Men React when you Post an Open Letter about Sexual Assault

A Collection of Thoughts one week after posting “An Open Letter to my Mother, who “Might” Vote for Donald Trump”

To address any concerns, my mother will not be voting for Donald Trump.

Aim 1: accomplished.

Secondly, certain men will still criticize you.

They will mostly criticize you for paying more attention to social issues over global military issues. This could be expected. Anyways, it just strengthens the point of women’s inequality and a devaluing of their opinions and thoughts in this country. The Trump would approve.

An excerpt from a response I wrote to summarize my thoughts:

“The threat of a world war is terrifying.

A more terrifying threat, however, is the death toll from sexism, and the thousands of women that die in America because of it. Whether it’s by maternal mortality or intimate partner violence, both are outcomes underlined by gender inequality.

You may call this “stupid identity politics” but I rather highlight social issues that contribute to real everyday pain, suffering, and death rather than mere possibilities.

… Finally, thank you. Thank you for supporting all of the points that I have made with this letter. With your response you have provided evidence that a woman cannot talk about her everyday lived experiences, which are by no means mine alone, without harassment.”

When women write about social issues they are especially underestimated. Although I know there is more to knowledge than academic training, I have had six years of it at an advanced level and hold a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree so that I am fully equipped to address these so-called “social issues”. I am open-minded enough to approach the world with a systems view and can pinpoint exactly how “social issues” cause and contribute to pain and suffering of minorities. But I might save this particular concept for a forthcoming post.

However, I come away questioning how to involve more good men in addressing the harassment and assault I highlighted.

The men who don’t criticize provide their condolences.

But I don’t want condolences. Women don’t need condolences.

Condolences won’t change what happened.

Condolences are neither constructive nor useful.

Condolences won’t help the immense, heart-pounding, palms-sweating, mind-racing fear instilled in (can I say almost every?) woman walking alone in an urban (etc.) area in the dark, regardless of what time of day or night.

Men’s condolences don’t entitle us to the safety, the respect, and the freedom to live and exist that we inherently deserve.

So, I wonder, how can we work with men to change some of these experiences? I know they’re not all controlling, power-hungry monsters. The majority are amazingly smart, talented, intellectual beings.

I just wish they wouldn’t get so scared when a woman writes about her experiences with sexual assault. I’d hate to offend anyone.

How do I say this in a way that will empower my fellow human beings?

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