Monday, August 24, 2015

Emotionally Abusive Women

If men are increasingly hostile toward women, it might have something to do with the fact that many women are emotionally hostile toward men.

However you understand the extent of what is called the rape culture, the hookup culture surely manifests hostility toward women. One suspects that women are increasingly being pressured into performing sex acts that their boyfriends or boytoys have seen in porn.

In those cases they do consent. They do not have grounds for prosecuting their lovers. And yet, they do not like doing what they are doing. They feel degraded. But they think that they should not feel degraded. They might very well lash out in other ways and in other places.

And yet, certain groups within the society have encouraged women to perform sexual acts that they do not want to perform. It’s called exploring your sexuality. It would be one thing if men were pressuring women to do these things. It’s quite another when other women are encouraging it… as long as it is consenting and as long as you use a condom.

What with the movement of large numbers of women into the workplace, men and women also find themselves competing with each other. They might be cooperating in order to get a job done, but they are competing for promotions.

One way for men to overcome the competition is to work insane hours, to work hours that no woman—concerned with work/life balance—would want to endure.

So, the war between the sexes is alive and well. No one believes in decorum. No one behaves like gentlemen and ladies. The result: too many men and women are at each other’s throats. While men are perhaps more likely to resort to physical violence, women are perfectly adept at emotional abuse.

So says Mark Judge, and one is strongly inclined to agree with him. In truth, as he says, we do not know how to quantify the incidence of emotional abuse inflicted by women on men. It does not leave any bruises or scars and most men, humiliated by the abuse, are loath to discuss it.

Amazingly, it often happens in public. It is not enough to put the man down, to strip him of his dignity and self-respect. Some women do it in public.

Judge’s description will make you cringe:

You’re in a restaurant. There’s a man there with his girlfriend. As people are eating and socializing, you can’t help but notice. When the man tries to speak, he is cut off by his girlfriend. She mocks him when he tells a story that might make him look good, and finishes his jokes for him. When the waiter brings the menus, she makes fun of his selection. While she complains about spending money on him all the time, you can’t help but notice that he is paying for all of her drinks. By the end of the night she is berating him outright, and as they exit the restaurant, the woman is in a full rage spiral, yelling about something unrelated to anything that has happened in the last three hours. No one says anything.

Of course, the scene is fictional. But it does make the point. If you have ever witnessed such a scene, your normal reaction will be to want to tell the man to man up and to defend himself. Curiously, you will not be blaming the woman.

Next Judge recounts a case study, told by a man he knows:

When he met his future wife ten years ago, he was captivated by her beauty, but also by her wicked sense of humor and ability to intelligently cut others, mostly pop culture figures, down to size. They were like a team, and had a child together. After a couple years, something changed. Her wit was now more often than not turned on him, first as sarcastic jibes and then as outright abuse. She complained that he didn’t make enough money, and soon he felt like nothing he did was enough. She began to withhold affection, and her mood was so unpredictable that he felt like anything he said or did would be attacked. The sarcasm that once brought him a jolt of joy now cut him apart. More than once his wife called him in an incoherent rage about something he didn’t understand. Strangest of all, she began to lie about certain things yet seemed convinced she was telling the truth. Weeks after a weekend in Las Vegas—which he had paid for—she complained that she was “tired of paying for our vacations.” After the divorce, she insisted on having their daughter on the days when he wanted to take her to play basketball, her favorite sport.

My friend had married an emotionally abusive person, and someone who may have even had a serious personality disorder. The effect on him was devastating. He was depressed and felt confused, and even mentioned suicide. He felt anxious whenever she was around. He’s still dealing with it years after the divorce.

Allow me to make the point that has just crossed your mind. When a man find a woman who likes to cut people down and cut them up, he ought to expect that her withering contempt will one day be directed at him. He should run away as fast as he can.

