Repost from 2017: Realizing that past issues with men have been caused by #patriarchy ( #MeToo)

When I came across this post in the course of normal blog maintenance, it reminded me why it disturbed me so much to read on my ex’s fiancee’s Facebook that he is a “gentle giant,” sweet, wouldn’t hurt a fly, etc. etc.: Because the man I knew was very much a chauvinistic carryover from the olden days.  Only sweet when he wanted to entrap you, or make you change your mind when you’re so fed up that you want to leave.  So I’m reposting it:

Thanks to reading blogs (such as by Samantha Field and Libby Anne) and reflecting and writing over the years, I can finally pinpoint what caused the behavior of all sorts of boys/guys/men in my past (and present).  Makes me wish I could go back in time with newfound confidence and set them straight.

Part of it was often narcissism and abuse, yes.  But that’s not the big driver.  It’s quite simple: Patriarchy explains where they got the idea that it was their place to lecture me on how to act, what to wear, whether to put on makeup, how to do my hair.  That they got to decide what we would do, not me.  If I wanted to do something, I was a slut; if they wanted to do something and I didn’t, they kept pushing.  They could have all sorts of complaints about me, including ones with no basis in reality, but I wasn’t allowed to object, or to complain about them.

Part of the problem was when–friend or lover–they thought they got to call the shots in the relationship, and I did as well.

To see that this is a real issue, note, for example, the episode “Betty, Girl Engineer” from Father Knows Best.  I reviewed it here.  When Betty decides she should be an engineer, everybody begins to tell her that it’s ridiculous for a girl to be an engineer.  As I wrote,

She signs up for a work-study position surveying, but is shamed out of it by the supervisor. However, instead of telling everyone where they can stick it, and following her dreams, she succumbs to the brainwashing, puts on a dress, and the chauvinist pig supervisor becomes the latest in her long string of boyfriends. Father even encourages the chauvinist pig to lecture Betty out of her silly dreams (since apparently girls need to be taught by men what to think). She ditches her silly whim of being an engineer, and becomes a Proper Girl (TM).

This is a blatant demonstration of men having the idea that they can lecture women on what to think, that women can’t do it themselves, and society encouraging it.

(Now please, before I get hate e-mail, I am NOT a man-hater, nor do I see every man as an abuser/harasser/chauvinist.  But this is a very real problem women have been dealing with for millennia.  MOST of the men I’ve known have NOT behaved badly toward me.  And yes, many women are horrible people as well.  Many of my friends are men who are perfectly respectful.  But for the ones who have behaved badly, long-ingrained patriarchy–only now being torn down in society–is to blame.  One need only look at today’s politics and various realities inside churches to see that such patriarchy is still alive and well, despite years of fighting it.  “It’s just locker room talk” leads to presidency; wives told to submit to abusers.)

My #Metoo post helped drive the point home for me.  It was a repost of things I wrote years ago; as I reviewed it, and read responses to the #Metoo movement, I got a new insight into what was in the minds of my harassers and others.  For example:

–Sexual harassment from guys in elementary and high school who apparently thought they had the privilege to do whatever they liked, even in the middle of class.

–Guys making catcalls to me as I walked down the street, when I just wanted to get from here to there, not deal with their crap.  What made them think they could do this?  I never heard girls yelling out of their cars at guys.  Even girls sometimes harassed me on the street!

–Even a teacher religiously and sexually harassing me–in the middle of class, with witnesses.  What gave him the idea he could do this?

–Guys telling me to “smile” when I’m just walking down the street or sitting in church or whatever.  One time, I was sitting in the car waiting for my husband, quietly musing and listening to music, minding my own business, when some man came along and actually started berating me for not smiling!  What the f***?  What gives them the idea they can do this?

–In college, Shawn kept pushing me to various forms of petting and sexual activity, even when I kept saying I didn’t want to go that far, telling me it wasn’t sinful.  When I began to change my mind and give in, even want it, now I was the slut letting him sin.  Whatever I did, was wrong.

And to explain why he would do these things but refused me the dignity of being my boyfriend, he kept lecturing me on how I didn’t act the way he liked (I was an introvert), that I should put on makeup, that I should show more skin like my friend did (I wasn’t comfortable doing that), that I should wear jeans (I hate how rough they feel), that I should change my hair.

When my friends gave me a makeover, he said I looked like a different person–and made it sound like I should do that from now on.  Okay, so apparently I have to look like a different person and not myself to please you?  Some people actually think I’m fine as I am.  See there, this idea that he should tell me how to dress, how to act, how to look!

