The Violence of Men

Our next men’s call is Monday, Sept 9 at 8:30PM East

I am a Latino man. The shooting in El Paso was perpetrated against my community. My heart is broken. And I stand in prayer with those most impacted.

But there is a thread to these shootings that runs much deeper than hatred towards people of color. And that is the thread of hatred towards women.

The motivations of men who commit mass shootings are often muddled, complex or unknown. But one common thread that connects many of them — other than access to powerful firearms — is a history of hating women, assaulting wives, girlfriends and female family members, or sharing misogynistic views online, researchers say. (NY Times)

It is easy to hold ourselves separate from a mass shooter. But what is most helpful is to understand what we have in common with the worst of us. How is the sickness of the culture impacting each one of us? What does patriarchy have to do with this spread of murderous violence?

adrienne does not mince words about this:

if a woman tells you you are scaring her, you are. and you have been – it usually takes us a while to gather the words of our fear. she is saying this because something in your behavior has become physically or emotionally unsafe. domestic violence isn’t always a bruised eye – there are so many ways to terrorize an intimate. sometimes the fear is the only signal to a woman that she’s in a dangerous situation – there are some fears we can’t trick ourselves out of, even if we love y’all.

i have witnessed men (who i thought “knew better”) in states of road rage, alcohol-induced rage, property destruction, gaslighting/manipulation intended to make their female partners feel crazy, and physical intimidation. if this is what they do in front of a witness – i know it’s worse when they have no concern of being seen.

i have seen men endangering their children in these moments. i have heard stories of men grabbing, hitting, pushing against a wall, and giving silent treatment for days to their woman partners and their children.

men, you must learn to be responsible for your own feelings and actions.

There is a lot to unpack here. And I look forward to deepening our conversation. There is a way in which heterosexual men feel most vulnerable in relationship to the women that we love or desire. We are not comfortable with this vulnerability. It threatens our sense of power and control. And it is from this place that we act out.

Our acting out can range from the silent treatment to any of the acts of violence delineated above.

It is our job to take responsibility. Our culture has failed us. The culture handed us a terrible script. We are performing a masculinity that is toxic and dangerous. Let us keep coming together to define a new script. To learn vulnerability. To get in tune with our emotions. And to figure out how to disrupt this violence that tears our society apart.

We had a very powerful call on August 5. You are invited to our next call on Monday, September 9 at 8:30PM East. Sign up here for call information