Dr. Tara Palmatier has researched the problem and has described how emotional abuse inflicts trauma:

You’re constantly on edge, walking on eggshells, and waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is a trauma response. You’re being traumatized by her behavior. Because you can’t predict her responses, you become hyper vigilant to any change in her mood or potential outburst, which leaves you in a perpetual state of anxiety and possibly fear. It’s a healthy sign to be afraid of this behavior. It’s scary. Don’t feel ashamed to admit it.

Intemperate and unpredictable emotional outbursts deprive you of any sense that your life is orderly and routinized. If there is no drama right now, there was yesterday and there might be more tomorrow. You cannot predict what will set it off. You are demoralized and dislocated.

Obviously, you should not merely be afraid of this behavior. The healthy thing to do is to avoid people who indulge in it… no matter how good looking they are.

How did we get to this point? Perhaps my memory is not what it used to be, but, back in the day before feminism and the counterculture, women did not behave this way. Effectively, women acted like ladies and knew better than to humiliate their husbands and boyfriends in public. Of course, men acted like gentlemen and respected women.

Nowadays, it has all changed. From one perspective, we live in a rape culture where women are constantly being raped or threatened with sexual assault. In another sense, we have become so aware of the potential for men to abuse women that men know better than to perform any action that might be construed as retaliation for emotional abuse.

In one sense this has produced more overt hostility between the sexes. But, it has also created open season on men: shielded by the culture, women are now free to haul off at men, knowing that if said man fights back he will be publicly denounced as a wife beater and perhaps even thrown in jail.

Judge does not believe that it is entirely fair to blame feminism. He does not want to attribute it to cultural politics. Fair enough, but still, one must note that feminists broke the old system of courtship where gentlemen and ladies treated each other with respect. To feminists it was demeaning and degrading; it diminished women.

But, as Colin Powell once said, if you broke it you own it. Since feminism broke down the set of rules that defined the way men and women related to each other, it must bear responsibility for the fallout. And let us not forget that feminism fought long and hard for women’s sexual liberation. This made it more difficult for women to refuse sex.

Moreover, feminists have been selling the idea that men oppress women and that women must fight back, even to the point of making their kitchens into war zones. In that narrative context, when women abuse men emotionally they are engaging in an act of justifiable rebellion, in an act fraught with Nietzschean resentment.

It might not be what feminists had in mind, but by recasting relations between the sexes in a conflict narrative, a narrative of oppression and exploitation, they were condoning and even inviting women to manifest their feminism by emotionally abusing men.


Anonymous said...

Read Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child, to understand how women wound their own children in private and without the child really understanding the emotional injury. Only this can explain why some men and woman are "blindly" attracted to an emotionally wounded person in the first place.

JPL17 said...

"Allow me to make the point that has just crossed your mind. When a man find a woman who likes to cut people down and cut them up, he ought to expect that her withering contempt will one day be directed at him. He should run away as fast as he can."

Outstanding advice that I wish I'd had the benefit of back in high school and college! Mark Judge's tale of the guy who married his beautiful, sarcastic girlfriend is so similar to mine it gave me chills. The big difference being that (fortunately for me) my relationship didn't take up 10 years of my life or result in children. Though it sure threw me for a loop for a long time.

The painful truth is that if social skills and wisdom aren't learned during childhood from parents, elders and observation of peers, they're learned (if at all) much later in life and at much greater cost.

KCFleming said...

Feminists don't want the sexes to get along.
They hate and despise men and believe that all women are naturally lesbians, seeking males only because the culture forces them to.
In fact, they have written about wanting the number of males to be culled.

“The radical feminist argument is that men have forced women into heterosexuality in order to exploit them, and that lesbians, in rejecting male definitions of sexuality, are undermining the patriarchy. . . .
“Lesbianism is . . . fundamentally a challenge to patriarchal definitions of women.”

