Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Feminism and Character

For a long time feminism has focused on mickey-mouse issues such as date rape while disregarding real problems such as domestic violence.
Domestic violence is a much greater violation than date rape. Yet a man goes to jail for date rape but gets away with breaking his wife's skull. Dater rape is a single event; domestic violence is ongoing.
Well, do you want your daughter getting date raped? Of course not. But unlike domestic violence, date rape is easy to avoid. Simply don't go to parties with frat boys. The women who get raped are women who fall in with the wrong crowd. Whereas domestic violence can happen to anyone.
An argument that some make is that a woman who gets date raped has not chosen it, whereas a woman with an abusive partner has chosen her partner. This kind of thinking needs to be challenged. Is a man who deceives you into buying a defective product morally superior to the man who steals your wallet? Does the fact that someone has pulled a successful con job make him better than someone who's operated in blatant violation of the law? I've known highly intelligent women in situations of domestic violence, and in no way were they dumber or weaker than the women who get date raped.
Similarly, we see separation in people's minds between incest and pedophilia. Everyone howls for the blood of a man who rapes other people's children; however that is not where the bulk of sexual abuse takes place. Most sexual violation of children is done by relatives; and these usually find ways to keep it within the family. The children grow up with that trauma and see themselves as unworthy and unclean, resulting in self-sabotaging behavior. The person who inflicts this lifelong scar on the child walks clean and in many cases retains authority over the child's life.
A certain time ago on the Internet, there were people going on about "wolves in sheep's clothing" as men who sought relationships with women who have been through one or another kind of abuse. I have a better explanation. In those situations, the man was raised in a situation of abuse. He hated that state of affairs, but he knew no other way. This would lead him to go for women who likewise have been abused, in many cases having genuine compassion for them and feeling toward them a genuine closeness - as a result of similar experiences. However he would have no knowledge of any other way to have relationships. In many cases the man would slip back into bad old habits, whatever his intentions had been.
On the part of the women who make such claims, the behavior is that of the cowardly bully. They hate men; but while it is hard for them to confront men who are actual abusers, many of whom are adroit at social manipulation, it is a lot easier to attack men who wish women well. It is similar to the foolish behavior of inner city blacks who attack white city liberals while having no guts to fight real racists in the countryside. The men who are most predisposed to seek women's well-being, they attack the most viciously. This drives away potential allies. It also makes the actual misogynists credible in society. If goodwill toward women gets rewarded with viciousness, ill will toward women becomes more credible. The victims of this are of course the women who are suffering enough already - women in right-wing, Muslim or inner city communities. Women act like jerks, and that makes credible to men - and many women - the claims that women are weak and stupid and should be robbed of their rights.
If a man has compassion for an attractive woman, he is therefore seen as a predator. I do not limit my compassion to attractive women. When I was at Kramer Books in DC, I started a conversation with a kind-looking professor. A very mean-looking woman came over glaring at me - obviously his wife. I am a straight man. I was in no way attracted to the professor. But at that point I wanted to help him to get away from his wife. I hate to see good people getting mistreated by bad people. That also is the case with men and women for whom I bear no lust.
 Then there is the claim that positive feelings are good and negative feelings are bad. In fact there are many situations in which one leads to the other. If you have compassion for someone, you will be angry at someone who has hurt her. If you have love for someone, you may very well have hatred for people who've treated her horribly. Positive feelings and negative feelings are not mutually exclusive. There are many situations in which they rightfully coexist.
The claim that being angry or hateful is incompatible with being loving or enlightened does not feed love or enlightenment, it feeds insincerity. People pretend to love you but actually hate your guts. In fact a sincere person will be just as sincere about being angry as he would about being loving. I would take genuine anger over fake enlightenment any day. Very little of any kind of good comes from insincerity. And when people are not allowed "negative feelings," that is exactly what we see.
Another source of hypocrisy and confusion is what people regard to be character. Apparently everyone chooses his character, and apparently nobody's character ever changes. These statements are mutually contradictory. If you chcose your character then you can change your character; and if you cannot change your character then it is not a choice.
Pursuant this we have seen one of the worst hysterias in America's history. People accused of possessing sociopathic, narcissistic and borderline personality disorders are being demonized. Meanwhile America owes most of its original ideas, scientific inventions and economic innovation to its narcissists; its political and military might to its sociopaths; and its entertainment to its histrionics. And now there is a narcissist in the White House who has commissioned America's most beautiful buildings and at least two of whose predecessors - Bill Clinton and Barack Obama - were accused of being narcissists as well.
If it is narcissistic to want great success or to have original ideas, then everyone who's had great success or original ideas is a narcissist. If it is sociopathic to object to whatever social dynamics exist around you, then everyone in immigrant-shaped countries descends from sociopaths, who had the incredible hubris and coldness not to accept their place in England or Ireland or Germany or Sweden or Poland and leave their homes and their countries to seek a better way of life in the United States. If it is histrionic to call attention to yourself, then every star, every priest, every teacher, every media personality, every politician, is a histrionic. If it is schizoid to have spiritual experiences, then the world owes its moral instruction and the bulk of its wisdom to its schizoids. If it is borderline to have conflicting feelings, then everyone who's been exposed to more than one influence is a borderline.
There is more to this - much more. When someone possesses a passionate and affectionate temperament, he is seen as either unmanly, weak or obsessive. Then the cold, mean-spirited people who pull this trick decide that they are the good people with real feelings and that he is a "sociopath" - an unhuman monster without feeling or conscience. You are demonized if you have feelings, you are demonized if you don't have feelings. I have not seen a greater racket, and I've lived under Communism.


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