Bonding with Men is a Dangerous Game

Gender is a fluid construct and I try to avoid generalizations as a rule, but the common denominator for almost all of my trauma is men. There are toxic cycles of entitlement that crop up predominantly on one side of the gender spectrum.

This isn’t a manifesto against men. This is a manifesto against the privilege men have to hurt people and avoid responsibility. Society has built a narrative that still allows men to be cooked for, cleaned up after, let’s them treat people poorly and not focus on personal growth. Men aren’t expected to resolve their traumas— they’re expected to repress them and let them explode and cause trauma to someone else.

How many boyfriends with anger issues have claimed they don’t need help? How many men have self identified as ‘one of the good guys’ and then taken advantage of someone? What percentage of right wing white supremacists are men? How many rapists and murderers? What percentage of domestic abusers? 

I’ve worked to be self aware of my trauma related social prejudices against men, I don’t treat them any differently than I do anyone else and I give as much respect as their behaviour deserves. My personal beliefs barely allow the concept of ‘men’ to exist but for semantic sake, these people who identify as men, shouldn’t be shamed for their identity but for their actions accommodated by their identity. I don’t treat men cruelly, but I generally don’t trust them with my safety.

If they’re behaviour aligns to a certain standard, they’ll have no trouble from me, but the overarching standard needs to be higher. There was a time I thought I was a man and I’ve experienced what it means to strive for the approval of men from various perspectives and it’s a toxic cesspit. Men abuse men, men abuse women, men abuse nonbinary people— there needs to be accountability. This is an epidemic in its own right.

I would love to be able to be friends with men and I don’t discount my ability to some day manage. However, I’ve only succeeded in bonding with them if I lower my expectations of a person’s code of conduct, and no one can afford doing that. Men can be better. They can heal. 

I’m not waiting for them to do so, and you shouldn’t either. No matter your gender identity, the men in your life who are ignorant, toxic, selfish, they aren’t worth your pain. Don’t suppress who you are and what you believe in to enable their behaviour. There is support out there for cutting ties with these people and building a life where you don’t pander to the whims of male entitlement. If you are a man, consider the voices you’ve ignored and justifications you’ve made for certain behaviours.

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