I write this as I hope that it helps to stop the violence for my grandchildren and yet to be born great grandchildren. I speak as a granddaughter, daughter, sister, mother, wife and grandmother involved in decades of dealing with domestic violence acknowledged from different relationship angles.
A Porn Debate, Child Custody and Social Media Tragedy
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I am concerned when I see what is being done in the name of domestic violence work.
I just reread this whole thread, A Porn Debate, Child Custody and Social Media Tragedy, and I am going to opt out of ‘being nice and polite’ to cut to honest, real and blunt and vitally important in the interest of all people’s harm-free lives – children, men and women – for decades to come.
Solutions can not just be made for present situations but must encompass generations to come. This requires understanding and knowledge and the removal of shortsightedness. Attitudes of disrespect are alarming for me.
There is ignorance throughout this thread and the work to stop violence.
No one’s FAULT. It is systematic. Often referred to as denial, an inaccurate psychological term. I prefer more appropriate fitting, like uneducated and miseducated in a number of specific ways. I fault the mass production of TEACHINGS of all people rooted in and created by the now dead, patriarchal fathers- fathers that were abusive by systematic design they created that which we all live and we are trapped in and working to remove.
Those doing this work know that we learn as we move forward here so I’m not saying anything new. What was understood about domestic violence in 1979, 1989, 1999, 2009 and will be understood in 2019 is constantly changing. Acknowledgment of facts about violence is also a constantly changing dynamic, and not fixed once it’s happened once. Acknowledgment on issues comes and goes along with people in different social positions and at different times.
This means we are IN a learning process that fluctuates and is not stable. Once everything is settled, the learning process is OVER and the situations and conflicting views are understood and resolved. Violence will not continue as it does now. All of this work and struggle will end. We aren’t there. We aren’t near there.
Often what happens in this learning process is that people that are misinformed or not properly educated (all of us) enter into discussions or jobs for the work and repeat the mistakes that, for others, have already been learned by not transferred on. Some lack experience in a variety of ways. Book learning is severely limited and a course of 70 hours or so is only an introduction, not a graduate degree. Graduate degrees don’t exist for these issues. LIfe experience is it’s own education and quite different than recorded knowledge. Graduate degrees in other disciplines is not only inadequate but actually works against the abilities to see and learn about violence. Many discussions in the learning process we are in come about through many different banks of information and experience. Often younger generations enter into jobs and take over while being insufficiently taught about previous generations work, especially mothers – it’s part of the normal history making process that excludes certain people and information. Normal history is the history of one group of people – political men and their wars. Excluded people’s work and voices are not recorded and die off as if non-existent. DV work is in a precarious situation because millions of young people today are not being educated by those highly informed at the risk of hard work and knowledge being lost – again – and there are power struggles over knowledge production in this area. In any number of ways, newer generations of men are taught wrong AGAIN and AGAIN by men in authority who are not addressing their violence and always think they are doing the *right* thing. Violence as beneficial is part of male gender training. Their thinking of being right is part of this dysfunctional and highly conflicted system of information flow. This includes how knowledge is structured and in fact, even generated as part of our systematic relationships to knowledge itself.
Few people even know that generated knowledge has a system that is dominated in such a way that SYSTEMATICALLY runs in one direction for the power of men in general and on top of that structure, for the power of a few men over all other men. Women, while having made inroads into being ‘included’ are not INCLUDED in the SYSTEM designed for men’s power. Right now it only appears so because of those in social locations previously banned to women. One can not overcome one’s gender by moving a social location alone unless they are transgendered and the sexual body part amidst mannerisms and dress codes is eliminated as marker and trigger indicating acceptable behavior and treatment. This especially applies to our present understandings of what a mother and father are. That means transcending gender and/or complying with it are the options and highly significant in evaluating situations of mother and father. Our very evaluations of mothers and fathers are biased by gender training and expectations. This is not yet understood or acknowledged as necessary to stop violence against women.
