So what if your father was a misogynist bully?

(72 Posts)
roseability Fri 07-Jan-11 14:35:42

Okay this is a sensitive area for me but I thought it might be relevant in this section.

I had a bullying, abusive adoptive father. I realise now he is a woman hater and I should have heard the alarm bells sooner. He is out of my life now and I am beginning to find my true self and heal from his abuse

I believe this is a feminist issue. Whilst societal patriarchy and inherent sexism is of course a huge issue, I wonder how it affects women when their first male relationship is with a misogynist and a bully.

Some examples - My adoptive father once stated that women who dress provocatively deserve to be raped. He was obsessed by how thin I should be and manipulated me into having my hair cut short. I believe he wanted me to look boyish because when I hit puberty he was threatened by my developing sexuality.

The pregnant form disgusted and terrfied him in equal measure. He told me I was fat repeatedly and forced me to diet. He raged, manipulated and emotionally abused me for years.

As a result I went through a period of disrespecting myself and my body and let men use me. I am sure it is related to my relationship with him

I am fine now! Therapy and a lovely family have healed me. I just wondered how signifcant this issue is for feminism and women's rights. After all if your father is a sexist bully, what chance do you have?

thefinerthingsinlife Sat 08-Jan-11 13:01:02

Anyfucker - "I broke the cycle, inde

I am not the parent my father was

and I married a man who is so far from him, it is out of sight

thankfully, I didn't stay with some of the fuckwits I met in my stupid youth, or the cycle would have been perpetuated

there was a nugget of self-preservation in me somewhere that said I deserved more than that"

This made me cry, I could of wrote this word for word sad

AnyFucker Sat 08-Jan-11 13:14:02

aww, TFTIL, have a <hug>

I still cry too when I write words like that. I am 45. If I were to tell you how stupid I was in my youth, and the shit I put up, we would be here all day. I have forgiven myself (eventually) though. I hope you have, love.

I blame him. I will always blame him. And my mother for standing by.

thefinerthingsinlife Sat 08-Jan-11 13:28:20

I have only just(within the last year) started to forgive myself and work through my issues, with masses of support from DH and reading bits and pieces on here.

I did alot of silly things when I was young as I craved love and attention which attracts the worst kind of men. Looking back now I realise that that wasn't my fault it was down to the relationshiop with my dad. For ages I hated myself

AnyFucker Sat 08-Jan-11 13:40:58

So awful, the legacy your parents can leave you with sad

I think I started to forgive my younger, stupid self when I had children. And got over the fear that I would be the same as them.

I still cringe inwardly at the shit I allowed myself to experience. I feel bad for that person. DH doesn't know any of it. I have actually suppressed a lot of it I think, for a long time, but it catches me unawares sometimes.

I have a teenage dd, and find it very difficult to allow her the freedom to make the same kinds of mistakes I did. I have to trust in DH and I that we gave her a better sense of self-eseem and a better radar than I did back then though. Very hard.

AnyFucker Sat 08-Jan-11 13:43:25

Hope everyone is ok with this hijack blush

I should join the Stately Homes thread, but can't do it. These little snippets help me though, and are all I can cope with at the moment.

AnyFucker Sat 08-Jan-11 13:44:49

rose..you still around?

hope you are ok, you said this was a sensitive area for you

roseability Sat 08-Jan-11 15:52:46

I am fine AnyFucker. Actually I feel better than I have done in years because I am no contact with him and I haven't missed him at all. I just can't believe I accepted his behaviour as normal. I mean fancy telling your teenage daughter that provocatively dressed women desetve to be raped (especially when at that stage I probably was dressing provoctively as many teenage girls do). Vile man

I have posted a lot on Stately Homes over the years. In fact I think it was Sakura who was one of the first people in my life ever, to question the normality of calling my Grandmother 'mum' (I was adopted by my maternal grandmother and her second husband). That was a defining moment. I have taken some of the power back and they don't like it.

