MortalGoddess

Suggestion For Members Fearing Opposite Sex

18 posts in this topic

I've noticed lately there's been a bit of...uproar regarding survivors and fearing the opposite sex (and comments members male about their fears). I was wondering if we could have a seperate topic/forum for survivors to talk about just their fear of the opposite sex. I know members start them, but it seems like they become forgotten easily. Or maybe a couple of chat nights? I know that by talking to other survivors (outside of the site) without worry that I'd be yelled at for describing my fears/beliefs, I was able to work past my fears.

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Perhaps people could write in the male/female only forums - these are passwprd protected so men can only access the male only forum and woman the female only forum?

karen

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As I stated on your other post about this matter, it should not be a question of 'where' to make these statements but 'how'. If you are afraid to say something in a certain way in fear that you may offend other members, it really shouldn't be said. At least not in that manner.

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I think it's a tough one.

Fear of another sex can be understandable, but then the way that some people express it can be offensive. For example, saying all men are the same.

I find this offensive in the female only forum too, and I don't like seeing it anywhere on the board.

As I have said before and probably will continue to say, people would find it shocking for someone to say 'I am scared of people who are from Japan' (Shido - I'm just using that example since you posted before me!) but for some reason it seems fine to be scared of people based on their gender, just not their race.

I think the wording of the post should be strongly considered. There doesn't seem to be a solution to suit everyone though :(

Possum

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:agree2:

I will also say, since we're making comparisons, that people with orangish/red hair startle me when I catch a glance at them. My main abuser has that hair color and it's obviously quite rare in Japan. When I catch it out of the corner of my eye for a moment I'm terrified that it's him. But when I realize it's not, I'm fine. I don't rationalize that it's ok to feel that way about all red heads. I do not avoid speaking to them or having them as friends.

So yes...it is understandable to have instinctive fears ingrained form years of abuse, but that doesn't mean they're ok. And it doesn't mean it's the fault of anyone else belonging to that group. I do think people should be allowed to express their fears. But not in a manner that can be construed as discrimination.

Power to the gingers! :P

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Power to the gingers! :P

Yay! I hope I don't frighten you :-)

xx

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I think Ginger is an awesome colour of hair. I so wish I had Ginger Hair.

On a serious note:

So yes...it is understandable to have instinctive fears ingrained form years of abuse, but that doesn't mean they're ok. And it doesn't mean it's the fault of anyone else belonging to that group. I do think people should be allowed to express their fears. But not in a manner that can be construed as discrimination.

I totally agree with this, I don't think there's a better way to put it.

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I think it's a tough one.

Fear of another sex can be understandable, but then the way that some people express it can be offensive. For example, saying all men are the same.

I find this offensive in the female only forum too, and I don't like seeing it anywhere on the board.

Exactly. Just because it is hidden from those who share a particular gender doesn't make it somehow acceptable. I would find it offensive that there are secret hate threads on a site that welcomes all survivors of sexual violence. There are ways of discussing fears that allow a survivor to work through them without committing psychic damage on other survivors or perpetuating stereotypes and bigotry. For instance, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should be posting ANYWHERE that one particular group of survivors are less than human when compared to another. However, saying that "I'm having trust issues with ________ as a result of my past traumas", would be an entirely different issue as the survivor is clearly trying to work on the issue, rather than just projecting those fears onto innocent bystanders via guilt by association.

Just a for instance...

Edited by jlandrith

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Exactly. Just because it is hidden from those who share a particular gender doesn't make it somehow acceptable. I would find it offensive that there are secret hate threads on a site that welcomes all survivors of sexual violence.

Personally I always reply to threads I see like this with my views, and report them, no matter where they are on the boards.

I quite agree that saying one is having trust issues because of abuse is different to saying all xxxxs are all the same.

This topic keeps cropping up, I think I'm boring people with my views! But nevertheless, I will continue to post. I won't have any 'group' of people based on age, sex, race, religion etc. discriminated against or made to feel bad for being here because they share an attribute with someone's abuser(s)

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However, saying that "I'm having trust issues with ________ as a result of my past traumas", would be an entirely different issue as the survivor is clearly trying to work on the issue, rather than just projecting those fears onto innocent bystanders via guilt by association.

That is what I'm trying to get across. But my other topic....apparently I didn't do that well enough. I'm not trying to encourage prejudice and discrimination only that people look within themselves and find what they truly fear.

