Dialogue with Diane G
Diane G writes: (speaking to Jim and myself):
Jim: As someone who spent 16 years as Chief Psychologist in one of the largest prison systems in the country supervising others and directly involved in diagnosing thousands of men with psychopathic and antisocial traits and attempting to treat them, I can assure you Jim that I know exactly what I am talking about. In all likelihood, the only way to deal with this man, who unfortunately is at the helm, is to reverse the projection and "lock him up". But, as I said, this is not about him only. His entire party in Congress is problematic. And its notions about women's health as well as science and other matters is archaic and self serving. Your condescending comment to me is emblematic of the helplessness involved in not being able to engage in mutual dialogue without being reduced to ad hominem attack and a need to dominate and control, which rather proves my point re the suppression of women and factors that contribute to it. More women voted for Clinton though not a vast majority of white women did. The identification of some white women with their mate and her own phallo centrism is a complicated process. There is a type of self abnegation, isolation and a loss of selfhood that is involved reminiscent of the type of thing we see in domestic violence. I would expect that white women with low information who are further out west are much less likely to identify with women having advanced education and experience. Black women tend to be a bit more sensitive to the kind of man Trump is. Interestingly, an informal poll this summer at the major opening plenary of the APA meeting by Johnathan Haidt (The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion) had hundreds of attendee psychologists raising their hands in support of Clinton and less than 10 who were voting Trump.
Patrick: I do not see your point with regard to black people in the south. Child abuse is rife throughout the US. Matter of fact, the vast majority of sex crimes against women and children in the US are committed by white men of which a representative portion go to prison. Still, since this crime is under reported (as one can easily see from the President elects history), it is difficult to get an accurate figure of how common it is. While we have plenty of evidence of the harms of spanking, it continues here but I imagine it is more prevalent in some poor and uneducated groups than others. I was surprised at an informal poll in a psych group here that showed so many spanking their children.
This list does not show the material I am responding to so that is it for now.
Patrick, I am presenting a psychoanalytic paper this Sunday in part showing how the US is mirroring the suicide-mass homicide mission with some cites from de Mausse. Child abuse in general is a foundational element of the thesis. However, the suppression of women is a part. Of course, this is not just about the actions or deprivations but about the mental representations. There are many parallels. It is eerie. Another piece that I think is eerie is the NY Times book review of a new bio on Hitler. I have not looked at the Atlantic Monthly article The Mind of Trump though I have heard it is pretty good. I expect Mr. Trump will become increasingly more isolated and paranoid and dictatorial as time goes on and he loses the over idealizing support of his followers, or he will just quit or be impeached by Congress within a reasonable period of time. In the mean time, he can do quite a bit of damage to existing structures and, and because of the low degree of authentic empathy, will not be someone we can count on to do the right thing. I think the over identification with his rage by the supposedly newly disenfranchised blue collar white male will fade as we still are a system of law and there will be no Krystalnacht (sp?) without just consequence. For blacks it is easier to figure out. They are used to dealing with the phallocentric white and will appear more compliant and acquiescent to humor him. But the rage will only be suppressed for a time. The master slave identity is a survival technique that can be re introduced temporarily.
Perhaps we needed to have this period so we can empathize better with some of the victims we have amassed here and overseas.
Women's rights is a big deal for me because of what I went thru as a young woman. Perhaps as our rights are gradually eroded millennial women will take up the flag and realize what Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem were trying to tell them. BTW I just noticed in my state the Dems are still trying to get pay equity for women at .77 to the dollar for men but Republicans continue to stop it. For people who think this a zero sum game I guess they will be happy about that and the idea of locking down borders. Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out how long i have b4 I need to get out of the market.
Gloria Steinem is also the one who argued that people wouldn't vote for Hillary because she reminded them of their scary moms. Hers' was actually the most acutely "Freudian" (or Jungian: Dragon Mother) assessment I've seen. I personally think that even if you had a man as the Democratic candidate -- Sanders, or whatnot -- it wouldn't have mattered, because what ought to be automatically inferred when someone argues that the nation is still ruled by "mother issues" is the politically more consequent fact that people who had mothers who were unloved enough themselves that they required their children to meet their own unmet needs, and punished them when they individuated and self-actualized for their crime of "abandoning" them, is that they can only handle society progressing in self-actualizing ways for so long. Eventually, as Lloyd argues, they need to put an end to the growth, fuse with their nation as a motherland, split their own "badness" onto other peoples, and then war against them.