He also told me other people said bad things about me.  He told me all sorts of things about me that weren’t even true, according to all of my friends (even the blunt one), and yet these were his reasons not to date me.  He also never bothered to get to know the real me, just kept his concept of me.  And then, finally, he decided we shouldn’t be friends anymore because I “let” him do these things, and he was disgusted by me.

It’s from reading blogs by people such as Samantha Field and Libby Anne that I now see how Shawn’s behavior was driven by Christian patriarchy and the Purity Culture, how this has been screwing up the heads of women everywhere for years, making them feel like sluts no matter who did what, making them feel like they’re responsible for the behavior of someone else.

–Phil, who thought I should be an obedient wife, always doing whatever he said without complaint, no matter if my needs were ignored, no matter if what he wanted was degrading, disgusting, painful.  And when I wasn’t like this, used shame, anger, withholding normal sexual relations, even telling his friends I was abusive, to punish me.

–Then Phil’s friend, after the breakup, telling me I was going to be an “old maid,” that I was the only girl he felt the need to say this to, that every other girl knew instinctively what he was about to tell me.  Then he proceeded to lecture me on how I should dress, how I should act, my morality, and even what career path I should follow.  Because obviously I needed a man to tell me these things and couldn’t figure it out for myself.  Because obviously my own wants are not important, and all that matters is if I please men with what I do.

And what’s up with “old maid” anyway?  See there, this guy who pretended to be a forward-thinking man, yet kept to the old-fashioned idea that a girl who doesn’t marry should be called the pejorative “old maid,” while a man who doesn’t marry is a respectable “bachelor.”  The very concept of an “old maid” is that no man wanted you, so you’ve been tossed aside.  But a bachelor chooses to be a bachelor.

–Then there was the guy, a friend of my now-husband, cornering me one day and telling me I need to be more “lively,” whatever the heck that means.  Apparently, yet again, my natural temperament and behavior was not good enough.

–My “best friend” Richard lecturing me–yet again–on how my natural temperament and behavior not only were not good enough, but were actually supremely offensive to his wife.  (Here’s a case of a woman having a patriarchal attitude, because she, too, tried to tell me how I should act, what I should think, etc.)

He scolded me on what I believed, whenever it didn’t match up with what HE thought it should be.  He scolded me for my politics.  He scolded me for not acting the way HE thought I should in various cases.  Such as, he scolded and shamed me for saving letters and e-mails to and from friends.

He scolded me for having an equal marriage instead of one where the husband was in charge.  He scolded me for thinking ecumenism was a good idea.  (His wife even scolded me for believing in evolution.)  He scolded me for not liking gory movies.

He said he wanted to “strangle” me because I–despite all his past scolding–insisted on believing that I have NVLD.  Because obviously–despite my years of research into it–he knew better than me, being a man and all.  (A mutual friend, Todd, also says–by the way–that Richard bullied HIM with psychology as well.)

Basically, Richard was very narcissistic, yes, and also very much of the idea that he got to tell me what to do!

And then when one of his friends sexually harassed me in an online chat room, not only did his wife invite that friend to their house, but a year later, when they invited this guy to their house AGAIN, Richard actually scolded me and called me “ridiculous” for still being upset over what the guy did.  He said it wasn’t harassment because it was online and that isn’t “real.”

So–a man gets to tell me when I’m being sexually harassed now?  And if I disagree, and refuse to forgive someone who never repented of his actions, I’m being ridiculous?

And what gave his friend the idea in the first place that he could harass me, that he could decide whether women should shave intimate areas, that he could then say that he only dates women who do, as if I even cared at all what he thought, considering that I’m married and have zero interest in dating him?

(And no, I never told him whether I did or didn’t, because it was none of his freakin’ business.  This crap came out of nowhere with no encouragement or engagement from me.)

What gave another guy in the chat room the idea that he could tell me to post pictures, and then complain to Richard’s wife when I didn’t?  What got Richard’s wife to say “You know how [they] are” instead of telling him off for being a pig?  What got another woman in that chat room to join in on the harassment?

What got the original harasser to then ban me from the channel when I hadn’t done a thing wrong, and in fact had sat there quietly through most of this, afraid to say anything, appalled?

Years later, when I told an old college friend what happened, she kept saying, “What the hell?” and she, too, pegged Richard as a narcissist.  Seems that she, too, has had experience with narcs.

–And, of course, there are the situations, apparently common to women everywhere, of not feeling they can bring up complaints, because even wonderful, feminist husbands get offended.  Of husbands leaving their stuff lying around on the floor, so wives try to give them a chance to be a big boy and pick the stuff up, but days later, the wives finally pick it up themselves.  I always thought this was just a Mars-Venus, male-female difference, but this blog post blames it on ingrained patriarchal attitudes that are tough to shake.  This is one of the blog posts that shocked my thinking.

