Being a Boy: The Monster Inside

Originally posted on March 8, 2014

Here is a suggestion: if you want to change a person’s behavior, it would be best not to trash them while doing it.

There seems to be a problem with feminists and their efforts to change male behavior. Feminists seem to view men and boys as walking predators hellbent on oppressing, demeaning, and hurting women and girls every waking moment of their lives. They also seem to believe that until the advent of second-wave feminism males experienced no other emotion but rage. Feminists marry the two ideas together to come up with the theory that only with feminism can men and boys ever express true emotions and lose their violent tendencies.

Yet this desire to get men and boys to feel has nothing to do with helping them. Rather, it is only about keeping them from hurting women. So volatile is male behavior that only by “softening” boys can they be changed. Or as Jeff Bogle puts it:

Raising strong girls is not enough because a strong girl, even the strongest of mind, body, will, and spirit, can too easily be fractured into a thousand unrecognizable pieces, a glass bottle of glitter shattered on a venetian tile floor, by a physically stronger, drunker, misogynistic boy. We can cobble together and restore some of the sparkle, but it’s doomed to be mixed with crumbs, dust, and dirt, no matter how studious we are. A dulling of the shine. A repeal of the magic.

That reads like something written by someone who has never spent much time around actual, living boys. Granted, in this case that is likely a good thing because it appears Bogle is not that fond of boys. That rationale would explain his above statements. After all, how many strong, drunk, misogynistic 12-year-old boys do we see fracturing “into a thousand unrecognizable pieces” girls of “the strongest of mind, body, will, and spirit?” How many of them wake up with the intent to do that?

Let us set aside for the moment that even a boy of the strongest mind, body, will, and spirit can too easily be fractured into a thousand unrecognizable pieces by a physically stronger, drunker, misandrous girl or another boy. We do not have to talk about the countless boys who have been beaten, harassed, and raped by women, girls, men, and boys. We do not have to talk about the countless boys who seek shelter in films, video games, comic books, and music because they make easy targets for bullies. We also do no have to talk about the scores of grown men and women who seem to relish tearing apart boys by accusing boys of being sexist bullies just for being male.

Let us also set aside that girls also spend a good deal of time shattering the mind, body, and souls of other girls. We do not need to talk about how girls will single another girl out simply for the sake of mocking her. We do not have to talk about the little groups they form that seem built around humiliating other girls. We do not have to talk about the countless ways in which girls actively try to ruin another child for their own amusement.

Instead, let us talk about this:

It would seem imperative then that we, as a nation of dads and moms and parties involved in the childhood business must also, in addition to strengthening the core of our young girls, make a more substantial attempt to soften our boys. Maybe soften isn’t the proper word, not exactly. Does there exist a catchall word for “don’t rape anyone, asshole”? Maybe not. So let’s settle on “soften” for now.

As someone who lives with young boys, I do not appreciate Bogle calling them assholes or thinking that they need to be told not to rape anyone (and let us be clear, by “anyone” Bogle means “females”). I think more highly of my godson, his friends, cousins, and foster brothers than that. I live with at-risk kids, and with rare exception, none of them have done anything remotely close to hurting, let alone raping, anyone.

The idea that we need to “soften” our boys implies that they are so “hardened” that they will hurt others (and by “others” I mean “females”) unless taught not to do it.

Perhaps Bogle has forgotten a basic fact: boys are not untamed, wild animals. These are human beings, and their behavior, particularly when they are young, is a reflection of the actions committed against them. So when some self-important misandrous feminist author decides to tell boys that “if a random boy decided that he wanted something, someone, anyone, to make himself feel a sliver of ecstasy for a split second, to make the pain and hurt and expectations and anger he has carried inside for longer than he can remember, feel a little less permanent” he can “so casually [act]; he acts and he is gone,” that person, that feminist, that sexist is the one causing the behavior.

How? Simple. If you teach boys that they are only violent rapists, they will begin to think they are only violent rapists. And if you ignore the pain, hurt, expectations, and anger boys carry inside for as long as they can remember, they will learn these things do not matter to anyone else. There is no reason to care about other people’s pain because no one cares about yours.

You teach empathy by showing empathy. You do not teach it by telling someone to show compassion for others while denying them compassion in return.