Shortsightedness exists instead.
All who do not participate in this system for men’s power risk loss, death, huge punishments and harm. We are all in this. This does not ‘equalize’ things. Equalizing things while violence is in place as the structure is not possible.
Violence itself creates inequality and determines what occurs and it also describes what occurs. Victims of violence do not. Women instead become more ‘like men’ as violence increases and violence amongst women by women increases. The same structure that silences women also creates myths such as the one that tells us that women and men are now equal in certain areas while denying gender as the hierarchy of men over women. Women attend schools designed by men for men and now it’s believed we have an equal system of education all the while the system is still structured as men created it and still mass producing what is essentially the logic of men from the 1930’s who set the current foundations we live in. Little do daughters and sons know what they are being raised in because in dominance there are little alternatives and for the few that exist, there are severe social consequences. Acknowledgement must be made in areas still unseen.
It’s widely believed that mothers who are abused are a deviant group of women and somehow in the ‘wrong’, sicker, weaker, more vulnerable version of the ‘good’ mothers rather than understanding that the truth is quite the opposite. History shows this pattern of behavior that continues forward. We are constantly being lied to about our mothers. Even the president of the United States is not required to have a thorough women’s history education. No one is EDUCATED here on the facts of women’s lives. WIthout history of women, any fiction suffices. Fiction is created when facts are removed. Domestic violence, mothers, fathers and history MUST include the facts of history for proper interpretation of today’s present situations, especially the recent history. This error has already occurred repeatedly and we see the results of learning the hard way. Those mothers that are abused are often so not because of their lack but because they are women and because they are challenging men that are threatened and are on the front lines in making social change in their very own lives. It is often denied that , in a certain percentage of cases, women in ‘workable’ , low conflict marriages are often following traditional gender roles that do not threaten men. Women maintain the role of ‘good mother’ which is patriarchally defined. Some women know where not to push. Those not in domestic violence themselves are witnesses and STILL interpreting the violence as was taught by the fathers generations ago instead of from the mother’s perspective. Our mothers, in fact, had few resources and conditions to do what is now possible to do today.. As a mother in the last 10 – 15 years I have experienced and witnessed the actual ‘program’ advocates taught for domestic violence workers in such a way that not only didn’t fit the reality of many mothers lives but it actually silenced them. When domestic violence work itself is silencing mothers than that work is a farce. The result is some strong mothers fighting to end abuse and protect their children organized under the Protective Mothers Alliance. Mothers still need organizing and resources to organize. Most are in a struggle for their own survival – alone and blamed and shamed right now. There is a long history – not changed yet – in which the social system of dominance over mothers – silences them. This is beingdone today as always has been done but, in some cases, also by those many professionals working as domestic violence advocates and professional who take on domestic violence work completely untrained. This problem is cyclical and widespread and is growing, not ending.
Some Women working against this system have not only found the system not inclusive of women’s truths but in fact, the very thought processes that make up science, religion, history and all forms of knowledge products to be working delusionally for men’s power even while claiming to work for social justice and change. It must be understood that humans have the capability of saying and believing one thing while being unaware and doing another. Girls as a group are educated through the system of Fathers with no public system of the mothers. Girls are exposed to the work Fathers they have done to create the society we live in and do not question this education or social system adequately. In fact, degrees in educations built from patriarchal fathers, their ways of being and thinking, get the highest reward and highest pay – no matter the amount of harm that continues from it.
How can one work for social justice and change complying in a broad system that isn’t? There is no logic to the rationale we live in about these issues because they are based in complicity of what is considered ‘normal’ and ‘right’, honored and highly respected. To do otherwise, causes social ostracism, alienation or harm.
