While attending graduate school in Social Work, at the University of Denver (a university founded by social workers to train social advocates) the assistant dean of the department comes across as your best friend, outgoing and charismatic. Upon doing my internship with the law department in the domestic violence clinic I learned to tell my truth and be authentic. I spoke up in class about injustices in our society – racial and gender. I was polite and respectful, sighting the culture and conditioning as the culprit. and asking questions, questioning “norms”, attitudes, actions, justifications, etc. This dean decided I was the enemy and called a group of professors together for me to defend myself in front of, rather like the witch trials; in front of teachers who were totally dependent on him for their jobs. Others knew of his abuse/narcissism but refused to act due to their dependence in keeping their job. He was/is able to survive where females were abundant (and vulnerable) and among a staff that were society’s “well-wishers”. Even my intern supervisor admitted his history in going after “strong women” in the past, she did nor said anything. The sad part is that I dropped out of school and tried to commit suicide. Because I survived I believe I (and you) are here for a reason. I was a single mom, just escaping from a clinically narcissistic relationship, trying to get clear on reality and sanity. I began to “see” things concerning the insanity that still resides, creating a white blob male perspective on all of society as “normal” and implying it is “natural”. NOT!
When I was fourteen, I was catcalled for the first time. I was wearing jeans and a jumper. When I was fifteen, I was sexually assaulted by my best friend of two years. I tried to commit suicide not long after. Now I’m sixteen, and I’m followed home by drunk men after late shifts at work. I’m scared. But apparently it’s not a thing to be scared of men.
During the “me too” surge on Facebook, a male friend posted that he was sick of all the “gender politics” he was seeing, and wanted instead to talk about a statistic he posted comparing the number of male suicides with suicides of women. I pointed out that this was gendered too, and that while there is certainly a discussion to be had about the high incidence of suicides among men, it’s daft to pretend this has nothing to do with gender politics. I didn’t point out how this is another What About the Menz? – though it is – because I don’t want to trivialise suicide. He’s blocked me!