— Celia Kitzinger, The Social Construction of Lesbianism (1987)

“Dee Graham . . . claims to be able to explain the very existence of heterosexuality in women by invoking what she calls the “Societal Stockholm Syndrome.” In a 1994 book entitled Loving to Survive, Graham expounds her theory in minute detail. As in the famous Stockholm bank-hostage episode in 1973, in which four hostages bonded with their captors and came to see the police as their common enemy, women — so the argument goes — are eternally held hostage to men. . . . The point of all male behavior is domination . . . Heterosexual behavior thus becomes a “survival strategy” for women, as do “feminine” characteristics, which result from women’s need to ingratiate themselves with their “captors.” . . .
Graham’s thesis makes it impossible to distinguish in a meaningful way between situations of genuine abuse and the ordinary life of heterosexual women. And that is precisely the point. Men are women’s captors. Women are men’s hostages. Heterosexuality is the form of their subjugation.”

— Daphne Patai, Heterophobia (1998) p.174

"At least three further requirements supplement the strategies of environmentalists if we are to create and preserve a less violent world. I) Every culture must begin to affirm a female future. II) Species responsibility must be returned to women in every culture. III) The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race"
— “The Future — If There Is One — Is Female,” by Sally Miller Gearhart in Reweaving the Web of Life: Feminism and Nonviolence, a 1982 anthology edited by Pam McAllister.

KCFleming said...

The women described in the paragraphs sound like borderlines.

David Foster said...

Most men have traditionally learned when young to go a little easy on verbal assaults, because otherwise, you tend to get punched in the mouth. Girls, in most environments, have not been subjected to any such immediate physical sanctions...if Suzy insults Betty, she may find that Betty is an enemy who can do her harm in verbal ways, but she's unlikely to experience immediate physical pain.

Anonymous said...

It's just that women have been jungle-feverized and vulgarized.

Ares Olympus said...

I have two friends who have been married for over 20 years. The wife was college educated but had a baby out of wedlock, and then "married down" to a hard working man without any college, and for the first few years of marriage, she would take out her frustrations in life on him, including in public, when he'd do something stupid or whatever.

Finally he was ready to leave her and said so, and amazingly her college education worked, and she recognized her bitterness was her problem not his, and she stopped, and he stayed.

Its hard to believe "emotional abuse" is a new phenomenon by women, or that femininism is responsible. That is to say, there's always been unhappy women in the world, and they surely could always find an excuse to act badly.

And men will have their excuses too.

David Foster said...

Ares Olympus..."her college education worked"....does a college education really--on the average--contribute to emotional intelligence and the kind of internal reflection that was the case here? It would be an interesting subject for someone to study

Ares Olympus said...

I happened upon another article, mixing the subjects of happiness and bullying, looking at Lance Armstrong. I like efforts that don't demonize, but look at how self-image diverges from actual behavior.
The Four Levels of Happiness explains a lot. The following formula seems to apply:

Happiness Level 2 Gone Wild + Happiness Level 4 Gone Mild = Inevitable Misery and Moral Failure

The desire for happiness drives all our behavior but there are four types in a distinct hierarchy: 1-Pleasure, Level 2-Ego Gratification, Level 3-Contribution, Level 4-Transcendence or union with God.

Each of us has all four levels. But one of these four will be dominant. And when push comes to shove, that dominant happiness level will push and shove the others aside, and take the lead.

For Armstrong, Level Two short-term ego gratification – winning, status, power and control – really seemed to take the lead. Coupled with extraordinary talent, it went wild.

Armstrong: "For most of my life I had operated under a simple schematic of winning and losing…My ruthless desire to win at all costs served me well on the bike but the level it went to, for whatever reason, is a flaw. That desire, that attitude, that arrogance."

His words are telling: level, desire, flaw. That ‘level’ and ‘desire’ isn’t exclusive to him. We all have it. Actually, we go instinctively toward Happiness Level 2. We all want to succeed. The desire to win is perfectly natural and good in itself.

The flaw is another matter. Our notion of happiness can easily get distorted, becoming an end in itself, rather than a means to a higher end. When that instinct takes over, it automatically translates into my meaning and purpose in life. Unchecked and unexamined, it becomes my undoing.

When my whole identity, my dominant definition of happiness, hinges on winning, losing is not just losing. It’s being a loser. And with loads of status, fame, money and power, being a loser is terrifying and absolutely unacceptable. Seizing total control is the most logical option.

