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View Diary: Why the "your daughter/wife" meme is necessary (114 comments)

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  •  This was my thought... (14+ / 0-)

    why bother with the "what if it was your mother/wife/daughter (especially for adolescent males who are less likely to have the latter two anyway and are less likely to have experienced the kind of feelings about someone else that is generated from having these relationships) at all???

    That's already one degree removed from this debilitating narcissism that the diarist seems to be telling us is both hardwired, inevitable, unchanging and impenetrable, so no amount of social change will impact it (a rather hard to accept conclusion without lots and lots of evidence-based analysis and data, at least to my mind).  

    Why not just engage the narcissism directly and say "what if it were you"?

    Or, is it still too unthinkable to mostly male narcissists that they, too, could be objects?  After all, male rape is both a fact and a possibility, and one they should be aware of.

    (I sense a strong sense of patriarchal privilege at work here in some of the rationales we are trafficking in).  

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 10:56:22 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Narcissists are in fact capable of some love. (16+ / 0-)

      Look at Dick Cheney. He's a narcissistic jerk, but he holds his family in high esteem. That's because they mirror his own narcissism, and become narcissistic self-objects as I described above. Narcissists'  love is limited to people that they see as extensions of themselves, and it's conditional. Those self-objects must reinforce their own grandiose self-image--as, in fact, Cheney's wife and children obviously do.

    •  This , imho (4+ / 0-)
      Why not just engage the narcissism directly and say "what if it were you"?

      Or, is it still too unthinkable to mostly male narcissists that they, too, could be objects?  After all, male rape is both a fact and a possibility, and one they should be aware of.

      should be part of what is taught to kids .

      Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

      by indycam on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 11:48:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's conditional. (5+ / 0-)
        Narcissists'  love is limited to people that they see as extensions of themselves, and it's conditional. Those self-objects must reinforce their own grandiose self-image--as, in fact, Cheney's wife and children obviously do.
        So as long as the love objects conform to the narcissist's program, they have an attachment. I would think a narcissist confronted with the rape of a love object might withdraw that conditional love because it doesn't fit in with their structure of self adoration and might see it as threatening or diminishing. OR they would use it to garner sympathy and create more buzz around themselves, because that is what narcissists do. They like to use what happens to other people and paste it on themselves, because they like the attention.
      •  It is taught to many (9+ / 0-)

        It is part of how young children are introduced to empathy. Don't hit Johnny, how would you feel if someone hit you? Don't grab Susie's dolly, how would you feel if someone took your dolly away?

        And "what if it were you" is the foundation of the many culturally and religious versions of what we know as the golden rule.

        I think the diary has a good point though. The football player, powerful and admired jock that he is, cannot imagine being a powerless victim. Never happened to him in his life. Can't conceive of such a thing. But his little sister? He can stretch his imagination to that possibility.

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:26:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I meant in black and white terms that states (0+ / 0-)

          in vivid color , rape .
          I think a great deal of people avoid the subject when talking to kids .

          Drop the name-calling MB 2/4/11 + Please try to use ratings properly! Kos 9/9/11

          by indycam on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:37:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Narcissism is a disorder of emotional development. (19+ / 0-)

        Children aren't instructed how to empathize with others, they learn empathy by being in a warm nurturant environment where they feel loved and valued. They also learn it at a very early age, when they are taught to consider others' feelings and to limit their demands upon others. You can create a narcissistic person either by abusing them, or spoiling them. Either extreme fails to instruct the child in the emotional give and take of healthy human relations.

        You can't just logically argue somebody out of that kind of emotional deficit. You're trying to talk a guy into giving a shit about a woman, when his answer (whether spoken or not) is "I'm NOT a woman, so why should I give a shit?"

        So, the answer is in fact, yes it IS unthinkable to them that they might be an object. Because everybody that they isn't them IS in fact an object, and that's how they treat others. Every decision is based on their own self-interest. If white, he doesn't care what it's like to be black, because he isn't. If young, he doesn't care what it's like to be old, because he isn't. It's that primitive and preverbal.  

