Men have their own ‘dirty laundry’ too

I sighed heavily after reading about the Clothesline Project in Tuesday’s Kernel.

Please don’t misunderstand me: I willingly and enthusiastically support, with voice and action, the defense of women, but men are abused too.

Though it is not as frequent, men are abused in all the same ways women are — mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sexually, verbally and physically.

The largest difference is that men are ashamed to admit that the “weaker of the sexes” has controlled and used them.

Control in abusive relationships is enabled by the abused’s fear of the abuser, and culture at large insinuates that real men don’t have fears.

Society tends to not address abused men’s concerns, throwing their dirty laundry in the garbage instead of trying to clean and hang it out on the line.

I was in an abusive relationship for about three years, and have been used by a woman in all the ways mentioned above. Now, almost a year later, I have many unresolved issues from what I faced, the largest being that I don’t want to talk about them.

I usually preface the story of that time with “Please don’t feel pity” and close with “What I experienced didn’t make me weak; the decision to stay in it for so long was weak.” To my ears, the quivering of my own voice sounds as if I am trying to convince myself of that ending more than the listener.

When I conclude this letter, I will have to make a decision that if this goes into print, will I give my name? Will I step out as a voice with a face in support of abused men? Will I believe that by being a squeaky wheel about this issue I can make a difference about the prejudice of abused men?

Like most men, I would guess, I don’t want to deal with the emotions, and I don’t want to be judged by others.

Admittedly, my first reaction to giving my name is fear, and then sharp anger at feeling so inferior. Fear and anger, just like when I was being abused …

My name is Jacob McNutt.

Jacob McNutt

Civil engineering junior