Men Who Make a Difference

Published April 18, 2010 by sleepydumpling

It’s not secret that I love Craig Ferguson.  Not only is he cute and funny, I love how intelligent, opinionated, passionate and articulate he is.  I bookmark a stack of videos, pics, quotes and things about him each week and usually Sunday is my internet catch up day, where I go back and take a look at all the bits and bobs I’ve saved for later.

I found this video via Tumblr.  Take a look, especially for the bit at the end, from around the 7:11 mark:

I knew what the subject matter was in that bit, in fact I’d seen a transcript of his comments on the Rhianna/Chris Brown thing, but what I didn’t expect was my reaction.

I fully expected to cheer a bit, say “YES!” and basically be impressed that Craig has had the guts to say something about it.

What I didn’t expect, was to quietly start crying.

Even though I have been safely removed from my abuser for over 15 years, there is still pain.  Even though I know now that the abuse wasn’t my fault, it still hits somewhere deeply when I think of what I and other women have suffered and are suffering.

A lot of good men say it doesn’t matter if they say anything against domestic violence.  They think that their voice against such abuse is pointless and doesn’t change anything.  I know it feels that way, in the face of “smack the bitch around” jokes and comments about how women just get to men so much that there is nothing they can do in retaliation but become abusive.  I know that it feels like it makes a man powerless to speak up, or that it’s pointless.

I am here to say that it is not pointless.  It does matter.  You are not powerless in speaking up against men who are abusive towards women and children.

It matters most to those of us who have suffered and are still suffering.  To hear a man say that hitting women is not acceptable means more than I can put into words.  It gives us heart that there are men out there who would never dream of hurting the people that they love.  Especially when being hurt by the person who is supposed to love you the most is all some women and children know.  It gives us hope that someone is speaking up with those of us who are victims and survivors.

Most importantly, it gives power to women and children who are being abused by the men in their lives to make a change and get out of that situation.

So the next time you hear of a case of domestic abuse dear good men, and I now know you are out there, in the past 15+ years I’ve been fortunate to have many of you come into my life as friends, colleagues, and even romantic interests, do speak up.  Say something.  Say something publicly.

Because you DO make a difference, it does matter.  I thank those of you who do.

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18 comments on “Men Who Make a Difference

  • that was a awesome comeback on the domestic violence , i never really liked Craig Ferguson that much until now oh and i love men who love to make a Difference. i found it horrid that the crowd was booing craig for standing up for what he thinks is right and wrong .have people been so ingrained in the head to think domestic violence is not that bad “as long is as the womens a bitch” like where Applauseing the abuser deeply sad. thanks for the post

  • I love that. “Oh, let’s cut him some slack. NO! Let’s not! Don’t hurt women. Don’t. Ever! Ever ever ever!” Perfect. I’m glad someone had the nerve to say it on national tv.

  • A-freaking-men!

    A big part of the reason abuse continues to go on and on and on is that people of good conscience DON’T say anything about it. Nothing changes until people start making it clear that they want change.

    Good on Craig Ferguson for being willing to stand up and be counted.

  • You know what I love the most? The fact that he’s so passionate about the subject that he starts to get over-worked and his words tumble out faster than he can express them. And then he says “I got a little carried away. But I MEANT IT” and looks right down the barrell of the camera.

    Craig is one man who I really admire for his passion, honesty and the fact that he stands by his word.

  • I knew there was a deeper reason I love Craig F. Thanks for pointing it out. And thanks for writing about this. Silence is what perpetuates abuse. I know in my family we never talked about the way my father treated my mother, and I grew up accepting that it was the norm. So, predictably, I repeated it. Tried to “fix” a man who was abusive and was too embarrased to admit it to anyone. Luckily, my muse Byrne Miller did see it. She intervened, not by telling me what to do, but by showing me what a good relationship between husband and wife was. And that I deserved the same. It’s why I’m writing a memoir about her. She’s my CF hero.

  • You know what I wonder about sometimes? I wonder if there hadn’t been abuse in my life as a child, would I be a morbidly obese woman now? How many of us started out life in a situation like this?

    That would be an interesting question to pose…..things happen in childhood and we develop habits and patterns to help us deal with them. I’m not going to specifically talk about mine here. But there was physical, sexual and emotional abuse when I was young.

