Archive | April, 2013

You Teach People How to Treat You. Really?

28 Apr

I see this saying written by Tony Caskins all the time making its rounds on Facebook:

“You teach people how to treat you

by what you allow, what you stop

and what you reinforce.”

At first glance, it looks like the truth, but whose truth is it and from what perspective?

Females don’t allow, refuse to stop or reinforce male oppression, rape and murder and yet male violence against females is epidemic.  Male violence against females happens only because most men are physically stronger than women and because they choose to use their brute strength to control women and our patriarchal society condones this violent male behavior.  Men use their strength against women because they want to, not because women teach them to do so. On a societal level, patriarchy and their male creators teach men to beat, rape and murder females because they allow, refuse to stop and reinforce this violent male behavior.  If we look at this saying through male eyes only, which unfortunately, is the way all human beings including female human beings living in patriarchy have been taught to see, then this saying makes sense because men have taught women how to treat them. But this is not usually a two way street.

When men, with the threat of violence, only allow females to behave subserviently, by stopping females from behaving authentically and by reinforcing subservient and/or feminine behavior, men teach women how to be their slaves.  With brute force men have enslaved females for thousands of years and the resulting female terror is real and felt by every female; therefore, how can we not recognize that this violence and victimization has a profound effect on female behavior? How can we deny that females behave this way because males have trained them to behave this way through violence? To say that we are treated the way we teach others to treat us, is to speak from a dominant point of view, dismissing the reality of females completely, not to mention the reality of all dominated races & classes.

Females have been conditioned by male coercion and violence to distrust themselves and other females and to revere the male/masculine identity.  By doing this, men have created an environment for females to exist in that simultaneously denies their existence and is therefore systemically hostile.  Females then live in a state of terror waiting for the male fist to drop–literally. This hostile environment is not conducive to female expression or even to female life; thereby, making half of the human population mute and unable to speak their own truth, let alone stand up for this truth.  Consequently, men have full reign, without opposition, in their man made environment. Therefore, because men hand out violent consequences for female behaviors that are anything other than feminine /subservient, how can females be anything other than feminine /subservient?  If one wants to survive, and one does, one must adapt accordingly. How can the subservient teach a dominant how to treat them when the subservient isn’t allowed to know or be themselves?  How can they teach others to treat them good when they have been taught that they aren’t good and don’t deserve good treatment, especially when this detrimental idea is reinforced by our society?

This saying may be true when you are the dominant gender in a society that promotes unequal gender roles; however it falls short when you are female, the dominated gender that is victimized violently when she dares to behave authentically or asks for fair treatment. Further, this saying is what I like to call a patriarchal sleight of hand because within what appears to be an insightful idea, upon further investigation, you find that it dismisses the reality of the female, living within the confines of male domination and patriarchy, reinforcing the idea that men are omnipotent and at the same time inadvertently blaming females for male violence.  If females are treated badly, it is because they allowed, did not stop or reinforced said treatment.  In this patriarchal la la land of delusion, females are responsible for male violence.

Patriarchal Heterosexuality–Nature, Nurture or Disorder?

28 Apr

If heterosexuality was expressed in a non patriarchal, male dominated scenario, heterosexuality may have merit, but as it stands, existing within the confines of patriarchy, we must question it completely. Why do women want to be with men knowing what we know about men? Knowing that all men disrespect and hate women most of the time? Seeing the devastating results of male violence against women historically and currently? Seeing men dominate, oppress, violate and murder women? We must ask ourselves is our heterosexuality healthy or is it an adapted survival behavior in response to male violence against females? Since we don’t have any frame of reference for healthy heterosexuality where women and men are both respected free and equal human beings and similarly, we don’t have any frame of reference of a type of heterosexuality that exists without the component of male violence against women, we cannot come to the conclusion that patriarchal heterosexuality is normal, healthy or natural.

When women against all logic and evidence, continue to have relationships with men, regardless of how they treat us, we must conclude that there is another mechanism in play here. When we begin to question heterosexuality, I mean really question it and dismantle it within the patriarchal confines, we expose the insanity of women “choosing” to be with men on male merit alone because the hard truth of the matter is that men don’t deserve women on merit alone. Consequently, this insane need for women to be with men begins to reveal itself as a symptom or reaction to the conditions of female enslavement and victimization. A means for surviving male violence. This becomes even more evident when you read the symptoms of oppressive/dominant relationships and how the behaviors of subservience are exactly the same behaviors as femininity. That even men display “feminine” behaviors when they are dominated. What if women have adapted to male domination and violence by “sleeping with the enemy”? By getting close to their captors in an effort to be able to control their environment or to curtail male violence? We need to start asking ourselves these questions so that we can begin to analyze our relationships with men if we ever want to have healthy ones or further, decide not to.

If we do this, analyze our desire to be with men, we may find that there is no good reason. That our relationships are not based on reciprocal respect, but instead based on our own terror. Our individual man could be to us, a life preserver amongst a sea of potential male predators. We may find that on the surface we kid ourselves into believing that we need them or want them but underneath this surface level, we see that this is just a band-aide covering up our terror from the inherent memory, cell memory, of our violent enslavement at the hands of men. There is ample evidence that connects feminine behaviors especially in our relationships with men that mimic the behaviors of victims of Stockholm’s Syndrome.

Another factor involved here is that most male violence against women including rape is done by the men that women know or have relationships with, not by strangers. The nuclear family is the playground for male violence due to the isolation of women under the roof and control of individual men. We are constantly inundated with threats of violence from male strangers, but the truth is this compared to non stranger male violence is rare. I believe the reason for this is that patriarchy has a stake in keeping women terrified of the strange man out there, outside our safe homes, because this terror keeps women in their place, within the confines of the nuclear family, the individual man and of patriarchy on a societal level. Women then cling to their “men” in an effort to stay safe from the strange violent males–out there. Women stay in abusive relationships because they have Stockholm’s syndrome, not because they are stupid or because they like it. She is merely trying to survive violence in the best way she knows how.

Women learn to see themselves as inferior and men superior because they must put themselves in their captors shoes to be able to feel safer to be able to figure out when an if he will be violent and try to curtail his violence. This is why women tend to dislike themselves and other women because they are seeing themselves through the dominant male eyes. Women then see themselves and other women as weak, stupid, petty and deserving of male punishment, yet another reason why women tend to like men over women. And this is also why women tend to compete with other women when it comes to male attention. Patriarchy teaches women this lie, that men are important and women are not; therefore, to be important, women must be with men thereby getting attention or importance through osmosis. All of these factors play into what we know as “heterosexuality” and all of these factors also play into the reasons for why we think heterosexuality is necessary. If we take these factors and or reasons out of the equation, would we be heterosexual? Would women want to be with men?