Russell discusses why it's difficult for men and boys to talk about sexual trauma. He believes that societal expectations of men being strong and not victims get in the way of men coming forward with their experiences. Russell hopes that changing society's definition of what a man is will create a safe space for men to share their experiences and have a healthy relationship with their trauma. He believes that the trauma can make a person stronger, not weaker.
So, one of the things I'd like to talk about is why does it not feel safe for men and boys to talk about sexual trauma, and I think that from my own experience as a heterosexual identifying male, this view of what a man is, is not somebody who's a victim, is not somebody who can be exploited, somebody who's supposed to be strong and not weak. And when it comes to certainly my own experience with sexual trauma, I felt all of those things. I felt weak, I felt victimized, I felt less than, and I think that the social constructs around what we in our society think a man should be really gets in the way of men coming out who have had these experiences and sharing it either privately or even within their own heart and mind. And I think that that's what we need to change, is the way we as a society think of what a man is, and when we can do that, all of the men in the world who have suffered and been abused will begin to have a safe space to share those experiences and come to terms with it, and as I like to say, have a healthy relationship with that trauma because at the end of the day, that trauma really can make you stronger rather than weaker.