Men: what mess are we truly in?

In a recent article in the Brisbane Courier Mail “New age ‘medicine’ of Serge Benhayon leaves trail of broken families” written by Josh Robertson and Liam Walsh, there were a couple of references about women which on first reading I thought nothing of: “… which has 2000 mainly female followers”; “After breast massage, clients are told to use Universal Medicine cream to deter bad energy, and to not allow their partners to touch them without permission”. In all honesty I can say that it did not stir anything in me, it was like I could see the words and yet nothing moved.

Yes, I can admit that on first read it was like the lines were glossed out, foggy, I could not see the ‘truth for the lies’, so to speak. I then read more of the responses from others, all women with the same strong message that this was not acceptable and a denigration of women. I felt uncomfortable, awkward and part of something much bigger and more subtle than I could imagine.

I was then able to comment on the articles because I too could feel the harm, but not truly how menacing the words were. I asked the questions as much for myself as for others to ponder.

I went back to the original article and realised – actually baulked at the inference that women were somehow stupid and docile, like sheep who followed under the orders of a man’s wish. To me this displays an arrogance where women are regarded as secondary, without respect for what they choose; that they have rights; that they are our equals.

It was then that the depth of this started to unravel. Yes I was squirming, yes I got angry, and sad, and really did not know what to do with what I was feeling.

Had I been part of this for so very long? Was I party to it? Was I in my own way responsible too for the way that a woman is viewed, treated and lived with? The resounding YES reverberated around my body and I felt stunned, shocked and deeply upset.

I recognise that there is a lot worse behaviour out there in the world, but I have to admit that I too have been held by beliefs and ideals that put a woman second. The abuse you see here demonstrated is much more subtle and more refined than we really know. I have protested, mostly silently, that the washing is not my job. I have, like many others, chosen to hide in work to escape a share in the household chores. I have gotten angry and used my voice and physical presence to dominate and show force to get what I want. I have made it all about me – ‘I am the man’, ‘I am the most important’, ‘I bring home the bacon’.

Men: what mess are we truly in?

The way that men have treated women with utter disdain and disregard has been evident over centuries. It continues in all societies – even with the more recent “equality”. For a long time women were not eligible to vote, a ‘fight’ for equality was sought, and was one that resulted in a ‘victory’. But is it possible that in such an event, the control was always ever with the men? That there was an unconscious intention to bring about a challenge by women, resulting in women further succumbing to the wills of men; that they may be brought into the male world where you get what you fight for?

How utterly miserable that we as men have allowed such degrading of women the world over and that this continues unchecked, without remorse or a STOP.

Is it possible that in order to ‘play ball’ we allow women some surface freedom, but really deeply control them by the many beliefs that we subscribe to, including the ‘fact’ that men are ‘in charge, in control’.

The home I grew up in was one of those see-saw homes. One minute the sun was shining and you were soaring high into the clouds full of joy, laughing and loving everything – the next plunged into the shadows where reality struck hard and fast and made you cry for hours: domestic violence. For those that have experienced it first hand it is a ‘living hell’. Frightening and fearful it tears at every living membrane, terrifying every moment. As children you huddle together knowing deeply what is happening… but completely powerless. My father drank and abused alcohol. The punching and screaming was deafening and yet nothing was ever done to stop this. He was the man ‘in charge’, ‘in control’, ‘the provider’, ‘the breadwinner’. Neighbours would support through the bad times, until the sun started appearing through the clouds again and things felt settled, a little calmer. And then it would happen again. And it always did.

How is it possible that a whole extended family, neighbours and friends would never intervene?

How is it possible that the law would not pull this man aside and put an end to all that was done?

How is it possible that society turned a blind eye?

“…the man knows how to run his house…as long as he didn’t hurt her too much or kill her it will sort itself out…”

When my father beat my mother it was not one man against one woman. It was in fact the ‘whole of man’ forcefully seeking control over the ‘whole of women’.

Startling statistics exist on domestic violence and yet what appears to be happening is even more dangerous… the media are denigrating women everywhere with their insufficient research and sensationalist angles. In a recent topic paper published by the Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse, titled ‘Australian Statistics on Domestic Violence’1, the following statistics were reported:

*23% of women who had ever been married or in a de-facto relationship, experienced violence by a partner at some time during the relationship.

42% of women who had been in a previous relationship reported violence by a previous partner.

Half of women, 1 in 2 experiencing violence by their current partner experienced more than one incident of violence. Injuries sustained were mainly bruises, cuts, and scratches, but also included stab or gunshot wounds, and other injuries.

