This has really been a rough week for so many; with the Kavanaugh hearing; a lot of people are triggered and emotions are running high. I actually have to admit I don’t have cable news ( or even a TV for that matter) so I miss out on a lot of the details; I read headlines on Facebook and hear people talking about it but I don’t get the full picture. The news is just so negative and full of drama that I have a tendency to just shut out the news because it’s too much; too many players; too much arguing back and forth; it’s not good for my mental health. That being said I have jest of what these hearing is about; Judge Kavanaugh is being accused of attempted rape at a party in the 80s in high school ( a pretty serious accusation). A lot of people these days are being accused of sexual assault; it’s seems like a celebrity or politician is being accused of sexual misconduct each day; and a lot of them have surprised me (Charlie Rose, really?) And while I am shocked and have empathy for these women that are accusing these men; I don’t know them personally so it’s easy to not get emotional because I am looking at as outsider who has never been sexual assaulted and can’t fully understand that pain; but a lot people have ( as I have been finding out recently)
I find myself to be a very sensitive man and have met so many caring women who have been there for me in my life; I admire their strength and courage. I admire how they express their feelings ( some not all); how they show empathy; how they are usually to ones who speak against the injustices of the world.. So when I hear about men who abuse women; my heart breaks because I can sense the pain and anguish the actions of these men cause; the trauma inflicted on these women is life long. I understand trauma in my own way and I have empathy for them because i am a human being who cares about others; but there are so many others in this world that are insensitive; they can listen to a woman describe unbelievable trauma while recounting being sexually assaulted; hear her voice quiver; hands shake and tears rolling down her eyes and not blink an eye. To them it’s all in act to smear the name of good family man; it’s scam; a political ploy; instead of a woman speaking her truth. And then I hear some say “Well why didn’t they come forward earlier?’ Well who wants to relive that trauma in front of a courtroom ( mostly made of men ); have your sexual history on display; be called a liar and told that it didn’t happen and say that you just want money or attention? Why go through all that; especially when you are a teenager. Being bullied as a kid I can remember being ganged up on and when I told the teachers; they told me to just ignore it and it made things worse. I learned not to speak up because it didn’t stop the bullying and no one was going to help me anyways; so I just learned to put up with the bullying because i had no choice. I use that as an example of trying my best to understand why women take so long to come forward ( if they ever come forward at all). Just typing this now makes me feel angry; I feel angry so many men doubt women; so many men say so many disrespectful things towards someone who has been through sexual assault; why are they so quick to judge?. And do so few men stand up for women? That’s my question.
For a long time I didn’t speak up because it wasn’t personal but last year after the allegations of Harvey Weinstein were brought to light; I started seeing all of these statuses from women that said “me too”. I had no idea what that was about; I later found out it was women sharing that they had been victims of sexual assault and harassment; and all of sudden most of my female friends were making “me too” posts; it became personal. These women who were my friends and who I loved were sexually assaulted or harassed at one point by men in their lives; that hurt deeply; I really felt for them. Soon some of them started sharing their stories in more detail and I started to realize how many women were affected by this and how so few of them ever came forward and their seemed to be a recurring theme: fear, fear fear. Either they were threatened or didn’t want to get his male in trouble so they held it in for years and years. Now by sharing this they have nothing to gain; they aren’t taking these guys to court; they are speaking their truth so other women don’t feel so alone; and they’d have no reason to lie. I thought about that; a lot of these accusers are coming forward 15-20 years later; way past the statute of limitations; so they can’t charge this guy. Why would a woman put herself through that trauma all over again; be called a liar in front of everyone; have her sexual history questioned and gain nothing legally from it; if she wasn’t telling the truth, right?. I don’t know; I don’t have statistics and figures; I can only speak from the heart and I believe a lot of women coming forward and I commend them for being so brave; because it takes guts to stand up against powerful men who think they are entitled to sex and see women as solely sex objects with no feelings or worth.
I want to finish this post and talk about a family member who I have not seen since she was a little girl; we actually share the same birthday; she is exactly 6 or 7 years younger than me. I don’t talk to that side of the family so I don’t know about any of them. But I was told that this member in the family was sexually abused at a very young ( 7 or 8) and it was shocking; especially since I had met the boys who had abused her for years. I just felt so furious and had so much hurt in my heart; knowing that cute little innocent girl who was funny and who i went to the pool with and talked with her had been through unimaginable abuse. I can’t describe how it makes me feel except sick. Even though I have no contact with my family; I do love her and she crosses my mind from time to time. I caught up with her on Facebook about a year ago. I messaged her a few times and I could tell she was struggling; she didn’t work; had ptsd ( related to the abuse); and it wasn’t like talking to an adult; it was like talking to a little girl. I realized that the abuse was so bad that emotionally she remained 7 or 8 years of age. I didn’t think it was appropriate to be talking to her; even online so I cut off contact with her and any other family I had on Facebook. But when all this talk of sexual abuse comes up; she does cross my mind. And she’s isn’t lying about the abuse and didn’t tell anyone for years; long after it had ended. I tend to believe most women who come forward because in a rape culture such as ours; I believe that there are many more men out there capable of sexual abuse than I had previously imagined. I hope to continue to be the kind of man who speaks up for women; comforts women; is friends with women; and never stops believing women
I have stated many times that I relate better to women; I feel less comfortable talking to men. Lately I have seen numerous stories about sexual misconduct; the latest being a pastor groping singer Ariana Grande at a funeral for Aretha Franklin in front of a nationwide television ( it’s enough to make anyone sick to their stomach). As someone who writes about the power of God and how one can benefit from spirituality; I find this particularly troubling. Men are using their power to manipulate and control women in order to make sexual advances towards them. Being someone who is less dominant and never been aggressive with women ( anxious and needy at times but never aggressive). While rejection hurt; I never blamed the women who rejected me; I looked within myself to see how I could improve myself and in turn improve my chances; which I hope is a healthy attitude. I hope I have become a man that respects women; because I try not to cross boundaries and am consciously aware of how my actions are perceived ( much more now than in the past).
