), to get past that feeling of guilt/defensiveness a sensitive male can hardly escape in such matters. Women do view men with suspicion, and my feminist sensibilities tell me we often give them more than adequate reasons to do so. Rather than complain that we are being discriminated against (which as a white male I feel is singularly disengenuous), I suggest we men find ways of standing beside women and children against predators, most of whom are in fact male.

I would hope that in an instance where we experience discrimination due to being male (a mother's apparent nervousness at our presence, a woman's sudden outburst in the office or a social situation about how men are all dogs, that "all men want the same thing" and so on), we allow that feeling of unfairness and anger and sadness at such accusations against us to remind us of how much more often such things happen to minorities and women. Let our small bit of suffering teach us to empathize with the greater suffering of others.

The terrible truth is that regarding sexual violence, the male is implicated. We personally may not feel that we are, but our manhood is for far too many women a sign of their own, and their children's, lack of safety.
[via Blue Christian on a Red Background]

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