Sunday, November 18, 2007
Boycott All Men!
“Get out from under them. Resist. Unlearn. Defy”—Incubus
Since the spring of 2006, I have been protesting what I believe is a grave social injustice. So many people refuse to talk about it and many more people like to pretend it doesn’t exist. We all know that it is there. And because we say and do nothing it manages to thrive, devouring more victims each day. I am talking about the maltreatment of women. Back in September I wrote two blogs dedicated to the topic. In the first, Burning With Love, I wrote about a woman whose boyfriend set her on fire and how she, even during her traumatic recovery, still maintained a relationship with him. Despite the fact that this man permanently disfigured her, at his sentencing this woman pleaded with the judge for leniency. This story seems so absurd that it borders on the unbelievable, but I use this very example to illustrate that many women have been psychologically and emotionally burned by men, yet continue to comply with the mistreatment.
In the second blog, The Rise of Female Masochism, I explored different real life examples of beautiful and talented women remaining in abusive and dissatisfying relationships with men. Many are depressed, lonely, neglected and just plain miserable, but no matter what their man does they stay. I personally know faithful women who contracted STDs from their “lovers” and in some perverse form of neurosis they still stay! What would it take to make these women wake up? My guess? Nothing short of death itself would separate these women from their abusers.
In my personal notes I penned this, “Most men are little more than animals that walk upright, seeking out someone’s body to masturbate with or some orifice in which to ejaculate. Most women are in denial that this is true, but it is. To say men are trash would be a grave insult to the garbage, in that garbage can often be recycled and thus transformed into some new and useful product, many men cannot.” Yes I believe this and I could write tomes full of criticism on the male species, but to no avail. Because no matter how much women realize they are being mistreated or how much evidence there is to confirm that men are crap, women will still adamantly pursue these relationships. Suppose I could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the romantic relationship in its present form was actually detrimental to women. Suppose I could prove that men endangered the health, spirituality, and well being of all women to some great extent. I don’t think for a second that this empirical, scientific evidence would make women divorce men entirely. If I told a woman that if she did not break up with her abusive man she would die in three days and I somehow had all the medical evidence to suggest it, I seriously doubt that she would leave him. WHY? That’s the question that boggles my mind.
Every first year psychology major understands, at least in part, operant conditioning. No, I’m not a big behaviorist, but I do believe that this theory has validity. I can sum the theory up in one phrase: the theory of rewards and punishments. In other words, every action has a reaction. All of our behavior is either reinforced and thus repeated or punished and thus eliminated. If a person sticks her hand on a hot stove, she will experience the consequence of pain and remove her hand. This simple internal mechanism will protect her from being harmed. But if she instead feels pleasure when she puts her hand on the hot stove she will leave her hand there and repeat the behavior—to her detriment. In life good behavior can lead to a bad consequence and bad behavior can often be rewarding, although we certainly hope for the reverse.
It seems B.F. Skinner’s theory is applicable to almost all of our behavior except our relationships. Like putting ones hand on a hot stove, many women have been burned over and over and over again. Yet they keep their hand on the hot stove—they continue to stay with men who mistreat them or date the same abusive man again and again. Are women really masochistic? I’m really starting believe that Sigmund Freud was right when he postulated this so many decades ago.
How do men factor into this theory? Suppose a man mistreats a woman. Maybe he cheats on her. Maybe he swears at her, beats on her, lies to her, and manipulates her in some way and she threatens to leave, but continues to stay. His behavior has been reinforced. He has no impetus to change! Why should he? That woman has basically told him, through her actions “no matter what you do to me I will be there for you like a loyal love-sick puppy.” Congratulations to this woman, she’s just created a monster! There is a reciprocal relationship between men and women’s behavior in that just as men’s behavior affects women, women’s behavior influences men's.
