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Men who see Women as Objects

(19 Posts)
womanformallyknownaswoman Sun 20-May-18 11:45:35

I think the rhetoric "men prefer things" and "women prefer people" may be a DARVO for entitled, disordered-thinking men and I’ll try and explain why.

As I observe these dominant male types, the ones who seem functioning, for example politicians, media types, M/TRAs etc - I observe they do not respond with normal degrees of empathy and compassion to women’s safeguarding concerns. Further I observe these same types do not seem to recognise women as a human species on equal footing to themselves. The reason I post about this is they are tricky to spot because their words can often say ”I understand some may have been historical wrongs”, or the like, but their subsequent responses don’t mirror the empathy that phrase is supposed to indicate. So there's a incongruence between what they say they think and how they actually behave in follow through responses.

I have a keen felt sense - very kinaesthetic. Most women do I think, to varying degrees, but we do, on the whole, all feel. What I have observed in these dominant males is that they do not have a felt sense - they literally don’t see, nor care, about the distress we describe and also feel. There’s a cognitive acknowledgement (some call this empathy but it’s really not) but they don’t respond appropriately when they encounter distressed people - they ignore, dismiss, belittle, humiliate and so on. I have seen it in Peterson, Mosley, Cohen and in many other men - politicians and the like etc. It’s also there in Willoughby, Jenner et al.

I have come to the conclusion that they are not in their body - i.e. don’t have a felt sense. This is why their responses are “off“, as they literally have not felt anything about anyone else - so they continue their relentless self absorption despite the ongoing and current cost to others, the environment, other species and so on.

The only reason they stop is if limits are put on them. They do recognise males and male dominance. So if another male (B) squares up to them (A) and they either overtly or covertly show they are prepared to use aggression to get their way/stop them/defeat them/ dominate them, either verbally or physically, then male A backs down and off. But they don't do this with women - they often will escalate and attack a woman, verbally and /or physically.

So it seems to me like they “recognise” other men but not women, as peer humans.

So my conclusion is they actually don’t see women like themselves, but as a sub-species - or an object - literally. They cover up this gross deficiency by claiming science proves it. That is, they promote any research about "boys like things and girls like people" rhetoric. But this research is actually a cover so they can normalise their pathology and the fact that they don't see women as people, but as things. So the research is carried out by those who don't see women, to try and prove that women are making up their distress at being coercively controlled, subjugated and not having their needs met, and that the reason is because really it's all down to biology etc etc and hence they can use this "proven" skewed logic to continue to not-see women and their concerns.

TransExclusionaryMRA Sun 20-May-18 12:33:20

I don’t think women’s safeguarding concerns are trivial. Far from it! Although personally I’d rather my opinion on who uses women’s spaces was none of my beeswax it would appear that isn’t going to be possible without putting women I care about at risk.

What I think you are talking about is respective in-group preferences between men and women. Unless you are basically building a case that most men, or at least enough to be statistically significant are all sociopaths!

By in-group preferences I mean as a group with a certain commonality of experience ie as men or as women. I don’t think a colossal amount of empathy goes on in either direction in this day and age unfortunately.

One only has to cast a casual glance over at relationships to see to see that for the majority of posters empathy is reserved for the women in the equation. Note the exact reversal would occur if you were to be reading a male dominated board you’d see men projecting themselves into the equation. I’m not saying men are any better.

This in-group empathy needs to be corrected for if we’re to make any headway in meaningful discussions. To conjure that this is a male only problem is poisoning the well and not sure the actual clinical data supports the notion that that many men are sociopaths, although I do admit it makes us easier to dismiss, but I’ll assume that isn’t your motivation here for the time being.

By the way of example whenever a rape trial comes up in the news the person I immediately imagine being is the man in the equation, as I’m sure you do for the woman. This is where the minimising victim blaming and excusing comes from, because I obviously I view this from the perspective of a man who wouldn’t rape so I’m almost automatically biased to assume the same of the accused. I can accept objectively the data shows that bias is more likely to be wrong than right, and on an individual level I am more likely to empathize with a female friend or family member, than the person who assaults them.