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My own opinion is that Trump will be way more successful than people realize. Right now I'm hearing educated people come to the conclusion that Trump won, not actually because so many people are racist but because they have been economically abandoned by elites of both parties who didn't give a shit about them. They envision people returning to the left as soon as the left goes more Sanders... becomes more economic populist. I'm also hearing lots of talk about Trump losing the popular vote, and how that shows how he actually is beginning his presidency a bit isolated, not empowered. When I think of this I think of the Bernie Sanders supporters during the campaign, many of whom are millennials who genuinely are society's most emotionally evolved, but many of whom were actually misogynistic, and loved the fact that under cover of ostensibly irrefutably being motivated to support the most progressive candidate out there, they were with him because it let them fully enjoy vilifying Hillary, overtly enjoy their hating "the witch," which they'd clearly been wanting to do for some time. Some of these might still have voted for Hillary over Trump, but it won't take long before they're entirely his camp.
And how you're depicting the black population -- which is how Brittney Cooper portrays them as well, I admit, even as I think it's pretty obvious she's deluding herself so she can keep her own birch-wielding mother and grandmother superhuman angelic -- is I think going to set us up for more disappointment. We the left saw the white American populace as racist just moments ago, but are now in unison pulling back because it is psychically discomforting to be drawn to hate those whom we are more and more being forced to acknowledge as having been economically abandoned -- by us. Previously we didn't allow ourselves to really see their deprivation, focused as we were mostly on our own professional lives and polite and commercial havens. And as a result, we were in a sense -- and even if we were using them as our own "poison containers," that is, convenient places we deposit aspects of our own selves we need to disown -- more "fair" to them: their problem is really what it was that spawned their racist, homophobic, anti-feminist ways -- i.e. terrible childrearing -- not us for so long not really giving a shit about them. Rather than cast a romantic glow on struggling white Americans what we really needed to do is be more aggressive in attributing regressive psychological states outside the white population (where it certainly still is aplenty), and begin to recognize them better in all peoples whose childrearing is as abusive and abandoning as it is in Hillbilly Nation... and apparently in all the Rust Belt states... and maybe also--. If we could do that, we won't be surprised when Trump continues to gain support, which he will, and when members of the press, the judiciary, seem caught up in the same spell as everyone else, and institutions we thought were sure blocks against him are not only not effectual but in some cases, have morphed into building blocks for his cause.
The American left constitutes the most emotionally evolved people who have ever lived. They have not however outgrown two things their children will eventually completely outgrow. One, they did not outgrow the need to disown unwanted aspects of themselves onto other people. They did project some of their own "badness" onto the white working class -- their vulnerability, their rage -- and disconnected all feeling towards them. This is something akin to what regressives do all the time and to a much greater extent. And it does not mean that there was any other societal group or party still better able to stick up for them out there, but it is of the same mien. Second, as Steven Pinker points out, they have taken every group that white bigots hate and cast Rousseauian makeovers over them. This was entirely unnecessary, and it's going to hurt as we organize to fight Trumpism and find that a surprising number of minorities actually kind of like the hypermasculine leader who's now in charge, even if they didn't originally vote for him, and wonder why we're always defending societies' "weakest" when like Trump we could we making the nation invigoratingly strong again. Fearful of progress, because as Brittney Cooper says, it made them grotesque "Columbuses," "manipulating and ordering the universe to our own liking," they've regressed to scared children again, imagined to be encircled by terrifying parental tormentors. And, they think, here we are bringing the softer side when Trump could make us steel!
We're Jews in a Nazi society. That's how we've got to think, prepare ourselves. Not the temporarily mislaid who still have many friends and who espy in the horizon the moment when Trump will falter and we'll be able to assert ourselves again. For the "crime" of genuinely wanting the best for people and wanting people to grow Scandinavian-like self-actualized and independent from life-inhibiting, regressive traditions, we won't have many friends, because when most people get on this train it leaves them feeling like they've lost all chance at their parents' love. And when they war against people like us, it makes them feel the parental favourite, the mommy's favorite, they perhaps never were in real life. For them, there won't be any greater kick than their stomping on our faces because they'll be imagining their mothers smiling down upon them for it. Good for you! Pick on the one who'd lure you away from me!
Best of luck with your paper.
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Diane G writes:
Patrick, I did finally hear amongst the noise and rattle, the reason for the lost election, on a major news channel. Everything was thrown at this woman in the end. It is not only that we have a psychopathic male running for office with frequent reference to racism, sexism and oddities of discourse, extreme and almost murderous projections throughout the time and a history of exploitation of just about everyone he has come into contact with for any length of time, but how others directly and indirectly helped his cause. This was about misogyny.
