Thursday, November 03, 2016

My Safe Space, Detoxing Masculinity and Now I am Afraid of Spiders and Lady Bugs

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Fellow men, our self-perceived and peer-enforced inability to personally access and publicly express our full humanity is destroying us. And it’s damaging our loved ones and the world we all inhabit.

None of the men reading this likely see ourselves as anything like a Trump, or a Trump supporter. I know I don’t. But I also know that I have hurt women around me through the kind of masculine (and in my case, white masculine) entitlement that causes people to react to their struggles by identifying with his messages of fear, control and dominance. I have experienced the entitlement to dominate physical and emotional spaces over women. To gaze upon and touch women without their permission. Things I’m not proud of, that I can’t believe I thought were acceptable at the time, for which I have apologized, and from which I’ve learned. At the core of it has been a stunted faculty with emotional processing, where somehow along the way I internalized the idea that the objectification and sexual attainment of women would fill emotional voids for me.

What the dominant culture of toxic masculinity has done to us is unhealthy and unacceptable. I want to heal my toxic masculine coding and build the emotional, analytical and reflective tools to become a better friend, son, partner, neighbor, someday a father, and more. Collectiveaction

My home on Rockwell Street in Morgan
Park of Chicago  was intended to be a safe-space for me, once the kids moved out.  There I could freely explore my place in patriarchy and role in perpetuating the date-rape culture, gun-violence and the objectifying of women, as well as the thousands of  micro-aggressions I crank out by the minute.

 I thought of going to Duke University and signing up for the Man's Project "which sees a cohort of students get together each week to discuss men’s experiences with various elements and intersections of masculinity. In these sessions, they seek to create a male space with conversations focused on inclusion rather than exclusion; to bypass the turning of the shoulder that often happens when men think it’s better to suffer alone in strength than talk in vulnerability, to challenge the way we have traditionally thought of manhood in order to raise the standard of good men in tackling sexism and gender violence."

Instead, I decided to stay in my own safe space . . .with Alan Ford.

I thought about all of  the times that I wished date-rape had happened to me - never did - and I felt bad about it.  It would have been nice, if an exotic Eurasian Babe with legs up to H'yar had knocked me off my stumpy legs, grabbed me by my close-cropped hair with a grip that Janet Guthrie would have been proud of and smooched the hell out of me and then went after my old gigglestick with a gusto!

I've felt worse.

No getting around it.  I am one toxic male. Perhaps, I thought, I am not being vulnerable. Vulnerable is new Invincible!

I love puppies and kittens; rodents, not so much.

I love women's nylons, garters, silkens and satins and fancy things - on them. . . .for a while.
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I love Fabric Softener and Wagon Train re-runs.

I love the Wizard of Oz - the flying monkeys and the Cossack guards.

I love Russ Meyer movies, but not Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill Kill - creeps me out.

Both Sides Now, by Judy Collins makes me feel the need to shower.!!

I wish I could still light tire fires under abandoned Viaduct at 75th Place and Wood Street and then look at Jugs and Ammo with Larry Fischeli and Al McFarland.

There I have de-toxed!  Now, to sheet rock the basement, eat a few Slim Jims and watch Roller Derby!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!  A Bug!  A Lady Bug!  Hate them.

Safe Space!

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