I believe this effect is compounded by the media where so much of drama and fiction does have an undeniable male bias. More well written and multi-dimensional female characters can help here too, but I don’t believe it is a problem only men suffer from and need to correct for.

NotTerfNorCis Sun 20-May-18 17:25:07

I'm not sure about men 'not being in their body', but I did hear an interesting comment in a programme about transitioning. A woman who had taken testosterone described it as being 'like a blanket coming down'. She had previously felt other people's pain and suddenly, with testosterone, she had become an outside observer. I'm also inclined to think that that might have been psychological, though - it's how she expected to response to testosterone.

The reverse logic would be that trans-identified males would suddenly develop acute empathy.

Picassospaintbrush Sun 20-May-18 17:52:52

The reverse logic would be that trans-identified males would suddenly develop acute empathy.

Now that made me laugh like a hollow drain.

Picassospaintbrush Sun 20-May-18 18:07:23

I agree with TE MRA that you are describing sociopathy, which is neither male or female, however as the gender pay gap has so kindly demonstrated more men are at the top, including more socipathic men.

It is commonly understood that they are successful because they don't give a shit. Until they are not. Because they cannot read the situation.

This guy ran Lehmans. He is not that unusual in the City/Wall Street.

Ereshkigal Sun 20-May-18 18:16:05

Now that made me laugh like a hollow drain.


LaSqrrl Sun 20-May-18 23:05:21

Lack of empathy is the primary trait of sociopaths/psychopaths (and not all go on to be serial killers etc). They usually do leave a path of destruction in their wake (many are 'just' con artists, some are CEOs).

The main thing though, far more male ones than female ones.
And also, patriarchy trains and rewards males for behaving like psychopaths. I also think people make the mistake of classing people in two groups - psychopaths and non-psychopaths - when in reality there is more of a continuum, especially for males.

womanformallyknownaswoman Mon 21-May-18 05:10:13

hmm - my points haven't got over.

I do think that the description of testosterone is an interesting one - as most women don't know until they go thru menopause exactly how much they were in a hormonal trance for most of their adult life - presumably an historic legacy for reproduction reasons. That's why on the whole, older women are often reviled not celebrated, as the clarity of their insights are spot on and the truth hurts, thus must be silenced by the patriarchy in the guise of media etc

I am describing psychopathy but deliberately didn't use the label as most don't understand the continuum as @LaSqrrl describes. The psychopathic traits in men (because most of them are men) are mostly unmeasured as all the research is done on those in prison - often the extreme serial killer types. In fact to my, and other women's observation, they are much more prevalent in the male population than the stats indicate - perhaps as high as 30% - but largely unmeasured. Because the criteria for full psychopath is what's focused upon with the 1-4% of males but not those with traits who wouldn't be classed as full psychopaths but still have the pathological self absorption traits.

Sally2791 Mon 21-May-18 05:25:33

Very interesting reading. I think I married one,and have observed similar traits in many others. What should they do about it though? Given that the very nature of the condition means that they are unlikely to have the self awareness or interest in change?

womanformallyknownaswoman Mon 21-May-18 05:45:28

What should they do about it though?

as you observe they are unwilling unless they have consequences awarded plus are limited in some way - the experts say they just don't self reflect and often enjoy the hurt/dominance they cause.

I think I'm on a mission to get consequences for actions implemented and the justice system isn't the way to do it. Limiting their movements (e.g. GPS monitoring) plus sequestering their finances are the only things that seem to work - but have to be continually monitored because as soon as restraints removed they revert to type.

For example in DV/coercive control we need other ways to arbitrate on behaviours plus the perpetrators need to be made to pay - women and their children end up in severe disadvantage and the rest pay through their taxes - but the perpetrators frequently get away with no consequence.