Of course, I get Bogle’s position. He is the father of two girls, so the thought of boys as actual human beings deserving of the same compassion and capable of the same vulnerability as his daughters has probably never occurred to him. The irony of his Bogle’s misandry and casual dismissal of boys’ pain and vulnerability notwithstanding, Bogle fails to actually make a point.

Our society already teaches boys not to hurt other people. That is the reason why the vast majority of males do not hurt other people. He offers the idea of “softening” boys without any explanation about how people should actually go about doing it. That sentiment was likely intended to garner responses like Joanna Schroeder’s gem:

As a dad of girls, no doubt you have on your mind all the statistics about how likely it is for a woman to be raped in college – 1 in 6. That’s a startling number. And yeah, we need to start by teaching ALL kids not to rape, teaching ALL kids consent, and teaching ALL kids they deserve to be able to say “no” at any point, to anybody.

That is coming from the same person who co-wrote an article about teaching kids about consent that conveniently left out teaching girls to ask for and respect boys’ consent. But let us aside Schroeder’s tendency to flip-flop on whether boys can be raped, whether girls should be taught to ask for consent, and whether boys deserve to be able to say “no” at any point. She cannot even get her feminist talking points rights.

The 1 in 6 statistic refers to the lifetime rate, not the rate from college. The correct rate Schroeder is looking for is 1 in 4, which is from study conducted by Mary Koss. However, the rate is misleading because Koss included a broad age range, counting acts that occurred when the respondents were as young as 14. The proper way to read the statistic is that 1 in 4 women report being sexually assaulted by the time they complete college, with the added caveat that Koss counts some acts as rape that legally may not count as rape and the respondents did not consider rape.

Schroeder and Bogle’s comments may win feminist brownie points, but they will do nothing to help boys. You cannot help someone by telling them they are a bad person. I do not understand why feminists do not get this. Of all the groups of people who should understand the impact of negative messages, feminists are near the top of the list. Why any of them would think that teaching boys that they are nothing but rapists who need to be taught not to rape would ever make boys think positively about themselves, let alone respect women, is beyond me.

I have experienced first-hand the impact of this messaging, and it did not improve my opinion of women, although it made me less inclined to want to be around, particularly feminists. I have seen the impact second-hand, and watched as a teenage boy had to unlearn all the negative messaging he received, and saw how devastating it was for him to learn how abusive those messages were.

But let us say, for the sake of argument, that Bogle has a point (he does not, but humor me). His tone is so cruel, accusatory, and sexist that it would never be received well by a child. At least two of the children in this house tonight found it off-putting, which is polite version of their actual responses.

There is no reason to think of boys this way. As I noted above, the vast majority of boys do not rape or hurt anyone. When boys are inclined to hurt someone, they typically hurt other boys. While that might not concern feminists unless the boys belong to a special interest group, it remains a simple truth.

It is also true that boys’ behavior is often a reflection of the way society thinks of them. If we teach boys that they are nothing but rapists, there is a good chance that is what they will become.

Every time I read one of these “boys suck cuz they’re rapey rapists who rape” articles I am reminded of a quote from the Hagakure. I have quoted this a few times, and I think bears repeating:

For the most part, people think that they are being kind by saying the things that others find distasteful or difficult to say. But if it is not received well, they think that there is nothing more to be done. This is completely worthless. It is the same as bringing shame to a person by slandering him. It is nothing more than getting it off one’s chest. […] By bringing shame to a person, how could one expect to make him a better man?

I would love for a feminist to answer that question.

27 thoughts on “Being a Boy: The Monster Inside

  1. “You teach empathy by showing empathy. You do not teach it by telling someone to show compassion for others while denying them compassion in return.”

    ^^^This. Children learn by what they see, for the most part. If you attempt to teach a child empathy or kindness by continuously giving it to others but only rarely (or never) to them…then they’ll eventually put 2 and 2 together and come to the realization that at least some people believe they are unworthy of it.

    I read an article on GMP once, an open letter from the mother to her son, basically telling him not to rape. Not only was this a downright appalling way of talking to ones most-likely-normal child, but the way it was written made it sound as though she believed that by simply being born with a penis, that her son had a gun ready to go off at any moment. This is a major issue I have with feminist doctrine…their willingness to take something as pure as male sexuality/sex organs and turn them into weapons while spouting out constantly about the Divine Feminine. No, you morons. Both sexes are Divine, you can’t talk about the sanctity of the Feminine without also acknowledging the Masculine. Gods, how idiotic can they be?