Now I want to go back in time, find Shawn, find all of them, and tell them, “Who are you to tell me what to think/feel/do?  I can decide those things for myself!  You don’t get to do it just because you’re male.”

Of course, at the time I may have been too timid, too intimidated, to say anything.  Like many have said recently, women often keep quiet so as not to rock the boat, bring more trouble on themselves.

I recently read a letter to an advice columnist (I think it was Dear Prudence) by someone who had been sexually assaulted, but felt the #Metoo trend was shaming her for not speaking out.

Not only is #Metoo NOT obligatory, but some of the comments I found underneath the column were disturbing.  I got the impression that some people thought #Metoo was exploitative.  So, first we are shamed into silence.  Finally, we get the courage to speak out and speak up about what happened–and, yet again, we’re shamed for doing so?

Just as I was shamed for speaking up years ago about abuse I’d experienced, my motives questioned, told to be quiet.

Not only should a victim NOT be shamed for NOT speaking up, but a victim should also NOT be shamed FOR speaking up.

When I was young, despite decades of feminism, we still kept hearing how we should do things to please men, rather than being more assertive.  It wasn’t just back in the 50s, with Kitty on Father Knows Best being told that she had to stop being a tomboy, and start wearing dresses and being manipulative, if she wanted to get a boyfriend.

No, still in the 80s and 90s, we heard things like, If you want to get a guy’s attention, do this or that to get him to notice you and ask you out.  If he doesn’t ask you out, he’s not that in to you anyway, so forget it.  Let him say “I love you” first lest you freak him out.  And polls still showed that guys wanted to do the pursuing.

Also, until recently, I didn’t realize just how widely this reaches until I saw this post which was widely shared on social media three years ago.  There were things I didn’t even realize were part of the system of power and control, because I had always just believed “that’s how it is.”

There are still many women in churches being taught that men have to dominate over them/the churches.

This is still a problem.  We’re not imagining it.  Time to stop being surprised that it happens, and start stopping it.

I could keep going, but dang, my word count is getting high.  I’ll post now….

(Please comment on the original post.)

 

 

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Is this why my ex Phil was so abusive?

These have been a couple of months of revelation!  First, I learned that my abusive ex Phil was getting married again.  I wrote about it here, puzzling over the “gentle giant” his fiancee described, wondering if it’s possible for someone to change that much, wondering how long it would be before Evil Phil manifested himself to her.

Well, Evil Phil has manifested, and their engagement is at an end.

But that’s not all.  It’s more complicated than that.

Yes, she wrote about him like he was the love of her life.  He wrote about her in such glowing terms that yes, it reminded me of when he was with me, before Evil Phil took his place.

It reminds me of a tumultuous but passionate relationship that has inspired and continues to inspire me to replay it in various works of fiction and memoir ever since.  The latest form is in my latest unfinished novel, with Heinrich and Madge, forever bound together even though they betray each other over and over again.

Of course this all looks like narcissism: a playbook, being followed by the narcissist in each of his relationships, because this is what the descriptions of narcissism all tell us.  That it’s all fake, love-bombing, meant to hook us before the real him comes out, abusive and horrid.

But in this case, it’s more complicated than that.

It’s enough to make me wonder if maybe, all those years ago, those flowery words–those praises–that wonderful, glowing happiness–was the Real Phil.  If maybe he did mean it after all.

(Because admit it, after you’ve been hooked by the love-bombing of a narcissist or abuser, then find out it was all fraud, it hurts to learn that you weren’t really loved like that after all.)

Because yes, new fiancee–now ex-fiancee–insists that this is the Real Phil, that he really meant all he said to her.  But she can’t handle Evil Phil, who is dangerous, so they mutually decided to end it.  She’ll still be there to support him, but as his friend, not his wife or lover.

And now here’s why:

It seems that rather than the narcissism I suspected, Phil’s behavior has a different cause.  He was diagnosed in 2010 with bipolar disorder II.  (I never knew about this until tonight.  We were together in 1994, long before then.)  He took meds for a while, but then stopped for about five years.

This has screwed up his brain so bad that he is now hospitalized.  Current estimates are that he’ll stay there around a month.

Evil Phil manifested himself to her recently.  She talks about him like he’s two different people in the same body, a sweet normal guy, and Bipolar Guy who doesn’t like anybody.  She hinted at dealing with deceit and manipulation–which I certainly dealt with from him in spades–but said it was a manifestation of the bipolar.

