Women in Transition From Post Feminism to Past Femininity - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Yet, even afterrepparttar demise of communism, Western feminism failed to take root in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). The East Coast Amazons from America and their British counterparts were too ideological, too Marxist, too radical and too men-hating and family-disparaging to engender much following inrepparttar 131120 just-liberated victims of leftist ideologies. Hectoring, overly-politicized women were a staple of communism - and so was women's liberation. Women in CEE vowed: "never again".

Moreover,repparttar 131121 evaporation ofrepparttar 131122 iron curtain liftedrepparttar 131123 triple burden as well. Women finally had a choice whether to develop a career and how to balance it with family life. Granted, economic hardship made this choice highly theoretical. Once again, women had to work to make ends meet. Butrepparttar 131124 stifling ethos was gone.

Communism left behind it a legal infrastructure incompatible with a modern market economy. Maternal leave was anywhere between 18 and 36 (!) months, for instance. But there were no laws to tackle domestic or spousal violence, women trafficking, organized crime prostitution rings, discrimination, inequality, marital rape, date rape and a host of other issues. There were no women's media of any kind (TV or print). No university offered a gender studies program or had a women's studies department. Communism was interested in women (and humans) as means of production. It ignored all other dimensions of their existence. In sputnik-era Russia, there were no factories for tampons or sanitary bandages, for example. Communism believed thatrepparttar 131125 restructuring of class relations will resolve all other social inequities. Feminism properly belonged torepparttar 131126 spoiled, brooding women ofrepparttar 131127 West - not torepparttar 131128 bluestockings of communism. Ignoring problems was communism's way of solving them. Thus, there was no official unemployment inrepparttar 131129 lands of socialism - or drugs, or AIDS, or unhappy women. To borrow from psychodynamic theories, Communism never developed "problem constancy".

To many, women included, communism was aboutrepparttar 131130 perversion ofrepparttar 131131 "natural order". Men and women were catapulted out of their pre-ordained social orbits into an experiment in dystopy. When it ended, post communism became a throwback torepparttar 131132 19th century: its values, mores and petite bourgeois aspirations. Inrepparttar 131133 exegesis of transition, communism was interpreted as an aberration, an interruption in an otherwise linear progress. It was cast as a regrettable historical accident or, worse, a criminal endeavour to be vehemently disowned and reversed.

Yet again women proved to berepparttar 131134 prime victims of historical processes, this time of transition. They saw their jobs consumed by male-dominated privatization and male-biased technological modernization. Men inrepparttar 131135 CEE are 3 times more likely to find a job, 60-80% of all women's jobs were lost (for instance inrepparttar 131136 textile and clothing industries) andrepparttar 131137 highest rates of unemployment are among middle aged and older women ("unemployment with a female face" as it is called in Ukraine). Women constitute 50-70% ofrepparttar 131138 unemployed. And women's unemployment is probably under-reported. Most unrecorded workers (omitted fromrepparttar 131139 official statistics) are women. Where retraining is available (a rarity), women are trained to do computer jobs, mostly clerical and low skilled. Men, onrepparttar 131140 other hand, are assigned to assimilate new and promising technologies. In many countries, women are asked to waive their rights underrepparttar 131141 law, or even to produce proof of sterilization before they get a job. The only ray of light is higher education, where women's participation actually increased in certain countries. But this blessing is confined to "feminine" (low pay and low status) professions. Vocational and technical schools have either closed down entirely or closed their gates to women. Even in feminized professions (such as university teaching), women make less than 20% ofrepparttar 131142 upper rungs (e.g., full professorships). The tidal wave ofrepparttar 131143 rising cost of education threatens to drown this trend of women's education. Studies have shown that, with rising costs, women's educational opportunities decline. Families prefer to invest - and rationally so - in their males.


Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com

Relationships with Abusive Narcissists - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

Continued from page 1

Do not behave inconsistently. Do not go back on your word. Be firm and resolute.

Impossible Situations

The narcissist engineers impossible, dangerous, unpredictable, unprecedented, or highly specific situations in which he is sorely and indispensably needed. The narcissist, his knowledge, his skills or his traits becomerepparttar only ones applicable, orrepparttar 131117 most useful to coping with these artificial predicaments. It is a form of control by proxy.


Stay away from such quagmires. Scrutinize every offer and suggestion, no matter how innocuous.

Prepare backup plans. Keep others informed of your whereabouts and appraised of your situation.