In fact his response was to cut me and my family out of his life, just like that. No loss to me though

roseability Sat 08-Jan-11 15:58:46

Do you remember a thread AnyFucker where I posed as my adoptive father's wife, describing his treatment of their teenage daughter. It was a sneaky round about way to seek validation and I regret the dishonesty (I was soon sussed though!). The response took me by surprise, so overwhelmingly disgusted were the other posters (and I didn't detail half of it). It was validating but also I couldn't get my head around the fact that no one in my youth realised what he was and supported me hmm

But then I didn't really talk about it, so brainwashed I was into thinking I was somehow faulty and that it was normal fatherly behaviour

victoriascrumptious Sat 08-Jan-11 18:07:45

Could you link the thread Roseability i'm curious

AnyFucker Sat 08-Jan-11 18:33:52

rose, yes I do remember that thread

there was an outpouring of outrage at the way the "girl" was treated and such a profound sense of shock when it was revealed that "girl" was you sad

roseability Sat 08-Jan-11 18:58:35
sakura Sun 09-Jan-11 14:32:08

numotre ANother product of patriarchy is the male pecking order , whereby "elder" men lord it over younger, weaker males as well as all females
That ties in with the way your father treated your brother

In many societies, young males are "hazed" by older males and socially conditioned through this to become just as cruel. A good example is the Russian army hazing techniques, where new recruits are literally tortured by the older ones. And all boys are drafted into compulsory military service there sad Then they go on to repeat the cycle with the next batch of recruits
Patriarchies are fucked up

sakura Sun 09-Jan-11 14:37:17

roseability I remember what you wrote about your grandmother, and how awful it was to read about real mother asking people "Why is she calling her mum?"
Your grandmother totally displaced your mother, and did not allow her her true place in society: as a mother of a young daughter
I mean FFS, we go through childbirth which is bloody awful but there are rewards for it, and it's so sad that your grandmother refused to allow your mother to have those rewards

HerBeatitude Sun 09-Jan-11 14:41:41

At public schools as well

And fraternity societies...

scallopsrgreat Sun 09-Jan-11 15:21:00

In sport too. Being, by nature, competitive it can leads to all kinds of bullying, oneupmanship, indoctrination of ideals such as body shape, standards. Ridicule of anything less than those standards of course includes ridiculing women doing those sports too.

I grew up in a sporty household and have always loved it. Always been very competitive too. However, looking at it through feminist eyes is making me think differently about the whole ethos of competitive sport and how upholds a patriarchal society.

scallopsrgreat Sun 09-Jan-11 15:21:35

how it upholds...

HerBeatitude Sun 09-Jan-11 15:27:48

Scallops all you have to do is go to a gym to see how sport excludes women.

There I was in the gym this morning, unable to use half the equipment because it is designed for men.

All the setttings of the machines are based on the average heart beat etc., of the average man.

Because they're the default human aren't they?

And of course, every time you go in there, there's the subtle (sometimes unsubtle) feeling, that you're walking into male territory, that you have no right to be there really, that your paltry amount of weights is nto the real deal and is not valid.

But the fuckers charge you the same...

scallopsrgreat Sun 09-Jan-11 15:43:22

Oh I know! I hate gyms. Thankfully I have a women-only gym round the corner and the sport I am involved in the women train together and the men train together (generally). Alhtough that leads to other issues hmm!

I was going to start a separate thread about this because I just feel, sometimes, as women, we just end up chasing a male ideal.

numotre Sun 09-Jan-11 16:59:16

Sakura My father was very abusive and occaisionally violent towards my brother whereas he never laid a finger on me or my sister but was verbally abusive. Whether this was condition him or whether it was just away of maintaining his dominance I don't really know.

sakura Mon 10-Jan-11 09:43:02

It's a cycle, I don't think your father planned to condition your brother, it's just that that is one way of how patriarchy hands down its legacy to the next generation: fear and dominance.