She posted this video to explain what Bipolar II is.  It says that Bipolar II is also associated with personality disorder.  So–maybe narcissism or borderline did also influence his actions?

This leaves me conflicted.  One, this is proof that Phil’s treatment of me was not my fault, that he was suffering from a disease which drove him to be cruel.  There is huge healing–and forgiveness–in such knowledge.

But Two, I wonder what was the disease, and what was him.

Now I wonder if I should change anything that I wrote about Phil here on my website.  Or maybe I should just keep it all as a testament to what abuse does to its victims, and the struggle they go through to understand and heal from it, no matter what drove him to act that way.

This website describes how bipolar sufferers can become controlling–which Phil certainly was.  Overwhelming anger.  Overspending.  Yes.

This website explains why bipolar sufferers can turn into manipulative liars during mania.

This website shows how bipolar can lead to abuse.

This is an informative question-and-answer session (with transcript) answering several of my questions.

How much was normal Phil?  How much was Bipolar Phil?  I don’t know.  It’s so hard to tell for sure, because much of his abuse was covert and went on for months, and some of it started even while he was still being sweet.  Maybe this also explains why members of his family have given up on him.  Maybe they don’t know for sure, either.  Maybe they don’t trust him.

I would have a hard time trusting him, his tears and depression at being ravaged by bipolar.  This is because–after going to his friends in a fit of crying and depression in September 1994–he told me that it was all an act to manipulate them.

Maybe this is why his sister took out a restraining order on him, some action of Bipolar him.

Maybe this is why she never showed up to the hearing, so it was dismissed: because she heard he was hospitalized.

I find people on the Net saying bipolar does not cause abuse or violence, that it comes from other sources.  But yet here’s Phil’s ex saying that it IS the bipolar causing his bad behavior, that it’s actually been damaging his brain tissue.

She says normal Phil would never hurt a fly, while Bipolar Phil is different from this–

Yet the Phil I knew hurt me constantly–traumatized me with long-lasting effects–over a period of months with manipulation, chauvinism, control, verbal and emotional abuse, even sexual abuse.  It left me with the occasional thought, “Did I deserve it?  The cruel things he said about me–Were some of them true?”

He was an actor, originally wanting to do that for a living; he acted in real life, not just on stage.

He himself told me that he was so good at acting that he manipulated people, not just me.  He proudly told the story of how he manipulated his mom into buying him a book when he was little.

He even had his own flying monkey, indoctrinated with stories of my alleged abuses of him.  His next girlfriend also suffered from his abuse.  My friends witnessed him manipulating and verbally abusing the girlfriend after that, the one he legally married.

This was months, well over a year, maybe a few years, when all this played out, him abusing me, then the next, then the next, with my friends as witnesses.  Since it went on for years, was this really him?  Or was this a long-term manic episode?  Is his ex correct about him, or has he been conning her?

But maybe he’s truly sorry when he’s depressed and cries.  I suppose she would know best.  After all, now he’s under the care of doctors, not undiagnosed like he was in 1994.

Just the thought that he now RECOGNIZES his own behavior when bipolar takes over–that he does not blame the latest fiancee for it–makes me think that, hopefully, he realizes I’m not to blame for how he abused me all those years ago.

In any case, it tells me that the cause of the abuse was not me or anything I did.  It was the bipolar.  It is diagnosed by a doctor, so this can be confirmed as Truth, not just speculation.

This brings a kind of closure to the trauma.  I wonder if maybe it’ll finally heal the parts that were still sore.

It makes me wonder how far a mentally ill person is responsible for such abuse as Phil committed, when the abuse comes from the illness rather than a character defect.  It also makes me think that maybe he did actually love me, all those years ago, and wasn’t just manipulating me for whatever reason.

I wonder if, in such a case, anybody is really to “blame” for the end of a relationship.  For me–Well, it wasn’t my choice to end it, and I couldn’t change his mind, so my knowing it was mental illness, could not have made a difference.  For him–Does it absolve him of everything?  Can I say it was mental illness and he didn’t know what he was doing?

If we had known about the bipolar back then, would we still be together now?  I don’t know, but I don’t think some romantic notion of “what-if” would be realistic.

Because he almost married this woman, who still thinks the world of him, who knows all about the bipolar,

and yet they did not stay together.

Because she had to stay safe and he didn’t want to pull her down into it with him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anniversary: 10 years since Richard moved in: Letter to Narcissist ex-friend

Richard, you and I have an anniversary today: It’s been 10 years (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) since we met in person for the first time and you moved in with my husband and me, our son, and Merry and Pippin.

