The tragedy is not listening to one another. oh, and talking about feelings.
Weirdly, I've had several conversations about rape this week. Hot topic.
The candlelight vigil for Eurydice Dixon and horrible tragedy that is that whole story. If you somehow don't know about this then it is worth reading before continuing.
I'm possibly a little ashamed to admit that if I were writing this at the beginning of the week this article might have been very different. I'm certainly still on a path of enlightenment and I had a few thoughts similar to the sentiment of #notallmen because I think it is fairly natural for us as humans to try and personalise to process some of the heavier ideas in life. But I am also self-aware enough to realise I just don't fully comprehend this as a topic because I will never truly get what it feels like to wonder if you are really safe walking around in public that someone might overpower you and rape you. Honestly, the idea is probably scarier to me than being killed. The memories much more scaring than the finality that is death.
Then I read an article "Stop asking me what about men?" and it really got me thinking.
Here's an aside for you. Did you know that there is data to suggest that marketing campaigns that were used that gave the impression that lots of people were speeding or drink-driving actually seemed to correlate with increases rather than decreases because they normalised the action rather than the impression that no one else was doing it so you shouldn't either?
Are we normalising the idea that all men are somehow perpetrators rather than it being abnormal like it should be? I'll leave that with you.
OK. Here I am thinking. Why is it that men appear to be more likely to make these kinds of "not me" claims or "What about us" but women don't chime in when the opposite might be true? Here it starts to get really interesting. I believe the modern man truly wants equality for women, they want them to be paid the same and feel comfortable in the world. But at the same time Men are evolving within the world too. We are so far behind normally when it comes to emotional intelligence that comes out in higher suicide rates or health complications, we are more likely to die earlier than women and I believe a lot of this is us learning how to communicate our feelings. Our roles in family life have transitioned massively over the past few generations as more women enter the workforce in different ways and the modern dad has different responsibilities in the household.
I'm not writing this as an excuse for rape, violent sexist behaviour or anything like that, but I am trying to articulate that some men that are saying "Not all men" might just be trying to say that they are on her side. That some of us, men, just don't have the emotional language ready to articulate that it isn't about us, but it is up to all of us to create the safest place for everyone.
I hate the idea that my wife, mother, friends and family don't feel safe. I think we all need to work together to make sure we create a space where they do.