  2. “You teach empathy by showing empathy. You do not teach it by telling someone to show compassion for others while denying them compassion in return.”

    Exactly. It’s a “movement of the heart” and no words, no “understanding” or knowledge creates that. It’s experiential.

    After all my attempts to run a male survivor group at a rape crisis center, working with the social workers and psychologists, this is what I finally said to them. You have no empathy for male victims. No emotional, motivational “energy” happens in them when they see, hear, think about all the painful experiences men talk about. They sat silent and finally just said… “No.” Denial. These were males too.

    But it’s their (feminist) training, in non-empathy, equally taught, and learned. Listen to celebrated professor Brené Brown (from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work) talk about empathy in her interview with Krista Tippet (

    Ms. Brown: So I was at a book signing and a couple came up to me and I signed four books for the woman and she grabbed them and she’s walked away from the table and her husband who was standing with her stayed. And she said, “Come on, babe, let’s go” and he said, “No, I want to talk to her for a minute,” meaning me. She said, “No, come on, let’s go, let’s go.” He said, “I’m going to talk to her for a second.” There was some tension in that conversation. I was thinking, oh, my God, you need to go. I don’t know why you want to stay.

    Ms. Tippett: Go with your wife.


    Ms. Brown: Yeah, go because you’re hell bent for leather to talk to me and I’d rather you not. He said, “I really liked everything you said. I really like this idea of reaching out and telling our stories and showing up, but you didn’t mention men.” You know, my initial thought was, oh, gosh, thank God this is going to wrap up quick, because — I don’t — you know?

    So I looked to him and I said, “I don’t study men.” And he said, “Well, that’s convenient.” And my heart was just like, oh, God. And he said, “We have shame, we have deep shame, but when we reach out and tell our stories, we get the emotional [bleep] beat out of us.” And he said, “And before you say anything about those mean fathers and those coaches and those brothers and those bully friends, my wife and three daughters, the ones who you just signed the books for, they had rather see me die on top of my white horse than have to watch me fall off.” Then he just walked away.

    Of course, “I don’t study men” is a blatant lie. Feminists like her are far from silent or lacking authority about “men”. It is hostility. The fruits of this hostility are easier to see. Men are increasingly completely shut out many places. We’ve all slowly walked away by the millions. All are living and suffering from the fruits of this hostility.

    Indeed. I tried to go to social work school here based on my men’s group work… as I said, they declared that “All male survivor’s have perpetrated.” Social workers used to be about 50-50 men and women. Today it’s 9% men under age 34, still trending downward. And I just had to walk away. They “don’t study men” either.

    Empathy is powerful if you are deemed worthy of compassion, which is a behavioral response with the intention to *help someone*.

    Brene Brown has kind of a credibility problem as part of the movement to deny men help and compassion, a virtue recognized in every religion. The politics of compassion is no substitute for the real thing.

  3. @Allen

    I will probably be disgusted by the answer to this, but I want to make sure of what you’re saying…When these people have stated that “All male survivors have perpetrated”, what *exactly* are they talking about? Please tell me I read that incorrectly and they aren’t attempting to guilt male survivors.

  4. I don’t know what “they are talking about”, because repeatedly what I saw was a lack of response, interest, a silence that falls upon the discussion of male victims in this pattern. I interpret this as hostility, shame, attempts to shame, projection of shame, “not taking the issue seriously”. Those are the visible characteristics of those invisible qualities. That is just my interpretation though, to “I don’t study men”.

    So to social scientists training, I’m referring to this event: , a showing of the documentary “Boys and Men Healing”…entitled “Envisioning the Possible”.

    The professor of social work brought all his students of sex offender treatment, to kind of, “come see some sex offenders”. They discussed amongst themselves, in confusion, “Gee, how would you handle a guy in a sex offender group, you know, who doesn’t admit to offending, never charged, doesn’t seem to remember offending, indeed, claims to have been victimized, as a young child….” Interestingly, one of the male students left the room crying, and nothing was said of it.

    In their world, there are no male victims, only male offenders, seen or unseen and we who claim to have been victimized are offenders to them. They have a lot of certainty and little doubt. This is widely taught. It is “the truth”. It has a kind of religious quality to it, a kind of fundamentalism. It cannot be questioned and requires no evidence.