I remember what an anxious and happy day it was.  I was excited to meet you, though I was also very shy.  I gave you soup because it was a fasting day and that’s what we had.  My shyness lasted for days because you didn’t look like your avatar, and I couldn’t match you with the voice on the phone.  But then we started talking music one day, and it all clicked.

I know you–or at least Tracy–still read here, so you’ll see this.  Can you believe it’s been that long?

At the time I did think you were the coolest person I’d ever known.  Thought of you as my spiritual mentor and brother.  Loved you dearly.  I had no idea all this crap would go down.  I still think fondly on that time period even though I now believe you were manipulating me…. Was any of it for real?

Fortunately, God has given me new friends so I no longer grieve you like I did years ago.  I have been growing especially close to one.  They don’t dictate to me how I should act or what I should think, or tell me my feelings don’t matter or that I’m just being ridiculous or that sexual harassment or abuse never happened.  They don’t call me crazy or intimidate/threaten my husband.  My close friend is also a fellow introvert, is a writer, and is obsessed with German stuff just like I am.

But that doesn’t mean that gaping hole in my heart no longer exists.  It’s just been–covered over, I guess.  I don’t forget people; my friends stay in my heart forever even when I forget their names or haven’t seen them in 30 years.  Even my old friend-with-bennies is still there, despite how he mentally abused me….

You know Merry and Pippin are gone now, and that little boy is now a teenager.  He has two spice finches.  The library is a library again, but also a game room now, with the futon so guests can sleep there instead of on the couch.  And we have a regular couch again.  We also remodeled the bathtub.  Things look very different now but still much the same.

Sounds different since nowadays I listen to Goth/EBM/Dark Electro/Industrial all day on the stereo instead of alternative/hard rock.  🙂  Upgrading technology made the difference there: Before I could only listen to over-the-air stations on the stereo.

I’m learning Greek–I’m Father’s top student–starting the third year now.  He keeps telling people not to talk to me in English anymore.  I run the church website.  I’m a regular member of the local Writer’s Club.  But then, you probably know all that, as a regular follower of my blog.  😉

My son’s brilliant, and currently working on a Lego robot.

As the years pass I keep thinking that no time has passed at all since October 5, 2007.  But now the weight of the years is just beginning to fall, a little bit at a time, even though it feels like I just blinked my eyes and 10 years passed.  It is scary because if 10 years can pass so quickly, so can 20, or 30, or 40.

But for that reason I’ve been trying to spend my time wisely.  Not in grieving over you anymore, but in following my passions–such as music and, especially writing.  The Muse is back and she has taken a seductive hold of me.  The characters of my book first appeared more than 30 years ago, and now they’re back, sucking me into their world; I think this is going to be my masterpiece.

But Orthodoxy?  Not the hold it once had.  Sometimes I wonder if I only went into the church because of you, because I felt lost when you were no longer there to remind me of why I became Orthodox.  But my dear, close friend of 5 years is in the same church, a fellow convert, so I have someone to talk to again about religion.  And the congregation feels like family now, so that keeps me anchored.

Religion itself has been alienating me lately, from a malaise over reading the Bible over and over so many times I no longer see the words, cynicism over who really makes the rules and how they’ve affected many women and LGBT, and Phariseeism taking over conservative churches while they wed themselves to the fascist Republican Party.  Though I refuse to give up on God or Jesus.

So much is the same, but so much is different.  I sometimes wonder if anything about you is different as well….And how much of the person I knew was real.

Happy tenth anniversary.  That’s tin/aluminum, so here’s a can of beer:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why we are scared of a Trump Presidency

Yeah, I remember how people got upset about Obama being elected.  I remember hearing things like “This is not the same America it was yesterday.”  I remember people thinking he was Hitler.  I remember being disgusted by ex-friend Richard’s constant ridicule of Obama.

I also remember the rule against comparing any politician you don’t like, to Hitler.  But at the same time, as they say, you have to actually learn from history or else you’re doomed to repeat it.

Thing is, Obama and Trump are NOTHING alike.  Obama is a reasonable, dignified person who spoke on policy, regaining the respect of the nations, and making war a last resort.  The economy has dogged him, but then, Bush left a mess for him.

Meanwhile, Trump has spent the entire campaign making fifth-grade schoolyard potshots at pretty much everybody.  For example, his treatment of people like Rosie O’Donnell is appalling, yet he imagines that everybody thinks he’s right about her.  He degenerated the tone of the primaries so much that even otherwise sane candidates started acting like him, out of desperation.

