Just maybe, the problem isn’t men and the New York Times isn’t the right place to go to fix what ails you?
How do I deal with my anger toward men? I go to therapy, I’m on anti-depressants and I’m trying to practice self-care. But I’m still angry. I don’t think it’s unwarranted. I’ve been sexually assaulted at least twice. We live in a time where women have more rights than ever, but our president is an alleged sexual predator. Men are socialized to be condescending toward women, and even the few who check themselves often fail.
The only way to tell if a man is a sexual assaulter is to say no, and once you’re in that position, it’s too late. I have male friends who care about me — some who’ve even been sexually assaulted themselves — but they still don’t understand my pain. In my observation, there are elements of sexism in even the healthiest relationships, and that makes me angry.
I don’t want to be emotionally unavailable to the entire sex that I am attracted to. How am I supposed to find a life partner if I can’t even find many men who treat women like equals?
Justifiably Angry Feminist
How is it even possible that men you are attracted to aren’t beating down your door? Trust the New York Times to provide the answer.
Cheryl Strayed: Your rage is justified, Angry Feminist. I won’t list all the reasons why because you already did that quite well. We both know the list of injustices goes on. It stretches around the globe and dates back through all time. Strangely, it helps me to remember that. Perhaps remembering that will be solace for you too. Here’s why: there’s no way to make an accounting of that infuriating list without seeing also that progress has been made. I know your most immediate fury is rooted in the specific problem you have in your own life — the question of how you can love (or even find) a man when so many have wronged or disappointed you. But sometimes our most particular sorrows are eased ever so slightly when we take a broader view. The fact that your anger can even be expressed in the terms that you’ve expressed it is evidence, to me, that change is afoot. The reasons you cite for your anger — the high incidence of sexual assault, the misogyny of our president and the nation that elected him, the sexism that even enlightened men (and women) enact — aren’t topics being discussed on the margins anymore. They’re being addressed far and wide, loud and clear. And many of our most powerful institutions and assumptions about men and woman are being rocked, if not yet toppled, by that discussion. Take heart in that.
Well, there ya go. I would have suggested adjusting the medication instead. Hope you like cats.