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Bid My Anxious Fears Subside

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PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2015 10:34 pm    Post subject: Bid My Anxious Fears Subside Reply with quote

It shows how far the Sun newspaper has come that today it ran pictures on its front page of women who in the last year have been killed by a partner. The paper called for more women's refuges.

The Sun used to be a vile paper but now it is just vulgar and sometimes tremendous. It has mellowed over the years.

Most of my female relatives who grew up in the sixties married as very young teenagers. Wales was a land of young brides. The majority of them put up with abuse and found no help in their relatives.

One was married to a mood swinger who hammered part of her skull into her brain. She stayed with him because she thought divorce was immoral.

This was a time when Dixon of Dock Green gave bits of homely common sense to the viewer at the end of each programme. One of his nuggets of wisdom was ''A policeman can't get involved every time a man gives his wife a slap.''

In the 1980s, somebody in power stated, ''There haven't been many murders in London this year and some of them have not been serious. Some were only husbands murdering their wives.''

As late as the early 90s, a legal bigwig denied that marital rape should be criminalised. He trivialised it. When asked how he knew it was not as bad as stranger rape, he said it was obvious, and then burst into childish half suppressed laughter.

We've got beyond that. If anything, we get impatient with those who stay with abusive partners, forgetting that homicidal violence is most likely to occur at the time the victimised partner tries to leave.

When Erin Pizzey set up the first women's refuge in the 70s, she was criticised for undermining the right of a man to do what he likes in his own home. Now, they are generally accepted as a necessary service.

The last thing I want to do is to discourage anyone from using Women's Aid.
You ought now to be very safe from your partner in a refuge as the address is secret and no men are now allowed in since a defining event when a Sikh gentleman stabbed his wife to death in such a place.

If you need a refuge, for God's sake, use it. You may even find support among the other women. Apparently this can happen sometimes.

I don't want to put you off. But please be realistic. Ayaan Hirsi Ali said that refuges are awful, depressing places, and she wasn't lying.

Unfortunately, women's refuges were founded in the belief that all would be well inside them and that a spirit of sisterhood would prevail. It was based on feminist theory which is not supported by reality.

Don't get me wrong. I think it's sad that feminism has become a dirty word. I remember a dictionary from early last century defining it as the belief in the equality of the sexes which was then an eccentric opinion. If that's what it means, I'm happy to be called a feminist. I approve of the Suffragettes.

But when it's so extreme that it requires separatism or disowning your male children, that's ridiculous. While I would agree that statistically, women are less likely to commit crime - or is it just that they're better at avoiding detection? - statistics are no use when you're dealing with individuals.

I don't know if kids now recite the verse 'Lizzie Borden Took an Axe'. The kids have more sense than the jury. This woman was manifestly guilty but was acquitted on the basis of an address to the jury based on extreme feminist ideology to the effect that women were gentle and wise and could never behave like that.

People voted for Margaret Thatcher in 1979, often because they wanted a prime minister who would exercise the feminine virtues of compassion, compromise and maternalism. Were they in for a shock!

Any kind of person can end up in a refuge. But there will usually be a core of residents who are deeply emotionally damaged. Some of them, now that they are free of abuse, will feel a compulsion to dish it out to those they perceive as vulnerable. Some will have become paranoid even to insane levels, and will threaten to kill inoffensive residents in front of their children.

Some of these women will be gangsters' molls, who admire machismo and violence but never expected it to be turned against themselves. They are like the Kray wife who wrote in a memoir,' He was a perfect gentleman; he looked good in a suit; he was a perfectly co-ordinated killing machine.' The reviewer said, 'Please don't hit me for saying this, Mrs Kray, but I think you've got your priorities wrong.' These women are generally as hard as nails.

Putting all these people together with their annoying children in a small house is a recipe for disaster. It's like putting rats in a cage. If you end up in one of these places, you will almost certainly find that it is like a women's prison. It'll be a case of out of the frying pan into the fire like a polygamous lesbian abusive marriage without the sex.

What is particularly disappointing is that the women running the places are not supportive to those who are victimised. They are usually bullies themselves. You will need a refuge from the refuge. If there is anywhere else sufficiently safe you can go, do that instead.