I’ve seen people use terms like “Hitler-y” for Hillary.  That boggles my mind because Hillary has not been even vaguely Hitler-like, just as Obama has not.

We’re probably being called sore losers, but that’s not what this is.  I’ve seen many elections, and most of the time my choice, lost.  I get upset, I mourn, I complain about the one who won.

In the case of Bush, my choice won, but I soon came to regret that when he began bringing unnecessary war, torture, and the worst part of the Patriot Act into American policy.

Bush was a horrible president, one of our worst.  I didn’t vote for Obama the first time, but still felt happy when he won, because now we could correct the damage Bush had done.  Obama was a huge improvement on Bush.

And yet, when Bush won in ’04, I didn’t feel the way I feel now.

I already knew the damage he could do.  I remember our local venerated Langdon Divers, already past 100, said he’d voted Republican all his life, but he felt he had to vote for Kerry because of what Bush had done to the GOP.  Lots of people apparently felt this way, and rushed out to vote.

And yet all I felt in ’04 was a combination of disappointment and relief that we didn’t have a repeat of the 2000 Recount Nightmare.  I settled in and waited for his term to end, while voting against anyone who agreed with him.

This isn’t just “waaaah, we didn’t get our way.”  For one thing, Hillary actually won the popular vote: It’s the outdated Electoral College model that got Trump to win.  Also, Trump as president is truly terrifying for many reasons:

  1. Hillary was immensely better qualified than Trump.  Trump’s intimidating behavior during the debates–skulking around, constantly interrupting and talking over her–very much demonstrated an old-school male chauvinist not wanting to let some woman beat him.  We thought we’d left this kind of sexism behind decades ago.  Now a guy is in power because of soundbites and rage, when we could’ve had somebody who actually knows what she’s doing.  Yet every time we pointed out the sexism, we got claims that Hillary was somehow worse (and even deserved jail) because of some frickin’ e-mails.
  2. There is no dignity in Trump.  There is no diplomacy.  Making fun of people, bullying people, taking potshots at them every chance you get, and just because they pointed out the truth about you, that’s a recipe for war.  Prepare for WWIII–us against the rest of the world, including our allies.
  3. I am concerned because when Hitler was appointed, the conservative Junkers thought they could keep him under their control.  But I doubt that Trump is truly “Hitler” because for that, you’d need an entire party backing up one’s plans for world domination and totalitarianism.  Even though they voted for him, many Republicans in power detest Trump, and probably will not help him transform the US into Nazi Germany.  But yeah, the Junkers thought they could control Hitler, so I do feel a bit queasy.
  4. Still, with that caveat, let’s see if I can remember everything about Trump that makes me think fascism: wants to deport immigrants, has stirred up violence against Muslims, speaks of marking Muslims and surveillance on mosques, is supported by the worst dregs of society (KKK and neo-Nazis), wants to hamstring the Press, has insulted Latinos as a whole….
  5. Just look at this post found in the Sanctuary Radio shoutbox this morning: “WHITE POWER: TIME FOR YOU PUSSYS TO LEAVE THE US. DEPORT ALL MUSLIMS, NIGGERS, SPICS AND PUSSY WHITE PEOPLE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN PURITY AND THE OLD WAYS THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS BUILT ON. BRING SLAVERY BACK AND TAKE WOMEN’S VOTING RIGHTS AWAY!”  That…says it all about why Trump winning, terrifies me.  I’ve seen the videos from Trump rallies, and these people are out there.
  6. Oh, yeah, don’t forget that this guy thinks joking about sexual assault is somehow normal “locker-room banter.”  Yet when you point out that it is not, he deflects attention from himself onto other people’s shortcomings.  He is also lawsuit-happy.
  7. Lack of responsibility taken for his own shortcomings.  Deflects and blames others, just like the classic Narcissist.
  8. He speaks of pulling out of treaties, carpet-bombing cities, killing innocent civilians just for being related to terrorists, bringing back torture, and has even dissed the Geneva Convention!  He is worrying our Allies!  The Geneva Convention has those restrictions on indiscriminate bombing for a reason: WWII!  Both the Axis and the Allies bombed civilians on purpose.  Do we really want to bring that back?  Geneva was also the only reason the Nazis treated our POWs so “well.”  And note I put “well” in quotes.  They were absolutely brutal to POWs who were not covered by it.
  9. Trump’s rallies may not have been to the level of Nazi rallies (for one thing, his speech is subpar), but he still has the power to hypnotize.  He gets whole rooms chanting “Lock her up!  Lock her up!”  That smacks of brainwashing.

