Friday, March 26, 2010

See What You Made Me Do To You?

Since it became evident that the Democrats were going to pass health care reform (you know, the bill that included over 200 Republican amendments, but that got zero Republican votes), teabaggers and others have been committing, and threatening, violence against Democrats. Predictably, as Atrios and Digby note, the Republicans are now blaming the Democrats for this violence. My immediate reaction, having lived through an abusive marriage, was that I'd heard this before.

It's the abusive spouse who smacks you around and then says, "See what you made me do to you?" And it's such a mindfuck, this person exercising emotional, verbal, and physical intimidation, pretending to have no ability to even control their own actions. It's your fault for [not hanging up the shirts in the right order, dropping the plate, wearing the wrong dress, being tired, insert any available reason here]. You can choose your behavior, this lie goes, but the abuser can't. Once you [pass health care reform, buy chicken breasts instead of thighs, decide to go back to school, object to the insults, insert any available behavior here], the abuser has no choice. He had to slap you around and, well, Look. Just look what you made him do. If you're not careful, you can begin to believe, as lots of Stockholm Syndrome Dems now do, that it really IS your fault.

This morning, the rhetoric is that it's the fact that the Dems are talking about the threats and abuse that is likely to cause -- big surprise, I know -- more abuse. And, immediately, I remembered Jensen's discussion about why Noah (the patriarchy) had to curse Ham (who saw the patriarchy naked and talked about it) and how that relates to the rules of dysfunctional families.

See what Ham made Noah do? The abusers keep doing this because the rest of us keep letting it work.


Postscript: Of course, and I should have said this: children can't stop the abusers. My comment that abusers keep doing this because the rest of us keep letting it work was directed towards those of us who have grown up, who can make a choice about whether or not we tolerate abuse. Children have no choice, which makes the abuse only that much worse.


Gummo said...

That was excellent, thanks.

Who is he?

Hecate said...


He's, IMHO, one of the brilliant thinkers of the 20th Century. Writes about environmental issues and the problems of Western Civ (aka patriarchy). If I could only recommend one author, he might well be it.

Anonymous said...

well said.

Thalia Took said...

Yes, very excellent, Hecate.

Naming abuse as abuse is so powerful and so vital. And boy, do they NOT want to hear it.

And seconding the Derrick Jensen love.

Kokomo Born said... knew my dad huh??? What a fucked up childhood THAT was 50+ years ago...Motehr had broken bones, another baby, choked half to death, another baby, ribs kick in, another baby...but he DEARLY LOVED her....My aching ass. :/YOU HAVE A GREAT blog here, I have started a private one for Crone Witched if you want the Majik word! :)
xo A Texas Crone Witch, Kay

Kokomo Born said...

Sorry I didn't check my spelling! Ack!