    The irony is, a man called me up the next week, asking about the male survivor support group, quite hesitant, who said he’d been previously placed into a group only to discover a social worker in the group who’d been sexual with a client…

    I share your disgust at this hostility, ignorance. It is utterly unwholesome and harmful. For me, it’s easy to be hostile toward this ignorance. That also proves to be unwholesome and harmful. The best thing is to just walk away like the man did.

    There is also compassion, understanding and love to be found. Those things also can be taught, and have visible characteristics of their own. I’d suggest more focus on that. I don’t suggest looking for that in “social work”.

  5. When these people have stated that “All male survivors have perpetrated”, what *exactly* are they talking about?

    Tarnished, while this was not directed at me, I want to add to Allan’s response. When people say “all male survivors have perpetrated” they mean that all male survivors have sexually assaulted or hurt someone. Many involved in the support community will not flat-out make say that, but their treatment plans for male survivors will include the idea that all male survivors are rapists or potential rapists. It is common enough that every book for or about male survivors that I read has mentioned it, and that is over a dozen books.

    The general idea is that being abused makes men and boys more likely to abuse others, and that it is only a matter of time until they eventually do it. Most of the support service I know of either work from that logic or tacitly support it. You can imagine then how hard it is for men and boys to come forward when the very people who are supposed to be helping them think of them as rapists and pedophiles.

  6. Allan, it is not just a lack of empathy; it is also large dose antipathy. That I do not understand. Men and boys come to them for help. Even if a few of them were abusers pretending to be victims, why treat the entire group as rapists? They are so wrapped up in the rhetoric and the bad experiences that I honestly believe they stop seeing men and boys as people.

  7. Thanks TS, that’s right. While it is clearer that the ignominy, hated of abusers is being actively invoked toward innocent someone, without any prompting or evidence, well, only that he is male,… what is lost is the utter horror, the rage many men feel toward a perpetrator on a child. That is almost universal with male survivors, and frequently so intense, I nearly banned any talk of perpetrators in a graphic way. This is standard practice from experience. An ACTUAL perpetrator in the room is a huge invitation to an outburst of some kind, blind rage, physical attack, or perhaps fearful flee (aka a trauma response, fight, flight, freeze, play dead).

    Doesn’t seem to be helpful! In fact, it clearly keeps men far away from getting help where they need it, or rendering help where they can.

    “They are so wrapped up in the rhetoric and the bad experiences that I honestly believe they stop seeing men and boys as people.”

    Ah, and, what motivation is behind that? (Hatred.)

    Essentially, male anger toward perpetrators on children is a potent force. Feminists constantly seek to invoke that, redirect that to harm men. Often, there is a lot of uncertainty in sexual crimes, so it’s easy to do.

    Typically, “University of Ottawa suspends men’s hockey program amid sex assault investigation”

    I seriously doubt everyone in the program was criminal, so it looks again like… Somebody, kinda, maybe did something, sometime …. bad, so punish a bunch of men now! My male survivor facebook friend is “glad to see they are taking this seriously”.

    “Taking it seriously” would be interest in the clear evidence of what happened, not punishing the innocent. That just makes a mockery out of the law. Why are men so stupid about this? Imagine suspending the entire female high school staff because a male student claims he was sexually assaulted by a female teacher! lol

  8. @Soldier & Allen

    That is one of the most revolting things I’ve ever heard in my life. I was afraid that was what was meant, but didn’t want to believe it without clarification. Now I feel sick…Though hearing this *does* explain why I heard what I did at the only CSA group I went to (lots of male bashing, accusations of men being “less than” fully human, statements about how men simply have no way to understand sexual abuse, etc.) Then again, it was an all-female group, so I already felt uncomfortable. Needless to say, I never went back.

    Do these social workers actually have any recent, viable evidence to back up these sordid claims? Or is this yet another make things up to fit our ideology bs?

  9. Ideological bs!

    Tarnished, perhaps you are newish to some of this blog’s issues, or need something more personally focused. I tend to speak assuming some familiarity with it all, since it’s complicated, and by the time someone gets here, they tend to have some familiarity.

    Look at the “vampire myth” post(s) here for some context for the general case.

    For an individual, you just have to be sensitive to real evidence (of truth not legal evidence), and patterns. Lots of little signs can add up to some real evidence.

