A Respected Change

by Cory Copeland on December 5, 2011

Today, I bring you a  16 days of Action guest post from writer and provocateur, Cory Copeland. Like Hannah, this is Corey’s second guest post in as many months. In the time that I’ve known him, I’ve come to know that Corey thinks hard about relationships. He also seeks to live out the idea that the way to great relationships is to start with your own heart!

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I have a confession: I’ve abused women. I’ve hurt them, and I’ve made them fearful. I’ve lumbered above them in a show of strength and superiority. I’ve even angrily pushed them to the point of tears, heaping my own insecurities and shortcomings upon them so that they would share in the pain I held within my own heart. I have been viciously violent against the fairer sex—and I did it without ever lifting a finger.

Violence is usually considered as a physical altercation; one leading to the abuse of another. But we know that words, when sent flying from our mouth in a furious cavalcade of stinging spurts, can bruise the emotions and heart as easily as a flying fist can bruise a soft cheek. This causes deepened damage that is not easily repaired. This type of violence—while not as readily addressed—is, in fact, an act of aggression, and should be discussed and treated as such.

I wish I could say that I was waxing dramatic for drama’s sake, but the truth is that I have exercised my demons by abusing women in my life with my words. It wasn’t a concentrated effort to do so, but I did it nevertheless. I’d become angry for one reason or another, and in that incensed anger, I’d find myself spitting awful words—sometimes at an increased decimal—at her, hoping she would feel the wrath as my words flew at her in violence. I did these things because I hadn’t yet possessed the one root belief that causes a man to bend his words in patience and understanding. I was verbally violent against those women because I had not yet learned how to respect them. I am shamed to admit it to you now, but I only do so to prove that a man can change if he chooses to bring about a change within himself first.

The situation that pushes a man to become violent against a woman includes many variables, including his anger, his upbringing, and his proclivity for violence in other situations. And while it sickens me to think of a man laying his hands on a woman in a forceful, violent manner, the belief that he has the right to do so comes from a basic lack of respect for women as a whole. Yes, women’s liberation has taken many mighty steps forward in the last 40 or so years, but women are still not seen as a man’s equal in many parts of the world. This is not okay. So for a man to become violent against her—physical AND verbal abuse apply—he first has to possess a void of respect for her as a woman. Violence may come from the belief of superiority, but it’s the lack of respect that allows a man to lay his hands or words against a woman’s being.

There will always be violence in our world; it’s a sad and lonely truth. But the actual violence against women is something that cannot and should not be tolerated. We, as a people, and as men specifically, can choose to alter our feelings of superiority so that an act of violence against a woman is left uncommitted—and never even considered in the first place.

As women, you are worth more respect than you’ve been shown. A change is needed, far and wide. To do so, we must first amend our mindset to include the equality and respect of women everywhere.

Then, we can hopefully see the waning of violence against women as a whole. It takes only a change in what and who we respect; a change in our core beliefs.

This type of change is wanted. This type of change is needed.

Now, let us allow it to happen.

Cory Copeland writes on God, life, and love on his blog www.MadtoLove.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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This post is part of the 16 Days of Action toward eliminating violence against women. The 16 Days of Action is a global campaign founded by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, I’m hosting posts across the 16 days, from 25 November to 10 December. You can help by sharing these posts on social media, by taking care of the women around you, & by standing against violence against women. You see the full list of posts here.
Connect with Anna on Academia.edu, Linked In, facebook page, & Twitter.

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  • http://www.tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara Out Loud

    In my guest post for this series I wrote about how much harder it was to overcome the feelings of worthlessness caused by a man's words than by his physical domination. Your post is spot-on. Hard for me to read because of what it makes me remember, but good and important just the same. Thanks, friend.

    • corycopeland

      Thank you, Tamara. I'm proud of you for being stronger because of (and in spite of) the things you've been through.

  • http://laurennicolelove.blogspot.com lauren dubinsky

    @Tamara – YES. Worthlessness > Physical Domination.

  • http://www.transformingwords.org/wordpress Don Sartain

    Cory, excellent post. I'm not sure what you mean by this though:

    "…but I only do so to prove that a man can change if he chooses to bring about a change within himself first."

    Can we really bring about a change in ourselves? Do we possess an ability to will ourselves into addressing the heart issue required for viewing women differently, or only to control our behavior?

  • http://www.MadtoLove.com Cory Copeland

    I believe that I am living proof that a man can change his views if he truly wants to. I was ignorant and selfish in my way. I believe myself to be better now. Maybe it came from maturity, but nevertheless, I understand that women are to be respected.

    Basically, that line is addressing the fact that if we want to see wide-spread change, we have to start with ourselves first.

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