Men should develop their emotional muscles

Evone Monteith raised significant concerns recently in her letter about the acknowledged and unacknowledged power of males

Dear Editor,

Evone Monteith raised significant concerns recently in her letter about the acknowledged and unacknowledged power of males in intimate relationships and beyond. She references allegations against C.B.C. radio host Jian Ghomeshi. Several women have alleged violence against them by Mr. Ghomeshi over several decades.

The statistical record shows how greatly women are affected in relationships. The Alberta Justice Department’s Handbook for prosecutors and police mentions that “in 2009, approximately 6.2 per cent of Canadian women indicated they had experienced spousal violence within the past five years. Within Alberta, this percentage increased to 7.6 per cent, although this marks a significant decrease from 2005 when Alberta experienced the highest rates of domestic violence in Canada (10 per cent). From April 2009 to March 2010, Alberta’s domestic violence shelters accommodated 6,169 women and 5,601 children. During this time frame, 9,934 women and 6,342 children were unable to be accommodated and had to be turned away.” These are women who have connected with Women’s Shelters and the figure does not include women who have not.

Based on the numbers of women who have reported domestic violence over a period of time in Alberta and using very conservative numbers, 120,000 to 150,000 women in Alberta have suffered from domestic violence, a population significantly larger than city of Red Deer.

Violence is the result of unresolved conflict, where the reptilian response of fight or flight kicks in.

How to overcome those responses involves coming to terms with powerful emotions like anger and frustration. Men are often action oriented yet they have another undeveloped side, which includes thoughtfulness and reflection. Clearly they have capacities many have not explored. That is the long game: flexing emotional muscles that will atrophy if not used.

George Jason