Thinking about abused men’s shelters

In a blogging mood today. Not expecting anyone to read what all’s posted today since I’m mostly just sorting out thoughts, as I’m prone to do.

Another thought that’s been running through my mind lately are these calls for men’s abuse shelters. Now, frankly, I can’t see them serving much purpose since most men very likely wouldn’t feel comfortable retreating to places like that. Based on what they’ve told me when I’ve asked anyway. In fact, not a single guy I personally know who’s been told of the notion thinks it’s a worthwhile use of funds, because they can’t see many men utilizing such facilities. Pride probably has a lot to do with it. That, and the fact that a lot of guys would rather retreat to a hotel room or to a buddy’s house.

But I continued giving thought to the idea, and I think I’ve come up with a reasonable response to this need, assuming there is a need. What are MRAs’ clamoring about most when it comes to this topic? That there aren’t any (or at least there are very few) abused men’s shelters and that they can’t get government grants and funding to start them up. Well this seems like a silly attempt to follow in feminists’ footsteps by trying to get the State to fund something to mirror what’s been made available to women. My thinking is that there’s no reason to involve the State at all.

Picture this. We live in this society surrounded by oh-so-many people with big houses containing guestrooms. Why not create a grassroots effort where individuals offer up a safe space within their homes to men in need? I’ve considered some of the concerns involved, a big one being to provide secrecy of these locations, and this is where a website venture could come in handy in connecting people in need with people with resources to share. Why not? It’s not a bad idea. And considering how many men are jumping on board with the whole MRM camp, undoubtedly donations would be plentiful, not that there’d be a great need for many since this wouldn’t involve constructing facilities solely dedicated to one purpose.  How much does it cost to make an extra meal (or even a few more if kids are brought along) at dinnertimes? Or to cover the expense of showers and toilet flushings? Not a whole heck of a lot.

I live in a city where there are TONS of big houses (by my standards anyway), and I work for some folks who live all alone in big places with several bedrooms. Rather than worrying about reallocating government funds, why not turn attention to reallocating space and opening it up to people in need? This could also offer the benefit of allowing a man in need to interact with the homeowner opening up his home, which could lead to friendship. It also could lead to MRAs gaining a more realistic assessment of the situation through coming face to face with the purported victims themselves rather than shipping them off to some unseen hideout elsewhere. I think this could provide a fantastic opportunity that feminists passed over by pawning off the problem of abused women onto the State, because feminists, by and large, don’t really get to know these abused women or to hear directly about their experiences or to find out about their natures and ways of being. Could be quite eye-opening for men to seize the day and give it a go themselves. Seems a pity not to considering so many guys are clamoring for shelters, claiming there’s a need, while so many houses contain plenty of space to share with people they claim to care about. Looks like a win-win to me.

I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s a way to bring about a grassroots effort without waiting around for the State and public to care, taking the initiative on oneself, while also simultaneously keeping the costs down. A website catering to this effort in a given locale can’t be that expensive to operate, especially not with volunteers choosing to be involved. People are so quick these days to look to the State to solve our social problems, and I really would like to see us find ways to solve them amongst ourselves where possible, and this looks to me very possible.

Those worried about security concerns can install nanny cams if they feel the need. And undoubtedly people can be screened and their information recorded in case incidences arise.

Isn’t this what communities are supposed to be about, helping people in their times of need? All I ever hear about anymore is political activism to where people seem to have forgotten about our social power and what’s within our means to accomplish on our own. Think of this like a buddy system of sorts where people in need can be paired with folks willing to help them, for however long, according to whatever conditions agreed upon in advance. Seems a shame not to go that route when there’s all this real estate sitting out here serving little purpose other than to provide people with a sense of status and accomplishment. Why not turn that asset into a way to give back to others?

It’s a thought…and assuming the need is as great as many profess it to be, it’s one worth seriously considering.


Read aloud and recorded Aug. 12th, 2014:

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2 Responses to Thinking about abused men’s shelters

  1. B, I’ve given this much thought, and understanding the nature of men believe this is the way forward. Oxford house primarily deal with Drug and Alcohol addicted men trying to recover, but the business strategy of these home suits men’s proclivities and if we can adjust the plan to include abused men and their children I think this would work well. Unlike other shelters these are independently run homes by the individuals who live in them. I have a number of friends who are involved in our state who own and mange the houses and I only hear positive things. Thank you for this post, I think you rock with your thoughtfulness.

    • Byenia says:

      Just checked out that link and it does sound like an interesting model. Self-supporting and long-term, I like that. The monthly costs sound very reasonable and could even be covered by a full-time minimum wage job. And for those supporting kids, pledges and donations could certainly come in handy.

      The thoughts just been brewing in my mind this past month, and I figured I better write it down. Nice to see community efforts already underway to provide at least people with support. Setting up intentional communities generally strikes me as a good way forward. At least it’s one way people can directly come together.

      Thanks for commenting, GOM.

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