In yet another post about the horrors of womanhood and feminism, Dalrock posts “Check your male privilege.” I would respond directly to him at his blog, but in a rather amusing catch 22 of male privilege, Dalrock does not let me comment. Women are always supposed to be silent, donja know.
Anyway, as the designated patron saint of lost causes, me, Dalrock’s inability to recognize the severity of emotional and psychological abuse is a good jumping off point. First of all I totally agree with him, feminism has now designated everything as abuse. Husband won’t buy you new furniture? Abuse? Hubby doesn’t do dishes? Abuse! Hubby has not lifted you up and empowered your eternal happiness? Abuse! I have seriously encountered each one of those statements on the internet, so the meme that “everything is abuse” is a real thing.
However, the fact that there is a false cultural narrative permeating our society, does not indicate an all or nothing proposition. Abuse has not ceased to exist simply because some fems have perverted the concept. Nor does this indicate that psychological and emotional abuse is not harmful. Indeed, many people who have survived the head games, wish someone had just slugged them instead. Psychological and emotional abuse is an insidious thing indeed because it makes you doubt your own perceptions and judgments. At least with physical abuse you have something visible and concrete to complain about.
So what is psychological and emotional abuse? Power and control that manifests itself in name calling, put downs, rewards and punishments, with holding affection, contempt, shame, gas lighting. Anyone who has been on the internet , indeed, anyone who has dealt with people at all has probably experienced emotional and psychological abuse at some point. What makes it different in a marital context however, is the sustained and repeated nature of that attack, as well as the fact that it is coming from the one you are supposed to love and trust. That’s crazy making, it messes with your head, hence the psychological nature of such abuse.
This is not a gender issue, studies show that men and women engage in psychological abuse about 50/50. It is also not a one time event, not a few ugly words said in the heat of the moment, but rather an on-going, systematic, repeated abuse of power and need for control, based on creating fear in your spouse, fear of abandonment, fear of rejection.
To do such things to someone is a form of soul murder. It is designed to crush their spirit and make them small and less powerful so you can dominate and get your way in all things, especially your need to hold onto an emotional hostage and control every aspect of their being because you fear being abandoned yourself.
People who have experienced this kind of abuse, whether it be from a spouse, or the world at large or a combination of the two, often report feeling as if they are dying inside. This is no joke, they really are dying inside and it often ends in suicide, for both men and women. People break, their psyches will fracture. When someone reports they are “dying inside,” they are not simply a sad puppy, they genuinely feel as if their soul is being murdered and quite often it is.
Men actually commit suicide in the greatest numbers often due to emotional and psychological abuse, so once again this is not a gender issue. The loss of a business, a marriage, alienation from children, or a spouse that engages in jealousy, isolation, with holding of sex and affection, or assorted other unpleasant means of control can be a crushing experience.
To misappropriate scriptures and to state that women must always be in submission and silence and to never speak, is another way of crushing someone’s spirit, of isolating them and cutting them off from their voice. It is a fear based response that is built entirely around control and abuse. It is also a grave perversion of scripture. This does happen to some men too, they become so afraid of their wife’s response that they shut down and stop communicating and they too begin to die inside…
A few years back I encountered a woman on the internet who was a bit depressed, she was struggling with faith, not wanting to live, but also not wanting to believe in Christ anymore. She felt abandoned by her church and unloved by the body of Christ. Within a few moments several people descended upon her with lectures about how she was to remain silent at all times, about how her only worth and value was in her role as helpmate to her husband. What those who pounced upon her did not understand was that she was a 57 yr old widow who had just spent the last four years nursing her husband with cancer. He had passed away only a few months ago and she was grieving. The internet abuse continued until we eventually got to SMV, Sexual Market Values, and how she didn’t have any value to humankind since she was now 57. It was the most horrific kind of psychological abuse I’ve ever seen and the fact that some wankers on the internet would misappropriate scripture simply to abuse a woman who was already down, absolutely devastated me. I stayed up all night with her while she contemplated taking her husbands pills and offing herself. I don’t know how the story ended, she stopped commenting.
What I do know however, is that those who poured such ugly words over her will someday beheld accountable. God doesn’t give a crap about the avatars we hide behind on the internet, He sees all.
It was a rude awakening for me. I rather happily enjoy scripture, Christ’s love for women, marriage, submission. The idea that anyone would ever try to abuse someone by perverting those beautiful teachings, did not occur to me. Naive, I know. Also, apparently much blessed.
That particular kind of emotional abuse is called spiritual abuse and it is what some people do when they pervert scripture and use it as a weapon to abuse others, in this particular case, a woman. That is an ugly thing.
I wish to give Dalrock the benefit of the doubt, I wish to believe he just does not understand, that he does not have the eyes to see. I have tried so hard to empathize, but darn it all, if it smells like bovine poo, and it looks like bovine poo, you don’t have to step in it to know it probably is.
He goes on to say, “This isn’t about abuse, this is about changing the power dynamic between men and women. This is about obliterating headship.” No my fine friend, what you are doing is obliterating headship because you’ve got it all confused with abuse.