I should imagine it's slightly harder for men to admit they were abused as children because culturally it would place them on par with females: weak, abused victims, which would be a huge blow to their identity as men. So I think this is why so many go on to identify with the abuser, rather than put themselves in the shoes of the frightened little boy they were.

tall33chicky Sun 05-Jun-11 16:20:15

I was in a relationship w/ a very hot-looking man and quickly fell in luv of course..he was 42 and I was 38, it was after my divorce and I stupidly thot due to our age this new man would act his age/do no wrong...
I had noticed that he would have little quips,snide remarks here and there ab. certain people and things...but let it go due to none of it being harsh and let it all go..very stupid of me. Hind sight 20/20 definately. After 4 mths of being w/ him we had gotten hot and heavy,spending almost everyday together/at his house/going on trips ect. I had definately fallen for him and thot this was the guy for me and at my age...it was time. One day we were all over eachother and he tells me we dont need protection bec. he had a vesectomy(fixed). I was very scared/in shock when I wound up pregnant!! I decided to keep the baby and when I told him..he thru a big fit,told me I was a whore who had cheated on him bec. he had a vesectomy!! I was trying to pin some other man's baby on him. If I ever tried to contact him ever, he would call the police!! I told him he was crazy bec I was inlove w/him/wanted to spend my life w/him...he just started screaming the same thing above!! I had noticed during our relationship that he was very Knit-Picky ab. how I talked...i could not wear a shirt that showed skin below my collar bone either. I thot it weird but he said he didnt want me to bend over to grab something and then flash men my whole chest(I have kinda small chest area, so kinda weird)..that would be disgusting and show that I was a slut. I understood some of his concern on that and stupidly let it all go and made sure to wear something appropriate in his mind. He had always been kinda controlling and told me he was bec. he was concerned. I didnt know what to make of it all bec I had never been in anything like that before..
Anyway I cried all the way thru the pregnancy,was in shock ab the whole thing... After he was court ordered to pay child supp(after DNA utilized) I told him our new baby girl needed a family. He agreed to trying again on a relationship. We had a 2yr relationship where the 3 of us acted as a family, but lived in diff houses. would hangout as family,go to park, spend weekends at his house, go on trips.ect. He soon became verbally abusive and very knit picky on a daily basis..soon becoming violent... One day I checked on his "record" and found he had been violent w/ ex wife and a girlfriend after his marriage!! I chatted w/ex wife who told me he would have problems w/ his own little daughter when she got older..bec he had lots of problems w/ women. I soon found that he was violent infront of daughter/would throw things into walls like throwing a fast-ball...That was IT for ME!! I got a restraining order and we were DONE!! He sees our little daughter who is now 3/beautiful...and he tells her controlling things like how he expects her to be a little lady(hey, NO pressure!!)..and I dont know how things will go w/ them,very worried for my daughter!! She has come home after being at his house and has told me he threw a plastic tea set of her's right into the wall and I could tell she didnt know what to make of it/concerned look on her face!! I have looked up some of his behaviors online and found that he is a misogynist!! I have had convers. w/ his own mom who he talks down to and she is tired of him throwing little fits/rage and doesnt know what to do...so Im worried ab my daughter...very scarey!!

dittany Sun 05-Jun-11 17:17:04

Talk to your solicitor. She shouldn't be seeing him unsupervised, if at all.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 05-Jun-11 17:17:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Sun 05-Jun-11 17:17:41

If you needed a restraining order against him and you're an adult in your 30s/40s, why would you put a 3 year old in the line of fire?

WeDONTneedanotherhero Sun 05-Jun-11 17:33:57

i've just read my post on here under my old name and it made me cry. However on a very positive note I realise how much strong I am as a person now. I can attribute that strenght to two things my DH and feminism.

Tall, you must not let him have contact with that sperm doner (I cannot call him a father as he doesn't deserve that title)

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