Think about corporate power over the people. This is the tip of the hierarchy in which men are on the first rung. Some men higher up in power than others by the ways the system is structured for power and maintained by violence structurally already in place for anyone who remains in their place as ‘normal’ and ‘law-abiding’. The amount of harm coming from this emerging, more recent most powerful men’s organization built on harm and violence under patriarchal acceptance is incaluable and threatens life like never before. No surprise as the seed is born from the tree of patriarchy. A few token women does not change the system of power base for men. Experience shows that women that threaten are killed as there is a history of human rights workers that are killed to maintain men’s power. Our country and it’s militaries fight to keep certain men in power and sometimes those men form what is called a country (that is the design created) – whoever that power and group may be and their social location at the time. Powerful fathers usually have bodyguards and security – powerless mothers and women do not. If they did, we wouldn’t need domestic violence shelters. But all men are in the power group, not by job alone but by gender as well, are protected by power and violence.
Mothers on the other hand are without power, without military, without economic strength and political voice in both job and gender behavior unless they move into men’s social territories and the requirement to be there is unspoken conformity to be like men and lessen the time in roles of mother. Children learn by example and the next generation carries out the norm from the previous gender struggles.
So what women are confronting today is barely understood properly. The methods of scientific studies based in the foundations created by patriarchal fathers will not bring forth truth of mother’s lives. Too much is still invisible -taught to us to overlook and discount about their lives.
And if one message from mothers manages to work its way to being heard in ‘manstream information channels’ it is often for men’s own purpose and immediately controlled, denied, twisted, usurped by men’s voices and perspectives for their gain producing illusions upon illusions by *new knowledge productions* resting firmly upon the unmoved old ones. Women too live constantly in a male perspective of their own lives through being denied their mothers history and any public education designed for mothers and their work as mothers… and being controlled by the fathers knowledge production systems based on their work lives.
In patriarchy, for men, This non-existence does not occur, is not believed to occur for women, and relationships to knowledge are different because there is a highly controlled information system that is, in origin, designed to teach men how to be men and women to accommodate men and all about the patriarchal fathers and their work and world as if it is the only one and universally all of what existed based on the belief that man is representative of human and that category of human includes women as both the same and different than man.
Grown men, IME, never admit to confusion and contradiction on this but instead use it,as the fathers did, to their advantage. Sometimes completely unaware.
However, for sons, the confusion is created whether admitted or not and these sons grow to be men in gender training arrogant about their knowledge from the fathers based on their gender privilege continuing to rarely question what has been taught about the honored, dead white men that structured all our thoughts. They follow gender roles.
There is even taboo in questioning most of it. Yet it is all to be questioned – all of it; to question the knowledge production of men and fathers instead of the wrong questions about mothers themselves. Men then maintain authority of knowledge and power by gender/sexual body part despite illusions, myths and confusion and once again redefine the world with privilege of their experiences counted. I just read in the Ms blog newsletter than women contribute less than 20% to Wikipedia. In all occupations of knowledge production, women are not only a minority, but
as in all of women’s history, there is work being produced by women but controlled, thwarted, changed and disapproved by men. Women’s work in all areas remains marginalized unless it has managed to pass through the hands of the men in authority positions. Across the board, knowledge production is in the hands of arrogant men who have very limited experience and knowledge socially in specific areas, no training and highly deluded in patriarchal teachings. Television especially is as clear on male dominance as any other media. To move outside of this itself is to be considered sick, bad, evil, inferior or wrong. In fact, that is most of what we see. Who is sick, bad, evil, inferior and wrong and these notions on humans is no accident. In fact, the opposite is true. Humans across the board are not bad, evil, sick, wrong or inferior for resisting the powerful. The fathers of the patriarch are still all in place as a direct inheritance of the system of fathers of the patriarchs. Constantly, information is being produced without acknowledgement.