But we live in an age where the metoo movement is a trending topic in the news; women are understandably wary of men who are too friendly. I wonder at times if my friendliness could be misinterpreted as something more or if I’m chiming in on conversations I should stay out of. I don’t get a lot of opportunities to meet women in person that I’d be interested in getting to know ( you don’t meet many people working in retail); I find my interactions on social media ( including my blog) are mainly with women; some I know and some I don’t know. I often wonder if I comment on a woman’s photo that I don’t know well; does she think I am try to come on to her when in reality I am just trying to be friendly? I comment on anything I find interesting especially if it’s a fellow writer. I don’t know
Some of interactions with women offline I admit can be awkward. I was at a poetry reading and there was a young girl and she recited a poem relating to metoo; afterwards I walked up to her and shook her hand and told her I really liked the poem she wrote ( i shake everyone’s hand out of habit) she gave me this upset look and said nothing; I walked away thinking I may have overstepped my bounds; I didn’t mean to; I was just trying to be friendly but I maybe shouldn’t have said anything. I tend to over analyze situations like that. Another time I was out at a bar late at night and I was dancing with this beautiful woman and we were dancing close. Without thinking I put my hand on her shoulder and she backed away and excused herself; I felt so bad. She had every right to be upset; I did it out of ignorance and not malice. I realized I shouldn’t have put my hands on a woman like that and that would never happen again. I wonder how much of these mistakes are related to being on the autistic spectrum and failing to recognize social cues; I am really working on these things.
I really do try to be respectful of women and try to relate to them but these days as a man you have to be careful because so many men pretend to be kind and respectful in order to make sexual advances towards women; that isn’t me. I just realize how as a man; I need to think more clearly before I act. I mentioned this in a Facebook post and a friend said that the fact I am even questioning this means I am respectful of women and she observed how I talked to my female friends and assured me I was fine ( as far as my online behavior was concerned). Its something that bothers me and I hope the females I communicate know that my intentions are always innocent and that I have never behaved otherwise.
Thanks for listening
I want to make make a post about mother’s day since it is almost here. I want to first say that I would be lying if I said my relationship with my mother has been perfect; it has been difficult for both of us. I think we are a lot alike which I think has caused some conflict; but it certainty has improved; especially I started sharing my writings and my mom is seeing another side of me; a side I don’t express to anyone. My mom is my biggest fan and I couldn’t be happier; all my life she has been my biggest advocate; fighting to get me the doctors I needed and to get me the accommodations for my learning disabilities. Nobody has fought harder for me than my mom; no one. So while we didn’t always get along I admire my mother because she is a strong woman. That’s probably why I admire women who speak their minds and live their own lives. I have never been one to think women should relegated to just cleaning the house or cooking; they can and should do whatever they put their minds too. I have the respect for women mainly because of her. My parents raised two difficult children and did the best she could despite the difficult circumstances. She grew up in a tough environment and I have always thanked her for not repeating the patterns of the past; it takes en extraordinary person to not continue the cycle and I commend her for that. As i have grown older and gained more respect for my mom; I also appreciate all the other mothers. It must be a tough job to be a mom; a lot of hard work; sleepless nights; phone calls from the school ( my mom had plenty of those) the pain of birth; all things I can’t imagine. But to bring another person into this world; to love and care for them and watch them grow up is an amazing thing. The world is a cold place but it’s nice to know that for some of us; we can always rely on our moms for love and support. Besides my mom I always felt I was surrounded by women who gave me maternal support; women who loved and protected me as I grow up; just another reason for me to have to the upmost respect for mothers and woman in general. I thought of them as angels at the time. So to my mom ( who reads my blog everyday) Happy mother’s day and thank you and I love you so much. Thank for always been there for me on my tough days; listening to me; supporting me and accepting me who I am. I hope I was able to express in this post how I feel and for you understand how much you mean to me. And to all the other mothers I happen to know; thank you for all you do. I may not be married or have kids but I really admire you .