I'm raising awareness that limits have to be set on perpetrators and not just through the exisiting justice system as it's not fit for purpose for prosecuting crimes against women and children.

womanformallyknownaswoman Mon 21-May-18 06:07:41

without putting women I care about at risk

I think your sentiment is laudable and am curious why that doesn't extend to all women? Is it as Peterson asserts that men somehow only care about those women in their family they have opted to care for i.e. those who bear their children and offspring? The reason I'm probing this is I have observed this same phenomenon in many men, however that attitude leaves women who don't come from healthy families or have no families at severe exposure. It also confirms the fact that women have to turn to other women for help in times of crisis but that men, generally, don't see their distress as being equal in priority to say the economy. Hence my remarks about men not seeing women as the same species.

or at least enough to be statistically significant are all sociopaths!

Yes that is my experience - not full blown psychopaths but traits - see previous comment. There's some research I need to get across that may well aid in our understanding.

This in-group empathy needs to be corrected for if we’re to make any headway in meaningful discussions. To conjure that this is a male only problem is poisoning the well and not sure the actual clinical data supports the notion that that many men are sociopaths, although I do admit it makes us easier to dismiss, but I’ll assume that isn’t your motivation here for the time being.

What? Poisoning the well if someone says that men have a big problem in their midst? You somehow know what I am thinking and then assert my motivation is to dismiss men if I challenge - wow….

The most pressing crisis facing humanity is male violence. Because not having limits placed upon men is enabling male violence in different guises - whether against the planet or other species including women - men are the problem. To assert they are not and posit it's a "he said, she said" problem is incorrect - as other GC feminists on this FWR board will attest to.

So men need to accept they have a problem and be willing to listen to women plus something up of themselves collectively, and in addition to force those non compliant males to do the same. And you're saying that's a problem that women should take on - how so?

DancelikeEmmaGoldman Mon 21-May-18 06:13:38

I read this article a while ago and thanks to Google found it again. The interviewee is a psychopath and he's talking about his personality traits and what he is doing to address the harm his behaviour has done to those closest to him. He's not a serial killer, but he is a risk taker.

Opheliah Mon 21-May-18 08:23:19

According to psychiatrists sociopaths/psychopath/narcissists etc can't be "cured" because the high opinion they hold of themselves gives them not just no empathy but no insight.

The tendency is always to blame the world around them and blame other people when things go wrong in their life, and when things go well in their life (thanks to other people or just luck) they take all the credit and reinforce their high opinion of themselves as genius, exceptionally talented etc. So their mental makeup makes it impossible to see they are in the 'wrong' in any way. They lie easily and lie to themselves, internally distorting the world to suit their self image. These traits can be observed in not just narcissists-psycopaths etc but many, many dominant males high up in their profession.
So if these traits are common and can't be "cured" maybe we need a whole restructure on how we raise boys to be more empathetic from the start and stop the traits developing in the first place. Stop celebrating and rewarding them.

I completely agree with the lack of a "felt self" in dominant males. I remember a comment from Clive Lewis about the Labour AWS thing and he said "I've listened closely to both sides and no, I really cannot see any reason not to include self identified women. I am very sure of my position". So is he lying and didn't listen? He just can't care less about women?
You see it all the time.

1 in 10 men use prostitutes for example. That requires a certain lack of empathy/feeling for the woman and is a nothing but a dominance display.

Ereshkigal Mon 21-May-18 08:41:19

I think your sentiment is laudable and am curious why that doesn't extend to all women?

Yes, me too. It's also something I have observed a lot too, that men don't see women they don't care about as people with lives and feelings as valid as their own.

TransExclusionaryMRA Mon 21-May-18 10:53:21

Look I’m obviously approaching the problem without the benefit of female experience. I’ll try and address your response about my talk of poisoning the well once I’ve reflected on it more, but please don’t think I am ignoring it.

What I’d like to zero in on for this post is my laudable sentiment. I don’t tend to have superficial connections with people in my personal life. People for whatever reason tend to open up to me. The numbers of women who have been friends, lovers or family members who have confided all manner of rapes/assaults etc tells me there IS a problem. So please don’t take away that I don’t take this problem seriously. Comparatively I think maybe I know one guy who has been falsely accused of anything.