So when women stay they reward the man as if to say “thank you for all of your abuse I sure love it.” And they make it hard for the next woman who comes along. Case and point, I once dated a guy back in college who criticized everything I did. Whenever he made some disparaging comment to me, I handed it right back to him and told him what he could do with it. After a few weeks I broke up with his rotten behind! I kept telling him that if he didn’t change I was gone. Having dated for about two months, I kept that promise. But here’s what was happening behind the scenes. This man had been in relationships where he was the head honcho. He told a woman to do something and she acquiesced! His other girlfriends enjoyed his authoritarian rule, but I wasn’t going to have it! During one particular date he had said something about what I was wearing. Do you pay for my clothes? I quipped sardonically. He looked at me sincerely as if his poor ego had just received the blow of the century. “I can’t believe you just said that to me” he replied. I just laughed. He was frequently shocked and aroused by my ability to put him in his place. When I broke it off, that shocked him even more. He still expected me to remain friends, I supposed he even thought that he could have me back after he mistreated me. Ha!
This man could have been a changed man if other women had done him the kind favor of not allowing him to treat them poorly. But even though I don’t take no stuff, more than likely he’ll find some fool of a woman who will say “baby make me your doormat” and his crappy behavior will be rewarded once more. That’s sad. Ultimately women, who are often the victim of men’s behavior, are to blame for why men behave the way they do. Women condone it and so all women must reap the consequences of it. Men will never change as long as women say it's okay. The solution: a unified stand against men! Nothing short of that is going to elicit change in the hardened male species.
The website boycott black men has been receiving a lot of attention lately. On the website women attest that they are sick of men harming them, abandoning them and their children, polluting their communities, and taking the lives of others. I have in past blogs conceded that African American men are perhaps the worse types of men on the planet. However, I believe that all races of men exemplify behaviors that are harmful to women, the institutes of marriage and family, and ultimately society at large. Just consider the statistics. Men commit the most crimes, are less likely to attend church, are less likely to volunteer for some pro-social activity, are more likely to dedicate their time to the vices of video game playing and pornography, suffer from more addictions, are more likely to lie, and are more likely to behave unethically and are less moral! Yet women can’t wait to pair up with one of these unscrupulous creatures!
I’m not sure I agree with everything that boycott black men is saying, but I would love to spearhead such a movement against all men, for their continuous and blatant maltreatment of women. Just think, how do most major social movement begin? Through protests, rallies, speeches, and marches. I believe the mistreatment of women is a valid cause and a horrible social injustice. Women are hurting! Women want equality in the workplace, in society, and in their romantic relationships. I think the only way to achieve this is to separate from the male species until they change their behavior. In other words don’t date, sex, or deal with men romantically UNTIL they earn our respect back. I have been doing this for over a year now, but it takes more than just one woman. It takes women everywhere to make this stand. To show this awesome sisterhood and solidarity, to say we aren’t taking it anymore!
Of course there will be women who just can’t leave the dick alone. Yeah I said it! But even these women can be supportive. They can start by respecting themselves enough to say that no man is worth my body until he has proven himself to be committed to me! In our society we have a little thing called marriage, which spiritually and legally seals this commitment, by the way. These women can continue to date, but say that they refuse to be mistreated and that any man who does not treat them with all the respect and dignity they deserve will be extricated from their lives permanently—No second chances! Even the smallest infraction should result in him hitting the road! No more excuses, no more flowers and apologies. We have tolerated that enough. The time for all of that is over! Our past behavior has not worked! It’s time to try something else.
Sigmund Freud says that women are masochists and we prove that with our actions everyday. Most women will suffer almost any kind of punishment (battery, adultery, rape, even death) in order to hold onto a man. No, women don’t do it for love, because love starts with love and respect for self. Women don’t really suffer for sex, though arguably some might. Women permit themselves to suffer because we have been indoctrinated to believe in the concept of “romance.” But romance without the presence of respect is just a bunch of quixotic fluff. One may as well keep on wishing on stars and believing in fairytales. But what if we flipped the script. What if instead of chasing romance, women were as adamant and persistent about receiving respect (which is my favorite of the two). Am I anti-romance? Yes, if you define romance as the vomit-inducing malarkey that we see in “romantic” comedies. No, if you define it as a set of intimate behaviors between two parties (man and woman) who share a mutual respect for one another or an outward manifestation of that respect. In my opinion, romance thrives on respect.
So there we have it. I am convinced that nothing short of boycotting men—either in the form of complete separation from them or an obstinate refusal to tolerate even the most minuscule level of disrespect--will change this dire situation. The outlook is pretty gloomy: More women will lose their self esteem, more women will be single parents, more families will be ripped apart, and more women will lose their lives, if women don’t collectively put their stilettos down and in unison shout “NO MORE!”