Apparently, I am both heartless and ignorant (read the comments)because I believe women should be in charge of their destiny, and because I have difficulty respecting someone who repeatedly returns to an abusive relationship. The key word is repeatedly. Even a dog avoids someone who beats them, if they can. However, because I believe an adult woman is capable of determining her own way, I am “victim blaming” when I say I see their behavior as weak.

Silly me, being a woman apparently I am supposed to rely on my feelings to guide me, rather than logic and reason. I’ve said before I don’t trust feelings. Apparently these women, who (according to other commentors) cannot help themselves, because their abusers start out as charming, and charismatic, and make the women dependent on them. Ok, I can see falling for that once, maybe twice. Personally, I have trusted a charming man once. Only once, and avoid them like snakes now. Give me a sweet natured, goofyish kind of fellow over Rhett Butler any day. Give me a man who stumbles over his words and trips on the bank threshold over a man who looks fabulous and knows it. I learned. Is it unreasonable for me to believe that other women are capable of learning as well, and for having trouble respecting someone who returns to the same charming, charismatic abuser over and over again?

I realize I am a heartless asshole where these women are concerned. It’s why I am not a social worker, nor a volunteer at a women’s shelter. I’d be terrible at it and would cause more damage than good with my “get over it, suck it up and take control of yourself!” attitude.

Someone please say something to convince me I am wrong, that I “don’t understand”, am a “victim blamer” because I don’t have deep and abiding respect for women who won’t take control of their own destiny. I know…I don’t understand…I am heartless…and ignorant. Believe me, I get that, no need for calling names.



About rootietoot

I do what I can.
This entry was posted in Dewicate feewings, Good grief, Sometimes she thinks too much. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to

  1. jerseechik says:

    Hmm, I tend to agree with you, Rootie, at least as far as women in America are able to control their destiny. Not everywhere on the planet by any means.
    I also believe there are women who can’t escape their tormentors because of the psychological twists that have happened, even in the US of A. Lack of education, being abused from a very young age, just “weaker” personalities– I can see people being unable to escape those things without some superhuman motivation. I met a lady once whose dad started abusing her when she was 11. Then her four brothers started when she turned 13 or 14. They told her it was “love”. How does a 14-year-old have the strength of mind and will to get out of that?
    Hmmm. Suppose there were a couple of young kids in the house as well? If you murder the guy, you go to jail and they go to (abusive?) relatives or foster care. If you stay, they may eventually be abused- at the very least, they learn abuse is acceptable…My sister faced that.
    I’m not ready to say “all women” should be strong enough. I know there’s a lot of women who could be, though.
    When my 13-year-old niece screams “Abuse!” because her mom takes the cell phone away, it’s a different world than when I was 13, and my mom would’ve beat the tar outta me if I complained about her taking away something of mine!

  2. rootietoot says:

    JC- I realize my view on this topic is probably myopic. I know for certain it is a direct result of my upbringing, which taught me an unsympathetic disdain for what I perceive as weakness. As I said there, and here, it is why I am not a social worker. At least I recognize that and stay away from situations where my lack of empathy would get me into trouble.

    I wish people would understand that.

  3. rootietoot says:

    And another thing – I can’t speak for women in other countries. I know cultures differ, and what those cultures hold of value. I also know there’s not much I can do for women in Somalia, or Bosnia.

  4. jerseechik says:

    I love having a friend who is brave enough to look at herself, good and bad. Your good definitely outweighs any bad points!

    What I meant about other countries was this: I always wondered, growing up, why the “starving masses in Ethiopia” didn’t just start walking until they hit a country with food? It wasn’t until much later that I realized a lot of countries with no educational system to speak of have oppressed/starving/abused people who either don’t know where there is food, or don’t know how to get to another country, or both.
    I mean, if you dropped me in the middle of Patagonia, in the middle of a famine/war/genocide, I would have NO idea whether to go east, west, south, or north to get to food/freedom/safety. In fact, you could drop me 60 miles outside of Dallas and I’d be in the same fix.
    Makes me thankful for what education I do have.

  5. Mermade says:

    Obviously, I do not believe that you are ignorant or heartless. There is a degree of truth that women who stay in abusive relationships should be stronger. However, part of recovering from abusive situations is to to realize that you ARE strong, and to start thinking about yourself in terms of a stronger, better vocabulary. For example, they could see themselves as “trauma survivors” instead of “helpless victims.” They need to recognize their strength in order to survive and leave those relationships. As Tina Turner can attest to, I am sure, that takes anything but weakness.

    • rootietoot says:

      We all have our psychological shortcomings. Mine is a definite lack of empathy. Which is peculiar really, given that I have a mental disorder, you’d think I’d be more sympathetic. However, I had the whole “suck it up and get over it” mentality pounded into my head all my life, and like abused women who don’t know any better, neither do i. I am, however, *aware* of my lack of empathy, and try hard not to put myself in situations where that would be detrimental to other people. Do I get a brownie point for that?

  6. Mermade says:

    You never struck me as a person who lacks empathy. You’re an INFJ, after all!

  7. Mermade says:

    Rootie, something just occurred. Perhaps women who endure domestic violence DO tell themselves to get over it, that they’re insane for wanting to leave because the guy is really “not really abusive,” that it’s all in their minds. They may have the same attitude of “getting over it,” but for the wrong reasons. Perhaps they tell themselves to “suck it up and take control of their lives,” because they are silly for thinking that the guy is really abusive, can change, etc.

    You and I both know that women in these situations need to get OUT and FAST. They should NOT make excuses for abuse, EVER. However, wonder if they lack empathy for themselves, and convince themselves to “get over” the hitting every time it happens. They’re being weak, but also trying hard to be strong.

    It’s more complicated than just walking away and getting over it. It’s a whole mindset that needs work, and (IMHO) it doesn’t really help to tell them to just suck it up.

    I hope that I’m making sense… I just wanted to put in my two cents.

    • rootietoot says:

      I understand what you’re saying, really I do. It is a strong tennant of my upbringing (you know how powerful that can be) that if a person is in a hard situation, they are the ones to get themselves out of it. In order for these women to get out, they have to convince themselves that they need to, and no one can do that but them. No one can convince them, unless they convince themselves. Yes, it’s complicated, having to do with patterns of abuse and all that. I get that. But it boils down to this: no one can get them out, unless they convince themselves that they can.

      Thank you for putting in your two cents worth. Don’t undersell yourself, it was worth at least twice that 🙂

  8. And here I thought I was the one she was pissed at… I didn’t read the rest of the comments after I bailed on the thread!

    I know what you mean, Rootie, but its like the third rail of feminism. (Just like Obama hit the third rail with the Professor Gates foofaraw!) I am presently working with a guy who is much beloved by women too, and he is a first class prick. (if I may say so)

    I’ll never get it. I really hate those type of guys. I see nothing attractive about them at all, resemblances to Orlando Bloom (in this instance) or not…

    I keep reading blogs, trying to get it. When I do, I’ll letcha know. 🙂

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