Now mothers have no such system. One has to imagine a mother inheriting a social space of high respect, money and power to which one is born and is perceived good while ignoring most all behaviors and their impact on others. I have seen absolutely NO brainstorming on what respected mothers beyond systematic violence would look like. We are at a stage in our society in which the harm created by patriarchal fathers is self destructive to society and everyone in it. This harm IS the manifestation of the original abuse of Fathers unchanged; men who are organized as a group to cause harm and violence to other human groups when it was once the intention to protect with that violence. Humans in the group of men
that have organized in violence against other human groups as no other group of humans has done.
There are some subjects the fathers of the patriarch have not explored in previous decades and therefore there is no categories in existence and those are treated as if to be wide open, equal and fair game for knowledge creations but yet are created within the established imbalances of knowledge and power and eventually fall into the categories, descriptions and structures already designed in place for men’s power and knowledge of power. In this way, the system remains in place.
Until men understand COMPLETELY the system of knowledge produced by abusive Fathers, how it operates through inheritance of that system to harm, men will inadvertently be mistaken in their understandings of their own lives and their relationships to others. It’s easy to believe that only certain men are deviant violent ones by their own narrowly trained views. It’s easy then to believe women and men are equal in power and violence because they never question what needs to be questioned. In this way, anything men believe is legitimate because they are men and were taught as men by men they are authority and their experience is universal and correct. It is gender training of men. Authority can not be authority if
that authority has no knowledge and experience. We have a system that was
created that make people authority by virtue of sexual body part and in the areas
where that is most prominent we as a society, have extreme problems as a result.
There has to be acknowledgement that there is ignorance systematically about mothers that creates invisibility of their lives (and the violence) while knowledge products designed by men create illusions about realities of women’s lives. THIS IS HOW DOMESTIC VIOLENCE WORKS. IT HAS NOT BEEN ADDRESSED OR STOPPED. IT CONTINUES. IT has not been acknowledged yet as the source of how violence occurs and is not seen. Every step forward is met by the system that is already in place. Every step forward must address this system and acknowledge it as if it actually exists because it does. This system – a network of relationships – responds to the work being done by those working to end violence. The denial of women’s lives rests on the denial of the patriarchal power and the denial is massive. This denial is the result of being miseducated and not educated.
On that note, I’d like to say that
1) fathers and mothers are not equal in any terms as long as we define fathers and mothers by gender behaviors confused with biology unacknowledging the system of knowledge creation and products and continue teachings of patriarchal fathers as the basis for knowledge about mothers. Treating the misinformed new fathers and mothers as if they are not inheriting a system of huge imbalances in this area will cause horrific consequences for young being born into this environment unacknowledgement. It will only add another problem to the ones that already exist. It will also create historical patterns to repeat – largely unperceived violence that occurs right in front of their faces because wrong beliefs and knowledge while invisibility continues even while we speak and acknowledge violence because it changes face. Norm Chomsky, I believe, said it takes a lot of education to NOT see this stuff.
In other words, fathers and mothers exist in a system of behaviors, expectations and how can gender behaviors and expectations in parenting be different (still supposedly biological) at the same time, we are calling for ‘equality’? It’s having the cart before the horse. You can not work for ‘equal’ rights of fathers and mothers, while the very words, definitions and social expectations for each are not mildly but vastly different. There’s been women’s rights but not mother’s rights. There has been men’s rights that only exist within the framework already centuries old of father’s rights – known as rights set by Declaration of Independence in America. Women were not afforded these same rights and still do not have them as the
ERA never passed. Gender still draws the lines of how we treat each other.
Also, I agree with Catherine McKinnon whose experience has informed her knowledge as she worked in law in issues of gender and has experience of attempting to change a system that makes women’s lives invisible BY LAW. The very words we use actually hide the realities. She says that Gender equality is the mass perpetuated illusion to hide that what needs correction – gender hierarchy. Gender hierarchy is not changed by progresses in gender equality which has been somewhat popularized ( of course) and anyone’s rights efforts. It is like trying to get out of quick sand. The more things ‘equalize’ the more we sink into gender hierarchy unseen and unacknowledged.
