Time To Face Facts

 

 

I couldn’t resist this picture. It is open to multiple interpretations. One is women’s confinement and restriction. Another, how they are forced into being chained together as they seek justice. Make your own interpretation as we continue our struggles for their equality and justified power of women

Time to Face Facts

Not a New Set of Issues

After decades working as a clinical psychologist I can clearly see the vulnerability of women and how often they were subjected to abuse and violation. Recent events with Judge Kananaugh and Dr. Blasey Ford brought back a significant memory.

One person stands out in my memory as illustrative of the current issues. She came to my office seeking psychotherapy for an enduring depression. We began to explore its origins and found it had endured for at least two decades. But we seemed to be getting nowhere until one day she fell utterly silent. I waited and at last she began to talk about being raped decades before. She had told no one and endured continuing pain.

Finally I could see the base of the depression. She felt that the rapist still controlled and constricted her life. Once that was out in the open, the depression began to resolve and in a matter of days she was taking back control of her life and her future.

What We Must Understand

The recent reports of what happened to Dr. Blasey Ford show how the victims are often blamed and treated badly. Of course, in the climate that has endured, women generally do not report the crime. And when they do, as we see now, they are often abused again—publicly. They may suffer death threats and find themselves and their family at risk.

A Societal Problem

It is clear we have a societal problem and a male culture problem. In society we are willing to stand by and see the victim suffer further abuse as if they are the one who is at fault. Certainly many people are stepping forward to support Dr. Blasey Ford and to state outrage at the victimization of she and her family. Many other people seem to view a woman who is so victimized and abused by rape as being despoiled. Have we no shame? It is not permissible to treat women in this fashion.

A Male Culture Problem

And then there is the matter of the male culture which too often excuses such male behavior or even supports it as a man’s right. Yes, it goes that far and demonstrates a misperception of what is appropriate and a terrible misogyny. 

In general the male is generally expected to express interest in a woman and then she has to draw the line she feels the need to draw and he must withdraw. But too often he does not and aggression may be fostered by the support of his male fellows.

Seeking National Morality and Fairness

Now is the time when women are becoming empowered and are speaking out. But the opposition to them speaking out and asserting themselves goes to the intolerable and

boorish. Now we need to evaluate ourselves as a society and for men to examine their own culture. Abuse of women is not a male value to be fostered or supported.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

A Time For Men and Women to Move Forward Together

 

Women May Lead the Way Into Our Future

Through history at least fifty percent of our population (women) have been subjugated. The Amazon women and Viking Shield Maidens are examples of exceptions.

In the 1960s, when the Women’s Liberation movement flowered, I was intrigued and, at a conference, saw the opportunity to attend a women’s group. I went to the gathering but was turned away because, in that dawning era, the women sought to discuss the issues among themselves only. At first I felt a sense of disappointment, but finally saw it was best for them to probe the issues and set a course on their own.

A Cultural Surge

And now every day women are calling out regarding the need for their empowerment and expressing their outrage at things such as sexual harassment and the glass ceiling. Among other things they point to specific men, incidents and misogyny. We can’t turn back now. Women generally feared coming out and pointing at the men who abused and harassed them. But now the door of confinement has been broken open and it cannot be closed again.

Coming Together to Shape Our Collective Future

Now it’s time for men to come together, not in opposition, but to permit men to reveal who they are personally, how they have been and the processes and alliances which direct their development. The reformulation of our societies is not to be done by women alone, as they call for an end to subjugation and an evaluation of misogyny, its origins and how to control it. This is an opening to a special once in a lifetime opportunity that will surely expand and evolve. Now that we begin the process of empowering women we release a new rich fund of creativity and intellectual prowess to benefit all of us.

As women are empowered, we advance the opportunity for them to fulfill their full potential. And now men need to face themselves and find a way to fulfill their own full potential. Yes, the male culture and the attitude of men are often holding them back and all of us as well. And now we may seize that most fruitful partnership with women and the bounty it can yield. It’s important to be clear that the end to subjugation of both men and women, in all its forms, holds unforeseen possibilities leading us collectively into an enhanced future.

