second class survivors? TW

pedropedro

Registrant
Over the past few weeks, I have been suffering shame, anger, fear, and despair. However, I manage to recover by thinking of all the things I have to look forward to, over the next several days and decades - from visiting an old housemate in Eau Claire this weekend, to February 1, 2107 - when I officially become the oldest person in history. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to address an uncomfortable truth that we all as individuals, and as a society, need to acknowledge.

Yes, I and the many other abused men I’ve talked to often wonder if we are still men - but I haven’t heard any being made to think we are less of a man by either men or by women. What I do often experience is receiving messages that we are “second class victims/survivors”. Many have received this message from other men, from women, and I have from nearly all feminists I’ve talked to.

I know I get sucked into this. OCD sucks. PTSD sucks. My life does not suck, but this needs to be said, and not just for my sake.

It’s time for us all as individuals and as a society that we be aware of this sad truth. Males are just as likely to be abused as females are, and several times more likely to be victims than perps.

The vast majority of service groups are abysmal in the further marginalization of many survivors, including, but not limited to, males. There are also many activist groups and individuals, at the local and global level, who are less assets to the community than they are liabilities - including to female victims/survivors. Time for us to call all abusers - as well as those who re-victimize any survivors - accountable.

This is actually what #MeToo creator Tarana Burke has tried to create - but which has been obscured by many who falsely claim to support or follow her. Burke herself, in tweets on August 20, 2018, stated: ‘I’ve said repeatedly that the #metooMVMT is for all of us, including these brave young men who are now coming forward. It will continue to be jarring when we hear the names of some of our faves connected to sexual violence unless we shift from talking about individuals ...and begin to talk about power. Sexual violence is about power and privilege. That doesn’t change if the perpetrator is your favorite actress, activist or professor of any gender.
And we won’t shift the culture unless we get serious about shifting these false narratives. My hope is that as more folks come forward, particularly men, that we prepare ourselves for some hard conversations about power and humanity and privilege and harm. This issue is less about crime & punishment and more about harm and harm reduction. A shift can happen. This movement is making space for possibility. But, it can only happen after we crack open the whole can of worms and get really comfortable with the uncomfortable reality that there is no one way to be a perpetrator. .and there is no model survivor.
We are imperfectly human and we all have to be accountable for our individual behavior.
 

KMCINVA

Greeter
Staff member
pedropedro

Thank you for sharing. I believe society cannot understand men are abused. I believe education in abuse, trauma etc. needs to be provided to all in the medical, educational, law enforcement who encounter trauma victims. I remember coming out of a fugue lying in the emergency room. I heard two nurses imitating a woman who came in and had been raped. They laughed saying she probably was cheating on husband and needed an excuse. One nurse heard them and said, she is showing signs of trauma and told them to learn about trauma because they were hurting a victim. I admired the nurse and had the opportunity to talk with her. She said training in trauma is superficial and doctors are just as bad and she said more needs to be done because first reactions can set how the victim will heal.

The comments I heard from some teachers and nurses were shocking--are you sure it happened that way? to you remember it or did someone tell you it happened? and as on. Sadly, people in society listen to their ignorance. At the same time I met wonderful nurses, doctors, educators who had empathy and were not afraid to admit they know little about trauma but were and have been here to support me. Sadly, the negative people who lack the ability to admit they do not know how the mind works create a challenge for survivors to heal.

I am not sure how society can be changed as long as the naysayers remain vocal and continue on their destructive path.

Kevin
 

dark empathy

Registrant
I can't speak on the attitudes of the founder, but I personally wish the me too hysteria had never happened at all.

I have no chance publishing my own work, because everything is so female centric, I'm seeing the constant onslaught of misandry in the media which is even making fiction impossible.

Right now, I'm just existing, taking care of my lady, hoping that misandry stops, because my life is stalled, and never mind trying to get actual help because there really isn't any.

I find myself actively struggling with feelings of resentment over the benefits society gives women, indeed I'm hoping that the Jonny Depp trial will see at least some degree of change, albeit I'm not too optimistic about that.

Either way, in this instance I agree with pedro, men are second class survivors at best.

heck, in a world where being called "male", seems to be an insult, where any viewpoint or experience can be instantly dismissed as a "male perspective", much less a "white male perspective", and where the idea of "invisible privilege", means that you can't even argue against this label, even ordinary men who are not survivors seem to be finding things difficult.

So for myself, I'm just hoping things change before I get too old to actually do anything with my life.

I did want to argue against this and present a reasonable perspective, but I just feel powerless, then again, feeling powerless is pretty much my default state these days, and something I got used to as a teenager.

Like always, its just a game of wait and hope the wind changes and the aggressive, nasty, women in power go somewhere else, but then again that's just how the world works.

Luke.
 
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Celtaf

Registrant
A lot of ordinary people are lazy, ignorant, and stupid. That is why APPS are so popular. But as far as the movement leaders and influencers go, they want to present a simple, black and white story that they can either gain further influence from or push ideology from. I would argue that male feminists or feminism supporters can be the worst of these. Part of their identity lies in being supporters of feminism because as men they have privilege.

Generally, the deniers of the importance of male survivors have the following characteristics:

1. There is only so much compassion to go around. So you can either give all the compassion to female victims or none at all. Unless the man becomes a trans woman; then it's okay.