    For healing, it’s extremely important to be believed and supported in your understanding and experience as you explore it. There are places men are believed and supported, but sadly they are extremely rare, and the harm done by most, negates the help in a very few. Which is why most men never speak of it, and don’t get involved in “the issue” generally at all.

    They just walk away.

    And not to ignore persons for whom gender and sex aren’t so conventionally experienced. It just isn’t as frequent in my experience, of myself or others.

    Could we try to help you find a place to talk about yourself, and be pretty certain to be believed and supported?

  10. @Allan

    Sorry, was typing too fast and made a typo…it should have said “their” (as in feminist) ideological bs, not “our”. I honestly believe that many of their ratios/stats are incorrect, or at least made in order to further the feminist agenda rather than actually help others. For example, the obviously false idea that men cannot be raped by women or that 1 in 4 women will be raped/molested by the time they graduate college…but the numbers are anywhere from 1 in 20 to 1 in 70 for men. I do not believe these statistics to be true.

    As for me, I use my blog as a way to get through my abuse. The only person besides my immediate family who knows what I went through for 7 years is my lover. Like I said, I did try to attend a group therapy session, but it was all-female and had such anti-male vitriol that I was sickened and afraid that I’d say something to out my gender.

    The issue is that while I know I’m deserving of help or a listening ear, I know that many cis male survivors have been abused by women, which I am physically. I cannot condone me getting help if it would mean delaying another man’s ability to get better. Nor would I be willing to attend another female survivor group, as I’d feel like an outsider.

    No, I think my place is to be as I am. I’ve accepted it by now. I thank you for your concern though, it is much appreciated.

  11. “ Sorry, was typing too fast and made a typo…”

    Oh, I understood what you meant.

    There is a lot of agenda in citations of statistics. The point I like to point out is nearly no one likes to talk about the uncertainties and their “agenda”.

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience seeking help. In support of my previous point, that often stops people, males especially, from seeking help again. A story: My policy was to try to always actually answer the group contact phone, no voice mails. I couldn’t always, and once called a guy back 20 minutes after he called. He was stunned. But why I asked? He’d called over 10 agencies and never got a single call back after a week. It just amazes me how dysfunctional they are.

    “I know I’m deserving of help or a listening ear…”

    Yes you are! Yes you are! Abuse really gets in deep to make you question that, so I hope you can really let that sink it deep to counter that!

  12. Do these social workers actually have any recent, viable evidence to back up these sordid claims? Or is this yet another make things up to fit our ideology bs?

    Usually these comments are based on their interactions with female survivors. Basing one’s entire worldview about half the human population on the recounted experiences of a small portion of the other half of the population is a really bad idea. It is easy to become jaded when dealing with the worst society offers. It is easy to think everyone must be like those bad people. It takes effort to step back and rethink those opinions. However, that does not work in the support group setting. No survivor wants to step back and rethink their views of other people. They are there to vent, and that is fine. The professionals, however, should not use that as an excuse to pick and parrot those survivors’ feelings.

    Sometimes the social workers and support group facilitators do use research to back up their attitudes, but as I have noted several times on this blog, they often use skewed studies that either ignore male survivors altogether or work from a feminist framework, creating an inherent bias that the studies rarely overcome.

  13. That’s actually a good argument for not making the model for female only abuse groups the absolute norm. And the things you say benefit the feminist ideology of the more extreme therapists, not their clients.

    You know, in men’s abuse groups, female abusers are some 1/4 to 1/2 of the perpetrators so the gendered view doesn’t work for much. I’ve actually heard a number of female survivors voice the view that they don’t see males as abusive, just the abuser as abusive, so open to a mixed gender group. So personally, I don’t see gender having much to do with it at all. It’s a very forced, prejudicial view.

  14. I can’t really wrap my head around their concept of “strength”. The belief is that if someone talks the talk, they’re strong, even if, when time comes to walk the walk, they crumble or shatter under the pressure. And the “shattering” isn’t about rape, even though that’s the example they all use. They use it because it’s impossible to deny that rape is bad and rape is a problem. But they would extend their concept of this “shattering” to bullying, to debates, to rejection, to anything someone could do that would make another person FEEL bad. If a little girl comes home crying about something a boy did, she is still “strong”, it’s just he was “strong” and “bad”, so he destroyed every ounce of imaginary strength she had.
    To boot, their idea of strength is masculinity, or at least their own concept of “maleness”. So, regardless of whether the child is a boy or a girl, they’re only “strong” if they speak like a male, act like a male, have the aspirations of a male… The idea that a female could be strong by playing on her beauty, nurturing instincts, creativity, kindness, etc is impossible. Girls can only be strong by acting “male” and boys must be taken down a notch by making THEM adopt the female traits, which are then assumed not to be female at all.