Please let me hear from you. roger.burt@earthlink.net

 

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Our Nation in Crisis – An American Vision: Part 5

 

Responding to Problems – Two Examples

An Epidemic of Drug Abuse

We are told we have a national heroin epidemic. Probably not quite. That’s an easy description.

It seems that we have been passing out prescription pain medication a little too easily. I have not heard a clear statement about why this issue is suddenly so prominent. If the issue is pain, then what kind of pain are we dealing with and why is it happening? Is it physical or emotional? Regardless of why, it is an issue and why is it happening?

And then we come to the issue of how we respond. After I left my job in the inner city of Baltimore I got a call from the man who had been our lead community organizer. He had become the administrative head of a drug treatment program generally referred to as a methadone program. He asked me to become a clinical consultant. Most of the staff were social workers and counselors (recovering addicts) and he thought, with my time on the street, I could help the staff especially since they were not meshing well with the psychiatrists. Fine with me.

What I found was not a nest of recovering heroin addicts but a diverse group of all kinds of people wrestling with a myriad of drug problems. It didn’t matter whether it was heroin, opioids, hallucinogens, or any other drug, they all had personal and vocational issues. In short, we had to respond to the human condition and it did not reduce to one form of treatment. People are different and programs need to be flexible.

It seems we have a national problem with one indicator being drug issues. Much of the problem involves factors discussed previously. The question is what we are dealing with and how wisely we respond.
Empowerment or Subjugation of Women

And then there are issues which are basic and may be wholly unrecognized.

One of the things that interests me as a psychologist is the operation of the unconscious mind. Above I mentioned that we are all racists and it is clear racism operates generally as an unconscious attitude. There is another unconscious attitude which appears fairly universal and that is misogyny. It is generally defined as dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. How can this be so widespread? We are talking about our mothers, our wives, our daughters, our sisters. I don’t have a ready answer about the reason for its existence but it is clearly pervasive. It had an effect in our recent election.

I have some thoughts. Misogyny leads to women being subjugated and dismissed. Often it is said that it is about maintaining control of paternity. That is hardly a sufficient answer because it is so widespread even where paternity is not at issue. More likely is the matter of power and possession. Men do not like to yield power and in relationships it is desirable for them to yield to the creation of a partnership. Sometimes they do in their own relationship but will fight against the rights of women in general. It is a curiously complex phenomenon.

Another area where it is apparent is sexually. Women captivate men emotionally and in the sexual release there is a yielding of power which, while men want it, they may have trouble with the outcome of the experience. No matter how we look at it, women are somehow threatening to men and men often feel women must be controlled.

As we look at our troubled future it is apparent that women can play an important role in building a constructive future. It would help if we could understand that, just as with racism, there is an unconscious need to control women. Men would benefit from understanding why there is this fight within themselves. We can already see that microloans for women are having huge benefits, personally, in their families and in their communities. Recognizing and owning the process underlying misogyny would pay huge benefits.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Pt. 2 Beyond Speculative Fiction

Expansive Perspective

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Are you searching for a fulfilling perspective?

In fiction we can speculate and explore. But is it mere foraging or are we looking to define emergence and process? Having an adventure is fine but we seem to be arriving at choice points. At choice points we are also looking at turning points. Certainly they are more than entertainment and it is my contention that our world social scene is enduring significant choice points. Information technology is exploding and our world is shrinking. That is a dynamic scenario to which we need to attend. What fun? I think not. It is a challenge.

Utilizing Exploration

In fiction I’m not interested in idle exploration but think it is possible to edge into social commentary and define underlying realities and emerging themes. And wouldn’t it be nice if we had the guidance of a challenging but benevolent goddess. By putting the issues in a different light we may gain choices and recognitions. If we are edging into a postcapitalism world we need to pay attention. If deeply hidden themes are surfacing, we need to pay attention.

Essential Recognition

One theme which is clearly surfacing, but is not sufficiently recognized is the gathering import and impact of women. Women have been subjugated but what is happening is more than the liberation of them as they gain control of their fertility. Clearly men feel threatened by their liberation and try to hinder development.

But this is not about fertility. I would contend there is a fundamental threat and it is being expressed in misogyny as women gain power. I utterly fail to see that this is being recognized sufficiently and I expect this thought will not go unchallenged.

