"Locker room talk"

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?
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Christian
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"Locker room talk"

Post by Christian »

I'm sober 6½ years. Recently dove back into the program and got a new sponsor. Asked him after i heard him lead. I'm troubled by some of the misogynist, even degrading talk about women and sexual conquests between my sponsor and some of his other sponsees. It's causing me to back away and avoid confrontation and isolate a bit. There's no way i would be proud to introduce any of these cats to my girlfriend, my sisters, or my daughters. I have trouble connecting with other men because of this type of predictable behavior. Are there other men who have experience confronting this with their peers? Any pointers?

Thank you!
Indianapolis
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by Indianapolis »

Consider finding a new sponsor. There's no obligation that you stick with a single sponsor, it's completely ok to change sponsors. It's critical that you be totally "open and honest" with your sponsor. So, if you're not connecting with your sponsor for any reason, it's better that you find someone else.

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I haven't found misogyny to be commonplace in the rooms or community. There was one all-mens' group near me that I stopped going to because it had a certain odor of misogyny, but even then it was somewhat masked/muted/subtle. I don't need those influences in my life, so I just ducked that group. I would absolutely duck out of a sponsorship situation where that was expected or normalized.
Christian
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by Christian »

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I have been considering a new sponsor and group of peers for sure.. but also, i'm nagged that I have difficulty confronting it when it happens. Like i wuss out, i'm not sure what to say and i'm afraid of the confrontation. 😕
Indianapolis
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by Indianapolis »

Ah yeah, I hear that. I haven't had to change sponsors, but if I did I'd be trying to find the new sponsor first, start to build that relationship, and then just let my existing sponsor know that I've been talking more recently with "Bob" or whatever and that I've decided to make him my sponsor. I'd probably try to take the low-confrontation approach, assuming that I'd probably still end up in some rooms again with my existing sponsor.

But don't let the awkwardness of that conversation threaten your sobriety, man. If you're finding that you're pulling back from your sponsor and support network, make continued sobriety the top priority. If that means an awkward conversation, so be it. If you're like me, you need the support, not isolationism.
Christian
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by Christian »

Thanks for the great advice. My current sponsor has always maintained that he is totally ok with being non-committal. It not that confrontation that i avoid. It's the actual confronting of the misogyny. Especially in a group setting... i wuss out of being another voice in the room, and challenge the language. Standing in opposition and challenging the "locker room talk" and being open about how i don't find it funny. It's demeaning, archaic and feeds stereotypes.
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positrac
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by positrac »

I was told a long time ago about hanging with the winners as they have what you want and they are human and yet mentors in life and the program. I would say we men do have egos and just because we are sober does this mean we are different?

You can also hit other meetings in your area and it could be another option to your situation. And lastly as kind of a disclaimer goes like this: it ain't worth it!
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.
Molgzonor
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by Molgzonor »

Christian wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 1:07 pm Thanks for the great advice. My current sponsor has always maintained that he is totally ok with being non-committal. It not that confrontation that i avoid. It's the actual confronting of the misogyny. Especially in a group setting... i wuss out of being another voice in the room, and challenge the language. Standing in opposition and challenging the "locker room talk" and being open about how i don't find it funny. It's demeaning, archaic and feeds stereotypes.
Congratulations on your elevation to moral compasshood for all who are curse.. I mean blessed to stand in your shadow, but be careful trying to fix your sponsor you could qualify yourself for alanon. That would be terrible.
Christian
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by Christian »

Thanks for sharing, and maybe you're right. Doesn't change the fact that there are many men out there that strive to be aware, more inclusive, and more respectful all around. I was asking other men in recovery if they've had experience challenging peers or sponsees to be aware of their language. It is difficult to set that example and/or challenge other peers to be aware of it. But many times, it's other men that can be most influential.
DaveP1951
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by DaveP1951 »

Like i wuss out, i'm not sure what to say and i'm afraid of the confrontation.
Especially in a group setting... i wuss out of being another voice in the room, and challenge the language.
Sounds to me like you have two issues going on in your mind/heart. One being that you detest being subjected to misogynistic comments and the other that you are bothered by your "wussing" out. The first issue (detest being subjected to misogynistic comments) speaks to your honorable character and should not be compromised. The second issue (wussing out) speaks to your desire to avoid unnecessary conflict. [/i][/b] Conflict with myself or conflict with others is at times what I have to choose between.
In order to find peace of mind I will have to eventually do what I feel is right.
With this in mind on page 82 of the Big Book it say's "Good generalship may dictate that the problem be attacked on the flank rather than risk a face-to-face combat." A subtle nonthreatening approach is the best way to avoid conflict.
Christian
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by Christian »

Thanks for taking the time to respond Dave. Really appreciate your insight.
Still_Sober
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Re: "Locker room talk"

Post by Still_Sober »

This thread is a little stale, but I suggest that you talk to your sponsor, it doesn't have to be a "confrontation" per se. This difficult conversation will help your sobriety.

Unless your sponsor says something that relieves your discomfort, and without commenting on your sponsor's behavior, it appears that your discomfort is interfering with your sobriety and may necessitate a sponsor change. I am not saying that all discomfort in achieving sobriety is a negative, sometimes no pain-no gain is accurate (and sometimes pain is just harmful).

Still Sober
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