    Ultimately, what they’re saying is: “A girl who says she is masculine could get hurt by a boy who actually is masculine.”

  15. I can’t really wrap my head around their concept of “strength”.

    Neither can I. Bogle’s apparent version of strength reads more like girls act strong rather than being strong. A strong-willed person is fairly hard to break. It would take more than a few nasty words to crush them. Even something as traumatic as sexual violence might not break them the way it would others. It might have the opposite effect and make them stronger.

    Girls can only be strong by acting “male” and boys must be taken down a notch by making THEM adopt the female traits, which are then assumed not to be female at all. Ultimately, what they’re saying is: “A girl who says she is masculine could get hurt by a boy who actually is masculine.”

    That does seem to be their point, which I find curious because strength has nothing to do with being masculine or feminine. It is the state of a person’s resolve. The notion that boys are “too strong” smacks of rhetoric and ignorance. Much of boys’ tough exterior is an act. To assume that boys are so strong-willed that they crush girls on accident is plain silly.

  16. “You cannot help someone by telling them they are a bad person. I do not understand why feminists do not get this”

    They get it very well. They fly into an insane rage if any woman is criticized, ever (unless it’s a non-feminist (hence non human) woman).

    They don’t want to help men. They want to hurt them, because they hate them. Except actual rapists. They find genuinely sociopathic sadists rather charming.

  17. Neither can I. Bogle’s apparent version of strength reads more like girls act strong rather than being strong. A strong-willed person is fairly hard to break. It would take more than a few nasty words to crush them. Even something as traumatic as sexual violence might not break them the way it would others. It might have the opposite effect and make them stronger.

    I initially reacted strongly against the smearing of boys in this article, but having re-read the bit about “strong” girls it seems pretty patronising of them too.

    It’s the same “strong” we’ve heard about for years in the form of “strong independent woman” etc in a feminist context.

    “Yeah! We’re Strong, and Successful, and Independent! Go Equality!


    Wait, what? A man sent me a hurtful tweet? The Internet Is Hostile To Women!!!!”

    You know, the kind of “strong” where men can still somehow easily subjugate you with a look that’s a millisecond too long, or by disagreeing stridently with you from a feminist-critical standpoint.

    And this is where it leads. I really don’t think anyone is doing girls a favour by saying “if a guy assaults you then you are RUINED FOREVER” – aside from that not being consistent with the definition of “strong”, what kind of person conditions a child into thinking that?

  18. @Allan

    ” Yes you are! Yes you are! Abuse really gets in deep to make you question that, so I hope you can really let that sink it deep to counter that!”

    I just wanted to say thank you for this. It’s difficult to remember that it wasn’t my fault some days, especially since I was told every time that it *was*. It was my fault that my body developed so quickly (puberty at 10), it was my fault I sometimes had to take showers without my mom around, it was my fault that he couldn’t control his lust. And of course when my mom found out, it was my fault they got divorced.

    One of the most helpful things I’ve ever heard was when I finally told my future FwB, and he looked me straight in the eye and said “He was the adult. You were the child. He’s at fault, not you. He’s the one who should be ashamed, not you.” It was the first and only time I’ve been fully believed, and it was the most liberating feeling, especially since I’d been expecting disgust or disbelief.

    Allan, you say that you’re familiar with this. I want to help other (no offense intended) men to receive the help they deserve as well. Do you, or TS, know of any organizations that actually work to benefit male survivors that I could donate funds to? I’d like to do my part to assist the community.

  19. Wow, thank you T, that means a lot to me. One of the things that I really, really got a deep understanding for having been in a male survivor group for 3 years, is how “It’s not my fault.”

    That makes me think of a post by another male survivor I’d like to share I really like:

    I am thinking now of what has changed, and what I’ve learned since I’ve been here. I just thought I would share it. It isn’t what’s ‘right’ or wrong for anyone else in healing. Just what’s happened for me.

