September 27, 2021

Can Stories Help Men Better Understand What It Feels like to Be Preyed upon?

Margaret Callaghan

Creative Writing#Not All Creatures, 2021

The Me Too campaign horrified me; first by how few men seemed to be aware of experiences that are part of women’s lives and by how quickly ‘Me Too’ was undermined by ‘Not all men’. Rather than listen to women who had been open about harrowing experiences, perhaps for the first time, many men used it to deny their own culpability. They weren’t a rapist. They always sought consent. Why? Did they expect applause or merely wish to turn the attention back to them? You don’t have to have your leg bitten off by a shark to avoid swimming in shark infested water. Some men used it to talk of their own harrowing experiences. We have brothers, friends, partners and sons whom we love and are very aware of how threats of violence are part of their life. However these experiences should not be used to try to prove that violence is not gendered. Most perpetrators of violence are men. So much advice is given by men that focuses on physically attacking the man who is being threatening with no understanding of the height, weight or strength differences. As logical argument didn’t seem to work I created The Creatures.