12% of women who reported violence by their current partner at some stage during the relationship, said they were currently living in fear.

The above data cannot reflect the true picture of women’s experiences of domestic and family violence as it does not record other forms of abuse; emotional, social and financial etc. that often occur alongside the violence.

Denigrating women through words, as those seen in the Courier Mail article, cements certain beliefs that support physical and mental abuse against women; i.e., ‘what do they know’? It is not a big jump to domestic violence.

So what message gets passed on, and what does society allow when it says nothing – allows, then turns its ‘proverbial back’? ‘That it is fine… really, they are only women.’ It is appalling that the abuse continues at this level, and even more appalling is that it is not checked on any level. Now it seems that the media is happy to weigh in with their throwaway comments. IT IS NOT INNOCENT.

There is a line here that has been stood on for centuries, that is still being abused everywhere, even now in the western ‘more civilised’ nations it is very subtle and has far reaching effects. Is it possible that ‘the media’ no longer recognises that there is an equality of man and woman? That for all the words and hat-tipping to the ‘women’ it is just that, a show, a ruse with dire consequences that women have borne the brunt of for ages. The beliefs and ideals that have been so deftly hidden and tucked away are now spilling out for all to see and read.

What have we allowed into a world that ‘pretends’ at being equal?

Is it possible that as men we have a responsibility in everything that we do, write, say, touch, think?

Is it possible that when we are angry at the women we live with, that we are expressing anger towards all women?

Is it possible that fueling the abuse against women everywhere is that expressed anger and frustration?

I know for a fact I am not responsible for all of the abuse against women. Yet as a man I am learning that every action has a consequence. I just did not realise how big until today. It has gone unchecked for so long in our world it is time that we as men all stepped up and faced the truth that we are so far away from. Stop, take stock and start to walk back toward it.

by Lee Green, Perth, Australia

References:

  1. Australian Domestic and Family Violence Clearinghouse Topic Paper: Australian Statistics on Domestic Violence: http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/topic_papers.htm [Accessed 10 Sep 2012]

313 thoughts on “Men: what mess are we truly in?

  1. I know this feeling it is very familiar
    “As children you huddle together knowing deeply what is happening… but completely powerless.”
    You know your mother is in trouble and needs help and you feel utterly helpless to do anything about it. Then everyone acts as if nothing has happened as the mother tries to gain some sort of normalness to what has happened. But everything has changed nothing feels like it will ever be the same again and nothing can be because we know that this is not the way to treat anyone, let alone someone you at one time stood in front of the alter of the church and said you would love. What an absolute lie we live. We lie to ourselves and we lie to each other and the worse thing about all this is we accept the lies.

  2. If women have to be more like men to be considered equal then we lose out on what a woman naturally brings as she goes through life more like a man. Also, women aren’t victims because I’ve seen women put other women ‘in their place’ in line with these male-dominated constructs.

  3. Your honesty is very repairing here Lee, as it gives voice to the truth of your experience and from there, we can find a deeper understanding of how and why we feed abuse in our lives. When we are that honest we are able to observe our hurts, belief system and inherited patterns that condition us and then, choose again, from another perspective, no longer in reaction, but in connection to who we really are and what unites us beyond our gender.

  4. In a few days time it will be International Women’s Day 2019 with a focus on gender equality. The fact that we don’t live in equality and have any kind of abuse between the sexes shows what a mess both genders are in. Yes, gender equality is necessary but it’s more than raising wages and ensuring equal education, it can’t just be on the surface, true gender equality would take immense honesty for every individual in the world to eradicate beliefs and ideals about genders, and to return to living from our innate loving essence – something that is possible and worth doing.

  5. “How is it possible that society turned a blind eye?” Many in society are turning a blind eye to the inequality that persists while at the same time attempting to blind everyone to the truth of the Ageless Wisdom that is presented by Serge Benhayon.

  6. We need to get to a place in society where we see that any time we hold another down as less than a human being equal to all others and equally deserving of love, decency and respect, it is a form of violation that leads to what we call violence.

  7. I love how you place our microcosmic world into the big wider macro-cosmic picture, we may not be physically abusive at home, but do we speak up when something is wrong? Are we consistently loving? And what effect does the way we live have on the world?

