Friday, May 22, 2015

Quickies: Asymmetrical Abuse

     Time was, we were taught to look at our conflicts with others not merely as matters really stand, but also as if “the shoe were on the other foot.” Exchange the positions, exchange the actions, and reassess. How would you feel about it then? How would he?

     Time was.

     Courtesy of Glenn Reynolds, this morning my eye lit upon this belated recognition of an asymmetry. Please bear down and read it all. When you reach the end, return to the headline:

Woman Realizes That She’s Been Accidentally Abusing Her Husband This Whole Time

     “Accidentally.” ACCIDENTALLY! As innumerable pictorial puzzles for children say at the top, What’s wrong with this picture?

     An “accidental” action is one the actor hadn’t intended to perform. Was any of the behavior the young woman described unintentional? Or was it merely regrettable, deplorable, condemnable?

     This woman’s fundamental problem was either an absence of conscience or the unwillingness to listen to it. Consider: She admits, in hindsight, that she’s abused her husband – that she’s been doing so for some time. Why? Because, she says, it hadn’t occurred to her that her behavior toward him was abusive. How could she not have known? Especially given that, had their roles been reversed, she would have been screaming for relief from his brutality from Day One?

     Sociopolitical feminism – gender-war feminism – has subliminally persuaded millions of American women that in their dealings with men, they have no more need for their consciences than for their vermiform appendices.

     Women’s maltreatment of men – their relatives, husbands, boyfriends, coworkers, and random acquaintances – has reached such dimensions as to qualify for pandemic status. Yet which sex is it that screeches incessantly for protection from the other? Which sex is it that constantly claims to be “oppressed” by “the patriarchy?” And which sex is it that complains about not being able to find spouses, that can’t fathom why the other one has become steadily more averse to it?

     Women, particularly in the United States, enjoy unprecedented latitude, opportunities, and ease – all of which were made possible by the labors and sacrifices of generation after generation of men. Yet great masses of them appear incapable of feeling the least shred of gratitude over it. Indeed, they bludgeon us as if we were engaged in a systematic campaign to enslave them. They even demand to have their accusations of abuse by us treated as conclusive without evidence...and they often get their way.

     Is it any wonder that men have reacted by treating the fairer sex as dangerous? Is it any wonder that so many men should have opted for lifelong bachelorhood, occasionally punctuated by casual, meaningless sex? Is it any wonder that so many men who do marry practice protective subterfuge about their assets, keep large portions of their lives private, and refrain from producing children they could lose through divorce?

     “Accidentally.” Remember that word, brethren of the Y chromosome. Recall it to mind when she abuses you in some fashion that would wring the most piteous wailing and tears from her if your positions and actions were exchanged.

     (Yes, yes, there will be further “To Fight For Freedom” segments. I’m trying to think them through carefully rather than rush them out. Bear with me.)

1 comment:

Weetabix said...

I don't know, Fran. Everything you say is true about a certain subset of women. But isn't this particular article (use of the word, "accidental," excepted) really a beacon of hope?

Here is a woman raised in the culture you describe who has had the light go on for herself. She doesn't appear to have made the connection between her actions and culture very strongly - she made it between her actions and women. But she did have a realization. And maybe that realization, published, will help other women make a similar realization.

My wife and daughters are all pretty anti-feminist, but sometimes some of them have similar reactions to me or my son. I think that type of a reaction may be inherent in many women.

We, as men, need to use it as a teaching moment with our reactions to their actions. We do have a choice in how we react (like the husband in the story, or like men). We don't need to be brutes, but we also don't need to tolerate that kind of behavior. We can be firm but gentlemanly.