Occasionally, I have the immense pleasure of being asked to edit someone else’s work. I’ve gotten to know several authors this way, and it’s a nice diversion from my own writing. Over the last several weeks, I’ve been able to work with Travis Mamone on his latest book, The Other Hidden Wound: Uncovering the Effect of Patriarchy on the Male Psyche.
This short work is not a scholarly tome. It is a personal journey from youthful ignorance to feminist ally. Travis tracks his own history, including the mixed signals of his childhood and his own relational missteps. It’s honest and intimate, and at each turn you can see another piece of the puzzle slide into place as he stretches his understanding of what it means to be both spiritual and feminist.
If you’ve spent any time around my blog, you’ll know that this is one of the issues close to my own heart. Too many times, I’ve seen women hurt by the kinds of things Travis talks about in this book. Few men are willing to examine their own part in it, or admit that they harbored underlying attitudes that have contributed to the oppression of women. It’s refreshing to see a man willing to own those mistakes and take responsibility for listening when women speak.
It’s clear from Travis’ conclusions that the story he tells is not over. By his own admission, he sometimes still has moments of falling into old patterns of thought. But the good news is that no one is expected to be perfect out of the gate, and he’s willing to continue to learn and grow. I am reminded of my own experiences having to navigate the waters of being a good ally.
The Other Hidden Wound should be relatable for anyone who has moved from oppressor to ally, but it will be particularly meaningful for other men who are struggling to understand where they may have gone wrong in their treatment of women. Travis makes it clear that it isn’t merely overt misogyny that causes deep hurt but also the ongoing subtle patterns of behavior that encourage an entire system to flourish.
If you are wondering where to begin taking steps as a feminist ally, I recommend starting with this book, followed by seeking out women with whom you can ask hard questions and receive honest answers.