. The Challenge of Recognizing an Abusive Woman (new title)

GarryDex

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I've posted a lot on this particular thread. I can understand where you are coming from Celtaf, Strangeways and dark empathy. I don't think that we should be quibbling over the nuances and small details in this issue. Increasing awareness especially in community about the misogyny
 

Celtaf

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I've posted a lot on this particular thread. I can understand where you are coming from Celtaf, Strangeways and dark empathy. I don't think that we should be quibbling over the nuances and small details in this issue. Increasing awareness especially in community about the misogyny
You mean misandry?
 

edge67

New Registrant
I don't get mad at misandry any more. It's just yet another face of the anger that seems to pervade absolutely everything these days. Debating it is pointless. But I do find myself weary of the constant veneration of motherhood as something pure. I think the sexualization of sons by mothers is a lot more common than people want to admit, or are even capable of recognizing. I know my mother was an extreme example, and it's left me damaged, but it's also left me more attuned to signs of sexualization than most people. I've met a surprising number of mothers who have naked pictures of their sons, usually as babies or toddlers, which they'll happily - even eagerly - show to their friends. They're not sexual pictures, I'm not claimimng they are, but there's something about the act of sharing them that is disturbingly familiar to me. Flip the scenario, imagine fathers eagerly sharing naked pictures of their daughters. They'd be run out of town. As the sons get older they tease them about the pictures, threathen to show them to future girlfriends. Again, it just seems playful, but again there's a disturbingly familiar power/control dynamic on display. I've watched friends' teenage sons squirm and blush in these situations while their mothers think it's hilarious. It's hugely triggering for me personally, but I don't call it out. They'd be in furious denial, and I understand why. It's not something anyone wants to be accused of. The other problem is that In to justify calling them out I'd have to at least refer to what my mother did to me, and I'm not prepared to do that. So I let it pass. Just like everyone else does.
 

Celtaf

Registrant
I don't get mad at misandry any more. It's just yet another face of the anger that seems to pervade absolutely everything these days. Debating it is pointless. But I do find myself weary of the constant veneration of motherhood as something pure. I think the sexualization of sons by mothers is a lot more common than people want to admit, or are even capable of recognizing. I know my mother was an extreme example, and it's left me damaged, but it's also left me more attuned to signs of sexualization than most people. I've met a surprising number of mothers who have naked pictures of their sons, usually as babies or toddlers, which they'll happily - even eagerly - show to their friends. They're not sexual pictures, I'm not claimimng they are, but there's something about the act of sharing them that is disturbingly familiar to me. Flip the scenario, imagine fathers eagerly sharing naked pictures of their daughters. They'd be run out of town. As the sons get older they tease them about the pictures, threathen to show them to future girlfriends. Again, it just seems playful, but again there's a disturbingly familiar power/control dynamic on display. I've watched friends' teenage sons squirm and blush in these situations while their mothers think it's hilarious. It's hugely triggering for me personally, but I don't call it out. They'd be in furious denial, and I understand why. It's not something anyone wants to be accused of. The other problem is that In to justify calling them out I'd have to at least refer to what my mother did to me, and I'm not prepared to do that. So I let it pass. Just like everyone else does.
I hear you. I really don't either. But around here, I do want to recognize that there are elements of society that are unhelpful when it comes to recovery from abuse.

When I was being interviewed by someone from a university about my experience at the only men's resource center for CSA in my city, I observed that ordinary people react to hearing about male CSA and adult SA as though they heard someone was attacked by a bunch of cats. They may be surprised, shocked, disturbed, but mostly in the public eye it's weird. It doesn't fit the general narrative. I said this by way of explaining why I rarely talk about it with anyone. It doesn't fit into a box people can relate to.

