"Here's what you need to know. Shame is highly, highly correlated, with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders. And here's what you even need to know more: Guilt? Inversely correlated with those things. The ability to hold something we've done or want to do up against who we want to be, is incredibly adaptive. It's uncomfortable, but it's adaptive.
The other thing you need to know about shame is it's absolutely organized by gender.... Shame for women is this web of unattainable, conflicting, competing expectations of who we're supposed to be. And it's a straitjacket. For men, shame is not a bunch of competing, conflicting expectations. Shame is one: Do not be perceived as weak.
I did not interview men for the first four years of my study. And it wasn't until a man looked at me one day after a book signing and said to me, "I love what you have to say about shame, but I'm curious why you didn't mention men." And I said, "I don't study men." And he said, "That's convenient." And I said, "Why?" And he said, "Because you say to reach out, tell our story, be vulnerable. But you see those books you just signed for my wife and my three daughters? They'd rather me die on top of my horse than watch me fall down. When we reach out and be vulnerable, we get the shit beat out of us. And don't tell me from the guys and the coaches and the dads. Because the women in my life are harder on me than anyone else."
« Older Alan Garner's Weirdstone of Brisingamen trilogy is... | How Three Germans Are Cloning ... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt