(Transcript from DV Connect Men’s Line Manager Mark Walters speech at last night’s Queensland says “Enough” rally.)
Sadly..this is not a new; this is not a novel situation; we have been here before; trying to make sense of a man’s violent actions.
Each act of gendered violence sends shudders down every honest man’s spine.
CAUSE IT’S NOT…..“them and us” not “good men against bad men”.
It’s a problem shared, it’s a shared understanding of a problem needing a shared solution. Vital, urgently…..
Enough already with the “yeah but” because excuses pale in the face of the, heartache, the wreckage and then loss left behind by these senseless acts.
There is pain in men’s lives, there are separations and losses BUT men are doing it in many ways…. without violence!
Masculinity is choosing to move away from a violent expression of fear and of pain; masculinity is moving away from needing to control, from aggression, from domination.
Yes…there are men; hurt, scared and lonely, choosing forgiveness, they’re choosing kindness, choosing self-care and nurturing.
They’re choosing to connect with others, challenging the models of stoic, hard, tough and without feeling;
They’re taking masculine up…. not tearing it down.
At the middle of all this is that choice and those same men are choosing to own their behavior as; “their behavior”; not a response to someone else’s actions.
They are and will always be; responsible for their parenting choices and its impact on their children.
They live their separation courageously, they honor their pain as their own and live through it and the self-discovery it brings with dignity, compassion and vulnerability.
You can’t force connection;
Aggression corrodes intimacy
Fear distorts attachment and
Pain drives women into hiding
We need to come together as men and live the change loudly.
We need to be faithful, kind, caring and proud.
We need to be close, concerned, connected and careful.
To find expressions of soft power.
We need to hold our sons and daughters as the gifts they are, nurture that connection as fragile.
As men; allow each other to change; to find new ways to connect, in meaningful exchanges; around meaningful things.
As men, cherish our connections with our partners and if it ends; respect that history like the fragile stem of a poppy; and challenge that fear that drives to destroy, distort and disconnect.
My challenge to you is to find your sphere of influence, your forum of expression and join me and thousands of others who embrace, model and find forms to express masculinity through soft power…
Queensland Says “Enough!”
Mark is the Mensline Manager for DVConnect.
*This article is published with permission from Mark’s Finding Voice Series.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence in any capacity you should reach out for support.
In an emergency dial 000