Our view of the world and ourselves in it influences our view of this. Men deny it and accept it. Most men see its existence but deny any personal involvement in it, they approach it from their own needs as men and leave women to resolve their own relationship to it.
I find I need to understand this from a perspective other than my own and respond to it in a way that helps women overcome the centuries of pain and humiliation.
Where we have a personal responsibility for abuse we need to deal with that personally. But many men feel that at a personal level they aren’t responsible, and they aren’t. They feel it is false to take on the guilt of others and that a simple apology does not change the situation.
Other men take on all the guilt and shame and prostrate themselves before women. It is alright for them to deal with their own personal views in this way, but adopting this stance creates a divide among men and turns it into a problem about men.
As men I feel we need to recognise that this issue transcends us individually. Men cause this domination and abuse. We can only stop it by men taking a universal, joint responsibility.
If we seek masculinity, we must take responsibility. If we seek common ground to support our growth we must see that it’s in this common ground that the responsibility lies. No matter how we express our masculinity it is by working together with other men that we strengthen it. In this joint process we create a common male energy that is the source of the domination. It is for us to see this.
We can help women move beyond their fear and anger and understand us as men, we can help women to find their power and face us as equals. We don’t need to feel guilt, pain or sorrow for all the abuse women have taken in history, but as men we need to respect women. It is in this joint respecting of each other that union and polarity between us can grow and flourish.
If we men cannot take on this responsibility we must reject any sense of universal masculinity or any sense that there are connections between us at a higher, or spiritual, level. We can only exist as individuals without any connection to others. I don’t find that this is what men think about themselves and it is certainly not what the men’s movement thinks.
I have taken my step and today posted this comment on the Manifesto for Conscious Men Facebook Page:
I opposed the Manifesto. I saw it as a way for men to dominate women.
I have looked at what I feel and what others are saying and realised that all the argument about it is by and about men. This is Male Domination, the exclusion of what is important to women and what they think.
As men we seek a common agenda to support our masculinity, in that lies a joint responsibility for what men have created and a desire to find a polarity with women that acknowledges our differences and supports our equality.
I believe it is time for me to take my part of our joint responsibility as a gender and own up to what has happened, what is happening and what will continue to happen unless I do something about it.
I acknowledge my responsibility as a man and apologise to women for the way men have dominated, abused and suppressed them. I deal with my own personal responsibility in my own personal way.
I do this in the fullness of my masculinity.