    1. I have learned it was not my fault. None of it, none of the times, none of the abusers. None of it was my fault. I was the child. I was not in control of what happened to me then.

    2. I have learned that I am in control of what happens to me now. What I do with my life now is mine and not theirs. If I fail or make mistakes with my life now, yes, it is my fault. Because I can not blame the past for my present behavior forever. Else I do not have a future.

    3. I have learned that I am not alone. That I am never alone, in what has been done to me, in how I dealt with it and in my struggles now. No matter how strange my thoughts or ideas are, no matter how strange my fears are, I know that someone else has them, shares them and understands me.

    4. I have learned to feel emotion again. I had shut off for so long, being just a ‘robot’ of emotions. I remember posting something here after a few months about ‘I cried today’. It was many years since I had felt that much. Now I sometimes wish I didn’t feel as much as I do but I remember what it was like not feeling, and I know it is very important to do it.

    5. I have learned that there is some of ‘me’ that ‘they’ could not take away. I have learned that as damaged I am, there are parts of ‘me’ that they could not damage. There are parts of ‘me’ that they could never even touch. And those are good parts.

    6. I have learned to respect my ‘radars’. I have learned to find some faith again in my instincts of people. Yes, sometime I will be wrong, but everybody is wrong sometimes. It is just that most people are not so aware of it because they have not been so hurt and betrayed. Because I have, it feels like a much ‘bigger deal’ if I trust the wrong person again. But now it is not. It’s an annoyance. But it doesn’t damage me as it use to. And if I feel the instinct to not trust someone, I do not make myself try.

    7. I have learned that I can protect myself. That’s hard sometimes, because I sometimes still feel like the 9 year old I was, alone and afraid, with bad things happening and no family there to save me. I know that sometime I still feel and maybe even act like a lost child. But now, I am not. And I have learned to respect that I deserve safety. And I can provide it for myself.

    8. I have learned to like myself some. There is still much growing I must do, and many things about myself I am not as happy about as other things. But that is part of life. What is it if you are so satisfied with yourself right away, what else do you have to do or learn in life? So I am learning some to like myself more, and to appreciate some good things about myself. And to try to not ‘beat on’ myself for negative things so much.

    9. I have learned to share with others, to trust them with some of the most frightening and scarey secrets inside me. I have even learned to love some people–something I don’t know if I ever even thought I’d be able to do.

    10. I have learned that I am stronger–emotionally and physically–than I look, than I even believe myself sometimes. Just because I am a ‘softer’ kind of person does not mean I will not survive, and does not mean I will not succeed. To estimate me is fine. To underestimate me, is not wise.

    As to where to donate, TS has links to some visible organizations, but I’ve comer to understand there is a political problem for men that they don’t recognize nor address. So in short, as I said, the harm done by the many negates the benefit done by the few. They say nothing of this much larger counteracting harm and even seem to enable it by silence and support it in deeds. Like feminists, they will not tolerate even mention of this, let alone discussion.

    So in support of these few, I would suggest a donation for scholarships to a Malesurvivor Weekend of Recovery. I’ve never been, but I hear only good things (which I believe). I favor in person male only groups like this. And, just a blind suggestion, if you want, IDK, you might consider looking into it for yourself. As I’ve said, the “gendering” business doesn’t not work well for males and neither does “male bashing”! You might fit in just fine. Identifying as male is a GOOD thing!

  20. *shakes head*

    “It would seem imperative then that we, as a nation of dads and moms and parties involved in the childhood business must also, in addition to strengthening the core of our young girls, make a more substantial attempt to soften our boys.”

    In other words, he only wants boys to become obedient little doormats to serve at the whims of every girl and woman without any sense of self-respect. I’d be throwing up inside if my bile hadn’t been emptied already by articles of a similar nature.

    And Joanna throws her support behind it? Color me surprised (sarcasm)

    Toysoldier, do you mind if I link this article in the commentary section?

  21. I can’t help suspect that the kind of person who writes something like that, is really just projecting their own tendencies to abuse. Speak for yourself Mr. Bogle.

  22. Looks like someone beat me to it. Your link is below the commentary section. And I checked a few minutes ago. It’s still there.

  23. Pingback: Top Posts of 2014 | Toy Soldiers

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