When [an abusive man] tells me that he became abusive because he lost control of himself, I ask him why he didn’t do something even worse. For example, I might say, “You called her a fucking whore, you grabbed the phone out of her hand and whipped it across the room, and then you gave her a shove and she fell down. There she was at your feet where it would have been easy to kick her in the head. Now, you have just finished telling me that you were ‘totally out of control’ at that time, but you didn’t kick her. What stopped you?” And the client can always give me a reason. Here are some common explanations:
"I wouldn’t want to cause her a serious injury."
“I realized one of the children was watching.”
“I was afraid someone would call the police.”
“I could kill her if I did that.”
“The fight was getting loud, and I was afraid the neighbors would hear.”
And the most frequent response of all:
"Jesus, I wouldn’t do that. I would never do something like that to her.”
The response that I almost never heard — I remember hearing it twice in the fifteen years — was: “I don’t know.”
These ready answers strip the cover off of my clients’ loss of control excuse. While a man is on an abusive rampage, verbally or physically, his mind maintains awareness of a number of questions: “Am I doing something that other people could find out about, so it could make me look bad? Am I doing anything that could get me in legal trouble? Could I get hurt myself? Am I doing anything that I myself consider too cruel, gross, or violent?”
A critical insight seeped into me from working with my first few dozen clients: An abuser almost never does anything that he himself considers morally unacceptable. He may hide what he does because he thinks other people would disagree with it, but he feels justified inside. I can’t remember a client ever having said to me: “There’s no way I can defend what I did. It was just totally wrong.” He invariably has a reason that he considers good enough. In short, an abuser’s core problem is that he has a distorted sense of right and wrong.
I sometimes ask my clients the following question: “How many of you have ever felt angry enough at youer mother to get the urge to call her a bitch?” Typically half or more of the group members raise their hands. Then I ask, “How many of you have ever acted on that urge?” All the hands fly down, and the men cast appalled gazes on me, as if I had just asked whether they sell drugs outside elementary schools. So then I ask, “Well, why haven’t you?” The same answer shoots out from the men each time I do this exercise: “But you can’t treat your mother like that, no matter how angry you are! You just don’t do that!”
The unspoken remainder of this statement, which we can fill in for my clients, is: “But you can treat your wife or girlfriend like that, as long as you have a good enough reason. That’s different.” In other words, the abuser’s problem lies above all in his belief that controlling or abusing his female partner is justifiable…."
Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men (via redwinerivers)
This is every abusive man I’ve ever dealt with. This is my father who hit me but never left a mark, this is that teacher who sexually harassed me for an entire year as a child but never touched me, this is that neighbor who date raped me but didn’t *rape* rape me, this is that client who assaulted me but didn’t forcibly penetrate me. None of them sees himself as a bad guy. None of them would describe himself as abusive.
I wasn’t going to post anything for International Women’s Day, but this just popped up on my dash and, well, here you go. Men, sit each other down and get your fucking shit together. Women abuse too and use similar excuses, but those excuses are not tied to the core of their gendered identity in the way that this kind of mindset is tied to masculinity*. Men need to fix masculinity. Wrap that up in a bow and give that to women on March 8th next year.
(Although for white women, it’s often tied to their racialized identity, to whiteness. That’s how systems of domination work.)
Anonymous asked: I feel like if I came out to my parents, they'd never understand. I'm fortunate enough that I know they won't hate me and throw me out of the house, but I'm mostly scared that what I'm going through will just be considered a "phase" to them.
I’m in the same boat right now. This kind of poses the question: Is it worth it to come out if you aren’t going to be in danger, but you know your parents won’t accept you?
Can anyone help anon?
This was the situation I faced, although my parents did eventually come around. They weren’t going to stop supporting me financially, but they completely pulled emotional support and verbally attacked me about it often. They didn’t believe me and thought I had a psychological problem.
My strategy was a) unwavering un-apologetic persistence (even though I had doubts and fears and confusion, I didn’t let this show to them), b) I continuously made the point: why do you even care? I’m super depressed and this helps me not want to die so regardless of whether this is “real”, what’s the issue with you calling me a diff name and pronouns? I backed this up with studies showing the improved wellbeing of trans people after they transition. c) I referred them to tons of resources (which they never read) offered to connect them with parents of other trans people (which they never accepted) pointed out how cis people don’t even follow gender rules perfectly and generally just made them aware how huge the communities which have similar experiences as me are. d) and finally, I came out to people who they trusted. I think it’s particularly difficult for parents to accept their kids being trans because it reflects as a social failure on their part plus they have a sense of loss of their child, but it can be a bit easier for other people to accept, or at least for them to accept the “what’s the big deal?” argument I mentioned previously. This was what ultimately turned things around I think, because it gave them the social support they needed to handle such a radical change in perspective of their child and of the social institution of gender while also obliterating their fears of being ostracized. Oh and I let them know how deeply they were hurting me.
I hope this is helpful in some way. Feel free to contact me if you want to talk more or ask questions (this goes for any of you)!
The analysis reveals that young people view their identities as complex, contradictory and diverse, and demonstrate a reflexive awareness of their own sense of self as a phenomenon which is personally constructed, continually revised and displayed to others.
The study highlights the importance of role models, and how individuals understand their own identities, more strongly than previous studies of young people and the media.
It suggests that the media functions as a resource young people use to conceptualise and formulate their present identities, as well as articulate possible future selves."
Young People, Identity, and the Media; Fatima Awan. PhD research project, 2007. Abstract.
What this means is what we can see in this image:
Everyone deserves to be able to envision themselves clearly, in fantasies and escapism, in the past, the present, and the future.
Medievalpoc articles tagged “representation”.
one thing i hate is when parents refuse to let their kid(s) dye their hair
who’s fucking hair is it??????? is iT THE FAMILY HAIR?????????
How to teach your child that they don’t own their body.
Same goes for cutting/NOT cutting a kid’s hair counter to their desires.
Think about what this teaches your kid about consent when you do this.
It always makes me happy to see stuff like this floating around Tumblr, y’all are going to be great parents. :) My daughter just turned four so right now I have a rule that if she wants something like, dyed hair or earrings, I’ll wait two weeks. If after that she is still talking about it I figure it’s something she really wants and I’ll make it happen. When she gets older the two week rule will get scrapped, and we’ll probably just talk about what to expect, how to care for dyed hair/piercings etc.
Funny story, my daughter kept mentioning she wanted purple hair before I had the two week rule, so one day I talked to her about it.
Me- So you still want to change your hair color to purple? We can do that if you want.
Kiddo- NO! My hair is brown, and it is very, pretty!
She was super offended that I dared imply her hair color needed to change. Which is when I decided on the two week rule, lol. That way I won’t offend her again and she’ll have plenty of time to decide if she really wants to change.