misssylviadrake (misssylviadrake) wrote,

An Instance of Male Bonding

This week's riveting story was that of Brett Kavanaugh's assault (with the help of Mark Judge) on Christine Blasey Ford when the three were teenagers in high school. There have been hundreds of analyses, commentaries, conversations, news-show and at last the showdown on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary committee. Ford was entirely credible, distressing for me to listen to because I had similar experiences as a girl in junior and high school; Kavanaugh showed himself to be unfit for the supreme court: he lied outrageous on Fox news, giving absolutist accounts, coming near tears, and at last in a raging, speaking words that suggested he felt he has a right to behave towards women as he has to Dr Ford (and apparently other women (at least three have come forth). he should not be allowed to decide cases about women's rights to personal liberty, control over her body, access of equal opportunity and earned rewards for her work.

Two essays in Slate rose above all others to make sense of the bully-rape culture Kavanaugh and his friends throve on as their way of bonding together as men: you achieve status and respect by humiliating and laughing at women while you are drunk and triumphing over them. Lily Loofborough called her essay:  Brett Kavanaugh and the Cruelty of Male Bonding; When being one of the guys comes at a woman's expense. Loofborough points out all the incidents lack penetrative sex, have male onlookers, and there is ever laughter about what they are doing. In each case the clumsy and bizarre behavior is done in a "manic pursuit of male approval."

I was immediately brought back to my teenagehood. I experienced a series of deeply traumatic experiences from age 12 to 15. I finally tried to kill myself and when I didn't manage that I retreated and retreat became my safety. It was the males who attacked but my experience was females didn't support me at all and I saw they didh't support others. Far from it, they spread rumors about one as a tramp, slut. When I had tried to find a friend and tell someone I thought was my friend, another girl came over and "as a gesture of friendship," told me mot to do that any more. That girl had promptly told others so they could all jeer together and triumph as "chaste" and "good girls." I never forgot that lesson. It was as important in understanding safety as keeping away from abrasive vile males of the Kavanaugh type and his buddies. SoI went anorexic and was left alone. It has taken me decades to eradicate some of this anorexia (like alcoholism, one never recovers fully.)

In the second also by Lily Loofborough, she discussed how frighteningly these (let us call them) Republican type and elite and lower class thug men have moved on from simply acting as if the woman is to blame, to admit to the shame, to where they are saying they have a right to assault a woman as part of growing up male. Also many ordinary men, men who do not act as bullies, predators, are not seeking revenge out of resentment still think men have a right to force sex on women in certain circumstances. This has emerged this week in reactions by men in public.

Now grown much older, blessedly unattractive (I think of Austen's funny words over that -- surely at 55 we may feel safe) and watching women bond, I think they bond over over support of normative values of ambitiion, what gives prestige and respect -- not like boys a matter of jeering. You have to buy into these norms and to stroke the others' ego. They run scared and will not support another girl lest they be singled out. Women seek safety. I have read more truthful graphic descriptions of these social scenes where someone (women mostly, but it could be a man)  is scapegoated (if it were a prison and he were gay among heterosexual men), or the woman is persuaded to accept assault as this is what is done.

I am just now following a course on Future Learn about violence against women and hope to report back what I learn. Imagine that: these men have fun by inflicting trauma on women because they can. Like some people enjoy kicking dogs or cats:  both intensely sensitive creatures who can't get back.

I can do twitter too: #Kavanaugh [Content]: A lying vile creep. Phantom-goblin conjured up by Trump except he's real & common & given power & (mark my words) will get back.
[Full stop ends it] She tweeted.

See my blog on blog style: The Recap Genre or Commentary w/o Pity.

Miss Drake
Tags: #kavanaugh, real family life, romance, women's films, women's poetry

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