- Posted February 7, 2013 by
Kansas City, Missouri
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Women: Share your stories of change
A Movement to End Violence Against Women Needs Men
I am heavily involved with the movement to end violence against women, specifically through education. I love to educate! Not just through lecture-style presentations, but just through every day interaction with those around me.
But sometimes, I wonder if I have come across a hopeless cause. You know, that person who just doesn't "get it". They hang with some (seemingly) great people, they're a large part of the community, well liked by the people who know them, even helped - to some extent - with the issue we try to raise awareness about but...they just don't get it. Their actions behind closed doors speak volumes.
Since last Wednesday, a guy - whom I had never known or even seen - has become my least favorite person in the world. I feel so much anger towards this person, I can't even explain! Anger may be too strong of a word, but in a way, I'm just lost. Confused. Completely dumbfounded. I know God has some tremendous patience when it comes to dealing with me on a daily basis, so with that thought, I'm praying that I ooze of compassion no matter who I am dealing with.
Yet, I am sitting here trying to figure out why exactly God has placed this person's existence in my path and how I can let Christ's character shine through my life towards this person and many men like him. I'm battling in my mind so many questions that have yet to receive answers. Why doesn't he get it? Who's holding this dude accountable? Where are his friends? Do they behave in the same manner? Why does he do that? How is this being overlooked? What is the real issue?
For once, I am speechless. I honestly do not understand. I don't get how someone so well known is not being taken under the wing of other men to be shown how to respect women!
I mean, I could do it. I'm a peer educator. I've received hours upon hours of instruction about issues surrounding relationship and sexual violence. I've worked at the women's shelter for almost 3 years. I'm passionate about the issue. I come at others with love while educating them about issues. However....I can't. I can't reach out to this guy, personally.
Clearly it is not because I am by any means incapable, but simply because I cannot. I cannot show this guy how to be, well, a guy! I can offer suggestions and say what not to do/what to do. I can give presentation after presentation on how to engage in healthy romantic relationships, but ultimately I cannot personally provide a living, walking example for him - or any other man - to follow. I am a woman and that's the only way I know how to live - as a woman. It's easy for me to speak against an issue that predominantly affects one of my identities - women! Where are the men? Better yet, where are the men who are willing to step up, speak out against this issue and act as mentors to other men?
We can't continue to just have cutesy little meetings about how women need to do X, Y and Z to keep ourselves safe.
We can't only have those meetings or only have those talks, if our prevention methods are not going to be met with men making a conscious effort to hold their brothers accountable! I'm not talking about fraternity brothers or blood brothers, but rather, any man you call your friend - you are accountable for him!
Some of those prevention methods can be, and are, helpful. But they are all in vain if men, are not teaching other men, how to respect women. I'm not talking about a one time event or meeting, but we need consistency! We need models, not just teachers and professors! We need to be engaged in life with each other!
As I stated before, we, as women can only do so much. No amount of self-defense, teaching about healthy relationships or how to recognize abuse is going to end all of this if we do not have real men stepping up and taking responsibility; for their own actions and for the actions of a fellow brother! What's holding y'all back?
I will continue to do my part in education and helping my sisters when they're in need, but men, we are waiting for you.
|This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with : Women: Share your stories of change|