        •  So what is the difference between a narcissist (0+ / 0-)

          and a sociopath?

        •  I'm not comfortable with your statement that you (0+ / 0-)

          can "create" narcissists.  While I can see how that can sometimes be the case, isn't this something that people are simply born with most often?  You see families all raised the same way and 5 will turn out wonderfully and one will be a narcissist.  While every child is treated a bit differently, I just don't see how there could be such differences in a family with one child very often.

          "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

          by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 08:01:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "What if it were you?" Now, that is one mind (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotdash2u

      bending question. Be prepared to watch a swift dive into a masculine fantasy world, or at least extreme discomfort, if you use it, though.

      "Or, is it still too unthinkable to mostly male narcissists that they, too, could be objects?" Yes, I think it may be, but it's certainly worth trying out.

      I'm not certain this one simply applies to narcissists. I suspect the incidence of homophobia among these same males is fairly high. Not because they're closeted, but because they're not even allowed to think about the possibility and still see themselves as properly masculine.

      Maybe one of the changes that needs to be made is to try to teach all kids how to avoid being raped. Just trying to think about how to do it could do a lot to change the attitude.

      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.

      by serendipityisabitch on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 12:22:25 PM PDT

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    •  Because narcissists can't make that leap! (10+ / 0-)

      It isn't them, and it's difficult for them to readily identify with anybody else that isn't an extension of themselves. Your suggestion is based on the presumption of a capacity for empathy, the lack of which defines narcissism in the first place. Their feelings are sacrosanct, and they will not put them aside to regard others' feelings because those are generally perceived as a nuisance.

       

    •  Jeez, that's not AT ALL what I said! (9+ / 0-)

      I didn't say that narcissism was "hardwired, inevitable, unchanging, and impenetrable". On the contrary, I said that people can be very frustratingly resistant to change, but some still do it anyway.

      The problem is that when you're in the business of changing hearts and minds like I am, you come to realize that the best way to do it is to come to them, not to make them come to you. You think I'm peddling patriarchal privilege in doing so? No, but neither am I trying to cure it. I'm simply trying to persuade somebody that rape is loathsome, as soon as possible, so that they will share my own sense of outrage and we can agree on a constructive plan of action.

      If the goal is to cure sexism, well, good luck with that. I'm betting this young guy with the porn collection isn't going to flip, because he's young, horny, and invested in his fratrat life. You can write him off politically if you want to--but me, I'd rather gain him as a political ally on this issue NOW, not in the election cycle of 2042.

    •  I've been asking that myself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotdash2u

      Getting people to understand rape culture and some of the nuances of this case brings up a whole host of gender-based assumptions, along with perhaps their own empathy getting in the way of understanding the magnitude of the situation--how many of them (of either gender) have been in similar "party" situations where "liberties" were taken--maybe to them, or maybe by them, and they are now being forced to confront some uncomfortable realities in their own situations.

      I've been wondering if it wouldn't be more effective, in order to maybe shock people into seeing it for what it is, to ask, "What if that girl were your son?"

      It's easy for people to think, "My daughter wouldn't run with that crowd/drink too much/get in that situation" or "My son wouldn't disrespect a girl that way" and still not see how cultural it is. Getting them to picture their boy in that girl's position opens up the reality of the power/abuse dynamic outside of the gender dynamic.

      How does the Republican Congress sit down with all the butthurt over taxing the wealthy?

      by athenap on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:03:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not a psychiatrist and certainly hesitate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou

      to question a psychiatrist's conclusions, but it doesn't seem to me this kind of phrase is going to have any impact whatsoever on a narcissist, since they're incapable of feeling empathy for others.  they simply don't care what others feel.  They don't bother thinking about what if it was them, because the only thing they care about is what they personally experience.

      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

      by gustynpip on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:51:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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