It seems to me that this can be very unhelpful towards recovery. I am reluctant to see a counselor again, even though I have major issues with my physical self, my sexuality, my ability to trust in relationships. It feels better somehow to keep plugging on by myself with my journal and workbook because I don't want to go through the exhausting process of describing the impact not just the CSA but the aftermath--institutional, relational, familial--has had on my life. Only one therapist I ever had was able to understand the simple idea that I had been abused by female persons in authority over me and grasp that it had been traumatizing. The others virtually needed a translator. I don't want to go through that again.

The other thing that is unhelpful is when it is a topic of conversation. I know that if there is a #metoo conversation going on, that I need to simply quietly exit it or find some way to graciously change the subject. It is not simply that I want to be included; one of the things that added to my trauma was being accused of being the abuser or a sexual deviant myself, which denied me years of potential to get some kind of help out of fear of someone finding out something horrible about me as though I was Mr. Hyde or a werewolf. I feel in such conversation that I, an abuse victim, am being told that I need to prioritize not being an abuser.
 

dark empathy

Registrant
Celtaf said:
I know that if there is a #metoo conversation going on, that I need to simply quietly exit it or find some way to graciously change the subject. It is not simply that I want to be included; one of the things that added to my trauma was being accused of being the abuser or a sexual deviant myself, which denied me years of potential to get some kind of help out of fear of someone finding out something horrible about me as though I was Mr. Hyde or a werewolf. I feel in such conversation that I, an abuse victim, am being told that I need to prioritize not being an abuser.

I have a similar problem, though for me, the misandry in media is something I do! find triggering. Maybe it's that as a teenager, books and tv series were my escape, and now seeing something like Doctor who, He man, star wars or the wheel of time co opted to belittle it's original male characters is something I find upsetting, or maybe because actually feeling that being male is significant to me is something I've only experienced since meeting my lady, or maybe because all of this "male power", narrative is so directly against what I experience in my own life on a day to day basis.

At this point I'm just hoping the public idiocy burns itself out before I do.

Luke.
 

pedropedro

Registrant
I am also concerned with the concept of "threatening the narrative". If survivors being brave enough to tell their (our) stories threatens a narrative, it's a week narrative. I myself have come close to suicide multiple times over this issue. I truly believe treating rape as a women's issue, or especially as a feminist issue, rather than a public safety issue is part of rape culture and even endangers the lives of millions of survivors whose stories are just as valid - and whose recovery process is usually much harder - as women's.
 

Celtaf

Registrant
I have a similar problem, though for me, the misandry in media is something I do! find triggering. Maybe it's that as a teenager, books and tv series were my escape, and now seeing something like Doctor who, He man, star wars or the wheel of time co opted to belittle it's original male characters is something I find upsetting, or maybe because actually feeling that being male is significant to me is something I've only experienced since meeting my lady, or maybe because all of this "male power", narrative is so directly against what I experience in my own life on a day to day basis.

At this point I'm just hoping the public idiocy burns itself out before I do.

Luke.
The problem, as I see it, is that men being concerned about women's bad behaviour towards them is treated as though it is bad, rather than recognizing the need everyone has to be aware of how they are being treated. In general, there is a self contradictory idea that women cannot be threatening while at the same time insisting that they should be able to be powerful. Yet power comes with the temptation to abuse it. So are women better than men in terms of conscience and general treatment of others. So it is all but impossible to navigate, and is grossly unfair.

That is why, again, I believe that in most situations men need to help one another to heal, develop a better understanding of themselves and learn healthy boundaries in life. Some women are occasionally helpful, but I have never seen a predictor for this.

Part of this is through our storytelling. A lot of postmodern storytelling is trying to deconstruct traditional storytelling roles such as heroism. Which is all very well, but it forces men seeking inspiration often to watch older shows. A guy who is struggling with intense depression and PTSD hardly needs to focus on deconstructing his male privilege for his personal entertainment.
 

