BC's Pop Culture

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Be Forest ~ Dust


Cyber Democracy vs. Digital Imperialism

The reading of the text this week involves Digital Media Culture.  It immediately reminded me of the idea I wrote about a couple of weeks ago of Digital Imperialism. According to Trend via Barker, “ The majority of Non-Western nations and nearly 97 percent of the world’s population remain unconnected to the [inter] net for lack of money, access, or knowledge.” (Barker Pg. 247)  That said, what is being called a digital revolution is still isolated to a small portion of the population, the affluent and fortunate. 

Some claim that this cyber-land of digitized media is the new foundation of extreme democracy that provides us with intertextuality in which we can delve through footnotes of hypertext from text to text in a fraction of a second.  What usually took immense effort to peruse through textbook after textbook has been converged and reduced to ease for anyone with access to the Internet.

Because of the freedoms associated with the free-flowing content available on the net, philosophers are claiming that this technology is democratic.  Barker talks about two arguments that support this, “Wider dissemination of information and interactive discussion will lead to a better educated and more active electorate.” Also, “The Internet will transform and enlarge our very notion of what democracy is, as it generates novel spaces in which fresh voices can be heard.” (Pg. 349)

The idea of hypertext as a new democracy is discussed.  In standard media like television we were forced to follow the preordained pathway that the recording gives us.  With hypertext we can study and experience information in unique ways for each person from one page to another without constraint.  Charles Ess claims, “Hypertext will enable the development of a public sphere approximating an ideal speech situation because it cannot impose one textual meaning on a reader but invites them into an open, multi-voiced conversation.” Ess regards hypertext, “As an intrinsically democratic mode of communication that will penetrate everyday discourse.  In doing so it will set up the conditions for democratic communication within communities.” (Pg. 351)

Although the ability of the common person to have access to such vast amounts of knowledge and information, large corporation are taking control and this is “widening the gap between rich and poor” according to Barker. (Pg. 370)  Digital Imperialism is another form of cultural imperialism, which is defined by “the domination of one culture over another.” (Pg. 370)  The western corporations specifically are pointed to as those attempting to take hold.  According to Schiller, “Time Warner, AT&T, Microsoft and their competitors are not concerned about social inequality but rather focus on revenues.”… “The increasingly large and visible economic gap between the rich and poor both between nations and within the borders of states will fuel discontent… This has the potential to destabilize governments and generate waves of refugees at the borders of the advanced industrial nations.”  (Pg. 371)  If we look at the recent string of democracies rising up against tyranny taking place in the Middle East, we can see evidence of this pattern already taking place.

Virilio claims:

An ‘information bomb’ in which the sheer volume and velocity of electronic data will inevitably give rise to ‘a generalized kind of accident, a never-seen-before accident’. Previous shifts in technology gave rise to automobile collisions, plane crashes and nuclear power station meltdowns… the absolute velocity, complexity, and interactivity of electronic data will spawn a new kind of accident of which stock market collapse is merely a slight prefiguration. (Pg. 349)

Malory ~  Floating


Southpark

This week’s reflection revolves around Southpark and the manner in which its show’s producers have found to poke fun at various ideological paradigms of the American culture. For my part in this exercise, I have created and maintained the PowerPoint presentation. I have worked with my colleagues to formulate cohesive concepts that combine Southpark with our text and its theorists.  Because of the massive content available, it was difficult for us to narrow the topic points.  However, we were able to refine them down to race, immigration, capitalism, media, and religion.  I will not touch on all of these areas in this paper; instead, I will provide a more specific discussion about satire and media.

I am not a frequent viewer of Southpark; therefore, I partially relied on the other members in my group who had formerly watched the show for refinement.  I was able to help coalesce the ideas into clearer and more concise subject matter for us to bring to the discussion.  During our discussions we were able to create a brief yet expansive and comprehensible dialogue.  

