By Rebecca Baldwin, Internet Professional, Goonellabah, NSW
Lately I have seen some pretty horrific treatment of women. I have watched some close female friends get belittled, intimidated and demeaned online and off, and in the national mainstream media.
Mostly this has been instigated by ‘Keyboard Cowards’. Men who use text messages, emails and blogging to debase, harass and intimidate their former partners, and when they are called to account they act as though it’s ‘dramatic’ to call this abuse.
But Keyboard Cowards are not representative of all men, and in fact in recent times I have been more inspired by real men in real life.
As women, we are in good company when there are men that are man enough to say that no amount of intimidation and abuse towards women is acceptable. This is not about being unrealistic or expecting perfection. But how far has the mark of decency been moved when misogyny is not even seen as such?
We need true dialogue between men and women to truly heal, but when you paint a woman as weak and mindless and stupid, you paint her out of the picture and out of the conversation altogether. And that has been the so-far successful tactic of the Keyboard Cowards in their hate campaign: because what they think is a heroic crusade against Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine is in actuality a war of words that has been waged on their wives and daughters – the ‘stupid, easily manipulated women’ – that are essential to be seen as such by the public at large in order to support their obsession that Serge has magical powers of mass mind control.
But it is not all doom and gloom. What inspires me is that there ARE men that are not blinded by their own hurt and hate. There are men with a true understanding of what does and does not constitute abuse. My brother-in-law recently had firm words to a guy for speaking horribly about his girlfriend, in a social situation, with his girlfriend present. This gave the woman a moment to stop and see that the type of treatment she had been living with for many years was not ok. It took the care of another man to really highlight this for her: because in that moment she did not make excuses for her partner’s constant put-downs, and instead saw that it was his choice to be that way. After all, here was a man she was not in a relationship with treating her with more love and respect than her own partner. She described it as a wake-up call that was a long time coming.
There are men like this the world over – those who know what love and care does and does not look like, and who aren’t afraid to call it. These are men worth celebrating; these are the men that constantly inspire me.
It seems we live in a world where it actually takes courage to speak up for women. You will certainly run the risk of being in the line of fire if you do. Often we see men ostracised for breaking some kind of imaginary allegiance to other men, but perhaps really it is because they show other men up. A man that respects women naturally gets the respect of women. Does this cause jealousy amongst other men? Sadly, it is a given.
Serge Benhayon often presents on what does and does not constitute abuse towards women. His work in the area of complementary women’s health is nothing short of revelatory. Thousands of women who have encountered him as a practitioner or presenter have benefited from his simple but comprehensive teachings on the importance of self-nurturing and true self-care. The Esoteric Breast Massage (founded by Serge Benhayon, but only ever strictly practised by female practitioners) has made a massive impact on women’s health on a global scale.
What a sad world we live in when a man who inspires women to develop greater self-care and self-honour is almost automatically treated with suspicion, fear and contempt. It is indicative of men’s deep distrust in themselves and other men that they would misconstrue his work as being part of some massive conspiracy to breed himself an army of submissive automaton women to use for his own self-gain. But the eye can only see through the veil of its own prejudice. Men who behave in a controlling way will only see control. And so, they get blind-sided to the obvious questions.
To anyone familiar with Serge’s work their arguments make little sense. For instance, if Serge Benhayon is such a master manipulator and ‘just in it for himself’, why would he go to all the effort of creating all the modalities and healing courses? Why work the 14 hour days?
And of course, then there is the more obvious question – if Serge Benhayon is such a charismatic leader who has such a ‘Svengali-like sway on women’, why not just be a Tantra guru? The amazing and deeply disturbing truth is that were he a Tantra guru, he would not be as highly scrutinised as he is now. A friend recently told me of a popular Tantra guru who initiates his women devotees by doing them the favour of allowing them to have sex with him?! Wow! Why aren’t the current Serge-haters on a crusade to ‘bring down’ that guy?
It is a reality that women are careful with men, especially male practitioners, as there are those who can’t be trusted. Many women recommend Serge to their friends based on their own experience of the absolute integrity of his practice – in his Esoteric Healing courses Serge instructs all practitioners on the importance of hand positioning when working on a woman’s heart. The hand is never laid flat to ensure at no stage will the practitioner’s fingers inadvertently make contact with a woman’s breast.
So why, when so many women over a 12 year period have found him to have total integrity in this regard, have the hate-campaigners tried desperately to suggest otherwise by exploiting people’s pre-programmed mistrust of men with lies and vicious rumour?
The fact is, when you have nothing on a guy, you have to drum up lies and incite fear and start rumours to avoid the truth that is too painful to see. But this begs the question: why, if there is nothing there, have these guys been given such airtime in the media?
Why did the media lap up their story that a bunch of stupid women were under the hypnotic influence of a dangerous and controlling man? Because apart from the obvious entrenched sexism in the media that saw the ‘women as stupid’ as natural and without question, there was a misandry here that has not been examined. The fact is, it is almost universally assumed that if a man has an opportunity to, it is expected that he will take advantage of women. This points to a deep contempt for men that is rife in society. What is ironic here though, is that this misandry towards Serge Benhayon did not come from the many hundreds of female clients who attend his sessions regularly – it mostly came from men and from the media.
I for one will not support this kind of baseless assumption about him or any man. Their actual tangible behaviour, and not a pre-conceived notion, is what I use to discern the men in my life. It is based on their choices and their character. And I know some amazing men who do not treat other men with this kind of contempt; who recognise true care because they know it in themselves.
And I celebrate the men everywhere who choose tenderness over hardness, and have the courage to choose care, love and responsibility over jealousy, hurt and blame. These are the men who are healing the deep distrust that the world has for men. These are the men who are quietly turning the tide. And their strength and dedication is just one of the many reasons why I will never stop loving men.