What can you say?

Quakers have Truth as one of their testimonies. The title of the post refers to a quote

You will say Christ saith this, and the apostles say this,
but what canst thou say? Art thou a child of Light and hast thou walked in the Light, and what thou speakest is it inwardly from God?

  • Margaret Fell, quoting from her first encounter with George Fox

Sometimes one of the hardest things to do in life is have a difficult conversation with someone. Speaking Truth is an uncomfortable thing, yet avoiding the truth in conversations can lead to misery and misunderstanding.

One of my interests is in the tensions between the feminist movement and the growing strength of  the Men’s Rights activism. On one hand we have women who still blame the patriarchy for the oppression of women, and on the other hand we have men who are becoming militant in their support of other men who have the high rates of suicide and other indicators of emotional distress.

It is easy to assign the roles of aggressor to males and victim to women without thought, yet as a woman who has experienced bullying by other females of the species for much of my life, I know how aggressive and abusive girls and women can be without raising their finger against you.  Equally I know men who have been victims of family abuse – up to and including physical assault and false claims to the police.

The growing body of evidence is people (regardless of their gender or sexual orientation) who are in abusive relationships just want to be asked if there is a problem, to be challenged in their story that they “just fell down the stairs”.

So if you suspect someone is being abused – just ask.  Be prepared they may even deny it, but it is OK to ask.


About kiwihelen

A Quaker woman with something to say. I am 40 years old, a Pakeha (white New Zealander) who is an economic migrant living in the UK. I am a registered dietitian, a feminist (although I am very aware of the mysandry of some feminist authors and also support the work of some Mens Rights Activists), a crafter and I play the trombone. I am in a long-distance relationship with a Quaker man who has two beautiful daughters. I have 12 nieces and nephews and a great nephew and niece. I share a house with my best friend J, and we are the staff for two cats Archie & Asbo.
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