    I am NOT saying that I am eating now because of this and that is why I am huge. It could be though that I did eat as a child because of that….and that started this lovely rollercoaster ride. My behavior being set and my metabolism being affected way back then.

    What do you guys think about this?

    By the way….go Craig Ferguson! Anybody that sticks up for the abused, is a winner in my book!

    • I wonder if it’s a contributing factor too. Or if there is some kind of connection somewhere in it all.

  • You know what I wonder about sometimes? I wonder if there hadn’t been abuse in my life as a child, would I be a morbidly obese woman now? How many of us started out life in a situation like this?

    From my casual reading of the blogosphere, I’d say there is a definite correlation. I wasn’t physically or sexually abused as a child or teen, but the way my parents treated me definitely led me to seek comfort in food.

  • Jesus! I was struggling to describe the way my parents treated me, wondering whether it qualified as “emotional abuse”, so I Googled “emotional abuse in children”.

    Yup.

  • Indeed, I was shocked to learn just how much of what I suffered as a child was abuse. I knew I was screwed up, but I didn’t know that there were names for what it was, and that it was wrong. I just thought that’s how life was.

  • Well, in contemplating the “Nature vs. Nurture” of it all – I think, in my case, it’s both.

    I was living in hell (nurture) and the women in my family have a propensity to be “chubby” (nature) – not morbidly obese like I am, but definately weight issues there. And, since we’re italian, we can all cook well and we certainly can all eat well.

    When I had a son 16 years ago, I absolutely almost had a nervous breakdown (literally). I was terrified that I would treat him the way I was treated, that I couldn’t do it right, whatever. I was in therapy for quite a few years – which I’m not so sure really helped me all that much, but…..it did calm me down some (along with some lovely medication).

    After that initial meltdown, I started taking it day-by-day – and here we are 16 years later and my son is well adjusted, he’s an exceptional musician (double bass), has great grades and, for the most part, is confident in himself. He struggles with self esteem issues from time to time, but what teenager doesn’t? Some of his may be because of the example I set in being down on myself. I tried to keep that at bay, but it leaks out. Everytime that comes up for him, we talk it through and come to understand that it’s pointless to feel that way. So, he’s doing very well.

    I decided that I would be the generation that would “draw the line in the sand” and stop the problem with me. I have messed up sometimes and say the wrong things sometimes, but my son knows that we (my husband and I) love him unconditionally and that we will always be there for him no matter what. That has made such a difference in how he turned out as compared to how I turned out. This alone, has made everything I went through as a child worthwhile. I feel so blessed.

    Anyway, I’ve gone way off on a tangent (again!). But, to some extent, I think those of us that struggle with our issue, were set upon this path by our circumstances.

    Hang tough everyone!

  • i think i really misunderstood something, when did the talk all a sudden turn from abuse is to abuse to may have led me to be fat . i suffer my amounts of abuse and that never caused me to be fat. (I wonder if there hadn’t been abuse in my life as a child, would I be a morbidly obese woman now) so you mean you would have been skinny if you wheren’t . it just the way she says it boggle my head . so if we all grow up in the prefect family we’d all be skinny . iam not being mean, but i hate statements like that

    • rr – I do think you misunderstood….I said, if you will read closely – IN MY CASE – it was both nature and nurture. The women in my family are fat, so, therefore , am I – what I’m saying is that I comforted myself with food as a child and still do, to some extent. Therefore, I have a very unhealthy relationship with food. No, I wouldn’t be skinny either way – but I also wouldn’t weigh 350 pounds either.

      If you don’t suffer this particular problem, I am certainly happy for you – that’s just not my experience (and obviously, many others feel the same way). My parents certainly didn’t shove food down my throat, I did that all on my own. Just my coping mechanism….I don’t think perfect families have a thing to do with it. I could have dealt with it in a different way…drugs and alcohol, for example…or, I could have been one of those people that managed to keep my shit together and remain unaffected – but, that’s not what happened.

      This is not a black and white issue and I think that is what you’ve read into the post.

  • There certainly seems to be a correlation in there between poor self esteem, abusive upbringing and body issues (be they obesity or eating disorders or self harm… and so many other issues that are tangled in together).

    Of course it is a very, very grey area, but it would be interesting to see some serious study into the topic.

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