Monday, 18 January 2010

Covert Misogyny.

Now let`s go back to less conspicuous abuse of women, one instance of which I relayed to you in my blog entitled "Misogyny in the Medical Profession".

We learn how to hurt people when we are small children, just as we learn every mode of behaviour, as we watch the adults around us in their relationships. Some children exposed to these kinds of interaction will copy them in later life, some will not. The knowledge is there, the behaviour assimilated, however, and we can see, even in the most stable and equitable of people, the mechanisms of hurt that manifest when they are stressed or angry. For vast numbers of people who slip into hurt mode for a while and come out of it, it does not become a pervasive trait, just a transitory one. Some people, with this acquired behaviour ready to jump into action, hurt some people and not others (this is something I thought about when I discussed "Compartmental Conscience" in an earlier blog).Others keep a very tight rein on this assimilated ability to hurt others, not wishing to vent it and only letting go when they are under extreme stress.

We are talking here, though, specifically about women, but the basis for needing or wanting to hurt is the same.
I think, firstly, that hostility to or resentment of women in particular, can be caused by adverse experience of a woman, the pain of which becomes ingrained and later is discharged against someone who has nothing to do with these earlier experiences. Somehow, the pain of past experience does not allow analysis of where and when upset first occurred, it just is triggered generally by women, or women with particular characteristics, and just finds outlet. Indeed, any woman can be a trigger for reflexed hatred just because something about her hooks into something in the past for the man concerned.

Another cause, as I discussed in my last blog, is that a man can have witnessed someone close to him with a bad attitude to a woman/women. Some men learn the idea that women are out to cheat them, or are after their money, or women try to get attention for disingenuous reasons,feign illness when they are not really ill, or whatever the case may be, from someone else, a father maybe, who projects these ideas onto a boy`s mother. A boy will see his mother accused of such falsehood on a day to day basis and he will believe what she is accused of, even though his father`s notions are in themselves untrue, based as they are upon his own psychopathology.

I would like to touch on another trigger for misogyny related to the phenomenon of learned behaviour: When someone learns to view someone else, anyone else, negatively, based upon false perceptions, there are factors within that interaction that are part of the package. It`s like this: a person cannot deal out a negative regard for someone without incurring some guilt, even if it is guilt on an unconscious level. I tend to think of this as like expending energy always having a consequence, we go jogging and we get tired, we get angry and we get more and more upset, nothing happens without consequence. So, when we put upon others our negative attributions, we pay a price....unless we counteract this in some way. This is why in situations where we incur guilt, our compartmental conscience kicks in to try to lift the guilt we might otherwise feel.

Finally, when someone reflexes negative regard for women, they can simply be reacting against their own sense of guilt, acquired by them when a young child, as if their father`s guilt were their own..The woman`s behaviour, or triggers, can, point-blank, make the man feel very guilty and he reacts to that with agression.

So now we come to why some doctors see women as disingenuous: I believe that in their early childhood they have acquired negative ideas about women, from whom or for what reason they have no conscious knowledge, and they simply issue this negativity upon hapless women as if it were real. It is one big delusion. Believing badly of someone without due cause expresses itself in other situations too,for example racism.

The doctor who destroyed my mother`s life would not realise that he was acting out of deep-rooted irrational motivations and probably was convinced that this was indeed a neurotic woman in need of psychiatric medication. What is a crime though, is that a doctor should be able to come to this "professional diagnosis", subjectively, and based upon his own paranoia, without any tests to make sure that his opinion is correct. The fact that this abuse of women is covert makes this phenomenon all the more difficult to prevent.

In my next blog I hope to get onto why it is that this type of misogyny is tolerated within professional groups and why the group itself has responsibility in allowing it to happen.

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