I recently remembered that my best friend’s mom growing up was beaten nearly to death by his father.
We had sleepovers at his house and while it was large with many expensive televisions and cars, there was this chilly silence. Something that could only be felt; it was the sound of silent terror.
We were only about seven or eight when they got a divorce. I didn’t find out until years later that this man beat his wife regularly and she left him when he beat her to the point of near death.
I am remembering this because I am doing my own healing work on my parents. This has been one of the most difficult things. I loved this woman, she was a video game designer in the 90’s, she was sweet warm loving caring, but when we were all at the fathers house there was that palpable terror.
To think that someone would pledge love for the rest of their life to someone and beat them to the point of near death is unthinkable to me. Relationships are sacred. We need to enter them dedicated to the best interest of the other person and ourselves. I’m so proud of her for leaving but my heart breaks thinking of this.
The worst part is that this is common. Every single day this is happening all over the world. Women are harassed and beat and even the things that aren’t deadly add up and a weight is created. The weapon used unanimously is SILENCE.
That’s why we’re speaking up. I’m finding time and time again that all of the women in my life are routinely harassed beaten assaulted, several have been abducted, kidnapped, repeatedly raped. This isn’t just not okay it’s criminal. And it’s an offense that we all need to check our accountability for.
By speaking out, by LISTENING we are allowing the voice that needs to be spoken to be heard. The story needs to be heard. We have created a class of people who bear an unspoken, unbearable and simple unacceptable burden.
It’s not men’s job to pressure women into sharing what they don’t. And I don’t have all of the solutions but it’s our damn job to be there in support in whatever way is necessary.
I have the privilege of being a cis male who was sexually assaulted as a child. I know the worst of the worst symptoms and the fracturing of the psyche and the incredible work and pain involved in just getting help and then utilizing it. I have had the privilege of having it be my full time job to heal.
Why is this a privilege? Because that’s it for me. It happened once and I get to heal. I don’t get followed down the street at night. I don’t have to have mace in my bag just to go to a club or a bar. Life is free for me.
What this gives me is an entry point. I share my story freely. If anyone of any gender can relate then we can open up the discussion. Hearing the hidden truths of lives begins to end the silence. When the silence ends the stories are told, are heard, hopefully accepted. At very least it’s a weight off the backs of the 51 percent of humans who are attacked assaulted harassed, discriminated and under payed.
Many of us men have been assaulted and marginalized too. However, what’s been done to women since…the beginning of time is a violation of human rights to the greatest degree. And it can be complicated and subtle and insidious. And every single one of us, no matter what gender carries that inside. It our responsibility as humans attempting to make a livable world, to face this in ourselves and in our peers and to create an environment in which it is completely unacceptable to treat human beings as anything other than the beautiful souls that they are. It is also our job as human beings to thrive to be the beautiful souls that we can be. And misogyny I’m pretty sure isn’t part of that.
I apologize for my lack of punctuation. I’ll get around to working on that 🙂 As for my friend’s mom she’s doing wonderfully the last time I checked. As for writing this as a man…well, a couple wonderful women said that we had to do our best, so I’m perhaps clumsily trying to be the most vocal ally possible.
I am a human being. So are you. We’re capable of amazing things. I have faith that we will be able to reach our potential. Let’s make this world in which it’s only acceptable to do what’s in the best interest for all of us. It’s a pretty simple rule that has been written a a thousand times in a thousand ways. Just simply treat people the way you want to be treated.
I want to be treated like gold!