2. Males, men, whatever, take up too much space already. They need to make room for females. Unless they're trans men; they get to take up a large space.

3. If you start talking about male victims, you have to admit that women are not always victims, but are sometimes victimizers.

4. If you start talking about male victims, you cannot say that all men victimize all women.

5. Male victims are not really talking about the difficulties they face as survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of women or men; they just want to attack feminism.

6. There are of course more conservative/traditional deniers who simply believe that men cannot be abused by women, and still find gay male rape to be somewhat hilarious.
 

pedropedro

Registrant
I was thinking about feminism vs misandry. I have known individual feminists who are and aren't misandrists - but those who aren't coddle those who do. Since misandry was a big part of all our abuse experiences, so I gather, I have never met a feminist who has called out misandrists out loud in front of them - not a single one. Thus feminists, even those who don't hate men themselves, passively enable those who do - as well as abusive women, sexually and otherwise. I sometimes wonder if this is hipocrytical but I'm not saying this about women - but about a movement - not a demographic group. Ideologies are choices and can and *should* be criticised. Feminists can be of any gender, and the considerable majority of people overall; men, women, and others; aren't feminists. I guess the hard part is questioning a belief I was raised with and seeing it as less than benevolent. I do believe there is a slow, painful solution - as Tarana Burke herself said, it's time we had uncomfortable conversations about power - that may be painful for everyone. Although discrimination against women is undeniable (and there are laws and businesses that discriminate against men), we may have to think that power doesn't have as much to do with gender as is commonly thought - that men, as a gender, don't have as much power over women, as a gender, as much as many may think. I'm critical of an idea - and any idea that *can* be destroyed by the truth, *should* be. I'm not hating on a gender (or race or whatever).
 
Over the past few weeks, I have been suffering shame, anger, fear, and despair. However, I manage to recover by thinking of all the things I have to look forward to, over the next several days and decades - from visiting an old housemate in Eau Claire this weekend, to February 1, 2107 - when I officially become the oldest person in history. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to address an uncomfortable truth that we all as individuals, and as a society, need to acknowledge.

Yes, I and the many other abused men I’ve talked to often wonder if we are still men - but I haven’t heard any being made to think we are less of a man by either men or by women. What I do often experience is receiving messages that we are “second class victims/survivors”. Many have received this message from other men, from women, and I have from nearly all feminists I’ve talked to.

I know I get sucked into this. OCD sucks. PTSD sucks. My life does not suck, but this needs to be said, and not just for my sake.

It’s time for us all as individuals and as a society that we be aware of this sad truth. Males are just as likely to be abused as females are, and several times more likely to be victims than perps.

The vast majority of service groups are abysmal in the further marginalization of many survivors, including, but not limited to, males. There are also many activist groups and individuals, at the local and global level, who are less assets to the community than they are liabilities - including to female victims/survivors. Time for us to call all abusers - as well as those who re-victimize any survivors - accountable.

This is actually what #MeToo creator Tarana Burke has tried to create - but which has been obscured by many who falsely claim to support or follow her. Burke herself, in tweets on August 20, 2018, stated: ‘I’ve said repeatedly that the #metooMVMT is for all of us, including these brave young men who are now coming forward. It will continue to be jarring when we hear the names of some of our faves connected to sexual violence unless we shift from talking about individuals ...and begin to talk about power. Sexual violence is about power and privilege. That doesn’t change if the perpetrator is your favorite actress, activist or professor of any gender.
And we won’t shift the culture unless we get serious about shifting these false narratives. My hope is that as more folks come forward, particularly men, that we prepare ourselves for some hard conversations about power and humanity and privilege and harm. This issue is less about crime & punishment and more about harm and harm reduction. A shift can happen. This movement is making space for possibility. But, it can only happen after we crack open the whole can of worms and get really comfortable with the uncomfortable reality that there is no one way to be a perpetrator. .and there is no model survivor.
We are imperfectly human and we all have to be accountable for our individual behavior.
Some of what you said has brought to mind that I have so little tolerance for women sharing their stories in places that I perceive are supposed to be for male survivors. Perhaps it's because my mother hid my abuse. The podcast "No longer ashamed" had several female guests on lately. I just can't listen to it. After the second female guest I realize that they never said it was a podcast for male survivors of abuse. My mistake.
 

Silverhand

Registrant
Since misandry was a big part of all our abuse experiences, so I gather, I have never met a feminist who has called out misandrists out loud in front of them - not a single one.
I can say I have actually met one such person: one of my law school professors.

She had brought in one of her former clients to do guest lecture in our wrongful conviction seminar. This woman had confronted her husband about cheating on her, and the guy is found dead the next day. Turns out the guy had committed suicide, but a lazy detective (also a guy) just went with "the wife always did it" theory, pinned the case on her. Then the DA (yet another guy) got her convicted of murder, and she spent over a decade in jail until my professor finally got the conviction thrown out. Point is, this woman had some legitimate grievances against some of the men in her life.

But when the former client started going on a tirade about all men being liars and cheats, my professor cut her off and reminded her that there was a man in the audience (for some reason the other two guys in the class missed that lecture). Admittedly, this was more about acknowledging that I would be insulted by her comments rather than saying the underlying beliefs were actually objectionable. But still, it is at least a start.
 
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