Peace. My good sister JoNubian penned one of the more enlightening blog entries I’ve read in some time. It stirred in me a variety of emotions ranging from sadness to anger in a span of seconds. Here’s my attempt to speak to her words.
I have to preface this entry by saying nearly every woman I’ve ever loved or cared deeply for has been sexually assaulted or raped. I know full well every woman I’ve ever dated has been harassed publicly by men. I cannot express to you all how deeply that angers me. That it happens so often, so often also saddens me. I don’t know how to approach this entry but I will do my best to speak honestly and openly to it all.
When I read JoNubian’s blog about Sexual Terrorism, a portion of her blog made more than a few tears drop from my eyes. She spoke of when she learned of the vile gang rape of the 15-year old girl in California and how she took the discussion to Twitter (where JoNubian is always sharing great, insightful things). She mentioned how women privately said that they too went through the same thing. All I could ask was “how/why did it happen” in my mind. I couldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t stop hurting. But in my moment of empathy, I wondered if I was seeing it from all sides. I didn’t want this to be an empty thing I was feeling.
I left a comment on JoNubian’s blog (that has yet to be approved so I can’t recall or see my points) but I said in short that patriarchy and my Male privilege in this world have aligned me with men who abuse it — albeit with measurable reluctance or resistance. I know full well I am not like the rapists and oppressors of women worldwide but I do realize I’ve accepted archaic notions of manhood and womanhood. I said in those comments, and I paraphrase, if we (Men) continue to rub our noses in the steaming pile of oppression and privilege we’ve wielded, perhaps we’d end this cycle of violence and sexual abuse against women.
I know it’s in my warrior nature to want to protect women and children. I’ve always been protective of my lovers — in public and in private. I’ve always been quick to defend them, even when it wasn’t asked of me. I suffered a knife wound and scar in my neck (near my jugular vein) from protecting a woman from harm — and I’d do it again. I know that for all my supposed Hetero-Male tendencies, I VALUE women much more than I can express here in this space. I’m learning that there is a balance in being protective and loving that only time teaches a person.
I don’t know the pathology that leads men (and women) to rape or sexually assault a woman. I don’t have the capacity to even act it out or pretend to come close to that mindset. The thought alone disgusts me and I realize that the act is a tool of force, an instrument of destruction. It is meant to break a person. Rape is a person exacting their sheer will and dominance over another, disregarding everything human about the person they’re harming. Even at my worst, I could lower myself to that level. I then go further and wonder how are these people led to think this activity is even remotely acceptable. How is it learned or even encouraged? So many questions.
I urge any man who’s reading this to check out JoNubian’s entry and pay close attention to the honesty and candor she writes with about this awful violence against women. I want you to focus on her very real, valid fears concerning this looming spectre of sexual terrorism. I need you to check your brothers on their actions and raise your sons with honor. Teach them that welding their power in this evil fashion is WRONG. If we don’t do our part to shift the pattern, your daughters, your sisters, your mothers, your partners….all are in danger. It’s fine time we stepped up to put an end to this.