  8. Thank you Lee, this is a deeply moving and honest article. You expose the abuse that still exists everywhere even in our so called ‘liberal’ societies, and the biggest lie told is that women are now more equal, that may appear so, but in fact what has happened is women have been asked to be a part of the world as men, to behave based on ‘standards’ created and maintained by men and now we have a situation where those same ‘standards’ are maintained by both men and women and those who cannot measure up are somehow failing. But this is not equality, this is not truly meeting women for who they are and what they bring and this incarcerates both women and men. And how is this exposed in those articles such as those referred to here, where women stepping outside the so called ‘normal standards’ and caring for themselves more deeply are denigrated and dismissed as mindless idiots. And this is the underlying understanding that all women have, we can be part of the world, we can work and be seemingly equal but always underneath all of this is the fear of that denigration, or that dismissals and we stave that off by being the good woman, the good worker, the good wife etc., but nothing in any of this is about us as women being truly accepted as we are, and we all lose out in this. For women in truth bring a quality of stillness that is needed in this world by both men and women and women by and large do not live that stillness out of fear and our own comfort. And what I feel strongly here is the responsibility we all carry to see our comforts, to understand how we all bring something deeply important and starting with the honest conversation of where we are and what we’ve allowed supports this.

  9. Is it possible that we have all allowed ourselves to be ‘degraded’ and that Domestic Violence is one of the inevitable outcomes? When we choose the path of inequality, we choose separation, comparison, competition. In short, we choose an unnatural way of being – an all that goes with it.

  10. The title of this article could easily be written as ‘ Women: what mess are we truly in?” As I re-read this blog, I felt the role and responsibility of women to empower themselves and not be demeaned and abused by men. As a young woman much of what happened in my relationships with men arose from within me: lack of self worth, belief and love. Without a strong sense of self makes us an easy target for anyone including men, who if not overtly abusive are themselves damaged and lost.

  11. Not only do these statistics not represent the financial, social and emotional abuse but they are not accurate because so many men and women don’t report what is truly going on in their homes. Also, so many of us don’t account abuse to be the raising of one’s voice over another or the subtle denigrating behaviours which can crush a person without a touch of a finger. There is so much in our society we are choosing to close a blind eye to that unless we begin to be truly honest and open about what is going on, nothing will change.

  12. Being honest I have been part of this dismissive way of looking and behaving to women too, but now can see that it was not me doing that but a collective energy that I allowed to come through me and used me for its evil pursuit. With that I will not say that I am not responsible for this behaviour as I am, but that it was not from my true essence and because of not wanting to connect to this at that time I connected to that other false essence outside of me that made me to behave like I did. And until we will become aware that we can be used by energies we are not, this behaviour could go on for ages, as it are any has done and therefore seems to be so normal.

  13. As man we dig our own graves so to say by the behaviour that is commonly held against women. As the sacredness in women is our saviour to come out of the falseness we have chosen to live but which we continue to suppressed by the dismissiveness men tend to held to women.

  14. Until each and everyone of us expose in ourselves where we self-abuse and abuse others by even holding a thought of being less, then we will not truly deal with extreme abuse and violence such as what’s mentioned in this blog. Reading the statistics I could feel how there was no care or love in them they were simply statistics, showing that your either a statistic or you don’t fall in that category and that is what also supports us in seeing ourselves as separate. As in, that’s not happening to me instead of seeing that that is happening to all women and to all men even if it was happening to only one person.

    1. Yes Aimee, we are so disconnected form one another that we can read the statistics as that’s not me. But that is not true as we are all connected as one, therefore all the abuse that is in the world is constantly felt by all of us. Until we will become aware of the fact that we naturally are so much more connected than we now live in our societies, the statistics will stay as loveless and empty as they are today.

  15. What happens when we witness abuse in the homes of those we know and love. What is our responsibility and how willing are we to speak up regardless of the reactions we will inevitably meet? There comes a point when no action is ‘action’: by refusing to see truth we accept and condone abuse.

  16. As a woman, I can honestly say that as awful as it is to be the receiver of the ‘I am the man’ imposition, it is just as horrific to feel in my body the choice to accept this as part of a supposedly loving relationship. Which means, for me, that a man will only ever do this in my presence because or if I have accepted a lesser role than him, that is, if I have chosen to be ‘only the woman’. Because the truth is, that no amount of aggression can hold up to the true and awesome love of a woman in her full power.

  17. The expression ‘same same, but different’ is the best way I can think to express our equality: man to woman. Its not a competition, and we certainly don’t need women to out perform the men at their own game, but about understanding the true qualities of each and then allowing those qualities to play an equal part, and have equal importance in the house and in life.

