“The problem I am seeing here- the place where this is unraveling- is that for men who are *hearing* about the traumatic experiences of women, and experiencing secondary traumatization over it, where do they go with those feelings? Who do they talk about their own (totally valid!) emotional reactions to feeling overwhelmed with the things that the women they care about- or just women in general- have to deal with?
Because if the answer is women, things go downhill. (…)
Woman to man: Here is my experience!
Man (internal dialogue): Holy shit, that is really awful and I feel really bad about it. I need to go talk to someone about this. I’ll go to the person that I usually go to to share intimate/emotional aspects of myself.
Man to woman: Hearing this makes me feel really bad! And now I’m worried about how you think of me! #NotAllMen are like that! (Importantly, I’m not!)
Woman (internal dialogue): Wow, I just shared a part of myself and my experience and now this guy expects me to help him feel better about the experience of listening to me? And also seems to be devaluing the integrity of what I’m telling him?
Woman to man: Fuck off. Seriously. For Real.”
(Hi again! I’m basically the least consistent writer ever. But this is on my mind and I wanted to try to write about it if I could. Warning: I think I’m pretty frank, and also I swear a fair amount. Also, I am writing from my perspective, not as a representative of women. Just as a representative of me. That said, I make the assumption that a lot of what I have experienced in the realm of sexual harassment/assault/intimidation is pretty across the board for women in my culture. The #YesAllWomen meme resonates strongly with me).
Like most of my friends, much of the news, and many of the writers I follow, I’ve been caught up in the terrible, horrible killing spree of Elliot O Roger, his misogynist manifesto, and what this event reflects about our larger cultural reality. And, like many (much better than me) writers and culture observers, I’ve observed…
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