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#444308 - 08/14/13 07:25 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
genedebs Offline

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 378
Loc: MO
Hello Lucy Lives,

I am thankful I do not have to live up to being a "man" in your world or anyone else.

I was physically, sexually, and emotionally abused, the physical abuse began when I was 4, the emotional abuse I was never without it, the sexual abuse began when I was 10. I have not hit anyone in over 40 years. I have acted justly and helped others. I hate to feel vulnerable. I have only accepted that I am human, have always been human, and have no but to be human in the last two years.

Acknowledgement by others tends to be based on what I say and how I perform. I always thought the way you perform is by identifying the role and conforming. I have never considered being "a man" a role worth embracing.

Given my meds, I cannot f , I may be verbally aggressive, but "a man" is supposed to be physically aggressive. I try very hard not to be. I am not A PACIFIST, but I am non-violent. I became committed to non-violence in 1963, shortly after I attended the March on Washington. I am a father of 4 and a grandfather of 5. I was a son and cared for my parents during the last 10 years of their life.

My experience with men is that they are not "a man" either.

We all have different stories and we all are just the same.

#444320 - 08/14/13 10:42 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
well when I read over the list I think the traits describe a nice human. I realize that every culture gives expectations of each gender and those can cause frustration and pain but at the end of the day we are all just humans. We all want love and acceptance. We all want to know that we are good enough. the traits listed are traits I want to foster in myself. It have a lot of work to do and somedays are better than others but I'm realizing the more I love and accept myself the more I feel that way about others. The more I am able to look into the eyes of another and see myself. We are all part of the same struggle the human struggle. The boxes we create and try to put each other in are an illusion. I feel empathy for the struggle of all the people on here and don't want to sound like I am making light or anyones pain or confusion. I realize that feeling like we don't fit into what's expected of us is painful. I think we have all felt it at one time of another to some degree. So no matter where you are at with defining and accepting yourself I want to say its okay and you're doing well. I know I'm a woman but I'm so much more than that I'm a soul and so are you.
Everything comes from within

#444808 - 08/20/13 08:28 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
I think some of you have missed the point of my post. The point being that you don't have to fit the stereotype of a man to be a man. the stereotypes are bullshit. I don't look at what makes a man the same way some of you might. I try to dispel the stereotypes for my husband's sake and for any other man who feels the pressure to meet "society's standards' which are pretty f&*ked up and make for some pretty unhealthy thinking, addictions and basically being just plain old stuck.

Maybe some of you men aren't like my husband and feel that he has to be a certain way to feel like a man (probably partly because of being a victim)

Anyway, my point was, to be a man IN MY EYES:

You don't have to have a six pack and be super buff
You can cry and be vulnerable (I actually find vulnerability attractive)
You don't have to protect me....I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself although your support is beyond helpful and desired.
You don't have to have a large p*nis....
You don't have to be a super stud in bed
You don't have to act strong and tough like you have it all together (I know you don't and that is ok, neither do I)
You don't have to make a million bucks a year and drive some fab car
It is ok that you were victimized. It doesn't take away your manhood. Other people can't take that away from you. \

So for all of you who think my expectations are too high for you, all I am trying to say it that my husband doesn't have to fit some stereotype to be a man. He just has to be a "human", not some superman.

#444857 - 08/21/13 01:23 AM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
CruxFidelis Offline

Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
I think some of society's gender expectations are unreasonable and there will always be variation among members of both sexes. Some women are amazing at competing in the workplace and being in leadership roles, some women are happy staying at home with babies and baking pie. Both things are fine, to me. In our house, my wife works and pays all the bills, and when people ask me what I do, I say I'm a stay at home dad. And as much as I'd love to be out there earning a living (and not on disability) there are aspects of being a stay at home dad that I absolutely love, and I have no shame saying that. I feel really lucky that I've been able to be there with my son during such a crucial time. And as much as I feel the urge to be the provider of the family, I am proud of being a stay at home dad (even if I am always the one he wants in the middle of the night). It isn't my ideal (or my wife's ideal, I know her job makes her nuts and she'd much rather hang out with a 3 year old all day), but I think real men make the best out of a sub-optimal situation.

