My Culture (Almost) Scared Me Out of Intimate Friendships

The amount of pressure that people have put on both Christians and non-Christians alike to get married is immense – and for some people it’s isolating.

“This leaves lots of people feeling inadequate when they’re without a significant other. Romantic relationships, like all close relationships, affirm people in the assurance that they are greatly valued and treasured by someone else. That’s a wonderful thing. But like all good things, we have a habit of distorting the goodness of relationships, and treating romantic relationships like they are the only ones that can make us feel whole.”

Marriage isn’t the only thing that defines people and it’s important to remember that. There are people who will never get married, some who don’t want to, some who can’t, or maybe some who lost a loved one, and that doesn’t diminish their worth.

The culture we live in also pushes a hyper-masculinity, which can really damage people as Joe points out. Stop shaming men for showing emotions. Stop shaming men out of having guy friends.

“We need to stop shaming men out of having intimate friendships with one another. It’s a good thing. Having close friends that you look forward to seeing in the future is healthy. Having friends that you can turn to in times of trouble is wonderful. When did it become wrong for men to be emotionally attached to others? All of us experience loneliness from time to time, but I feel like so many men bring it on themselves. Vulnerability is hard, but we shouldn’t stop being vulnerable just because we’re bad at it. Despite what the world around us says, being open and honest builds relationships, and that open honesty should extend to your friends. If it doesn’t, we’re giving ourselves a more bleak and isolated life than God designed us to live.”

I feel like many of these issues intersect with one another. Homophobia, hyper-masculinity, and yes, even feminism, can all intersect and interact with one another. When men are pushed to shield their emotions, it can put a lot of stress on friendships and marriages, especially between a man and a woman because a woman is expected to shoulder these emotional responsibilities.

Casual and Different

I grew up in a time of widely accepted hyper-masculinity. For young boys in the early 2000’s, it was not okay to be seen as weak or even remotely feminine. It was encouraged to be cold, calloused, and even cruel. I still see this mentality carry over in today’s youth, and I see these expectations projected onto and from grown adults. For young men in America, it is only socially acceptable to show love and affection to young women who we’re romantically and sexually attracted to. And even in those cases, men are still expected to show a lack of emotional attachment and vulnerability. This was a blunt reality when I was a child, and today, it seems like an unspoken assumption.

In addition to this, homophobia was (and still is) a cultural norm. Especially when I was growing up, gay was a word used to demean people for being sensitive…

View original post 1,147 more words

Advertisements

Do You Care About Injustice?

Today at my old college there was a protest over a professor getting fired after he was accused of sexual assault. They don’t believe the girl who reported him – but why is this what these students care about. This an only this. I don’t even know if this man is or isn’t guilty – but what I do know is that the college ignored injustice for years. So why now?

Where were these protests when I was dismissed from the college after reporting a sexual assault? Where were these protests when the boy was found not guilty even though he admitted it and I had proof? Where were these protests when the boy was allowed to stay on campus if he wrote a paper on the sanctity of marriage. Where were the protests when a serial rapist was allowed to graduate? Where were the protests when administration stayed silent?

Where were these protests when this college refused to take our sexual assaults seriously. 

Is it just because you cared more for this professor than you did for any of the students? Because you don’t care about assault survivors? 

Bethany 

Snow is Glistening, a Beautiful Sight, but I am NOT Happy Tonight

image1-2

I should love winter. I work at a ski resort and I love to ski and snowboard. Snow is my favorite thing other than Christmas trees

But my winter is filled with horrible memories of every single one of my abusive exes.. I’m reminded of our good times and our bad. I’m reminded of being raped and sexually assaulted.

I fucking hate winter.

Honesty time, I’m terrified that I will never love anyone as much as I loved my last ex. The ex who was emotionally abusive and sexually assaulted me. Our relationship WAS good during most of it. He treated me the best…
And I’m terrified that I will love this horrible person forever.
Bethany

I Miss…

I  miss my old school. I miss being happy. I miss things being easier. I miss not being exhausted all the time. I miss the time before this hurt. I miss my old life. I miss my old friendships. I miss being okay. I miss it all.

I feel like my heart is breaking and it’s not even over a person.

Bethany