Southpark fits well within the definition of satire.  Satire is a powerful art form, which has the ability to point out the deficiencies in certain human behaviors, and the social issues which result from them in such a way that they become absurd, even hilarious, which is therefore entertaining and reaches a wide audience. Satire also has the ability to protect its creator from culpability for criticism, because it is implied rather than overtly stated; in this way, it becomes a powerful tool for dissenters in difficult or oppressive political and social periods.” (http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/srhonorsprog/63)

We were able to tease out the idea of humor from Fiske’s article about Television Culture. He writes about Freud’s interpretation of humor as being used, “to relieve the anxiety caused by repressed, unwelcome, or taboo meanings.” (Fiske Pg. 1094)  Fiske goes on to say, “The joke is used to recuperate contradictory signs back into the dominant system, and to smooth over any contradictions that might disrupt ideological homogeneity of the narrative.” (Fiske Pg. 1094)  My favorite line from this Fiske’s text is when he speaks about the complexity of encoded meanings. “It implies that the wide variety of codes all cohere to present a unified set of meanings that work to maintain, legitimate, and naturalize the dominant ideology of patriarchal capitalism.” (Fiske Pg. 1095)

Although Southpark is able to bring up and discuss subjects that are unthinkable to most media sources, by the above definition, they are still bound within the walls of that which they poke fun at.

The reading in the text has also given rise to some interesting correlations that tie in with the Media portion of our presentation. Barker talks about television as a text and discusses news and ideology.  “The production of news holds a strategic position in debates about television for its presumed, and often feared, influence on public life.  This concern has been heightened by the emergence of global cross-border television.” (Barker Pg. 316)  He goes on to say that news on television does not necessarily represent reality, but is more like (quoting Schlesinger) “ the putting together of reality”. (Barker Pg. 316) If we look at our example in Southpark, the kid’s attempt to manipulate the news content in order to get ratings reflects the way that reality can be constructed for the viewer.  As Barker further goes on to say, “News is not an unmediated ‘window-on-the-world’ but a selected and constructed representation constitutive of ‘reality’”. (Barker Pg. 316)

If we look at Southpark and the theories from the text and filter them with the prior definition of satire, it could be said that Southpark is a forward thinking production that is interested in providing a reality check for the American public.  The content of which incorporates the reality of some of our most intricately woven and hidden ideologies.  Barker continues on to talk about Media Imperialism and within his discussions he mentions Schiller.

 … Media fit into the world capitalist system by providing ideological support for capitalism, and for transnational corporations in particular.  The media are seen as vehicles for corporate marketing, manipulating audiences to deliver them to advertisers.  This is allied to the assertion of a general ideological effect by which media messages create and reinforce audience attachment to the status quo. (Barker Pg. 338)

This drives us right into the middle of a huge debate. From the working class proletariat up to the bourgeoisie and from the world’s governments to transnational corporations, what entities are really in control of our reality?  It seems very important for the layperson to have access to satire pieces such as Southpark in order to become informed members of society and see through the hidden veil of power.

To conclude my discussion of Southpark I will provide some interesting theory from Baudrillard and Kellner.  Baudrillard presents an apocalyptic perspective where, “Television is the heart of a culture marked by an all-encompassing flow of fascinating simulations and facsimiles, that is, a hyper reality in which we are overloaded with images and information.  This is a world where a series of modern distinctions – the real and unreal, the public and the private, art and reality – have broken down, or been sucked into a ‘black hole.’”  He goes on to talk about how there is an implosion that is taking place between the media and society. 

Kellner on the other hand, “argues for the integrating central role of television as myth and ritual celebrating dominant values and modes of thought and behavior.”  As such, he suggests that television provides models by which people construct their attitudes, values, and consequent actions.

Whatever the case may be, this exercise has been a fascinating look through the lens of culture theory into current generational programming.  The insights provided by intelligent productions of our time bring us to a place in history where new, creative and insightful theories and perspectives are needed in order to further the development and progress of humankind.  

ABSOFACTO ~ NO POWER

Urbanization and globalization is beginning to find its place in Einstein’s Space-Time.  As mass communication becomes the norm among the 21st century, the more we find that philosophy and urban-ology are combining.  Whether it is by way of a binary, mutual incorporation of ideologies or a complete dominating osmosis from the power culture to the more youthful or impressionable culture.  This week the text quotes an idea of Gillespie and Williams’s called “distance-shrinking”.  It talks about the idea that the friction of distance has been dissolved and therefore space-time has been united. 

So what does that mean for you and me?  Castells claims that telematics has helped diffuse the economic movement of societies across the world.  In other words, it doesn’t matter where we are in the world, if we have the information technology; we have access to a similar amount of abundance.