  18. Thank you for taking a moment to consider what has been taken as normal that in fact is part and parcel of the subtle denigration and denial of women. We have all been under it – this is not just men but men and women. I take my hat off to the women who have brought it to my attention, who have stood up and stood out so I can question what I have taken as normal.

  19. I too did not clock the harm and denigration implied in the said article without being prompted by the responses and comments, and I am a woman. It is mortifying to feel how given up I have become and accepted denigration as part of being a woman – not just because of how society is, but because I have not been honouring myself as a woman.

  20. We are very numb as to how we use language and how abusive and undermining that language is … towards women, towards minorities … even in so called civilised nations nothing has really changed for these attitudes are still prevalent and it is indeed a slippery slope for anything which denigrates another is in fact adding to the energy that allow wider and more extreme violence against those others.

  21. And what I am becoming more aware of or refining are the beliefs and ideals I have taken on placing the man before me, that he knows more than me, he says, so it must be true, he brings in the money and I have to look up to that etc, etc – these beliefs are all around me and are still at play, yet I have always known the untruth of these beliefs and ideals bringing much reaction and sadness in me throughout the years, not necessarily towards the man but towards the woman, myself included for allowing these behaviours to occur in our every day lives.

  22. Yes, it is a big ‘ouch’ to acknowledge how easily and subtly the abuse of women occurs, irrespective of the overt abuse, and what is even subtler is that through that abuse men are also abused. Everyone is a loser, there are no winners.

  23. Great blog Lee, I loved reading all that you wrote especially ‘I know for a fact I am not responsible for all of the abuse against women. Yet as a man I am learning that every action has a consequence. I just did not realise how big until today.’ A truly beautiful statement and if we brought our children up to realise that there are consequences and how to take responsibility then the world would start to change.

  24. Abuse can be very subtle and does not have to be physical, as in fists and kicks. Abuse is in our language, written and spoken and it is the means by which we perpetuate the misery we all live in, men as well as women. We might make all the right gestures, perform our duties, open doors and tip our hat but as long as the underlying sentiment has not changed, nothing has truly changed.

  25. Thank you Lee for sharing so honestly your own feelings about domestic violence, abuse towards women by men. It is so imbedded in society especially in men that women are inferior, are less, religion has a large part to play in this respect, with the man being head of the house, so beautiful for you to feel so deeply into your own part and to come to understand the very subtle actions that don’t look like abuse but ultimately are the forerunner of abuse.

  26. Beautiful honesty Lee. Domestic abuse doesn’t start when a man hits a woman, it starts long before. And even if at the point it starts and at various places along the spectrum, domestic violence may be in no way present, it is all in the same pool. Until we address the deeper layers that you have opened up and exposed, we’ll all stay in that same icky pool.

  27. Amazing article Lee. There is so much we do not want to see and that we collude with convincing ourselves that we are somehow then better than the more extreme cases … but our collusion allows the extreme, and until we’re willing to address that the extremes will continue … the truth is anything which degrades another no matter how small is the abuse.

    1. So very well said Monica. Because there are extremes the more subtle abuse is not seen as serious as it actually is. Even someone with holding money from their partner or not allowing them to go out with friends or telling them they look awful in an outfit is all abuse. Intentions are everything, and the more we read them and question or call them out the more the lovelessness will be exposed for what it is.

  28. Thank you Lee for this incredibly honest blog and for your step in the direction to honour women and bring to more light the obvious and not so obvious abuse that continues.

  29. Great to expose the control and domination that men in the world continue to try and wield over each other and over women, which ultimately is a symptom of them losing their way and being completely dominated and subjugated by the world which ‘beats’ them repeatedly from very young to be in a way that is completely contrary to their natural and tender ways. As a result men do feel lost at sea and very fearful and insecure and so seek security and control at all costs even if this means hurting others. As a society we need to take a long and detailed look at what is happening to our young boys and men and how we are all responsible for this.

  30. Love the honesty in this blog. I would say there is a huge consciousness that says ‘we must mind our own business regardless of what is going on’ but every time we ignore abuse in any way, shape or form we say ‘Yes’ to it for it is impossible to be impartial when energy is read. Thanks Lee for sharing.

  31. Lee what an incredible blog. So exposing and raw. Calling to account our responsibility in putting a stop to all you have shared.

  32. This is a long overdue discussion on a new perspective of Abuse of Women and other subtle but all too often use of put downs by men on women. We must not just accept that it only happens to some women but recognise the statistics say it happens to most women some time in their lives. Thank you for being brave enough to share your truth.

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