The way society views male nature and male responsibility,
conversing on whether “Boys will be boys” 
makes my head spin in circles.

I grew up with fiction and film teaching me that men work extremely hard 
to control themselves from their frequent, inevitable urges to rape, harass, and assault. 
I grew up being taught how scared fathers are to leave their daughters alone with men-
even good men, and even their husbands. 

This all made perfect sense to me as a child, 
along with the idea that whether or not I had any value as a woman 
was directly linked to whether or not men wanted to commit 
sexual violence against me.

And yet now, this narrative makes no sense to me. 
Why would anyone think all men 
are compelled constantly to heinous crime?

And yet, I do not ask out of innocence. 
I hold this confusion knowing firsthand just how common it is for men- 
good men- to harass, assault, and rape. 
It is all too constant and familiar to me. 

And yet, I do not say that as the most hardened of females. 
They placed me on their scale of victimhood,
and I graced their bottom half. 

And so all this tells me is that every good thing is 
very thoroughly broken, 
and that men’s capacities should not be judged by their past performance, 
and that the measure of a woman's pain 
shouldn’t be judged at all. 

9 thoughts on “Whiplash

  1. 04/04/2021


    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇

    ◇ “The thing is, it’s PATRIARCHY!!! that says men ARE STUPID!!! and MONOLITHIC!!! and UNCHANGING!!! and INCAPABLE!!! It’s PATRIARCHY!!! that says men HAVE ANIMALISTIC INSTINCTS!!! and just CAN’T STOP!!! ThemSelves from HARASSING!!! and ASSAULTING!!! it’s PATRIARCHY!!! that says men can only be attracted by Certain Qualities, can only have Particular Kinds of Responses, can Only Experience The World in Narrow Ways.

    FEMINISM!!! Holds that men ARE CAPABLE!!! of MORE!!! – MUCH MORE!!! than that PATRIARCHAL!!! BullShit that Many Ladies Buy In To.” ~ Anon. Attributable to Any FEMINIST Worth His or Her Salt

    ◇ – Diamond Hard – ◇



  2. Wow, this is an incredible piece of writing. I’m so truly sorry or the awful truths expressed. The line, “And so all this tells me is that every good thing is very thoroughly broken” well captures the truth of the matter, but despite this deep truth, there are some good men (even though broken) who are yet honorable, albeit imperfectly so (and I would not call any man good, brokenness notwithstanding, who would harass, assault, or rape a woman; such a man is not worthy of the term, he is just a despicable beast). I pray that you will find healing and come to know a good man.


    • Thanks, Craig! I feel like misogyny, a sense of entitlement, and general ignorance when it comes to boundaries are pretty pervasive in our culture- the sorts of things that taint everyone, if only to the smallest degree.

      I find that at times it is helpful to stick a legal label on a behavior. At times it is helpful to label a person good or bad. And at times, it is helpful to say a person has experienced a great evil. But a lot of times, trying to define or measure where these things begin and end is just messy, and at times it may even be of little significance compared to simply rebuking a behavior and healing a wound.

      I think because of this, it’s really hard for a woman to define- to herself at all, or in a way that is understood by others- her experience in the world. Unfortunately, people always seem to want her to if she’s going to speak out about these topics! LOL Which is kind of representative of the problem I just described, actually, and you see the poem wrestling with it.

      I really appreciate your comment! You may be happy to know that I’m going on seven years with a really respectful, humble, and gracious husband, and I had a lot of great models to help me learn to choose such a man! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful reply. It is indeed a messy topic and everything you said makes good sense. Your poem dealt with it well. Although as a man I can never know what it feels like to be a woman, I have a wife and two daughters that I love dearly and protectively, and that has caused me to want to see things through their eyes, but it is not the same. I appreciate the insights that your poem and your reply provide. And yes, it does make me happy to know that you are happily married to a husband who loves you.

        Liked by 1 person

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