Thursday, December 9, 2021

Another Wake-up call to men....desist from all forms of violence and aggression against women!

Did you know there will be approximately 9000 threats/acts of violence mostly against women in the U.S. Congress this year? These threats include threats of death and rape.
That's nearly twice the number from 2020.

According to Statistics Canada(2019), approximately every six days a woman is murdered by an intimate partner in Canada.

In 2021 StatsCan reports that 4 in 10 women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence.

From the Canadian Women Foundation website
30% of all women age 15 or older report experiencing sexual assaults at least once.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives reports in 2014:
In our society, gender inequality is present in many areas, including politics, religion, media, cultural norms and the workplace. ....
Hyper- masculinity- the idea that masculinity is determined by hostility and aggression- is damaging for everyone. It promotes violence and entitlement.
Reading about domestic violence, however, seems somewhat clinical and detached from the real lives that are impacted...directly and indirectly.

Also, for a male even to presume to write about family violence begs some scepticism and contempt.

My personal life experience is not congruent with the overwhelming data.
Violence in our home originated with the matriarch. However, it did not take place in a vacuum. The failure of the adult male to "show up" as confident, assertive, courageous and “emotionally literate and intelligent” (in today’s terms) and proactively seeking to negotiate with his partner contributed significantly to the power imbalance.
Impatience and a belief that her partner lacked basic qualities expected of men contributed to the frustration and the violence.

Although statistically insignificant as a pattern, perhaps the dynamic of power needs a counter-balance of equal and authentic power, as perceived and applied between "consenting adults".

Men who fail to "own" both an awareness and a precise consciousness of our needs, including our emotions, our sexuality, our fears and insecurities, as well as our authentic hopes and aspirations leave a predictable and tragic vacuum in relationships.
Women cannot and must not be expected to "fill" that black hole. Similarly, for women, stereotypically to believe and disdain male inadequacies and insufficiencies contributes significantly to the emasculation of those men.

A recent letter to an "advice" column asked the columnist for advice on how to tell a potential male partner their relationship was over
"because he is poorly endowed". Why was that man even considering a relationship with that woman letter writer?

Powerlessness, in any of its innumerable faces, is a scourge...similarly, the over-compensating for any neurosis also undermines the potential for healthy relationships.

One of the more egregious aspects of the abuse of power, especially between men and women is commonly known as "micro-aggressions".
A woman about to introduce a guest speaker is mistaken for a female waiter at a banquet.

A male municipal politician tells a female executive, assigned head-table seating at a hosting club, to sit "down there" so I can sit at the head table to introduce my guest.

A male committee member dictates the terms of an incubator  committee's process, precluding the expression of views by female members.

A female expressing a nuanced opinion is cut off by a male who presumes to be an expert on the topic.

A male touches a female's face after a first conversation over coffee, without considering how she feels about and how she  interprets the event which was not arranged as a date.

A male is asked to help a female only to resist in order to continuing watching a sporting event.....

This list of examples is endless; yet, the insensitivity of the subject males renders them "tone deaf" to their own behaviour and attitude.

Of course, such emotional and attitudinal blindness, while hardly headline worthy, underlies the far more serious, dangerous and deeply offensive violence by men against women.

Fear of women "taking over" parallels the racist fear that immigrants will steal jobs from "white men". Similarly, the demand for respect and equality by the LGBTQ community threatens the established status quo of traditional masculine power and entitlement.

Violence itself must not be reduced to bruises, black eyes, broken bones and lethal physical injuries. Betrayal by men of women, through any of many deceptive patterns, including drugs, alcohol, career addiction, affairs, gambling and "hiding" in man caves and/or computer games are all potentially abusive behaviours which emerge when partners cannot and do not "communicate" openly and frankly.
Given the obvious female advantage in both language and emotional intelligence over most men, it is extremely important for women to first recognize that "upper hand" without deploying it abusively and insensitively in their demeaning put-downs of their male partners.

Men need not sacrifice our inherent masculinity by opening ourselves to the more complex and subtle and authentic emotional selves. And it is mostly other men who block such a development, fearful that hard masculinity will erode and eviscerate them in the process.

One of the more telling questions I heard came from a senior male focused on the recently envisaged prospect of attracting women to his traditionally male service club. It was sad that he was inquiring of another male and not a female, even his partner. It was also sad that the question had not been raised effectively inside the club much earlier.

Listening to stories of women leaving such male bastions after a ‘bad’ experience only serves as markers of how far we all have yet to go for our daughters and grand-daughters to experience genuine respect and dignity from the men in their generations.


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