This Shit is Complex

APANO Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon

This Shit is Complex….

Recently I learned of a complicated past of a man i loved and admired deeply. A man no longer in this world. A man who passed down to another boy the very violence that robbed this man the right to an innocent safe childhood. I learned that this man was sexually assaulted by his own father and possibly a priest. We will never know his full story as he is dead and even if he was still alive would we know his full story? We are learning more and more that men are assaulted and raped in astounding numbers. These stories get buried deep inside the victims and the families, repressed and denied because of shame and homophobia, deeply imbedded within our toxic masculine cultures. This we know: unresolved, repressed trauma gets passed down from one generation to the next. As adrienne maree brown points out in her revolutionary book Pleasure Activism, ‘transformative justice’ requires us to dive deep to understand and transform the underlying conditions that allow the harm to happen in the first place.

Toxic masculinity infiltrates all of us. We just have to look at the devastating effects of violence in all its forms: climate, sexual, economic, gender, religious cultural… We’ve been raised in toxicity and we don’t even know it because it has become our norm and it has become our collective trauma. Peter Levine, trauma therapist says it is our collective trauma that will unite us. But first we have to recognize the trauma on a collective and personal level. We all have a part in making the unconscious conscious. What is our part? Many of us are doing this work already in large and small ways (we may not even know we are doing it). Let’s keep bringing to light how we are disrupting harmful systems, within ourselves and our communities so we can create more and more consciousness, more and more action.
Please share your own examples so we can transform the underlying conditions that caused this complex shit to happen in the first place…. here are a few to start!

Shout out to New Leaf, a men’s support group for building healthy relationships, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
Shout out to mothers and fathers raising boys to identify, feel and express all their feelings!!
to all of us talking, writing, sharing healthy reciprocal consensual sex (I would love to write a series of short young adult erotic fiction and post where young folks gather ie. Instagram? Facebook?
Shouting out men who got this Stephen Law, Nadeem Ghazi, Uswege Mwakapango Richie Maitland, Nigel Mathlin, Sobaz Benjamin, Augy Jones, Tee Johnny, David Jerone, Drew Tupper, Darren Brown, David Fletcher and so so so many more!
Providing safe intentional non-judgmental spaces where youth can speak and be heard(Grenada Listening Project).
Those schools implementing into school curriculum contemplative practices and building healthy relationship education
Just to name a few….
lets keep shouting out and naming the work all!!
please share what you are doing or other folks, organizations are doing to disrupt toxic oppressive masculine/patriarchal systems!

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