Van Jones eloquently explained on Anderson Cooper last night that Muslim parents are scared because Trump said over and over that he wants to ban people of their faith.

If you talk to the actual people at the base, here’s what hear: terror. Terrified Latinos, terrified Muslims. I had a Muslim mother asking me ‘Should I leave this country? Are they going to intern us?”

…You need to have a little bit of empathy and understanding for people who are afraid because your candidate has been one of the most explosively provocative candidates in the history of our country….You have people who are terrified.

…If you want unity, we have to hear the pain first, before you tell them not to hurt.

He goes on to speak of fears by immigrant communities that they will be deported.  I’ve also seen reports of Muslim Americans who are terrified of a rise in violence and discrimination against them now that Trump is president-elect.

Kayleigh McEnany protested that Trump never spoke of internment camps.  While this may be true, the US speaks of the “American Way” but has a checkered past that includes internment camps.  That makes people scared it could happen again, without anybody saying it will.

See the snippet video here on CNN.  The more complete video is embedded below:

For some time, we’ve been hearing about narcissists that you can’t trust them when they behave just as Trump has behaved for years.  You can’t trust their apologies, you can’t trust them to change, you can only trust that they are the same but are changing tactics.

Now we hear that Trump is going to be “presidential” and that he’s no longer the person who made those jokes about sexual assault.  Why should we believe any of it?  How are we supposed to trust now that he will change and unite us, rather than that he will continue to marginalize the various communities which have been fighting for so long for their rights?

There are all sorts of reasons why we are upset about Trump becoming president, and just dismissing us as “sore losers” is a sure way to fire the revolution.  I see the energy and passion in the videos of yesterday’s protests by young people.

As reported by Claire Landsbaum in Trump Voters Celebrated Yesterday by Threatening Women and People of Color:

Less than a day after Donald Trump was named president-elect of the United States, his supporters celebrated by using racial slurs, defacing public property with racist graffiti, and otherwise intimidating women and minorities, according to multiple accounts.

Journalist and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King’s Twitter feed is filled with stories of intimidation from across the country, where the president-elect’s campaign rhetoric appears to be manifesting in ugly ways.

For details, go to the article.  There are chilling pictures reminiscent of Kristallnacht: swastikas and “Seig Heil” and white supremacist messages painted on buildings and shop windows.  Muslims being assaulted and intimidated.  Black and Latino students being told to move to the back of the bus.  Asians told to “get the f**k out of my country.”  White kids trying to grab a woman by the p**sy just like Trump.  Students chanting “white power.”  Threats against blacks.  Gay couples told to burn in Hell and that their marriages will be overturned.

Articles getting the Kristallnacht connection:

What Is Kristallnacht? Trump Elected President On Nazi Anniversary

Vandals destroy shop windows and graffiti anti-Semitic slurs in Philadelphia on 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht

Has the world forgotten the terrible lesson of Kristallnacht?

And oh yeah, along with the sexism that’s been coming out of the woodwork as well, I’m reminded of the Nazi insistence that the liberated women of Weimar Germany must leave their professions and be good little submissive housewives.  (Not that I’m dissing housewives: I am one.  But women should choose for themselves.)  They also banned Aryan women from both contraception and abortions.

In Hillary we would’ve broken the presidential glass ceiling (where we lag behind even conservative countries), and she would’ve worked for further equality; Trump is like the ultimate sexist caveman, rolling back decades of progress.

We fear that, rather than address the causes of abortion, which is far more effective in stopping it, Trump’s administration will simply cry “lock her up.”  This is especially a problem with the rise of Christians turning against contraception and not just abortion, and recent legislation in some states reflecting that.  And now the party whose members tried to pass such legislation, is in full power.

THIS is why people are scared.  THIS is why people think of Nazi Germany, because this is how the Nazis behaved.  We’re not just “sore losers.”

Can the Republicans keep Trump under control?  I hope so.  But it may be less Trump we have to worry about, than the undercurrent of white supremacy in this country which sees his election as license to do whatever the heck they want.

Despite what many have said in the past year, I’m not sure Trump is truly “Hitler.”  But coming out of the woodwork are actual Nazis, people who believe in Jewish conspiracies and want a white America, people who would gladly take Trump’s outrageous statements and make them reality.  People who have seen him as some kind of pied piper rallying them into a fever pitch.

People have reason to be terrified.  I feel like we’re living in one of those movies where history was meant to go one way, but somebody came back in time and screwed it up, and now we’re suffering the consequences.  Where is Frank Parker when we need him?

