Men, an op-ed on current events and happenings of the day has lead me to this commentary.I offer a different perspective. Perhaps women will judge me or vilify me for offering up such a perspective. I’m grateful for opinions, mine and others. As for me keeping it real comes first. I take pride in my opinions, my different mind, my out of the box thinking. As a healer and meditation practitioner I’ve spent many years in recovery. I’ve been nursing wounds decades old. I’ve come a long way and must give myself due credit. It’s been a hard and arduous and at times an overwhelmingly painful journey. Sometimes I imagine living a life of perpetual grief. Perhaps I would never recover from the hurts of my past. Would I ever be able to forgive those who had wronged me? Would I ever feel justified in this life? Could I understand God and a greater master at play? Is this how I would learn to let go and release? I should surrender to my powerlessness and lack of control in the situation and not want to wrong others or myself. What power is there in wronging others? If I’m a victim of assault or rape, or molestation how does me harboring resentment for decades help anyone? I first must look out for myself. And first look within myself to heal. If I’m not healed and avenging revenge decades later how am I better for it or helping myself and those around me? No victim is special and no victim is alone. There are millions of us who have been traumatized by assault.Now my feelings on mere mortals. Are men, but mere mortals? I don’t hold them in any high regard. I have low expectations of most men. Not all, but most. A good majority are built in ways incomprehensible to most women. We cannot begin to wrap our brains around the physical anatomy of a man that leads him to certain acts of despicable disloyalty. However what I can wrap my brain around is that it is a mere man and he is made different than you or I, my fellow ladies.He shall not be made to have the same expectations. We’d be fools to expect such a thing. The freedom in this is liberating. Why such great expectations of men? They are just that, men. These are not Gods, Zeus’s of our day. These are not the Kartikeyas or Shivas of yesteryear. These are not the Jesus’s of Babylon or the Buddhas under the Bodhi.They are men and they are bound to fail and with the physiology given to such a mere mortal I have some level of compassion. Most of them helpless and unaware of their own power, lacking little to no self control. Perhaps I’ve seen it so many times in so many circumstances with so many different women, friends, family, loved ones that I have very low expectations? This is very much the case. I expect little of men. There are great men of whom I expect a lot and there are exceptional men who’ve given us a lot and there are incredible men who have given us a whole hell of a lot and then failed us in the end. This I’ve seen a hundred times. We have incredible examples of men who were extraordinary at their craft, but horrible men. They were awful fathers and perhaps even more awful husbands. Loyalty a hard thing for these exceptional men. So now what. Where does this leave us? Am I excusing these men? NO. They are not excused in any way shape or form, but vilifying them serves no one. This is the story of man, the history of man. I ask you how we change that story? Are all men cheaters and liars, rapists and molestors? No, but many of them are deceptive and incontrollable and possess insatiable sexual appetites. Probably not the best idea to go home alone with a man without presuming and knowing, intuiting he has expectations. His head is probably in a place that’s suggesting sexual misconduct or conduct. I take ownership for where I end up at the end of an evening. I don’t trust a man inviting me into his home alone will lead to a prayer reading or sipping tea. I would imagine the fellow has something up his sleeve. And if I start to feel antsy in his home and he offers me up a drink concocted of a magic potion of sorts and if I feel awkward or antsy, I probably shouldn’t be there. Just saying. We have to own our part. Serving me up a magic potion and taking advantage of me while I’m out cold is in no way ok, but as a grown woman I kind of should know better. I just don’t give men this much credit and assume the best of most men. Without vilifying the male race I would have to say in most cases I’d assume the worst. These opinions are a result of personal experience and the experience of others close to me. It’s the conclusion I’ve come to. The world is a very at times scary and creepy place and we as women are vulnerable to the perversions of the male race so we truly to do have to look out for ourselves. This includes being very clear before putting ourselves in a vulnerable situation. I in no way am saying women are to blame for being assaulted, but going into a married man’s house late at night or a single man’s house late at night and assuming we are not vulnerable or susceptible to assault is naive. We are. Absolutely. There are just too many horror stories and too many scenarios to assume we’d be safe. We should be. We deserve to be, but the reality is in many circumstances we are not. While unfortunate, it’s the cold hard truth.The power for us women is to heal. Can we change these men? No. We must be powerful and not resentful. When we are not letting go and seeking some sort of validation or redemption decades later we are carrying hurts and pain we need to surrender. We are not living in our power. And while it may take decades or a lifetime to recover from sexual assault we must begin the healing work. I am not just sharing an opinion, but present this other perspective, as a victim, a healer and a once pained and now healed human being. The power is in forgiving, letting go and finding peace inside. There is nothing more powerful than this.I’ve come to a place of realism, no I’m not male bashing. There are good men with great qualities, but in my eyes they are just men. My expectations are little to zero.