I say that rights are term based in ownership and ownership of people by systematic designs not seen as ownership of people is part of the system based in violence of women. Rights will never correct the power imbalances without addressing the well accepted ownership issues in our society. Economics abuse causes sexual and physical assaults and are used to maintain economic and informational abuse. It is a cyclical workable cycle of violence against women.
Respect, however, is what the real goal is underlying the work for rights. Rights rest upon respect and respect of fathers is what needs to be seen for what it is.
Respect of mothers must be seen in contrast to a whole system design of respect in terms of men’s work along with the economic rewards that enable men to have resources that produce the actual elements from houses to technologies to the management of social conditions and the power to protect oneself.
2) and MOST important point, all of us today are living adults that were children raised in this system of power of men. If domestic violence history is understood in terms of what we already now know and that is placed into historical and present terms properly, than every single one of us alive today is a child or grandchild from a domestic violence situation. We do not have understanding of children and grandchildren of domestic violence. All of us are already inherited and been a part of domestic violence. However, We have barely achieved understandings of violence and it’s manifestations on mothers, let alone children. We are not protecting children in the same manner we have not protected mothers because there is no domestic violence shelter for children and in fact, the very mothers today that are fighting to stop the abuse of children are themselves systematically abused yet again for every step taken to stop the abuse. Thus the dots to be connected intergenerationally need to be seen. The points that Ben made in the thread, A Porn Debate, Child Custody and Social Media Tradegy about domestic violence in this year 2011 are only now being brought to the surface AFTER decades of work to free women from violence – often unsuccessfully. It’s not that these things didn’t happen before or just started to occur. It’s that they have been systematically made to be unseen by what we are taught to look at and count. It’s that we moved forward in such a way that women are being treated as the system has always treated women. It’s that these things have already happened and continue to happen because what needs change is not happening. It’s also that the changes in women’s lives, decades of work, had to occur FIRST in order for us now to acknowledge this in 2011.
In this way, any one knows that our mothers were not allowed to work outside the home a few decades ago, mothers were not allowed to make any economic decisions without men’s signatures and approval, rent or buy a home, mothers were considered weak and emotional and incapable of rationality or intelligence which led to not counting one word they said and mothers were also not sexual or seen competent to drive a car to being a president, mothers were – by definition of good mother and woman – maintained in this system – by forced labor of child care by lack of political and reproductive rights over their own bodies. The changes made are being attacked and reclaimed. Women who deviated then and now were labeled sick, bad or wrong. And this today is STILL how we classify mothers who attempt to change things. It is often perceived as if this history we know of women no longer exists because women drive cars, have jobs and can buy a home independently. We see change in woman as if change occurred. We lack the insight that change must be in all those surrounding and supporting women’s lives, and in fact, this is where change has not occurred. It is also misperceived that these changes have somehow made women’s lives free, independent of control and violence of men while at the same time not understanding the relationships of MOTHERS to violence and driving cars and having jobs. This lack of understanding of mother’s lives and that relationship to violence is missing. It is mothers today in 2011 that are on the front lines working for freedom from violence and without mothers free from violence, no children (or men for that matter) are free from violence. Mothers by definition and description and gender still have yet to be free from men and this will be unseen until mothers make MORE progress in their freedom from men. Fathers, however, are largely misinformed and base their understandings of life through unquestioned knowledge they live as a privilege over women.
When it comes to fathers who are treated unfairly by the system, that must also be understood in terms of what actually exists. Another manifestation of the violence that becomes self destructive to men themselves as they continue to follow traditions. Fathers are also victims of gender imbalances and unfairness but to create an illusion that there is some type of level playing field at all is to be arrogant and woefully misinformed. One must develop an every present, non-ending attitude to learn and be open and to question oneself and the training and beliefs. It is this arrogance that allows actions that can perpetuate another generation of children in domestic violence situations that again go unseen and unacknowledged as they evolve from what we only know now.