Part of the feedback I received from my last blog http://thesilenceofdomesticviolence.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/its-good-to-talk.html was ‘ when we (men) have spoken out, we are not believed or listened too.’
Men and boys aren’t encouraged to speak out or talk about their problems or issues. As a man speaking out, I have been described on numerous occasion as ‘being brave.’ To be honest, I don’t see myself as such however I do feel strongly that injustices should be identified and addressed. If we remain silent, how can anything be done?
It is true, though, that some attempts by men/boys are met with ridicule. In the past this would also be true for women, but no one would dare to belittle the female gender.
Men haven’t been good at speaking out about the issues that deeply affect and trouble them. This may be because from an early age, we are conditioned to grin and bear it. Take for example, the way parents generally deal with crying children:
Little Emily cries.” What’s wrong, dear?” Emily then has the opportunity to speak and be heard.
Little John cries. “Stop crying…Big boys don’t cry..” Poor John then learns early in life that no-one really wants to listen to him share his concerns. He then goes through life being unable to speak out.
As a victim of Domestic Victim, I felt I couldn’t speak out about what was happening to me because no body would believe me.
As a man, I also know that I don’t visit my Doctor as often as I do. The few occasions when I have made an appointment, my opening statement has either been, “Sorry to waste your time, but my partner said I should see you about this,” or “It’s probably nothing but…”
It has been long established that men are less likely to visit their Doctors and often by the time they receive a diagnosis, effective treatment may no longer be available. This is one contributory factor to why men on average die at a younger age than women.