You have a friend in me
For many years I struggled with watching pornography; it is everywhere these days; you can’t escape it. There are thousand of free porn sites that anyone ( including those that are minors) can access without any age restrictions; and it isn’t just vanilla porn; it’s hardcore pornography; anything you can think of within legal limits is available mostly for free online. It all too easy to become addicted. And if it isn’t pornography; it’s sensual videos on YouTube ( a lot female youtubers tend to flaunt their sexuality; mostly to attract male viewers) or it’s half naked girls on Instagram or any other social media; just a never ending stream of lust. It almost makes you sick; you see women as objects; you don’t care about their brains and what they have to say; it’s about their bodies. I used to use a metaphor for it; it’s like putting a drug addict in a room and there is a constant stream of free drugs; anything he wants; anytime of day; free of charge. I started thinking to myself; what is this doing to my mind? How is this affecting the way I view women. How do I see myself seeing this endless stream of scantily clad woman all day everyday; and not real women mind you; but pixels and videos; not reality.? I think it got to the point where I couldn’t look women in the face because I felt so much shame at seeing women degraded and abused on a daily basis. I mean how can you relate and have relationships with women when you see them as objects; spit on, kicked, called names, in pain while the crew and cameramen around them laugh at their expense? Something inside of me started feeling hurt by watching this; I was hurt for these women. A thought came to me that at one point they were all little girls; did they dream that one day they’d be having sex on camera for millions to see; to be abused on screen; at risk for contracting AIDS and other diseases; having their family and friends possibly find out about their porn acting and be ostracized ( I read about one young girl who took her own life because a college classmate found her porn audition video; heartbreaking), having those behind the camera making twice as much while the pornstars take all the risks. Is money worth losing your soul over? But something amazing happened when I stopped looking at pornography so much; I automatically respected women more; I saw them less as objects and more as human beings worthy of my respect and admiration. I want to connect with women; I want to relate them; I want to understand women because I felt so bad about watching all of this garbage over the years. It lead me other unhealthy behaviors that I regret; porn is sort of like the gateway drug to other things. For me personally when I turned my life to God; it’s as if he freed me from that addiction. I felt less of a need to look at it because I saw it as ugly and against the kind of life that Jesus would want to me to lead.. I don’t want to preach or demand that porn be banned; because that will never happen. Adults have a legal right to do whatever the hell they want to do but this is something I have wanted to write about for a long time. I want people to see how destructive porn is; how many lives it has ruined; suicides; drug overdoses; aids, ; murders; a huge rate of death within the adult film industry and none of that matters to the pornographer because there will always a cute 18 year girl right out of high school; ignorant to the world that they can use; abuse and throw out like yesterday’s garbage; it’s heartbreaking. I mean this is an industry that refuses to have their workers wears condoms; in this day and age where there is still no cure for AIDS and the rest of us have to use condoms to protect ourselves from disease; the porn industry only cares about money and will put performers at risk to line their greedy pockets; they don’t care who dies as a result of their wickedness. So I for one chose to stay away from pornography; I want a healthy relationship with a woman; I want to feel better about myself. I don’t want to contribute to the abuse and degradation of women; I have respect for them and have many female friends; they are more than objects; they are people I care about it. So I hope I have been honest in this post; this was difficult to write but I feel I needed to say it.
As always, Thank for listening
There has been a lot of talk about the #metoo movement on social media, I applaud women for being so brave to share their painful stories and to call out men who sexually harass and assault women. It’s about time that we started talking about these issues and hopefully this can start the healing process for so many women who have been abused by the men in their lives. As a man, it hurt me deeply to see so many of my female friends post #metoo statuses. I have known a lot of wonderful women in my life who I care about and who were there for me in my toughest days. In fact, my most meaningful friendships have been with women. So when I realized that at some point, most of them experienced some form of harassment, I couldn’t help but angry at my fellow men for behaving this way. When women talk; I tend to listen. I don’t interrupt them or contradict their stories, I listen. So reading articles about #metoo from women has been truly heartbreaking. But I think people fail to see that the #metoo movement isn’t about just women but as men as well. I think that it’s not only important for women to share their stories but its just as important for men to listen and to show their support for the women in our lives. We can’t change our behavior without listening to what women have to say. And we as men shouldn’t be afraid to call out men who harass and objectify women. There have been times in my life where I didn’t always value women; I am man enough to admit that. I laughed at lewd jokes, I stayed silent when I should have spoken out, I saw women as objects and that was wrong. I am trying my hardest to become a better man. A man who appreciates and respects women; a man who values my friendships with women. ( because they have been important). I sometimes feel as A guy, it is not my place to speak and that I should step back and let the women have their say. But I have never been one to stand by and stay silent when I see anyone being treated with such disrespect. I hope we can get to the point where he don’t need a #metoo movement. A time where can all treat each other with respect and most importantly treat each other as equals. I stand with women everywhere you have my support; continue being brave and speaking your truth. You have a friend in me.
Are we becoming more a matriarchal society where women play a more prominent role and are treated with the respect they deserve?. Where women are treated as equals and we become a society where sensitivity is an asset and we solve our problems diplomatically. I hope so because patriarchy doesn’t serve anyone well. Not only does it hurt women but it hurts us men as well. I for one, welcome matriarchy, we all need it. So to the women, letting you know you always have my support and admiration. Dave