This is part two of We interrupt this blog to speak to men… I asked if people had thoughts on how we can stop men from behaving badly — towards women and children in particular. People responded, but mostly with what we can do if we see bad behaviour: make noise, identify the man, corroborate the woman’s statement, tell authorities, and so on. I agree with all of that, but the bigger question is how can we eliminate or at least reduce the need for that. Prevention, in other words. I don’t see us as a society taking preventative measures that will eliminate or reduce (help stamp out) ignorant and despicable male behaviour.
If a man is a psychopath or has some major mental deficiency there is probably not much one can do. However, I suspect most men who behave badly have lucid moments. They fit in and interact with others. It is during those lucid moments that we need to somehow motivate them to seek help. In short, if you are a man who has behaved badly or has behave badly thoughts, get help.
Let me get personal for a moment. I’ve never hurt another person. But I have had violent thoughts. They scared me. I think the fact that I was afraid of my own thoughts was a good thing. I sought help. I met once a week for a year with a psychiatrist and we explored my thoughts–the factors that caused them, how I was not acting on them but was afraid that I could… It helped a great deal in that I was able to understand the roots of my thoughts and was able to vanquish them… And that is what I am suggesting men do. Whether you have or have not acted on thoughts that you know, in your lucid moments, are not socially acceptable, get help in dealing with them. Here is a good place to start: http://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/getting-help/#.V4ZPdRUrJ1s.
As the site says, “Some people worry about asking for help because there can be stigma around mental health problems. They may believe that asking for help means admitting that something is wrong. Some people worry about how others might see them.” BUT “Asking for help means that you want to make changes or take steps towards your new health goals. We should celebrate the courage it takes to speak up and make changes. Getting help is part of recovery.”
As my wife said, “Women know that it’s not a gender war we fight, but a war against, entitled, destructive, weak, angry men.” And I am asking men to stop being entitled, destructive, weak, and/or angry. I am asking men to do what it takes to stop attacking women and children. If you have attacked or fear you might/could, then get help. Change. Take control. You can do this. You can become a better person. In fact you are that better person. Sometimes it takes help to find that person. Things may have happened in your life–they did in mine–that makes you a potential despicable person. But that is not who you want to be or have to be. Deal with your past and your thoughts and your (potential) actions. Become a better person. Heck, if I can do it so can you… Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out for it. Go for it. Do it. End the insanity and violence. End it now. Take the first step to becoming that better person.
If you need a nudge in the right direction, leave a comment and let’s see if we can help you get the help you need to become the person you want to be!
Note: I have created a blog where this issue can be discussed. If you want to read more blog posts and join the conversation, click here.