Monday, October 11, 2010

Working on being a man pt.5...Revisited

This is one of many parts in the ongoing series of working on being a man.

Okay it looks like I made a poor choice of words in my last "Working on being a man" post.

It would seem that this bit:

What I think the hard part of this is going to be is how to get men to realize that we don't have to suffer in silence and getting the rest of society to basically shut the hell up and let us talk.
has managed to draw quite the bit of attention. Let's do something about that.

Daisy didn't seem to take kindly to that and responded. Well after some back and forth I figure that I think I was presuming that after reading the rest of the post people would take that I meant that in regards to pain in particular. Maybe I should have said "...shut the hell up and let us talk about our pain." or something like that to clarify and head off a big chunk of the comments on that post.

As I said in the original post as long as men are talking about things that they are "allowed to talk about" its all good. We can talk about violence. We can talk about politics. We can talk about sports. We can talk about cars. Most subjects are just fine but there are those that are just taboo for men, as men, to talk about.

For instance why do you think people have such a hard time with the idea that male victims of violence and sexual crimes (especially violence and sexual crimes committed by women) need systems of support? When a boy talks about being bullied by another boy most people are quick to offer some sort of advice or resolution (ranging from peaceful mediation to self defense) yet when he is bullied by a girl people seem to not be so helpful with the advice? Here's a tricky one. Let's say a hypothetical man is the victim of a crime. If that man talks about revenge and justice for what happened to him society is fine with that, but if he talks about how he's been hurt and the pain he has to live with people don't seem to be as attentive. (And I think this may be related to why when a woman commits violence people are all ears to hear her tales of suffering that made her commit the violence yet those tales are dismissed as excuses from a man.)

One other comment I want to touch on a bit:
Why does the ‘rest of society’ need to shut the hell up in order for you to talk? Has anyone ever shut up to allow feminists to talk? No – you’ve got to learn to speak even though no one else is going to shut up and offer you the floor.
Okay I know I'm not the only person that's seen feminists try to stop men from trying to talk for women right? Thing is they're right. I as a man have no business trying to speak on a woman's life and experiences as a woman. And I'm also willing to bet that even among feminists themselves some of them wouldn't want certain groups of women (let's say white women here) trying to speak on the life and experiences of other groups of women (women of color). So is it really a big of a stretch to believe that men would also like that same latitude to speak for themselves?

I totally get the feeling I will have to come back to this.