Without the benefit of discussions in my personal life my lean would be to empathise with men more in all those cases in the news. Not because I think women are lesser or that I hate women, but because I unconsciously put myself in the man’s shoes. That generates that unconscious bias I need to correct for. Rightly or wrongly as men we all fear the false accusation more than a rape as that is what we see happening to us more than the rape in the media and it illicits a fear response hence why tend to argue.

The data surrounding this issue lines up for me as the personal matches with it, but if I read a story in the news I still have to be mindful of a tendency to see myself in the man’s shoes more than the woman’s. If that makes me sexist then fair enough I can only apologise and continue to try to correct for it.

I’ll come back and try to address some of the points later.

fmsfms Mon 21-May-18 10:57:36

"I observe they do not respond with normal degrees of empathy and compassion"

This is just going to rehash the nature vs nurture debate currently being done on several other threads. It's just looking at it from another angle.

womanformallyknownaswoman Tue 22-May-18 05:28:00

Other people's opinions about what my thoughts may be are not relevant to this discussion

Re the tendency of men to identify with men - yes it does lead to sexist decisions and directions as men do outnumber women in positions of power - so what's needed for proportional governance is a means to ensure with any govt or Corp decision, from whatever persuasion, considers the impact upon women plus includes then in any pre- decision option formulation- it really is not good enough for that not to in place as a matter of course - and the solution is not rocket science - other countries manage it - why is the UK so deficient in this regard? Perhaps a lack of systems thinking?

Artemis7 Tue 22-May-18 07:19:01

I agree with most of your excellent analysis. I think degrees of narcissism, sociopathy etc, can be observed in many men to one degree or another, and like you say they then try to justify it through pseudo science. Of course other men justify it through religion, but their aims and results are the same. I also agree about men viewing women as their property.

I do not think it is due to hormones why women sometimes become aware of this as they get older. After all there are women who have the same hormone levels as other women, but due to experience, access to materials that contract the traditional view etc, become aware of these things at a fairly young age. There are also many older women who retain the same outlook throughout their lives. I think most women have a gut feeling about this fairly early on, but repress those suspicions as they are not accepted in our society. I think many women hold onto the believe that if they are just kind to men, show them empathy or do this or that, then men as group will suddenly see women’s humanity. When we get older and have had more life experience and the knowledge that often comes with that our outlook can change. Ultimately, I think it depends on experiences, access to material that contradicts the accepted view, and how invested they are in the traditional view, whether women come to the conclusions you mention.

I think Piaget’s theory of egocentricism, which maintains children develop the capacity to empathise with others when they reach a certain age, that society and those around them contribute to this process, comes into play with regards to the development of empathy. I think many men to some extent get stuck at an earlier stage of this developmental process, and never really progress out of it, as least not as much as women usually do. I think the fact that males are actively encouraged to be self centred, and females to put others first (especially boys/men) from a very young age, in both overt and covert ways contributes to the outcome that can be observed. I agree with the poster who said boys need to be raised differently from how they traditionally have been. However, society would also have to change as well, because raising boys in different ways will not change the influence society at large has on them, and I think that will take an extremely long time. I agree that there needs to be more strict penalties for men who show egotistical behaviours. I think these penalties need to be both material, as you describe. As well as social, e.g. disgust/revulsion needs to become associated with men displaying egotistical behaviours and ostracism also needs to be a consequence. At the same time I think we need to reward girls more for maintaining their boundaries, and help them to understand about emotional manipulation, and coercion.

I think although the net allows us to discuss this, and other feminist issues with one another more easily, than in previous generations. One of the problems with this medium I believe is that men are constantly monitoring everything we say, and many women are acutely aware of this. I think this restricts what many women feel able to say, as they do not wish to upset or alienate any men reading. I suspect more women would agree with your analysis privately than publicly. I think this is one of the reasons why we desperately need more female only feminist groups (preferably in real life) to discuss this and similar issues.

womanformallyknownaswoman Wed 23-May-18 04:12:20

Artemis7 plus other contributors towards discussion

just wanted to acknowledge your in depth insights - have been, and am time poor for a few days, however I will respond as you made some important points. I like "slow" threads

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