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

Written by Sam Vaknin


Women witnessedrepparttar resurgence of nostalgic nationalism, neo traditionalism and religious revival - social forces which sought to confine them to home, hearth, spouse and children and to "liberate" them fromrepparttar 131115 "forced labour" of communism. Negative demographic trends (declining life expectancy and birth rate, numerous abortions, late marriage, a high divorce rate, increasing suicide rate) conspired to provoke a "we are a dying nation" outcry andrepparttar 131116 inevitable re-emphasis ofrepparttar 131117 woman's reproductive functions.

Fierce debates aboutrepparttar 131118 morality of abortion erupted in bastions of Catholic fundamentalism (such as Poland and, to a lesser degree, Lithuania) as well as in citadels of rational agnosticism, such asrepparttar 131119 Czech Republic. Curiously, prostitution and women trafficking were accepted as inevitable. Perhaps because they catered to masculine needs.

Indeed, in feminist lore and theory, both nationalism and capitalism are "patriarchal". Nationalism allocates distinct and mutually exclusive roles to men and women. The latter are supposed to act as homemakers and have babies. Capitalism encouragesrepparttar 131120 formation of impregnable male elites, disseminates new technologies mainly to male monopolies, eliminates menial and low skilled (women's) jobs and puts emphasis on masculine traits such as aggression and competitiveness. No wonder female political representation in parliaments and governments diminished dramatically since 1989. When powerless, under communism, CEE parliaments were stacked with women. Now that they are more potent elected bodies, they are almost nowhere to be seen. The few that infiltrated these august institutions are relegated to "soft" committees (social issues, usually) devoid of budgets and of influence. It is very much like under communism whenrepparttar 131121 decision making party echelons were predominantly male. The only influential women then were dissidents but they seem to have rejectedrepparttar 131122 fruit of their labour, democracy, in favour of tranquility and peace of mind - or to have been usurped by an emerging male establishment. Despite an education in economics, they are under-represented among business executives,repparttar 131123 owners of privatized enterprises andrepparttar 131124 beneficiaries of favourable pay regulations and tax systems.

This erosion of their economic base coupled withrepparttar 131125 drastic decreases in child benefits, inrepparttar 131126 length of maternal leave, inrepparttar 131127 number of public and, thus, affordable child care facilities and in other support networks led to a swift deterioration inrepparttar 131128 social status and leverage of women. With their only effective contraceptive - abortion - restricted, maternal mortality exploded. So did teenage pregnancy - a result ofrepparttar 131129 curtailing or absence of sex education. The rate of sexually transmitted diseases went throughrepparttar 131130 roof. Violence against women - rape, spousal abuse, date rape - became epidemic. So did skyrocketing street prostitution. Widowed women - an ever more common phenomenon in CEE - are destitute and reduced to begging asrepparttar 131131 pensions ofrepparttar 131132 lucky ones are ground to nil by a rising cost of living and IMF prodded stinginess. There are also more quotidian problems (often neglected byrepparttar 131133 media hungry and soundbite craving feminists) like pitiful divorce maintenance payments or decrepit maternity wards in crumbling hospitals.

Yet, women's reaction to all this was notable in its absence. After decades of forced activism and imposed altruism,repparttar 131134 imported Western individualism mutated in CEE to malignant egotism. A sliver ofrepparttar 131135 female population did well in local government and as entrepreneurs. The rest (especiallyrepparttar 131136 old,repparttar 131137 rural,repparttar 131138 less educated) stayed at home and seemed to fancy this novel experience of dependence. A generational divide emerged. Younger women discoveredrepparttar 131139 joys of conspicuous consumption and mind numbing pop "culture". They constitutedrepparttar 131140 masses of career opportunists,repparttar 131141 new managerial class, shareholders and professionals - a pale imitation ofrepparttar 131142 yuppies of America. Older women retreated - heaving a sigh of relief - into home and family, seeking refuge fromrepparttar 131143 intrusion of tedious public matters. Economic realities still forced them to seek a job and steady income (often in a family business or inrepparttar 131144 informal economy, with no job security or regulated labour conditions) but their activism vanished into newfound and demonstrative reclusiveness.

Relationships with Abusive Narcissists - Part I

Written by Sam Vaknin


Question:

What kind of a spouse/mate/partner is likely to be attracted to a narcissist?

Answer:

The Victims

Onrepparttar face of it, there is no (emotional) partner or mate, who typically "binds" with a narcissist. They come in all shapes and sizes. The initial phases of attraction, infatuation and falling in love are pretty normal. The narcissist puts on his best face repparttar 131113 other party is blinded by budding love. A natural selection process occurs only much later, asrepparttar 131114 relationship develops and is put torepparttar 131115 test.

Living with a narcissist can be exhilarating, is always onerous, often harrowing. Surviving a relationship with a narcissist indicates, therefore,repparttar 131116 parameters ofrepparttar 131117 personality ofrepparttar 131118 survivor. She (or, more rarely, he) is moulded byrepparttar 131119 relationship into The Typical Narcissistic Mate/Partner/Spouse.

