I just had a rare moment in uni class where I felt I needed to step outside because I was angry. I don’t normally do that. When class gets to me, I can usually just rant about it on twitter and laugh at it and let it go. Easy. This time the problem came because we were being called upon to do group work, and the only group available to take me wanted to do a report on male sufferers of domestic violence, because ‘it’s never talked about or taken seriously.’
I’m not crazy comfortable with this subject, because as you may know, I was beaten by my father, and I made this known to the group. I didn’t want to change their topic or aggressively push against what they were doing, though, because I was the latecomer to the group and hey, it’s possible to do this well.
I pointed out that I hear this a lot as an attempt to occlude and obscure things that happen to women; how there are instances of men being struck by their wives, but when they tell the police, it’s accepted and prosecuted more often, about how when they go to trial, women are more likely to go to prison, and while on the flip side, women are most often murdered by a partner. Then one of the group said, ‘Well, when you get back to the basics of what a man is, he’s a strong provider, and-‘
I left the group and took a step outside, because hey, I needed to breathe because I didn’t want to yell at a student just because she was wrong about something.
Now here’s where it gets darkly ironic: After the class is over, I catch up with the teacher to try and explain that I’m not mad at them, or at her, and I’m not refusing to do the work, I just have a problem with that subject matter, because I was a victim of domestic abuse.
She told me I needed to be able to shake that off and just explain things to people.