First off, there's this. An essay written by a well-meaning MAN telling women, "I see it, I see what we do, I see what the culture does. It's insidious, and it's not cool."
He's talking about gas-lighting in the name of getting away with poor behavior. On one hand, right on. On the other hand it irks me a little. Because women have been saying this for what feels like nearly our entire history, at least since the advent of property and women being tied to it. So this MAN feels pretty proud of himself for speaking out, for showing his solidarity with the womenz, all because, at the root, this legitimizes it. Just look at the title. We need a MAN to say it so it can be true.
So yes, thank you Mr. Man. I know you meant well, and in an ideal world it might actually make a difference. I actually do appreciate you opening your eyes and ears and seeing some truth and then having the guts to speak it out loud, but until women can speak these truths without needing a man to legitimize it, we're still not there yet. And it pisses me off that I felt a little relief when I read it, like WHEW, now a man's said it...things are gonna be alright. Because yes, I too believe at my core that I have to have my experience legitimized.
It's not a harmless problem to have in the deep unconscious, handed down generation after generation. Sprinkle on some childhood emotional abuses and I'm ripe to be duped over and over by the emotional abuses of addicts (diseased as they may be, the behavioral product is emotional abuse, let's just be clear).
But then, when we turn to therapy or 12-steps for support, we find more of the same. The too many stories I've heard and read of wives/girlfriends being told in therapy that it's just porn, or maybe you just need to be more sexy for him, or in 12-steps - you've got to let go of expectations, or you're just as ill as him or don't take it personally, it's a disease.
Because gas-lighting and victim blaming are two sides of the same coin.
And I'm just at this point where Bill Wilson, or uninformed therapists, or my partner's male SLAA sponsor who doesn't know me OR my experience, DO NOT GET TO DICTATE HOW I FEEL, nor do they get to tell me my feelings or behaviors are wrong, or misguided, or reactionary, or ill, or any damn thing at all.
I will legitimize my own story, thank you very much.
P.S. I wanted this to be a much more eloquent essay but a) I'm too tired to write anything but a venty post and b) I'm tired of even having to think about such things. If someone else is less tired and more eloquent than me, feel free to expand on this.