Sociopaths and narcissists justify their offenses against other living beings through objectification and a deeply seeded sense of entitlement rooted in unresolved trauma. For instance, Jeffrey Epstein compared the girls he abused to bagels, leading me to wonder: What happened to Jeffery and all his bagel molesting friends?
It’s worth reading this Atlantic article as it explains how white western patriarchal capitalist societies systematically objectify, dehumanize and disempower females as part of maintaining white male dominance.
Dr. Tressie Cottom talks about a parallel process specific to black girls in her book Thick, which I highly recommend. The less valuable we’re seen in societal ranking, the more disposable we become.
Powerlessness and abuse go hand in hand; this is true across race and socioeconomic status, although western capitalism seems to have produced a special brand of barbarism. As to whether we’ve become more abusive, sick, twisted, depraved since the original fall, god only knows.
According data on various health disparities and human atrocities over the centuries, I’m inclined to believe we simply find new ways of hurting ourselves and each other to cope with the existential pain of being separated from divine love. In this moment in time we’re recognizing the previously silent victims of an epidemic of sexual abuse but essentially, there’s nothing new under the fiery ball of the sun.
Western capitalism fuels powerlessness, worthlessness, enraged helplessness, entitlement, infantilization and a buffet of profitable addictions. I’ll explain how some other time. In the case of sex crimes, women, as the article states, become accomplices in the abuse and exploitation of other women and girls as a function of survival. Pardon me Madame. Human trafficking is modern day cannibolism. Or, as mother says, It’s a dog eat dog world and some days you’re wearing the Milk Bone underpants.
Throw some inter-generational trauma in the mix and now it’s a real party. Chex Mix? No thanks. I’m nauseous.
“These are the people whose lives and whose dignity Epstein was mocking when he compared his crimes to the stealing of a bagel. Epstein took refuge in a culture that revolves, still, around the whims of the wealthy and the straight and the male.”-Megan Garber, The Atlantic
The whole sad game of man’s world can be explained in two books: Pimp by Iceberg Slim, “Why did Justice really always wear a blindfold? I knew now. It was because the cunning bitch had dollar signs for eyeballs.”, and The Social Contract by Rousseau “It is easier to conquer than to administer. With enough leverage, a finger could overturn the world; but to support the world, one must have the shoulders of Hercules.”
The alternative is Enlightenment. Happy meditating.
ps: Just home from an amazing ten day vacation. This post is my first deep thought in almost two weeks. It was so good to unplug and play. After a full day of laundry and jet lag, I’m itching to write!
2 thoughts on “The Hanged Man”
Thanks for providing Monday morning reading! Also the Atlantic link.
While I generally agree that females are very much encouraged to see themselves as consumer objects from a young age, I also think they need to take some responsibility for their own behaviour – we need to teach systematic ethics I think, in order to get people to look at themselves in context better, and to uncover their own conditioning.
The scenario I was thinking of, and I’ve never forgotten it, took place in an all-girls’ school in a disadvantaged part of London, where I was working for a while on an overseas working holiday. I watched a classroom of girls turn predator and en masse sexually harass a newly graduated male teacher, whom they embarrassed acutely and who was literally begging them to stop and get back to the lesson. Grrr – don’t beg, start imposing consequences for those sorts of boundary violations – but he was new to the job, didn’t expect this, didn’t know what to do, and it was a difficult school with an unsupportive management. In this case, it would be ridiculous to blame the guy, who was traumatised by that experience – I know because I sat and talked with him afterwards. They were like a bunch of bloody hyenas and I wanted to slap them. Similar things happen at pop concerts – girls throwing their underwear on the stage.
I do think that in the discussion of the sexualisation of girls, we can’t one-sidedly blame the patriarchy for every incident out there – the one I’m describing above is an example where it was the girls who needed to find their manners and their human decency, and where the male did nothing to either elicit or deserve their behaviour – as is true for every sexual harrassment and abuse victim, no matter what their gender. Those girls knew what they were doing, at least enough to understand that it was wrong, but you should have seen them enjoying their little power trip.
I think statistically, females are far more likely to be sexual harrassment and abuse victims, but that we also shouldn’t forget the males it happens to, and afford them with equal compassion and support when it happens to them. I do believe that even if you’re conditioned in a certain way, you’re still responsible for your behaviour – for critiquing your autopilots and working objectively at cultivating decent and fair behaviour towards other people. And, as a society we need to make everyone accountable for their behaviour, and to say, “Whatever your background, here’s the ground rules of human decency.” And if you expect it of people, they’re more likely to find that in themselves than if you excuse them because of background and conditioning – from a classroom perspective, and also on a more macro level.
Thank you for a thoughtful article and link! I just wanted to say, “PS: Don’t forget the shoe can be on the other foot too.”
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Absolutely agreeing 100% Sophie, which is why I began by asking, what happened to him/them.
Thanks for sharing the poignant example of reverse harassment. That poor teacher. Yikes.
I thought a while on your reply and kept coming back to a sexual assault I’d experienced in my late teens. The sole reason I wound up in that precarious predicament had lots to do with the early trauma I’d experienced and my inability or unwillingness to deal with it. I landed in that unsafe place because I lacked boundaries and was looking for love in all the wrong places, for lack of a less stereotypical explanation. But, as you said, it comes back to the responsibility of acting on the rules of human decency. Very chicken and egg argument. In order to be safe we have to be the one who loves first. In a love starved world this becomes dicey.
So, make salsa and spare no expense on the good tortilla chips. 😜