Armstrong: "I controlled every outcome in my life…I was a bully…I tried to control the narrative and if I didn't like what someone said I turned on them."
Armstrong: "I asked myself what I believed. I had never prayed a lot. I hoped hard, wished hard, but I didn't pray. I had developed a certain distrust of organized religion growing up, but I felt I had the capacity to be a spiritual person, and to hold some fervent beliefs. "

Clearly Armstrong recognizes a Level 4 capacity for spirituality. But how did he translate it?

Quite simply, I believed I had a responsibility to be a good person, and that meant fair, honest, hardworking and honorable. If I did that, if I was good to my family, true to my friends, if I gave back to my community or to some cause, if I wasn't a liar, a cheat, or a thief, then I believed that should be enough.

It should be enough. But it isn’t. Not enough for Lance and not enough for a human race in a fallen state. It’s precisely because we all tend toward lying, cheating and stealing that we need to be redeemed by one who was like us in all things but sin.

Armstrong: "At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I'd been baptized."

These noble sounding sentiments not only smack of self-sufficiency. They also posit a false dilemma. Living a true life is not incompatible with believing God’s Word. Nor will baptism make one untrue. Just the opposite. God’s gifts and powers enable us to become right and true. We can’t be true without Truth itself.

What’s the point? We are custom built for happiness but when we take it into our own hands we tend to implode. We can only achieve real integrity and goodness with God’s help. That’s the good news.

priss rules said...

"You’re in a restaurant. There’s a man there with his girlfriend. As people are eating and socializing, you can’t help but notice. When the man tries to speak, he is cut off by his girlfriend. She mocks him when he tells a story that might make him look good, and finishes his jokes for him."

Too much TV. 70% of behavior of young people is imitation of TV shows. TV has presented obnoxious women as role models of 'empowerment' and 'progress'. So, young women think they have to act like that.
It's there in SEX AND CITY and GIRLS. And other crap.
Also, realism is gone from TV. Instead, everyone talks and acts like what they're saying is sooooooo important. Everything is so slick and narcissistic.

Also, there is the millennial youtube style. Personalities like Jenna Marbles and Laci Green run 'vlogs' as vulgar and trashy motormouths who seem to think whatever spews out of their mouths is so true, funny, witty, AWESOME, and cutting-edge.
Today's girls grew up on this junk. Boomers were delusional, Gen X were fools, but millennials take the cake as the worst idiots of all time.

Youtube vlog style that is so popular among millennials is not conducive to thought. Idiot young fools just spout off cliches in front of the camera and mistake it as spontaneity and insight.

priss rules said...

The problem is we don't have real men anymore.

Sam L. said...

"Perhaps my memory is not what it used to be, but, back in the day before feminism and the counterculture, women did not behave this way. Effectively, women acted like ladies and knew better than to humiliate their husbands and boyfriends in public."
Still, some of them did at home, privately. Maintaining the 'perfect wife' act.

Sam L. said...

Anon, I'm doubting that our educators are teaching or developing compassion, given what we keep reading about happening on campuses. Compassion seems greatly diminished.

Anonymous said...

I did not mean to imply that educators are teaching compassion. The exception may be the more enlightened and healthy women who teach grade school. There are some very good teachers but the system of educating the intellect and ignoring human relations is unbalanced.

Recruiting Animal said...

Stu, you seem to have an inflated idea of how fine people used to be in the good old days.

Whenever anyone starts talking about the Greatest Generation, I tell them to watch All In The Family

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Keep in mind, I was around during the good old days. People did have much better manners and the country was far more orderly. And the GG did accomplish great things... Archie Bunker was a fictional character. This doesn't mean that there weren't some people who were like that, but those who trash the GG and the good old days would do better to try to bring back some of what was good about those times. Better than to glorify the counterculture.

Anonymous said...

Polite society is only superficial. There is plenty of evidence in history to conclude that people in the past vented their emotional problems on family members in private.