First and foremost,repparttar 131120 narcissist's partner must have a deficient or a distorted grasp of her self and of reality. Otherwise, she (or he) is bound to abandonrepparttar 131121 narcissist's ship early on. The cognitive distortion is likely to consist of belittling and demeaning herself while aggrandising and adoringrepparttar 131122 narcissist.

The partner is, thus, placing herself inrepparttar 131123 position ofrepparttar 131124 eternal victim: undeserving, punishable, a scapegoat. Sometimes, it is very important torepparttar 131125 partner to appear moral, sacrificial and victimised. At other times, she is not even aware of this predicament. The narcissist is perceived byrepparttar 131126 partner to be a person inrepparttar 131127 position to demand these sacrifices from her because he is superior in many ways (intellectually, emotionally, morally, professionally, or financially).

The status of professional victim sits well withrepparttar 131128 partner's tendency to punish herself, namely: with her masochistic streak. The tormented life withrepparttar 131129 narcissist is just what she deserves.

In this respect,repparttar 131130 partner isrepparttar 131131 mirror image ofrepparttar 131132 narcissist. By maintaining a symbiotic relationship with him, by being totally dependent upon her source of masochistic supply (whichrepparttar 131133 narcissist most reliably constitutes and most amply provides) repparttar 131134 partner enhances certain traits and encourages certain behaviours, which are atrepparttar 131135 very core of narcissism.

The narcissist is never whole without an adoring, submissive, available, self-denigrating partner. His very sense of superiority, indeed his False Self, depends on it. His sadistic Superego switches its attentions fromrepparttar 131136 narcissist (in whom it often provokes suicidal ideation) torepparttar 131137 partner, thus finally obtaining an alternative source of sadistic satisfaction.

It is through self-denial thatrepparttar 131138 partner survives. She denies her wishes, hopes, dreams, aspirations, sexual, psychological and material needs, choices, preferences, values, and much else besides. She perceives her needs as threatening because they might engenderrepparttar 131139 wrath ofrepparttar 131140 narcissist's God-like supreme figure.

The narcissist is rendered in her eyes even more superior through and because of this self-denial. Self-denial undertaken to facilitate and easerepparttar 131141 life of a "great man" is more palatable. The "greater"repparttar 131142 man (=the narcissist),repparttar 131143 easier it is forrepparttar 131144 partner to ignore her own self, to dwindle, to degenerate, to turn into an appendix ofrepparttar 131145 narcissist and, finally, to become nothing but an extension, to merge withrepparttar 131146 narcissist torepparttar 131147 point of oblivion and of merely dim memories of herself.

The two collaborate in this macabre dance. The narcissist is formed by his partner inasmuch as he forms her. Submission breeds superiority and masochism breeds sadism. The relationships are characterised by emergentism: roles are allocated almost fromrepparttar 131148 start and any deviation meets with an aggressive, even violent reaction.

The predominant state ofrepparttar 131149 partner's mind is utter confusion. Evenrepparttar 131150 most basic relationships with husband, children, or parents remain bafflingly obscured byrepparttar 131151 giant shadow cast byrepparttar 131152 intensive interaction withrepparttar 131153 narcissist. A suspension of judgement is part and parcel of a suspension of individuality, which is both a prerequisite to andrepparttar 131154 result of living with a narcissist. The partner no longer knows what is true and right and what is wrong and forbidden.

The narcissist recreates forrepparttar 131155 partnerrepparttar 131156 sort of emotional ambience that led to his own formation inrepparttar 131157 first place: capriciousness, fickleness, arbitrariness, emotional (and physical or sexual) abandonment. The world becomes hostile, and ominous andrepparttar 131158 partner has only one thing left to cling to:repparttar 131159 narcissist.

And cling she does. If there is anything which can safely be said about those who emotionally team up with narcissists, it is that they are overtly and overly dependent.

The partner doesn't know what to do and this is only too natural inrepparttar 131160 mayhem that isrepparttar 131161 relationship withrepparttar 131162 narcissist. Butrepparttar 131163 typical partner also does not know what she wants and, to a large extent, who she is and what she wants to become.

These unanswered questions hamperrepparttar 131164 partner's ability to gauge reality. Her primordial sin is that she fell in love with an image, not with a real person. It isrepparttar 131165 voiding ofrepparttar 131166 image that is mourned whenrepparttar 131167 relationship ends.

The break-up of a relationship with a narcissist is, therefore, very emotionally charged. It isrepparttar 131168 culmination of a long chain of humiliations and of subjugation. It isrepparttar 131169 rebellion ofrepparttar 131170 functioning and healthy parts ofrepparttar 131171 partner's personality againstrepparttar 131172 tyranny ofrepparttar 131173 narcissist.

The partner is likely to have totally misread and misinterpretedrepparttar 131174 whole interaction (I hesitate to call it a relationship). This lack of proper interface with reality might be (erroneously) labelled "pathological".

Cont'd on page 2 ==>
 
ImproveHomeLife.com © 2005
Terms of Use