This is not how I wanted to start my day.

(TW: Contains discussion of violence.)

Dear New York Times:

Many men grow up in a world of hostile body language and real physical violence that is almost entirely invisible to women.

What the everloving fuck?

I’m sure a multitude of men deal with aggression, hostility, and violence, and I’m sure that for a significant chunk of them, working through this with a therapist who is also a man is beneficial and sometimes necessary. I’m not prepared to, nor do I wish to, police how other people seek mental health services. There are probably many good discussions of this elsewhere, but that is not what this post is about.

What I am prepared to do, however, is call bullshit where I see it. And pretending like that violence, actual or potential, is invisible to me is bullshit. Just because I don’t factor into your account of the situation, it does not mean that I’m not watching, that I haven’t witnessed and lived with this, in one form or another, for nearly thirty years. I do not live with violence at home at this point in my life, but my work environment involves this type of aggression pretty much every day. I’m not a counselor, but understanding, intervening, and — most importantly — planning to minimize and prevent hostile conflicts is a fundamental aspect of my job.

And that doesn’t even take into account the parts of my day where I’m not in a position of relative power and where I don’t have the option to call for backup.

Ultimately, in order to function in my world, I have to be acutely aware of posturing, insecurity, shame, tiny movements of body language, tone of voice, challenges, failing to meet someone’s eyes or holding their gaze for an instant too long, the frustration or justification after a moment has passed. Even if I’m invisible inside that, I don’t have the privilege of allowing it to be invisible to me.

NYT, for you to presume that I’m oblivious, to even entertain that as a fantasy, again — What the everloving fuck?

A stack of newspapers

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About

I'm here. I like stuff. Some other stuff, I like less.

Posted in non-asana, present, satya
2 comments on “This is not how I wanted to start my day.
  1. Jessie E. says:

    Ugh. It’s an interesting article and an interesting issue…and would be infinitely moreso if it had offered a realistic, non-sexist evaluation that gender plays in therapy. “Women can’t understand X” is obviously not that.

    And as the article itself points out, it’s nonsense. If we had to live clients experiences to be helpful to them, therapy would be in trouble.

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