If we take a look we can see some evidence that has manifested over the past 20 – 30 years.  Urbanization has continued to flourish in the face of mass-communication.  As factories have been outsourced to cheaper labor overseas, the working class has had to get creative, and find news ways to make a living.  Not only that, the big companies have severed the income of the consumers they hoped to sell their products to in the first place. 

Urban areas have become even more diverse as the poor keep getting pushed away from the more elite areas.  As middle-class America shrinks, the definition of “poor” begins to grow and encompass a vastly larger population of people who just can’t afford to live the way they used to.

We have sports and other ways to keep the people occupied with some sort of distraction in order to keep them from seeing the truth of society, similar to the days of the Gladiators of Rome.  Disney and other entities have created a utopia to entertain the common person so they can enjoy a fantasyland of incredibly naïve characterizations, while staying blind to the militant operations that workers deal with at very low pay.  All the while the CEO’s and other executives get filthy rich. 

As trans-national organizations continue to grow and globalize, governments have begun losing their grip on the power they are supposed to yield.  Economies who try to re-invent themselves using the old rulebook find themselves fighting against this global monster in order to keep from crumbling.

Within the haze we find higher crime rates, commuter problems, urban unrest, racial divisions, corrupt politicians, and social polarization below the symbolic “City of Angels”.   As Los Angeles set the precedent for the most diverse city to ever exist it has been seen as an example of what is to come for other metropolis areas.

The digitalized world has created a new bi-product that many have been unable to ascertain with old ideas.  The residue that exists on the blind side of cyberspace has yet to yield it full potential.  Unless governments get creative, this global shift will suffer to the hands of digital imperialism.

Cobra Dukes - Airtight (Aeroplane Remix)

In this week’s blog I am going to spin off the idea that while men and women are all equally due what they ought to be given, who wrote and where are the rules made to govern that which ought to be given?  Although an intriguing question, the chapter reading, “Issues of Subjectivity and Identity” brings an interesting conflict into the discussion.  
Stuart Hall juxtaposed a collection of thoughts that helped push forward the ideas of Marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism, contemporary theories of language, and the work of Foucault. Without going into great detail about these individual subjects, I am interested in the direction that Hall took with upon the intersection of all the theories; that intersection being the “I”.  

American Capitalism awards individualism and independence where personal gain is the measuring stick for self-realization.  That is not to say that gain is supposed to mean money or power, yet that Capitalist have a tendency to look for what is good for the “I”. This falls in line with the Cartesian ideology of “I think therefore I am”.   This has a flavor of structuralism in its perspective that was driven by The Enlightenment. 

I find it interesting that in Eastern philosophy, the “I” is considered to be an invention that is created by the brain.  That is to say that the sense of self that we feel actually blocks us from the truth that the self is a fantasy created by the mind.  Subsequently, it makes sense that most of these cultures are collectivist in nature and are focused more on the group than the self. And this has a flavor of Post-Structuralism.

Given the philosophy set forth by Marx, psychoanalysis, feminism and the rest of the collection stated above, and as we move through post-structuralism and post-modernism we find that these arguments have pushed us (back) into the binary reality that is manifesting in the current era.

In one way, the more we search for meaning (structure), the more we are forced to honor what we don’t know (post-structure).  Understanding this, and formulating an ideology that encompasses both brings us into the post-modern world.  It is the refection of this binary nature I wish to explore and I think that brings me back to Hall.

The articulated self “Hall suggests that an articulation is a connection that can make a unity of two different elements under certain conditions. The apparent ‘unity’ of identity is really the articulation of different and distinct elements that under other historical and cultural circumstances could be re-articulated in different ways. Thus, individuals are the unique, historically specific, articulation of discursive elements that are contingent but also socially determined or regulated.” (Barker, pg. 230)

The flow of self-realization in the face of society holds a reflection of the panoptic misunderstandings that the society itself has been blinded by.  Thereby creating the ‘re-articulation’ that Hall speaks about.

In other words, the more we fight for what we think is correct the more we leave the door open to the falsification of the belief we are so desperately fighting for.  The binary self and society is created.

 

Saturna ~ Roll Down

This weeks reading was on the chapter Sex, Subjectivity, and Representation. Growing up in many different sized cities, has given rise to my interpretation of gender subjectivity that spans across not only a socioeconomic spectrum, but also, many different Americanized cultures from hick-town to metropolis. 

