Tuesday, June 18, 2013


I've been a little busy and preoccupied. New town, new job, new school for my daughter...it can absorb your free time (not to mention acclimating a 3 year old to a new environment is not for the weak of heart...or those sensitive to sleep deprivation).

That said I have continued to observe, reflect and ruminate on the relationship between nice girls and Not So Nice's. There's a term called co-dependency that needs to be better understood. Not only in its manifestation of pain for the codependent, but also in its origins. I particularly like the definition proffered by Robert Subby as,
"an emotional, psychological, and behavioral condition that develops as a result of the individual's prolonged exposure to, and practice of, a set of oppressive rules--rules which prevent the open expression of feeling as well as the direct discussion of personal and interpersonal problems."
What is important in this definition is that it strikes at the genesis of codependency. Look, I am not going to argue that Nice Gals don't sometimes become the bitches their tormentors proclaim them to be...but they get there as a result of having their tender feelings of love and nurture abused and violated. The oppressive set of rules is what started this damned roller coaster, and that is why the stigma about codependency needs to end. No one starts out codependent. They are trained to be so and become so only after their survival instincts respond to abuse.

And I get that abusers can become abusers after being abused. It definitely happens. But it's not always abuse that predicates abuse. Sometimes it is thwarted privilege that is experienced by the NSN as a abuse that spurs abuse. There is a difference, and while the result may look the same the distinction is important. Here's a great quote from most righteous commenter Humanbein on Twisty's blog that describes so well what I mean:
The hateful idea that women have so much power over men is especially embraced by all the best Nigels and Nice Guys. The corollary idea is that women make the rules in relationships. It leads to the triumph of male logic, that women really rule the world, are indeed the true power behind the throne of man dominant, the hand that rocks the cradle and on and on until we’re all vomiting from the fatuous self serving patronizing asshattery of it all.
The reason men feel this way is a deliciously passive aggressive piece of evilness more subtle than some might be able to detect. It is what I like to call the overreaction to privilege thwarted.
What any man will identify and define as a woman being in charge, or empowered, will, upon feminist examination, reveal itself to be some male privilege challenged. The feminist who wishes to be free from being raped translates in a man’s mind as stuck up bitches who refuse to spread their legs whenever a porn-addled mind finds itself in a frenzy of overstimulated desire. The mere idea that a woman is unavailable to a man for use as he sees fit is a power that women have over men to them, but is actually a male privilege – the right to rape whomever he sees fit – thwarted.
Yes, I agree. They justify their odious behavior because your time, energy and body are THEIRS GODDAMNIT and to the extent you express any agency over these basic human rights you are labelled as having comitted an act of aggression justifying retribution of a violent nature. And since all Nice Gals have been thoroughly trained in empathy and non aggression we recoil at such an accusation and commence to the soothing that perpetuates the codependency and abuse.

But go ahead and blame her. Blame her for being simultaneously too strong and too weak. Because that's fair. No catch-22 in that at all. Asshole.

Incidentally this whole Nigella Lawson being strangled by her husband during a conflict has had me in flashbacks and nightmares about that awful dungheap Hee Haw. This image basically encapsulates our communication. Nighty night.

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