Beginning with the Republican outrage about emails that caused an 11 hour badgering and harassment, then morphing into a democratic candidate who decided to excoriate her based on all manner of so called "offenses" regarding money which offended his socialist soul but which men have been involved in for more than 200 years and someone who has his own issues historically with women, then the hammering from the press for the perception of not being more forthcoming, for "hiding" something which is a typical womb envy motivated accusation. Then she is "too sick". Compared to what? Followed by a circus performance by Trump was a disgrace and should have been taken as an insult to any decent physician. Then we have FBI Comey who said she is not guilty, then lets look again, then there's nothing there. This is pretty awful in itself but the back drop is hacked emails which were evidently orchestrated by Russia, often distorted and taken out of context and emptied upon the media and public in a measured way throughout the entire period. Finally, and this was something many did not see . . . Several days before the election Pope Francis issue a statement and threw it out to the public and to the U.S. "Women can never be priests". Why did he choose that moment? Why did he even mention something that Catholics are well aware of? It was code to all religious people that women are to be submissive and not take power. Calling her a demon is part of this last motif.
But all of this could be put down as simply campaign mud if it weren't for the determination, despite by now much walking back, that Roe v Wade is to be overturned. Unfortunately it will take quite a bit to go against this problem because, as we can see, even women themselves have to overcome their own internalized misogyny which has developed over millennia. I say these things to sensitize you and others who may be reading. Most informed women, including the young, want to be partners and not objects. Being reduced to cutesy sex objects without minds like Sarah Palin or Melania Trump is not what intelligent women are all about. These are insults.
Re: "Internalized misogyny which has developed over millennia."
James is right to direct us to the fact of so many married... of so many educated women voting for Trump. Only, I think that his "rejecting left-wing politics" isn't a sensible choice that'll save our nation, as he presents it, or your believing that women have succumbed, understandably, given that they're having to struggle for whatever inadequate gains they've made against accumulated millennias of teachings that they are evil, vile, selfish creatures, and it's a slipperily held thing. I think women Trump voters, like everyone else who voted for Trump, will vote for things that will curb the capacities for true self-actualization (e.g. Roe vs. Wade) because it is thereby that they feel they can reclaim their mother's approval. Of course, they very much plan to hate on their mother too, which is what Pope Francis was doing, which is what Comey was doing, which is what Bernie Bros were doing. But this mostly will involve a split. "Hillary" carrying the bad aspects, mother country America, the good.
In my judgment, you can be informed and educated to the tilt, but if you had an emotionally immature mother who was neglected and abused by her own caregivers, and who needed you for her own emotional homeostasis more than she actually loved you, as you and your sisters accumulate progress for yourselves you'll come to feel like your mother has turned away from you, like she did when you were an infant and you first learned to walk, like she did when you were a teen and you began your course on your own life journey, and suddenly you'll start reducing yourself to something degraded to save yourself from the apocalypse of her complete abandonment. You'll have Lloyd's (and Van der Kolk's) "persecutory parental [read: maternal] alters" yelling in your heads, and you'll heed their call, even if you have a whole assembly line of PhD knowledge otherwise filling up the space there.
I really hope the cities are as powerfully cosmopolitan as some are suggesting they are. It is not just the dumbing down of women that makes me sad -- reducing them to something harmless and uninteresting -- it's it happening to everyone as we turn nationalistic and stupid.
As female Trump supporters start screaming for the blood of their feminist sisters, I really hope that some scholars out there will come to the conclusion that something other than misinformation is involved. If they see other women as demons who need to be destroyed, have they been taught this? You can teach this? Or could it owe to their being possessed... maybe by their killer moms?
None of this should sound too outrageous here. It's pretty much straight deMausian thought. I weep for all the women who didn't get their full chance to self-actualize and be very much opposite of cutesy sex objects, as I weep for all the boys who didn't get their chance to fully self-actualize as well. I'm in the fight to help ensure this fate for everyone, but I think we have to be smarter as to the actual causes for misogyny, for DeMause's way will help us understand why men and women will feel so incredibly righteous as they target empowered, feminist women. It means their mother's love has returned to them. And it will be lost again if you somehow manage to get through to them again. We're too late in this time period's growth phase for this sacrilege to be tolerated.
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This is an excerpt of full dialogue originally at realpsychohistory -- google groups