There is a very different reality of feminism and masculinity from these perspectives.  For example, the typical male growing up in a lower class trailer park may be brought up with a different viewpoint than someone who grew up in the Hamptons.  And these snapshots most likely can’t be a predictor of those who grew up in a diverse metropolitan area whether it was a beach side upper-class trailer park and those who grew up in the upper crust of a slum.  These situational details have an impact on how this subject pans out historically.

If we take a look at shows like The Jerry Springer show, which the text points to, and contrast it with Ellen, the content and gender perspective will be vastly different.  I do not intend to bring sexual preference into this discussion, however, that could bring even more prospective points of view to the subject matter.

When I hear the word feminist, I automatically conjure up an image of a 50 year old, lesbian battle-axe who can grow more facial hair than myself and has a set of testicles hanging from her rearview mirror. However, I know that this is a highly biased, superfluous thought that is driven by my upbringing, social media, and my experience of women who have supposedly been sanctioned to disregard men’s feelings.

Men, on the other hand, seem to be portrayed like emotionless, trailer trash, wife beater wearing cruel bastards whether they are from an elite background or actually from a poor neighborhood.  This is apparent in the way that child custody is handed out to abusive women by the family court system, like food stamps on the 1st of the month, regardless of Custody Evaluator intervention. It appears that the feminist movement, although necessary in many extremes, has actually stunted the growth of gender equality. 

Why is it that I can differentiate from a preposterous idea of what a feminist is, while many in America are still unable to be skeptical of the fallacy that media has fed them?

To include a more global viewpoint, here are a couple of great articles that share the truth of gender inequality including some statistics form Harvard.

http://angiemedia.com/2010/09/30/male-domestic-violence-victims-suffer-from-wrongful-gender-bias/

http://www.patientedu.org/aspx/HealthELibrary/HealthETopic.aspx?cid=M0907d

Here’s an interesting twist.  I have a thesis that introduces this bias into the equation as to marriage rates and divorce rates.  This article can help shed some light:

The link to the article below is here:

http://angiemedia.com/2010/09/28/marriage-rates-at-record-lows-are-american-realizing-marriage-isnt-safe/

“Marriage Rates At Record Lows, Are Americans Realizing Marriage Isn’t Safe?

Written by: Cameron

The US Census Department revealed that marriage rates in 2009 were the lowest in more than 100 years. While they attribute it to the economy, those of us who have seen what it is like to have children and marital conflict in the US know that the government’s anti-family and victim-persecuting policies are major disincentives to marrying.

Given the lack of psychological education for children, many suffer badly from child abuse with no help coping. Many of these abused kids go on to become abusers themselves.

Few know how to identify these abusive adults until after they marry them and discover they are being emotionally, verbally, and sometimes physically abused on a frequent basis. It is far too easy to inadvertently marry a sociopath.

Even when you figure out you have married an abusive person, the courts will often, perhaps even usually, not protect you from these people. Instead, they take the abuser’s side and help them commit even more abuses. “Take the kids, take the house, it’s your reward for terrorizing your spouse” is the common refrain of the black-robed bandits in American family law courts.

Is it any wonder why more and more people are wondering whether marriage in America is even safe any more?”

~Amen

Zounds ~ War/Subvert 1980

James Bond was made to fit Britain’s cultural history like an athletic cut shirt.  What makes a man like Bond so important to an era from which he came?  As imperial Britain began declining after being the world’s biggest leader, English culture began a re-invention through the stellar production of a man who seemed like the elite ideal to a modern society.  Bond, portrayed as a shadowy, sophisticated, on the inside, and a bad-ass ladies man, has been considered a propaganda tool for Britain to show to the world what type of refined, powerful people came from that part of the world.

Throughout modern history there has been an influx of danger seeking, role model characters that have been created to fit or shift the cultural feeling of power-asserting societies.  A short list of similar characters includes John McClane, The Fonz, or the Lone Ranger.  These types of characters were seen as the complete opposite of what’s right in society but their pursuits were always for the better of society.  Although I could go into massive explorations of the common ground of these individuals I would like to incorporate a more cultural theory explanation.

