Abusers want to keep abuse secret, so they can stay in control. If the victim of the abuse starts to speak out, connecting with other people who’ve had the same experiences, and recognizing the patterns of abuse, the abuser starts to lose some of his power. So the abuser says, “Don’t you dare tell anyone.” The abuser says, “You’re a liar, no one will believe you.” The abuser says, “You are crazy, no one will believe you.” The abuser says, “You’re a manipulator, no one will believe you.”
Be a man.
It is a simple imperative, repeated over and over to men, starting when we are small boys. The phrase usually is connected to one man’s demand that another man be “stronger”, which is traditionally understood as the ability to suppress emotional reactions and channel that energy into controlling situations and establishing dominance.
Be a man, then, typically translates as: Surrender your humanity.
To be a man, then, is a bad trade. When we become men — when we accept the idea that there is something called masculinity to which we should conform — we exchange those aspects of ourselves that make life worth living for an endless struggle for power that, in the end, is illusory and destructive not only to others but to ourselves.
(Robert Jensen, Getting Off)