Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

Guilt versus contrition


But if men are going to be part of the solution and not merely reject being the problem, then we are called to understand “consent” in a far deeper way that what we can or cannot get away with, than with the legal definition of “consent” that turns courtrooms into voyeurs that go over and over every excruciating and horrifying detail of a victim’s experience – taking the victim with them.

If we are going to be part of the solution, then we will have to approach every situation, first of all, without being on the make.  But more importantly, we need to adopt an attitude of contrition in our relations with women.  I know some men will object to this idea of contrition, because in liberal society we are called to be contrite only in instances of personal guilt.  But the problem here begins with structural power that we have inherited – like it or not; and it is a power that we cannot wash off our hands like blood.  It’s there, attached to us by history and custom and law.  Before we can stand across from our sisters in mutual acknowledgement of our full humanity, we have to stand there contrite for the power that lays at our feet like a shadow.  Our regret for this power – our contrition – is the bridge we can lay between us, and as such contrition is a gift to men.  It is the attitude where we can be open to fully understand – in every moment – that we need to ask, ask again, and ask again – then listen, listen, and listen again.

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This entry was posted on March 24, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , .
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