In our text Barker speaks about Appadurai, who created a methodology of characterizing global conditions called disjunctive flows.  These are ethnoscapes, technoscapes, mediascapes, and ideoscapes.  This terminology allows us to break down globalization into more palatable pieces of information. This point of view holds a more fragmented view of cultural flows and therefore contradicts the uniform flow of cultural homogenization theory. Within the overlapping characteristic of these parameters, there can be found a fundamental understanding of cultural flows that are taking place apart from there locked in domestic location.

Within all three of these examples we can define these landscapes in order to formulate a better, overall understanding of the culture taking place at the time. 

Given that the main focus of this week’s topic will be on Bond, lets take a look at McClane in Diehard using this methodology instead:

US Ethnoscape:  Diehard was released in 1988.  The 1980’s were riddled with terrorist incidents throughout the world.  The movie includes thieves posing as terrorists in relation to the global climate at the time.  This contrasts a more nuclear, cold war ethnoscape of early Bond movies.

US Technoscape:  In this movie the use, and mastery of early computers and technological know how gives the antagonists an upper hand while attempting to perpetrate their evil acts.  McClane is at the mercy of his position in this movie and has to get by with the minimum resources.  This highlights the reading “Images of Technology” in that technology is often portrayed as a problem for mankind.

US Mediascape: Diehard reveals the narcissism of a greedy, capitalist reporter who will do anything to “get the story”.  The emphasis being that media blindly carries stories in order to become more profitable, even if people are hurt or destroyed in the process.

US Ideoscape:  The affect of this movie is a snapshot of the individualistic and independent ideology of US capitalism of the time.  The idea that being a bad-ass is at the top of American culture’s consciousness. 

These brief points of culture are just one of the many ways to breakdown domestic flows affected by globalization.  

The Frequency ~ Sanity Overture

What makes love possible? How is it even possible to answer this question.  I believe that every person is born with an innate desire and capability to love.  Perhaps best being described as a reflection of the caregiver/child relationship.  When you throw society and especially, capitalism, into the mix it calls for an even more complicated exploration.

In this weeks blog I am discussing the film Jerry Maguire.  The movie encompasses the life of the character Jerry Maguire, a sports agent, played by Tom Cruise. Faced with insights through the hidden veil of capitalism, Maguire sees through to its dark side. He finds himself wanting to live a life that goes against the grain of societal norms.  As a result he composes a mission statement from an all night stream of consciousness, prints the manuscript, and delivers a copy to each member of the firm.  With love as the centerpiece of this new mission statement it ultimately costs him his job because it would cost the corporation a lot of money.  The rest of the movie is about a man fighting against the machine of capitalism using the standpoint of love. It seems that the almighty dollar in many circumstances in this movie is pointed to as a possible replacement for love in corporate America.

Coming from a background in sales I can relate to the epiphany of how distasteful capitalism can be.   In order to be free it was necessary for me to change my approach to earning an income, even if it meant less money for my short-term lifestyle.

In order to fully answer the question of what makes love possible its necessitates a broader investigation.  According to Barker from the Cultural Studies text he states, “On a global scale, capitalism has triumphed. As such, it is hard to see what an alternative system could or will be.”  (Pg. 171)

I raise this point because it appears that Maguire is searching for some certain type of reformed capitalism that replaces money with people as the means to an end.  Meaning that gaining profit should be a bonus to doing what’s right for the people.

In this way of thinking it would seem that pain would have been the motivator for a greater love than was innately instilled within Jerry Maguire. An essential part of his growing love was pain in the face of recognizing and dismissing the power of ego.

To conclude this narrow explanation of the source of love I will quote Barker once more with regard to western culture:

  • "The conventional family is in disarray and our God(s) has been declared well and truly dead (and with no sign of imminent resurrection). In this sense ours is a spiritually poor culture. We seem to value quantity over quality.  Further, western culture is witnessing an alarming rise in addictions, mania, depression, low self-esteem and self-indulgent, self-centered behavior.  These phenomena are described by Jobst et al. 1999 as ‘diseases of meaning’” (Barker Pg. 164)

The highlight here is that narcissism is pointed to as the culprit of survival.

As the fear involved with our need for self-indulgence (and the other things listed above) becomes transparent, the residual pain that comes from the realization that ego (the sense of self) is fantasy, creates a path for love to manifest. This is reinforced as we note the similar suffering of those around us that spills out in the form of greed, hatred, and delusion.