There is an important difference between manliness and machismo, and I think the difference is pride. I'm not talking about self esteem, or being proud of who you are, I'm talking about needing to always be some hypermasculine meat head so you can always one-up everyone around you. And machismo has never been my way--before, or after, the rape. I knew intellectually that I was not going to be my wife's protector, seeing that she is in such great shape from lifting my weakened frame and I'm in a wheelchair. I knew intellectually that being her provider made no sense. I lost my job years ago due to chronic vomiting and my only contribution to the household has been from a few piano students here and there. But the urge to provide and protect is always there, and I don't see it as a bad thing as long as I keep it balanced with the reality of our lives.

Then after the rape happened, I beat myself up like hell about the protector thing. Not only was I not my wife's protector, but I realized I couldn't protect myself. I had no defenses. I also wasn't a scared little kid who can't be held responsible for anything, I was a 27 year old man with all my wits about me. This was not OK, and is still not OK.

As a boy, I dreamed about slaying dragons and rescuing the princess. I slogged through all those 16 bit Super Mario Brothers levels and defeated Bowser for the princess, too. Is it because as men we are conditioned to want this? Or is it because we are wired to want this because it's how the human race has survived for millenia? Me, I think it's a little bit of both. And I see nothing wrong with traditional gender roles. A lot of modern psychologists preach that in order for a man to recover from sexual assault, he has to shed all the 'trappings' of traditional masculinity in order to get there. It's why I don't have any interest in seeing female therapists... because all of them usually approach sexual assault recovery from a feminist perspective, and that's understandable given the character of the sexual assault awareness movement and the groups that tend to run rape crisis centers. And many of them intend to be supportive and I have a lot of respect for that, even if I personally haven't found the therapy to be as therapeutic. For me, I am a man, I was raped by a man, and I don't think I should have to completely change my worldview on gender into some politically correct model to accomplish this.

I always struggle with the paradox of.... how is sitting around talking about my feelings going to make me feel more like a man? What is crying and releasing emotional trauma going to accomplish? Where is the advantage in exposing vulnerability in weakness to another person? My therapist last time actually said "I'm not out there to turn you into some hyperemotional little pansy" which at least validated some of the fears I feel about this. And it has been helpful to expose (maybe not the whole wound) but parts of the wound and receive compassion instead of the judgment and emasculation I expect.
“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”

- Saint John of the Cross

#445057 - 08/22/13 05:23 AM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
Adam A Gedman Offline

Registered: 08/12/13
Posts: 188
Loc: Canada
Hey Lucy,
Thought I'd give my 2 cents as well.
And end with a question.
For the record:
I was raped at 8 yrs old by a stranger, and within months of that, became the scapegoat for my parents lack of supervision of their kids, when my younger brother was hit by a car, then I became my drunken fathers punching bag until I was too old and too big for it to continue.

I try not to let others define who or what I should be. This gives away far too much of my power over myself. Something I not only cherish, but need as a living breathing human being. I lost something of myself, no, I had something of myself taken from me without my consent as a child. So letting someone else define me is verboten.
I think definitions, like those you list are a limiting to people in general. They seem to follow some stereotypical societal hogwash in my opinion. The list seems a little like the ideal guy in an after school TV movie from when i was a kid. Some I agree with, but only in that, I define myself that way.

So, if I don't fit your definitions of what a man should be, by choice or by circumstance, what does that make me?
Presence is the key, for all we have is now.
All we ever have is right now.

Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)

But you can call me Kevin

Toronto Mini WoR - May 2014

#445081 - 08/22/13 12:48 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Somehow something in my posts got lost in translation but that is okay. It is good for people to get this stuff off their shoulders.

Adam, to answer your question.....are you a human being with penis? Then you are a man and don't have to fit society's stereotype of what a man is. that was my point. The macho bullshit that men and society (and sometimes women) try to put on the male gender as what constitutes a man is bullshit in my mind. that was the point of my original post. that is all.

But I am glad I got you all thinking and responding. wink

#445104 - 08/22/13 03:52 PM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
FormerTexan Offline

Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 12156
Loc: Denver, CO
"The macho bullshit that men and society (and sometimes women) try to put on the male gender as what constitutes a man is bullshit in my mind."

Money talks, but all it tells me is goodbye.

If I could meet myself as a boy...

#445454 - 08/26/13 01:07 AM Re: What makes a man? For survivors and spouses [Re: lucylives]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
Thanks Texan, I was beginning to think my point wasn't getting across.

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