Celtaf

Registrant
I am also concerned with the concept of "threatening the narrative". If survivors being brave enough to tell their (our) stories threatens a narrative, it's a week narrative. I myself have come close to suicide multiple times over this issue. I truly believe treating rape as a women's issue, or especially as a feminist issue, rather than a public safety issue is part of rape culture and even endangers the lives of millions of survivors whose stories are just as valid - and whose recovery process is usually much harder - as women's.
Let's face it: someone who is a dog in the manger about who deserves more compassion as an abuse survivor is not committed to helping others; they're just committed to a particular demographic.
 

pedropedro

Registrant
Let's face it: someone who is a dog in the manger about who deserves more compassion as an abuse survivor is not committed to helping others; they're just committed to a particular demographic.
they need to reexamine their motives - I doubt they truly care much more about female survivors tbh
 

Celtaf

Registrant
When I look through these forums, and see all the men who have been abused, mistreated, raped and all the stuff that goes with it, the trauma, struggles to lead anything resembling a normal life, and think of how, for such men, it is such a struggle to heal, I think that this is a crisis that needs compassion and understanding. It is particularly difficult, however, to have it be recognized that men who were abused by women have particular issues.

More than one of us has issues with family that are related to the attack on the ability to have good relationships with women. This is why I wrote this thread. I don't think most of us want to distrust women or not have them in our lives in a meaningful way. I think it is only fair that we should be able to weigh and judge the female relationships in our lives, move on from our pasts, and have a sense of peace. It seems to me that in the name of empowering women, there are influential people and organizations who do not want anyone to be critical of women at all, ever, believing that women take too much unfair criticism already.
 

dark empathy

Registrant
@Celtaf, I watched an interesting youtube video (by bagage claim, the same lady who did the essay on feminism I posted alink to a while ago), who directly tied the rise in identity based thinking to post modernism.

the problem is, post modernism only sees all relations in terms of power, with oppressor and oppressed, with absolutely no nuance or interactions but those directly involved with power.
For example, a paper I heavily criticised in my phd was one by Thomas Szasz, a post modernist who claimed that "disability", was the medical profession's way of categorising a person as perminantly ill, and thus maintaining the power of the doctor over their patient, since of course, all doctors are just their for power, and not to, ---- you know, actually help! anyone!

Indeed, I remember the English politician and Ethicist Mary Warnock, in her book an intelligent person's guide to ethics, being incredibly critical of post modernist feminist thinking which demanded for example, a "women's science", or a "women's mathematics".

The problem though, is that all of these power relations are unanswerable, since they are all based on individualised interpretations of the narrative.

Someone says that Luke skywalker's rescue of Princess Leya in starwars is just a practice of the "male hero objectifying the female", (yes, I have actually seen this argument, even though Leya is one of the least damselly people you could imagine), and so we need a "feminist starwars film", which turns Luke Skywalker into a cowardly old hermit, and if you disagree with this, you are a "sexist", or a "misogynist."

The rather ironic problem here is however, that those who do have this supposed "male privilege" which needs deconstructing, are at the same time being disallowed to speak, or directly vilified.

Luke.
 

Celtaf

Registrant
the problem is, post modernism only sees all relations in terms of power, with oppressor and oppressed, with absolutely no nuance or interactions but those directly involved with power.
For example, a paper I heavily criticised in my phd was one by Thomas Szasz, a post modernist who claimed that "disability", was the medical profession's way of categorising a person as perminantly ill, and thus maintaining the power of the doctor over their patient, since of course, all doctors are just their for power, and not to, ---- you know, actually help! anyone!

This is the key point. It is all focused only on one point, to the exclusion of any other observations grounded in reality.

Take, for instance, the idea of men calling out abusive women who abuse men and boys. Rather than saying "This is good! Men can also be victims of harm, and therefore, all victims of harm should band together to reduce its likelihood" instead, it is viewed with suspicion by many or disregarded.

When it comes to the whole dynamic of men objectifying women by rescuing them, by the way, it doesn't stand up to the slightest scrutiny.
1. Princess Leia, as an example, owes no sexual favours, marriage, or anything else to her rescue party. On the contrary; she hands over the plans and they risk their lives again--for medals.