No More Mr. Nice Guy

My last two discussions have been pretty dark and I don’t want to appear insensitive so I thought I would provide a different insight.  What I think is important to explore are possible factors that have contributed to these issues so I would like to talk about some habits that have plagued the men in this country and this brings me to a pop psychology book called “No More Mr. Nice Guy”. 

The brilliant thing about his book is that although it sounds like it could be harsh when it comes to the men’s viewpoint of women but, in contrast, it actually sheds some light on the history and behaviors of men that can influence and even induce some of these behaviors by women.  The psychologist and author, Dr. Robert A. Glover draws on his academic intimacy with the subject matter from his studies, personal experience, and through his work with therapeutic relationships with the many men he has helped over the years. Generally speaking this is what he calls the “nice-guy syndrome.

Glover lists some early contributing factors that start when a man is a child that reinforce the nice-guy syndrome.  These span from not getting attention as a child to parents neglecting, putting unrealistic expectations, using the boy to gratify the parents needs, shaming, etc.  The developing child’s ego translates these abandonment experiences into a false belief that something is wrong with him.  The resulting residue of toxic shame leaves the boy believing that he is bad, especially when he has real needs at a core level.

As a compensatory reaction to the pain of this shame the boy may react in many ways.  Doing things to get attention, trying to be “good” i.e. trying to be something that he thinks others want him to be.  As the boy grows these internalized belief systems grow with the child.

While Glover claims that there have always been nice-guys, he feels that there has been a boom over the past 5 decades.  He points to a change from the agriculture age to the industrial age and the movement of families from rural areas to urban centers.  Pre-industrial age, boys were taught how to be men by their fathers in the fields.  Post agrarian found the divorce rate skyrocket and single motherhood rise out of control.  Women dominated the educational system and boys found themselves now being taught how to be men by how women thought men should be.  This and other factors created an epidemic of nice-guys because then nice-guys began raising nice-guys.  Then came the feminist movement, the sexual revolution etc.

You may be wondering where this is all headed.  The direction of my thinking here rests with a man who has now been imprinted to behave not by his own feelings and instincts, but on the contrary, to behave how he thinks others want him to behave.  Passing over his personal views and feelings to please and cater to the new feminist women who has been vying for power has flipped this culture on its head.

The book separates the conflict-ridden behaviors that are at the core of broken relationships and help men become more genuine and therefore not get caught up in the flames of psychopathology that is out there.

Warren Farrell, Ph.D., Author of The Myth of Male Power says, “[This book] is about being our genuine selves, not pseudo selfless. It frees the women we love to trust us and respect us rather than fear us and suspect us.”

PALLERS ~ COME RAIN, COME SUNSHINE

"People hear the word sociopath and it conjures up images of Charles Manson, Bernie Madoff, and other serial killers, hucksters and con artists. Yes, these individuals are sociopaths, but they’re extreme and obvious ones…..Sociopaths who have cultivated the appearance of Susie the Soccer Mom or Larry the Little League Coach are more dangerous and do more damage because they practice and get away with their predations under the radar.  If we think of sociopathy on a continuum, there are degrees of sociopathy. There are subtle forms of sociopathy and, if you’re a woman, even socially acceptable forms of sociopathy. Many sociopaths wear masks of normalcy when in public and terrorize their nearest and dearest behind close doors; often with the assistance of Family Court and law enforcement. Instead of targeting and exploiting the general public, they target their intimate partners and family members and anyone else who gets close enough to see behind their masks.” ~(Dr. Tara Palmatier)

Rethinking Female Sociopathy, Part One 

Earlier today I was subjected to an angry outburst from a female associate. When I asserted that our communication should maintain a professional tone, I was faced with a further eruption of sarcasm, accompanied with seething attempts to manipulate me as well as the reality of the situation.  This experience reminded me of the video I shared last week.

As a result, I have decided that this week I would like to follow up with an article that may shed some light on the subject.  While I am not saying that what I experienced today is sociopathy, it does however have the flavor of what society has unconsciously deemed as okay behavior for women.