I think these places should be replaced by boltholes for individuals. Or if the funds will not stretch to that, foster homes for adults. The host families should be exceptionally stable emotionally.

Last edited by marianneh on Tue May 02, 2017 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 10:30 am    Post subject: explanation Reply with quote

The above post looks a bit schizoid in the vernacular sense. I urge people to use refuges if they need them but warn they may well be hellish. I claim to support feminism, at least in the old fashioned sense of favouring equality, but then make remarks that could be read as misogynistic.

I don't think I am contradicting myself, just acknowledging the complexities of life. But more clarity would be desirable, so I'll give it.

If you are in an abusive relationship and truly fear for your life, go to a refuge for God's sake. Yes, some paranoid fruit cake might threaten to kill you while you are in the refuge. I have known this to happen.

But there will be so many people around that there's no way it's going to come off. There will be enough people to drag the offender off you. This will not be the case in your own home, where you are more isolated.

I don't want to have it on my conscience, that anyone is put off going to a refuge by me, and is subsequently battered to death by an abusive spouse.

If you need to use a refuge, do it but don't expect it to be a lovely place because it probably won't be. It might be a good idea to stay out most of the day to avoid the strife and perfervid atmosphere. It's a good idea to have a plan B.

Is there no truth at all in the image of women as nurturing and angelic? Of course, some women may be like that but obviously not all, and especially not those who have been brutalised by years of abuse. Women have been oppressed in almost all societies on earth. There is a tradition of seeing oppressed people as more noble than others. This is ridiculous.

A moderate amount of suffering may be genuinely educational. You can look back on it and say, 'I came through that and I will be able to deal with the next difficulty too.'

But grotesque and horrific suffering is not redemptive. It's going to leave you bitter and warped or at least suffering from post traumatic shock.

Unfortunately, we still have a sick notion in the post Christian west that suffering is character building. So some theologian justified God allowing Hiroshima and Belsen to happen on the grounds that it was character building for the victims.

Some woman on a TV show asked a survivor of a concentration camp, ''But didn't it make you a better person?'' His answer can be paraphrased as ''No, you stupid woman'', but he managed to put it politely.

Of course it is true that women are often brought up to be considerate and nurturing, and it may even be that evolution has favoured women who are like this naturally, because they are more likely to have surviving offspring.

For many centuries, women were dismissed as lacking logic. In Victorian times, if they got anything right, it was put down to intuition rather that reasoning ability.

There's no evidence that one sex is more rational than the other. But traditionally, men were expected to repress their emotions. So when they witnessed women being emotionally intelligent, they felt uneasy. One way to cope was to claim rationality for themselves and leave emotion as women's sphere.

It's said that since women have been allowed to vote and stand for parliament there has been less sabre rattling and fewer wars. This is a bit of a surprising argument, considering the timing of the Second World War, but it may have some merit.

Conversely, some extremist Islamist countries where women are oppressed, are just about constantly at war. Some old guy is famous for having survived the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima. He took refuge in Nagasaki. He was just in time for the atomic bomb to be dropped there. He survived that too.

His considered opinion is that the only people fit to make decisions on foreign policy are breast feeding mothers. His idea is that mothers who have bonded with their babies and want them to grow up, will not advocate throwing nuclear bombs around.

Perhaps the feminisation of politics has been a good thing. Perhaps the stereotype of the tender, patient earth mother has some slight basis in reality. If you see a calm, sensible empathetic mother of young children, you might exclaim in awe, ''Has she got ovaries!''

But we can only speak of tendencies which break down on an individual level. Statistically, sociopaths are more likely to be men. But the first one I ever met was a woman who put on an ultra feminine act. She presented like Soo the Panda on the Sooty Show.

Stereotypes are unhelpful at best. I believe in sexual equality just as I believe in human equality across the board. But I don't have any starry eyed illusions

Last edited by marianneh on Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:02 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 10:35 am    Post subject: mistake Reply with quote

I meant to say that statistically, sociopaths are more likely to be men.
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