I read with disgust and dismay about a black male who was talking to women in a group about abuse, rape, and femicide.
The conversation or discussion centered around patriarchy, gender-based violence, and misogyny.
The man tentatively spoke about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child. He was ignored. He then asked if it was only women that were raped that mattered to them.
He as far as I could tell wasn’t intending to derail the post, merely that he could empathize because of what happened to him as a child.
It is a valid question in my opinion.
Almost immediately he was jumped on like vultures on a dying person and they proceeded to lambast him.
Finally, after numerous comments, he was told by one woman in particular that they don’t care what he suffered as a child because they were busy with woman abuse. She then went further on to say that he should open a group for men and talk about his abuse there.
Now, this happened when he was still young and it took him a while to open up about it only for him to be shot down in flames.
The little boy inside the man was looking for answers and yes, maybe the platform wasn’t the right one but could someone not have empathized with him and gently steered him into the direction where he could get the much-needed help.
We want men to open up so we can talk to them about patriarchy, about sexism about misogyny but it would seem that when they do find their voice they are accused of derailing conversations or worse they are told to find help elsewhere.
Have we lost our way that we can’t offer fellow sufferer’s sympathy?
Since when do we take it upon ourselves to diagnose pain online and then based on that we issue our medicine and if the medicine is bitter, then it’s too bad because he is a man.
Yet we are saying boys must cry when they are hurt. Boys must talk about bullying and hurt. Boys must understand they don’t have to be strong all the time but when they open up, we shut them up so fast that they bury their stories of abuse even deeper into their psyche.
This was a boy crying out in pain and this boy’s healing was interrupted.
We need to do better with all our children.