I sometimes forget I haven't had the same long discussions about fear and the meaning behind it. To my RL friends (most of whom are male) if I say "I'm afraid of men" they realize I'm talking about specifics, not the general populace. As a whole, men don't fear me. Being alone with a person I don't know who happens to be male does; having my personal space invaded (by male or female) scares me. I'm also afraid of seeing an older female in a motherly way because I don't want to be ignored and rejected again; my mother basically ignored my abuse.

For a long time I used very generalized, hateful and prejudice statements to describe my fears. Not only was I not mentally/emotionally ready to look at the why, I also didn't know how. I'm trying to help others find the strength to look for the specifics of their fear.

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It's really a fine line between allowing discussion of these fears and not being discriminatory in the process. It unfortunately falls to the discretion of the poster. And as you've mentioned, they may not see anything wrong with blatantly saying "I think men are evil".

The best conclusion I can think of is that while the environment should support the premise of sharing these fears, the people it may invariably offend should have the right to say so and attempt to explain why. I do not think this can be achieved in PMs with the OP or moderators. I think it needs to be as visible as the discrimination.

But it also falls to us men (and women on the same side) to find a way to constructively point out these issues so as to not drive a larger gulf between us than there is already.

I will wholly admit that I am not the best conversationalist in emotional matters as I rarely understand how people work in that regard. But I do quite honestly try. I suppose that's all I can ask for in return.

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I agree with everything said here, and just posted elsewhere about it being an issue of fear. Sorry, didn't see this thread.

I agree it is an important discussion as long as it's respectful and careful in wording.

As a moderator, I will do my best to help, but I also agree that this is a conversation that can benefit us all and shouldn't be hidden.

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This certainly is a hot topic lately. I do think it's a fine line to walk. You want to be able to express your thoughts but you also don't want to offend anyone. Having said that, I think there is a huge difference between saying that you are scared of a certain gender and saying you hate that gender. People frequently confuse those two statements and then comments start getting pretty negative.

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This certainly is a hot topic lately. I do think it's a fine line to walk. You want to be able to express your thoughts but you also don't want to offend anyone. Having said that, I think there is a huge difference between saying that you are scared of a certain gender and saying you hate that gender. People frequently confuse those two statements and then comments start getting pretty negative.

I agree there is a difference Kelly, but the point I was making before is if someone wrote 'I am scared of all Muslim people because of September 11th', their post would probably be removed because although a minority of that group did something terrible, most are not like that and therefore the statement would really hurt them (I know there are all sorts of conspiracy theories about who actually did it, I'm just making a point though!!).

It just seems that for some reason it is okay to do that when it comes to gender? I don't understand why that is.

I'm open to hearing explanations, I just think it is something that isn't fair to a lot of the members here.

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This is a good thread and I am so glad this topic is being openly discussed. I agree that it is so important to separate the two issues: fear and discrimination. I think that the issue can be difficult for many people (in particular survivors) because not everyone can express their fears well or be self-aware enough about themselves and their relationship to others to distinguish their fears from prejudice. I think having AS as a forum to support survivors, but to also to educate them about the difference between fear and discrimination is a very important and positive thing.

"But it also falls to us men (and women on the same side) to find a way to constructively point out these issues so as to not drive a larger gulf between us than there is already. "

I really appreciate this comment. "Constructively" addressing these issues is really important to me as well. This is an open forum to ALL survivors and many here may not have had the opportunity to develop perspective or clarity on these issues yet. It is very important to enlighten ignorance, but keeping always in mind who is on this site. I feel that gentleness, of which all of us could use more of, is so important.

In the broader spectrum of AS, perhaps another review of the wording in the guidelines might help, ie. some examples given of what discriminatory language looks like. I know it might seem unnecessary to many, but again there are people from all walks of life here. If AS is to be more than just a supportive place, but also a place to learn and grow about oneself, then it may be necessary to spell things out in a much more obvious way for some.

Anyways, that's just my 2 cents. I'm glad this topic was started.

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Good point, briarrosa,

Maybe it would be helpful to re-word some of the guidelines in regard to this, as well as put some additional material on the board that could be helpful to understanding this issue.

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I started topics for fear of opposite and same sex. I'm pretty sure they're in the "gathering place" forum. Don't have time to go look it up right now.

As I said in both topics: I'm trying to show members how to get to the root of their fear (not that there's anything wrong with a "general" fear) and how to express it.

Edited by MortalGoddess

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