Beyond Dealing With Subjugation
If we are to end the subjugation of women in all its forms each of us (men) must engage in self examination. Such an examination may be informative but at a personal level it is unlikely that the richest forms of discovery will be made.
Certainly there can be worthy endeavors in discussion with women about their experiences. And reading on the topic is worthwhile. But, since there are surely cultural elements as part of the setting, a group examination by men would be worthwhile if not essential.
A Collective Endeavor
Examination is a worthwhile but the problem between men and women is a rich field of endeavor which requires in depth and diverse study. Women have raised an issue to our awareness and now feel enough power themselves that it will not be totally hidden again. But it is also up to men to speak up and together examine themselves personally and their interactions. We men must compare “notes” and experiences if we are to go into depth. The abuse process has been visited upon men themselves as they failed to support potential of all kinds. And there can be cruelty and victimization as the will of someone may be imposed on their fellows. And, regardless of stereotypes it is not at all clear how “real men” really are. Just as with the beginning of the women’s liberation movement when women sat together and examined what had been happening and their belief in a future, men need to begin by sitting together and reflecting. We may be shocked at what we uncover.
Beyond the Issue of Power
Much of the discussion at this time focuses on the issue of men exercising power. But it is essential that we look at the very real possibility that men have been victims as well. There is a distinct element of pressure for focus on specific activities and viewpoints. And certainly the male culture contributes heavily to sexual assault and abuse. And included must also be the concern about self esteem and belief in what constitutes the self. What will surely be found is that the components of this process of male domination and abuse is complex. We must ask what it is that men do to each other. How are they subjugated as well in their own way. Surely there will be surprises and this endeavor will be interesting and surprising.
And then later, or in separate groups, we can sit together, men and women, to evaluate and to share. When the sharing occurs there is the real opportunity for real change.
Please let me hear your thoughts. firstname.lastname@example.org
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