Written in 2013 as a Facebook post and just rediscovered; the author felt renewed hope after reading it again.
This needs to be shared and read. i just read it and it gives me HOPE. I belong to a group here on FB that focuses on privilege …..and the problems it causes. The privilege of race, gender, gender identity, education, finance, … pretty much all of the topics that folks bring to the table. Most of the members are women, but we have a few guys who are deeply concerned about feminism who have joined the group.
One remarkable member ( a guy who volunteers as an escort at an abortion clinic to protect women as they walk past protesters who can be pretty awful as you know) posted this today about an experience he had. He’s given permission to share it. It brought tears to my eyes and i hope you will read it and share it. We are blessed to have male feminist who support us, and who ‘get’ it this way.
So I had this mind blowing conversation with a young man at the clinic today while I was escorting. Just a young guy who brought his partner to the clinic. He was outside and I went over to talk to him as a distraction from the protestors.
I had already kind of pegged the guy for being a pretty typical 20 something kid. I start talking to the guy and as often happens he tells me about how he and his wife came to the decision to have an abortion, how difficult it was, how they already had 2 kids and were just barely making it. The discussion was pretty much like many of the dozens of discussions I’ve had with the young men at the clinic.
Then I asked him something I’ve never asked a man at the clinic before. I asked “How are you holding up”. He just suddenly opens up to me about how he was really trying to get in touch with his feelings because up until the last few weeks he had just been kind of lost. He talks to me about how his lack of connection with his emotions was causing him to act out in destructive ways both inwardly and outwardly. He tells me about how awful he had been to his wife and kids and not being able to figure out why he couldn’t stop being that way even though he knew he was doing it. He tells me about self medicating with alcohol and drugs and his childhood as the child of alcoholic parents. He’s talking to me about how for the first time in his life he sought help and is taking meds and how much of a difference it’s made for both him and his wife and children. He talks about wanting to look into meditation and Buddhism.
It’s just pouring out of this guy, and keep in mind this is a young white kid who wouldn’t look out of place on an episode of Jerry Springer, lower-middle-class, blue-collar, white male who up until a few weeks ago bought what society was selling – 100%. He’s rattling off books that I should read and videos I should watch about how men can become more emotional human beings. He’s taking about how toxic masculinity has become. I mean this kid is basically talking about everything I’ve only come to realize at almost 40 and after 3 years of floundering around trying to find something real.
He looks me straight in the eye at one point and he says “You know one day a few weeks ago I just looked around at what everybody kept telling me was important to being a man and it just didn’t make sense anymore, it just didn’t make sense.”
Then he asks me if I know of any resources that will allow him to better emotionally support his wife after the abortion. One of our escorts who does 1 in 3 presentations had literally just handed me a 1 in 3 book so I gave it to him along with the CDT contact info. I had to leave about that time but a young black man who had been listening to us talk stepped in and carried on the conversation with the kid. I walked by them 20 minutes later and they were still in deep conversation and I heard phrases being past back and forth like “men are broken” and “why do I have to always be strong why can’t we admit to being weak sometimes.
There is a change coming folks. It has been a long time building but there is a massive change coming and nothing the far right can do will stop it. In fact I think it’s feeding it, making bigger, making it happen faster, and they don’t even see that they’re gonna be standing at ground zero when it cooks off.
Wow, it was a beautiful conversation to be part of.