Im horrified at the advice this lady got from a well known counsellor when its obviously an emotional abuse situation. But its a bloody good example of why counselling is not appropriate when there is a case of abuse. I hear about this time and time again. Some counsellors not seeing the abuse and victim blaming the abused. Of how women must be the ones to cajole and persuade their partner and hold everything together. Sorry im just having a rant because this REALLY pissed me off.
I think woman-hating is so endemic, so deeply ingrained, that it just moves the position of "neutral" way into the terrain of anti-woman-ness/abuse.
Really, the sensible advice is: you're young, you don't have to educate this chap - he's going to be a whole dissertation, not an NVQ - go find a new boyfriend, tell him he needs to educate himself in how to respect women. I doubt that the lack of respect stops at her vagina.
I think the counsellor in question has form for what might be euphemistically called "overly-neutral" advice.
Perhaps she chose this "problem", and tailored her response, thinking that it would reach those who are deeply committed to staying with partners with problems like this ....
But, even given that, I think you are generally right. For what it's worth, I think we have a society-wide problem with denial about the extent of abuse of women (and children).
Oh yes. I thought i recognised your user name. I try to remain positive but its very hard. I keep coming across so many double standards all the time. The Feminism boards and the people on here have given me so much strength in the last two years. Discovering these boards and the people on here have made me emotionally stronger. And that to me is priceless.
At BEST-and this is giving the guy some leeway as being not-a-bastard-but-seriously-confused-about-his-sexuality territory- he is gay and is trying not to be. No heterosexual man is genuinely repulsed by vaginas.
Of course, he may be telling her that (when he is not really repulsed at all) to make her feel bad about herself.
So he's either gay or just trying to make her feel bad: either way, Stephenson's advice is shit and she should have advised her to end the relationship.
Although the guy is obviously a nasty cruel piece of work (in that despite his views he didn't have to voice that opinion) how exactly could a Psychotherapist come out with anything but an objective analysis??
Really struggling how one could extrapolate such a situation to an epidemic of Women Hating though.
But if he is an obviously nasty cruel piece of work, then surely the advice should have been to end the relationship? That seems the only sensible piece of advice to me. Either that or, at best, he's genuinely repulsed by female genitalia which means he should not be in a relationship with a female.
Perhaps he is gay and confused and doesn't mean to be horrible, but, if so, the advice should be to end things, surely?
To be fair to PSC, she is an equal opportunity arse. All her advice is this bad, no matter the gender of the people involved. I am convinced the Guardian only keep her on because of the sensible advice that people give in the comments below.
To be fair, I think women are generally socialised to be ashamed of their genitals... but I think its clear that he isn't just being school-boy-squeemish he's cruel and shaming certainly not being a considerate lover that the woman deserves.
Oddly contradictory advice: "Discuss the material as equal adults, not teacher/pupil, and reward him when he demonstrates maturity."
rewarding suggest an unequal relationship teacher/pupil, parent/child, boss/employee... owner/dog