TV is full of it; timelines are full of it; my mind is full
I think I’ve been naive, and maybe I still am.
I’m talking about male predation and sexual assault/inappropriateness/harassment.
Just grab ’em by the *****
You get the picture.
It scares me and angers me all at once that men in a position of power (real or perceived) think that they can act however they want or take whatever they want; to feel that entitled and beyond reproach that they try to impose their will on others, by force if necessary.
- It scares me as a father of a young girl;
- It scares me as a father of a young boy;
- It angers me as a man and a human being.
The psychologist in me seeks to understand the behaviour of individuals in all cases but I will admit to a fog of anger descending when I hear such stories.
A close friend of mine told me one such story recently. She conveyed it in a jovial, almost dismissive way, stating that if she didn’t laugh, she would cry. After a couple of full paragraphs from her my only response was ‘Jesus…’
She relayed a little more and my response was the same; ‘Jesus’
Sensing my shock, she then gave me another couple of examples of men taking advantage and this time, she ended the story with
ask any woman you know..
I didn’t need to.
I had heard stories historically but somehow I’d managed to box them off as individual incidents in my mind.
Now I was joining the dots and I could feel anger rising inside me.
Not just high profile
I’ll be honest; I don’t know what to write next.
I want to talk about self-defence. I’m a martial artist and for a long time, I’ve been an advocate of everyone learning to defend themselves, especially women. But then I ask myself
‘Why should you have to?’
I’ve deleted more than I’ve written (mostly expletives) so I’ll go here. I can’t fix the world but I want to prepare my cubs for it whilst protecting their innocence.
For my son
How to be a man; a real man. That means being a humanitarian, a communicator and showing respect whilst ensuring you get respected. Hearing no and understanding that and not overstepping the line in the first place. To take responsibility. Not to stand by.
For my daughter
Having the strength to say no and the courage to act* under the circumstances. To recognise what is appropriate and what is not. To be a humanitarian but to not feel responsible for the poor behaviour of others.
I don’t blog well when I’m angry.
*this isn’t meant as criticism or victim blaming. I’m just angry.