Be vigilant and doubting. Do not be gullible and suggestible. Better safe than sorry.

Control by Proxy

If all else fails,repparttar 131118 narcissist recruits friends, colleagues, mates, family members,repparttar 131119 authorities, institutions, neighbours, orrepparttar 131120 media – in short, third parties – to do his bidding. He uses them to cajole, coerce, threaten, stalk, offer, retreat, tempt, convince, harass, communicate and otherwise manipulate his target. He controls these unaware instruments exactly as he plans to control his ultimate prey. He employsrepparttar 131121 same mechanisms and devices. And he dumps his props unceremoniously whenrepparttar 131122 job is done.

Another form of control by proxy is to engineer situations in which abuse is inflicted upon another person. Such carefully crafted scenarios involve embarrassment and humiliation as well as social sanctions (condemnation, opprobrium, or even physical punishment). Society, or a social group becomerepparttar 131123 instruments ofrepparttar 131124 narcissist.


Oftenrepparttar 131125 abuser's proxies are unaware of their role. Expose him. Inform them. Demonstrate to them how they are being abused, misused, and plain used byrepparttar 131126 abuser.

Trap your abuser. Treat him as he treats you. Involve others. Bring it intorepparttar 131127 open. Nothing like sunshine to disinfest abuse.

Ambient Abuse

The fostering, propagation and enhancement of an atmosphere of fear, intimidation, instability, unpredictability and irritation. There are no acts of traceable or provable explicit abuse, nor any manipulative settings of control. Yet,repparttar 131128 irksome feeling remains, a disagreeable foreboding, a premonition, a bad omen. This is sometimes called "gaslighting".

Inrepparttar 131129 long-term, such an environment erodes one's sense of self-worth and self-esteem. Self-confidence is shaken badly. Often,repparttar 131130 victims go a paranoid or schizoid and thus are exposed even more to criticism and judgement. The roles are thus reversed:repparttar 131131 victim is considered mentally disordered andrepparttar 131132 narcissist –repparttar 131133 suffering soul orrepparttar 131134 victim.


Run! Get away! Ambient abuse often develops into overt and violent abuse.

You don't owe anyone an explanation – but you owe yourself a life. Bail out ofrepparttar 131135 relationship.

The Malignant Optimism ofrepparttar 131136 Abused

I often come across sad examples ofrepparttar 131137 powers of self-delusion thatrepparttar 131138 narcissist provokes in his victims. It is what I call "malignant optimism". People refuse to believe that some questions are unsolvable, some diseases incurable, some disasters inevitable. They see a sign of hope in every fluctuation. They read meaning and patterns into every random occurrence, utterance, or slip. They are deceived by their own pressing need to believe inrepparttar 131139 ultimate victory of good over evil, health over sickness, order over disorder. Life appears otherwise so meaningless, so unjust and so arbitrary…

So, they impose upon it a design, progress, aims, and paths. This is magical thinking.

"If only he tried hard enough", "If he only really wanted to heal", "If only we foundrepparttar 131140 right therapy", "If only his defences were down", "There MUST be something good and worthy underrepparttar 131141 hideous facade", "NO ONE can be that evil and destructive", "He must have meant it differently", "God, or a higher being, orrepparttar 131142 spirit, orrepparttar 131143 soul isrepparttar 131144 solution andrepparttar 131145 answer to our prayers", "He is not responsible for what he is - his narcissism isrepparttar 131146 product of a difficult childhood, of abuse, and of his monstrous parents."

The Pollyanna defences ofrepparttar 131147 abused are aimed againstrepparttar 131148 emerging and horrible understanding that humans are mere specks of dust in a totally indifferent universe,repparttar 131149 playthings of evil and sadistic forces, of whichrepparttar 131150 narcissist is one - and that finally their pain means nothing to anyone but themselves. Nothing whatsoever. It has all been in vain.

The narcissist holds such thinking in barely undisguised contempt. To him, it is a sign of weakness,repparttar 131151 scent of prey, a gaping vulnerability. He uses and abuses this human need for order, good, and meaning – as he uses and abuses all other human needs. Gullibility, selective blindness, malignant optimism – these arerepparttar 131152 weapons ofrepparttar 131153 beast. Andrepparttar 131154 abused are hard at work to provide it with its arsenal.

Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, United Press International (UPI) and eBookWeb and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory, Suite101 and searcheurope.com.

Visit Sam's Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com

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