Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ego Surges: When Men Turn to Aggression to Vent Hurt

Yesterday was one hell of a day. But let me begin by saying that I have been reading a very pertinent book by a the mega-selling author of 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff' - Richard Carlson. This one is a follow up and is entitled 'What About the Big Stuff?'. It's not just another load of self-help garbage as some cynics may proclaim. For those that need to get themselves on the right path to living a life guided by wisdom, it is the perfect read. I've gained so much insight from it that it's brought me to a state of inner peace. This is something I've battled with over the past several months so I'm glad to have been taught how to put things into perspective. Firstly by realising how burdensome a mind that never keeps quiet is. I noticed how easy it is for thoughts to run in and out of your head without limitation. I'm starting to develop the habit of stopping certain ones from lingering to long. This often causes a change in emotions. After all, it is true that thoughts precede feelings. The calm that has emerged in my existence emanates from this philosophy. I'm able to concentrate better and most importantly, live every moment to its fullest. What's the use of life if one can't sit back and just take in each second. It makes so much more sense. I know if I hadn't been told or at least reminded of these vital rules by which to abide by, I would've been taken upon a tidal wave of futile emotions this weekend.

Family drama like nothing on this Earth! When I look back on it, boy was it funny. Listening to Grace Jones 'Nipple to the Bottle' this morning reminded me of a male in my family who got physical with me yesterday. Now, it wasn't anything serious. He just tried to ruffle my feathers a little but with my levels of beastliness, it just didn't happen. I managed to break free from him after he held me up against the wall and then, shook me by the head repeatedly. My mother stepped in and stopped the devil from doing further damage. So, I didn't get messed up and I won't have to slash anyone with a kitchen knife in living up to my nickname - Stabs. Haha. All is well in my soul though because I have the wisdom to know that the attack had litte to do with me, I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Mind you, the male I'm talking about has a history of violence against women. I know very well that his anger stems from deep insecurities. On top of that, plenty of male chauvinistic fallacies and a not-so-latent-anymore misogyny. Well, is this the first time I've been confronted by an insecure man's aggression. No, it's happened before yet I've been knowledgable enough to see through it. One guy who happened to be anti-Semitic grabbed my neck and shook me repeatedly after I made a siding remark about Jewish people and the Holocaust but he was also mad because I rejected his advances. So that explained that one. Another male member of my family has pushed me around on two occasions. Now, they've never really hurt me at all. But my curious nature galvanises my interest in male psychology in relation to the above incidents. Men react to their hurt with physical acts. Whereas on the op-end women internalise theirs and tend to become masochism. This shows up in numerous ways. Eating disorders, self-loathing, low self-esteem etc. I've made it a habit of putting things into the right perspective by not getting into fits of rage. But since emotions are somewhat inevitable. Anger must be expressed in an outward direction. Not, I believe, at a person. As men often tend to do because society often condones men objectifying women and children, often times these are the people upon which male anger is attempted to be projected.

Unless the issue of male chauvinism is addressed in relation to male violence. Many women will often continue to blame themselves for the violence that they endure at the hands of men as my contemporaries keep on asking me. "What did you do for him to do that?" It's not a question of what a person does. No matter what a person says or does, a man has no right to lay his hands on a woman without her consent. This is a violation. No matter what. My own mother who was beaten carries this mindset. That if a woman is beaten, it means that she has done something wrong. That is what I call internalised male chauvinism. In essence, BULLSHIT! When will women wake up from these fallacies and see that a man who is physically aggressive in fact toward anyone is pathological and in need of proper psychological help as my poor father is. The first step to getting better is always admitting that there is a problem not with other people but with oneself. The wise Gandhi once said it, "Be the change you want to see in the world."

This weekend has served me with a tremendous deal of insight. Luckily I've had the wisdom to see things objectively - for what they truly are without turning to the usual masochistic way of rationalizing other people's pathologies that women often tend toward.

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