2. Even looking at older depictions of men rescuing women, the idea that the only objective is to treat the woman as a prize is silly. Chivalric love demanded that the hero win the admiration and affection of the woman. If that didn't matter and she was just a body for him to possess, all that would matter would be her attractiveness to him. Furthermore, the idea of men having to prove themselves to women is one of the key issues here, something feminists generally never address.
 

dark empathy

Registrant
"single dimension narrative", again is I suspect why so many modern "feminist", stories tend to fail on a simple story telling perspective, and why critiques of older stories just plane don't work.

For myself, the only gender based critique I'd level at the original starwars is that both in the rebellion and the Empire, all of the pilots and soldiers are male. Since when flying a spaceship in combat, or even possibly fighting in strength enhancing imperial powered armour, any general lack of physical strength between men and women is negated by technology.

Whether the reason for this lack is either a: Because the film treats women as inferior because women are powerless objects whose fate in war must be decided by men.

B: Because the film treats men as inferior, being reduced to simply disposable laser fodder in a war situation, whose lives may be sacrificed in the course of a war, whereas women's lives are too precious to lose.

C: Because George Lucas based Starwars on the adventure cereals of the 1930's, and the war cereals of the 1940's, and though kickass lone female heroes are a standard of the genre (see Conan the barbarian's Amazoniian companion Valeria), it never occurred to him to consider how a culture in which powered weaponry has existed for thousands of years, as well as one which has had contact with a wide range of sentient none human races, how assumptions based on gender, as well as priorities in a total war situation, might differ from those which exist on earth.

D: All of the above and likely a few other reasons as well, but hay! it's a fantastically written story with memorable characters, so hay why don't we just enjoy it for what it is anyway!

The problem though is that like pretty much everything else today, nuance and subtlety have gone out of the window in favour of just shouting "four legs good, two legs bad"

Heck, in the original handmaid's tail by magret atwood, there are a hell of a lot of really horrible women, as well as several very heroic men.


It probably wouldn't bother me as much, or at least I'd be able to ignore it if it didn't directly affect my own life and efforts as much, EG getting anything I write categorically rejected out of hand, which in turn makes actually trying to write anything really difficult.
 

Celtaf

Registrant
Well...Star Wars as a franchise is a space opera/fantasy series. The original series has males as the main body of soldiers and government, crime factions and so on simply because that was overwhelmingly normal in the 70s and 80s, and only began to shift a little in the 90s. Undoing normal is difficult simply because everyone is used to it and the implications of change are not always apparent.

Take modern civilization. No one really wants to tangle with the implications of what it means to treat men and women as complete equals. In the West, we still treat women as though they ought to be a protected class while demanding for them the rights and privilege of a class that has the right to risk its life. These are contradictory ideas. People don't see one man beating up another man and think anything other than that perhaps one is a thug or bully. No one really thinks "abuser" unless the other man is gay or trans. We have barely begun to wrestle with the idea of equality along gender or sexual lines.

As for Star Wars, unlike with Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica, it was not conceived as a futuristic world of equality. Star Trek is considered to be the result of a political entity, the Federation, as having evolved in part from our own civilizations on Earth. There is no common point of origin for Star Wars other than the Expanded Universe which is, let us face it, try to justify the unjutifiable by basing it on the movies. Since these movies include things like the Star Wars Holiday Special and the Ewok movies, it's amazing that it's done as well as it has.
 
Oh, I loved the Star Wars Holiday Special. It was completely terrible, but in an entirely different way than the terrible self-seriousness of the prequels. Embracing the shittiness inherent in the whole concept should have been the way forward for Star Wars.
 

Celtaf

Registrant
Oh, I loved the Star Wars Holiday Special. It was completely terrible, but in an entirely different way than the terrible self-seriousness of the prequels. Embracing the shittiness inherent in the whole concept should have been the way forward for Star Wars.
Lol it does have a "so bad it's good" quality to it.
 
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