Posted by: joshjasper | January 9, 2009

Don’t Stop Believing

I can empathize with the people that have been working in this field for years and years that have been worn down by obstacles and issues that I now experience regularly.  I can also understand how after awhile a person can experience feelings of doubt, and hopelessness.  This is not easy work.  What I cannot understand and I refuse to accept is how people people become jaded and begin to exude those pessimistic notions onto those around them.  That very pessimism is like kryptonite to the strongest of us all.

Recently I attended a training for directors of agencies similar to ours.  Time and time again I found myself feeling like an outcast, feeling like the person that surely must have their head in the clouds when it comes to believing that violence against women and children is something that can, and will in fact be eliminated.  Again, I completely get a group of people venting about the struggles that each of us face and how daunting it all can be at times.  But if at least a part of you doesn’t believe in what you are doing, no matter what that is, doesn’t it all then become that more difficult to realize success.  For example, imagine if my basketball coach in high school would have thought we were never going to win a game, and went so far as to share those feelings with the people that he was coaching.  I can’t see how we would have won 1 game with that type of mindset.

Like anything, it can be difficult to see the smallest improvements made when the goal is something so large that many people have a difficult time even grasping.  But that doesn’t mean that the improvement doesn’t exist.  I mean, I attended a bachelor party about a month ago and not only did the group not go to a strip club at the end of the evening, the idea never even came up.  Knowing our community and the fact that there are 6 strip clubs in the area and how that is the typical default way to end the evening at a bachelor party, that to me is success.  I’ll take it!  That was one less time a group of guys spent money for the opportunity to objectify and degrade women.

Sometimes you have to make the same amount of effort to notice the good that is being done while making the effort to accomplish that good.

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Responses

  1. It is grand to suggest a world completely free of violence against women and children. I think the same world would have to be violence free, period. And that’s why it seems like such a stretch. I feel so hopeless sometimes when, in the most unlikely of places, I see objectification of women completely embraced as a natural, normal state of being. “The way it is” I often hear, almost to say one should throw their hands up and just accept it already.

    I heard an interview this morning with Joan Rivers on NPR (National Public Radio of all places), about her new book “Men Are Stupid and Love Big Boobs” or something like that. The jist of it was we live in a world where looks matter, and we need to, I guess, go with it. Rivers stated “Look at magazine covers, they always have beautiful women!” (I’m paraphrasing). When I look at magazine covers (with the ‘beautiful women’), I often see objectification of women, the pornographic eye, or a pouting vulnerable sex object.

    And the “Men are Stupid” title. Where do I begin? Selling men so short, lowering our expectations, showing such a low opinion…Is this what my son has to grow up looking at? That he’s ‘naturally’ this uncontrollable dim witted beast that ‘likes big boobs’? Nice message Joan, real nice.


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