Dr Tara J. Palmatier curates her website www.shrink4men.com,which is a great example of modern pop culture. Not only does she share about a subject that is taboo, but also, she does so in a way that is factual, cerebral, and academically accurate.  In the article, “Rethinking Female Sociopathy, Part One” she clarifies this point brilliantly by referencing works written by Dr. Robert Hare and Dr. Hervey Cleckley.

One of the most interesting points made in this article comes from the comments.  The point I am specifically referencing argues the worst thing that can happen to these types of individuals is for them to be “seen” for who they really are underneath the smoke and mirrors.  They are never able to take responsibility for their actions and therefore, to be seen is “death” to them because it crushes their defensive facade.

This is a small facet of the bigger diamond.  That bigger diamond being the paradigm of unequal balance between women and men.  For years we have discussed and blamed men but I would like to explore another facet if the diamond which asks, “Why is it okay for women to mistreat men in this society?”   

This hegemony exists in the real world and many women take advantage of the paradigm by claiming they have been victimized. They use the courts, police, and often even their victim’s circle of friends.  The ensuing smear campaign is known as relational aggression and when it is done this way it is a form of domestic violence.

Many times these women use the system in order to accomplish their need to retaliate (for being “seen”- discovered) by getting false restraining orders and using children and custody as weapons in a female slanted court system.  Any boundary-setting by the healthy partner can and often times will be claimed to be abuse.  Disordered women are prevalent in the family court, who are using the judicial branch to execute their sociopathic needs.

William Eddy, an LCSW and attorney writes “Probably the most prevalent personality disorder in family court is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) — more commonly seen in women. BPD may be characterized by wide mood swings, intense anger even at benign events, idealization (such as of their spouse — or attorney) followed by devaluation (such as of their spouse — or attorney).”

(http://www.orangecounty.net/html/living_article5.html)

I once asked a Custody Evaluator what he thought of a woman who had Borderline Personality Disorder and parenting.  His answer was, “women with BPD are a dime a dozen in this town.”

What I don’t understand is why women still hold so much power in the family court system…  If custody evaluators would help prevent kids from are being raised (and psychologically imprinted) by these volatile, precarious women, perhaps personality disorders would become a little less prevalent in society and family court.

Men As Other

After reading the introduction to The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir called “Women as Other” I was reminded of those who have or are still struggling for equality in the world.  It is clear that the racism and sexism that has been taking place in societies is now under more scrutiny than it ever has in recorded history.  This reading specifically points to the struggle for women to become their own entity in the face of a society, no matter where in the world, ruled by men.

First there was man, and then there was woman.  References to the Bible and Adam all but undermine the reality of the problem and reinforce the unequal paradigm through the religious tool of the Marxist superstructure.  As another example of struggles, Beauvoir references the struggle of the proletariat to gain status in the face of a lopsided, socioeconomic status quo.  However, she maintains a position that society regards women as an entity that was always regarded as second to man, the judge and jury.  This is completely understandable considering the way women were viewed.

The contents of the video I chose may surprise you to yet another lopsided stereotype that has been taking place in society under our noses.  If you were to use a search engine to research domestic violence ninety nine percent of the hits would speak about women who are abuse.  This video is a small insight into a huge door that is opening about the truth in relationships.  More and more literature is reframing this topic in a gender-neutral language because of the truth of new research findings.  Have you ever heard of a Shelter for Men?

Many crimes against men go unreported and for many reasons according to this video: 

-Men think that the police won’t believe them.

-Men will be embarrassed to tell anyone.

-Women won’t admit it because it flies in the face of femininity.

-Men think that the woman will change.

-Media won’t report these instances.

-Society’s lack of understanding.

This stereotype appears to be an over compensation for what the feminist movement has accomplished.  The most difficult part of the equation is the way that society and courts, especially family law, are still behind the times when it comes to this reality. 

I don’t want to undercut the valuable message given by Beauvoir.  Instead, I petition the very same sentiment that women know and have felt about their situation with men as many men now do about there situation with women.

Just as I believe that the woman is not second to the man, I also believe that the Father is not second to the Mother.

Society has an opportunity to open its eyes to the uneven playing fields that are set in place by unseen paradigms and stereotypes.  It doesn’t have to take violence, oppression and abuse to make changes in the world.  One thing that we have already begun to do is to find ways to use gender-neutral language so there isn’t a way for someone to be put into the “other” class.