The Power of Women

Let me lightly touch upon the power women hold. They enrapture men and at first men love it but she had best be careful because men don’t yield power easily. And so then there is sexual exploration. The man feels the rush of desire but with fulfillment comes a diminution of his power. And beyond that women are coming to explore themselves and what they wish for themselves. That means the man must yield some things to her. If they achieve true partnership, which takes some effort and negotiation, the outcome offers tremendous benefits—if it can be achieved. But for now we must attend, define and work to achieve a goal we can use for mutual benefit. It is in our interests.

Spirits and Beyond

We can also approach many other issues. Everywhere in human history are stories about spirits and a variety of life forms to be conjured and raised to awareness. Some of this, of course, reflects our need for an eternal life. But it also may just be touching on something that may be. Our senses are defined for specific purposes in our lives as they are. If our senses were different it is possible we would sight layers of life and amazing diversity.

Reaching Out

And the question “Are we alone” relates to this possibility. It also seems we have the yearning to find the other out there for contact and the wonder of diversity. Of course, there is also danger. But wonder does not always pay attention to danger.

And then, of course, there is the universe itself. Monumentally creative and destructive, it is a lure we reach for. We are stardust and have learned that we are. Again there is danger in the maelstrom of the universe but the creativity is worth the danger and we can only begin to see the kinds of encompassing life forms which may exist.

And to come full circle in this commentary I have to say adventure is intriguing but exploration can lead to the most wonderful discoveries. At the same time we must fight our way through our struggle and conflict. It helps to look out and examine our possibilities and what may be. We may strike a chord of guidance.

Where does speculation lead you?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Not The Election You Think

What Primitive Forces Are Shaping This Election?

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There is evidence that the political landscape is being distorted by forces which are going almost unnoticed and getting no coverage. The race for the presidency appears close but there is evidence to suggest what we think are fundamental issues are not what are driving the public. History and analysis suggest the real driving forces may be social, psychological and deeply underlying.

Revealing History

Long ago there was another two party system. There were Democrats and Whigs. In fact, Abraham Lincoln was a Whig until that party self destructed in the 1850s just as the Republican Party seems to be doing now. At the time the Know Nothing movement arose and it was fueled by nativism and fundamental prejudice against Catholics. Does the process sound familiar? It may not be happenstance that this occurred just before the Civil War. Fundamental forces and conflicts were being unleashed.

What Are the Present Conflicts in Our nation?

The real nature of conflicts is not always clear. In fact, there may be many answers.

Recently I heard a researcher talking about processes such as we are experiencing. What he had to say was fascinating.

Significant changes in leadership of a country can loose underlying forces. For example, when Australia elected its first woman as prime minister there was a sudden upwelling of misogyny—contempt of or ingrained prejudice against women.

Are We Unleashing Unrecognized Forces?

Not long ago America did something I did not expect to see in my lifetime. We elected a black man president. Obvious and underlying racism was unleashed. Our government was immobilized by a Congress which opposed virtually all initiatives. The conspiracy mill went into overdrive and ugly features in our national life were unleashed.

And now we are facing another significant change as we are presented with the possibility of a woman as our president. It calls to mind the experience of Australia. And the researcher indicated that these processes are far more common than we normally assume.

This political climate is something none of us alive have ever seen. Daily we are shaking our heads. There are calls for violence and we see such figures as David Duke (of the Ku Klux Klan) supporting one of the candidates. There are endless, fruitless investigations in Congress and charges of questionable validity are discussed in the media.

The Basis of Mistrust

This is not a normal election year. Is it possible that the mistrust of Hilary Clinton is founded in deeply rooted misogyny? We have been warned from history that irrational forces arise with major governmental changes. And we are seeing back to back significant changes at the very top of our government. It comes at a time when there are many people who are “left behind” and economic change in what may be a postcapitalism era is shaking our foundations.

The possibility of the basis for this conflict deserves our attention. The researcher brought to our attention forces we should be examining. And there is historical precedent to suggest validity. Deep self examination, personally, socially and nationally, is indicated.

What are you concluding?

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page