 

 

 

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Review of If Souls Can Sleep by David Michael Williams

One of our local writers has recently published If Souls Can Sleep.  From the book description:

First he lost his daughter. His mind may be next.

After years of being haunted by the day his little girl drowned, Vincent faces a new nightmare — one that reaches into the real world and beyond the grave.

If Souls Can Sleep introduces a hidden world where gifted individuals possess the power to invade the dreams of others. Two rival factions have transformed the dreamscape into a war zone where all reality is relative and even the dead can’t rest in peace.

More information on the book is here and here.

From the press release:

The 350-page paperback captures elements of science fiction, fantasy, suspense, and metafiction, covering such disparate topics as Norse mythology and neuroscience.

 

“After years of focusing exclusively on sword-and-sorcery fantasy, as both a writer and a reader, I made it my goal to write something very different. I wanted to create a book I had never read before, something very unusual and unique,” Williams said.

 

“It was time to take a risk,” he added.

 

While categorizing “If Souls Can Sleep” can be tricky, Williams sees the mashup of genres as a strength because the story has something for readers of many backgrounds. He describes the narrative as complex yet accessible, peculiar yet relatable.

 

“This book has no shortage of paradoxes. I tried to break the rules without ending up with a broken story,” Williams said. “Fortunately, early feedback suggests the experiment was successful.”

 

“If Souls Can Sleep” will be published through Williams’ indie publishing company, One Million Words, on Jan. 30. The book is currently available for preorder as a paperback at Amazon.com and as an e-book through the Kindle Store. Other e-book formats will follow at various online retailers starting in May.

 

“If Souls Can Sleep” serves as the first book of The Soul Sleep Cycle. The sequel, “If Sin Dwells Deep,” is scheduled for a fall 2018 release, with a third installment, “If Dreams Can Die,” slated for spring 2019.

 

Williams is also the author of The Renegade Chronicles, a fantasy trilogy comprised of “Rebels and Fools,” “Heroes and Liars,” and “Martyrs and Monsters.” He is a 1999 graduate of UW-Fond du Lac and a 2001 graduate of UW-Milwaukee, where he studied creative writing. He joined the Allied Authors of Wisconsin, one of the state’s oldest writing collectives, in 2005.

 

His website, https://david-michael-williams.com, features a blog about his fiction and the craft of writing.

Publishers were interested, but couldn’t figure out how to classify the book to sell it, because of the genre-bending.  But if that’s so, then the market must have gotten too restrictive over the years: I’d say “sci-fi/fantasy” works fine.

Also, don’t be scared off by its being self-published.  This book is professionally done, well-written and well-edited (though it could have used one more run-through).  It reads quickly and holds the reader’s attention all the way through.  The characters are well-rounded.  And the concept–Who hasn’t wanted to explore the dreamscape as if it were more than just visions in our own heads, as if we could go there to visit friends and even departed loved ones?

Reading over some reviews–One person found it hard to get into at first, but I was pulled right in.  Maybe it depends on what you’re into.

Details on how to buy the book are here.  And yes, there will be more books later: It’s the beginning of a series.

 

 

 

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Advice columnist says: No, you don’t have to join your spouse in abusing others

What to do if your wife is abusing someone you love?  I’ve written about this myself, years ago, in my story about being abused by a narcissistic couple:

Just as obeying our parents is good except if they command us to do evil, the same is true with sticking up for our spouses.  While it is good and right to stick up for our spouses and stand by them, if our spouse is doing or saying something abusive or evil to anyone, then it would be evil for us to stick up for them and stand by them.

This means you, too, Richard: It was evil for you to allow your wife’s evil treatment of me, and you became its participant. —Bullying an Introvert and Probable NVLDer, written 7 or 8 years ago

And I wasn’t the only one Richard helped Tracy to abuse.  He did the same to his own friend Todd, story here.  And yes, Todd also dropped the “friendship” after that, so eventually we were able to console each other on being put through the same crap from the same couple.

Recently, Carolyn Hax got a letter on the subject, in this case a man whose wife has been verbally abusing his family.  He feels torn, wondering if the marriage contract means he’s duty bound to pair up with his wife and help her abuse his own family.  Hax says heck no.  Some quotes:

You need to protect your family of origin from your wife. Preferably in the moment, not after the fact. Wow. If I could, I’d demand that you “step in and defend” your sister, with your wife in the room.

 

Is your wife as abusive to you as she is to your family?

This is yet more validation for my own feelings on the matter, how I was treated by that n-couple.  It is also helpful for anyone in this situation.

You can find the column here.  You can also find it on the Washington Post website, but I don’t have a link because the paywall prevents me from going there often.

 

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