Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn
Don't want to pick nits, but phobia by definition can not be evil; "misandry" is evil as is any political ideology that is based on hatred and demonization of a demographic group.
(I think heterophobia/homophobia as terms don't trigger me as much as androphobia/gynophobia, because someone might legimitely have a severe fear of members of a given gender because of traumatic events in the past; I have a difficulty imagining a situation where a similar response might be caused by ... gay population
@BlackUnicorn: you have a gift for pushing my buttons. If I did not believe that God had brought us both into this thread for my healing I would be angry with you for the things you say.
I accept, experiencing fear is not evil, but what you do with it can be, and stirring up other people's fear certainly is.
Let me be clear: nobody has the right to use any fears as an excuse to hurt, hate, or deprive another person. If the fears are rooted in actual events they have the complete right of protection from the real perpetrator
, but not to project the perp's evil onto allegedly similar others. The temptation is understandable, but to collude with that temptation in another is wrong.
The ethical support that someone in that position needs is gentle loving support in the process of learning (or re-learning) that not everyone in group X behaves as did the perp. To collude with the fears (beyond the fear of the actual perp) is to hurt the person further, to keep them as victim rather than help them become a survivor.
@BU & everyone:
Let me explain where my strong feelings on the above come from, because this use of understandable fear as an excuse hooks right into the things I was saying before.
So does the nonsense of the RadFems preventing transfolk using the gender appropriate facilities for their transformed gender. Good grief, even the surgical removal of the relevant apparatus does not rescue a man from being called a rapist.
I was abused at age 11, just the once and outside the family and (as abuse goes) I was 'luckier' than many in that I could prevent it happening again: 'all' I needed to do was to give up a regular activity that I had enjoyed. That makes me enormously better off than the majority of victim/survivors. I never had, as many do, the continuous fear of wondering when/whether it would happen again.
I did not tell anyone till age 29. When I did start to get help on my feelings about the events, I realised that one thing I needed to work on, and in fact the absolute priority, was to make sure that I never did anything to hurt anyone else as a result of having been hurt myself. That meant two things: first, not to do to others what had been done to me (a temptation that many but not all abuse victims face), and secondly, not to cast blame for the abuse wider than the actual individual concerned (a temptation that I think all victims face). I was lucky to have counsellors who led me that way (to some extent) and who supported and applauded me when I pushed myself in that direction myself (to some extent).
In contrast, let me tell you about someone else in my life.
A history, which is not mine to share with you, but where it is understandable that she is wary of men, suffering from depression, anxiety, social phobias, panic attacks.
Just as the story starts she is pregnant with our child, a planned pregnancy. Both of us are broody, I have been for lnoger than she.
For whatever reason, she comes concerned that I might be harbouring inappropriate aspirations towards a specific ten year old child.
So where does she go for help? To people who believe that all that anxieties about men are always well founded. Who refuse to look at any evidence because they do not need to: the anxiety is evidence enough. So she is encouraged to run away to another country within the UK (ie a bit like crossing a state line in the US) to get away from me, and lives for 9 months in a refuge, where she gets more of the same kind of 'help'.
There have been investigations and investigations and three times the papers from the investigations have been reviewed by a judge: not one jot of evidence has come up that shows any grounds to support her concern about me.
We got close to a resolution in 2008, when her legal representatives apparently convinced her to ease up on her anxiety: I had had regular contact with my daughter but handovers had always been frought. On this one and only occasion, thanks in my mind to her legal people's influence on her, she was happy and relaxed,handover both before and after contact was pleasant and we hung on, enjoying our daughter together. She was 2yrs 4months at the time, and the new word she had just learnt was 'wet', so we heard this delighted voice say 'wet' when mum's can of coke fizzzzzed all over the two of them. I honestly thought the nightmare was over.
Mum and daughter got back on the bus, back to Scotland and the ongoing counselling ahem 'support' from Women's Aid, and by the next contact, only three weeks later, when I travelled to Scotland mum was back in a state of fear, anxiety, suspiscion and hostility. From that state it is understandable that she did what she could to disrupt contact, where only three weeks before it had been a joy to both of us.
Things went downhill over the next 12 months. I do not blame my ex at all, I blame those who have kept her in a state of androphobia because that fits in with their own androphobic beliefs about men. I kind of see where BU is coming from, it is not the androphobia itself that is evil, but the conscious choice to let it rule the lives of people they claim to be helping.
I last saw my daughter 23 months ago.
She is now five and a half: she has now lived 44% of her young life since she was last allowed to see me. I fear she will not remember me when I finally see her next, and can only hope when that might be.
The social workers accept that I have done none of the things I have been suspected of; but they will not let me see my daughter because her mum's phobic response "has to be respected". And, I say, it is a phobic response that probably is rooted in the behaviour of some other man/men in her past, but that has been deliberately fanned and exagerated by the mode of counselling she received, in contrast to the way I was encouraged to handle my past by my counsellors.
And I say, Women's Aid do an essential service when they physically remove women and children from actual abuse; but at the same time they do a huge amount of damage to their own clients when they use counselling that encourages and develops androphobia, rather than giving their clients support in setting rational boundaries around their fears. They do it because they too are androphobic: they do not set out to hurt their clients, but to protect them from the men they unconditionally and unthinkingly regard as rapists. They honestly believe that what they do helps.
But they hold themselves out to be experts, and for an expert to persistently to harm is evil.
This evil is more damaging now it appears in a counselling setting rather than a political one.
And once again, just as when I arrived at Uni, I find myself accused of being a rapist when I am not: indeed during my own transformation from victim to survivor I put a huge amount of effort into making absolutely sure I never would be.
And this time, its my daughter who is losing out, as well as me; and my adult son who was looking forward to being a kind of uncle figure to his half sister is losing out too. And worst of the lot, I suspect that mum is being encouraged to bring daughter up to become androphobic herself.
There is a reason the original political --phobia was called phobia and not some other greek ending. Homophobia, the oppression of homosexual people, almost always originates in fear of those people or fear of what they may do. The name is apt. The fact that the fear may be understandable (as in an 11 year old boy made to take part in a homosexual act) does not justify that person (me) as an adult taking part in Gay oppression. Not even slightly.
I really do not understand why so many people, men as well as women, make an exception in the case of androphobia.
@BlackUnicorn: I think you will now realise why your posts have pushed buttons for me. It is good that this has happened at a time when I am able to use the stimulus constructively. It hurts. It is the pain of healing, not the pain of further damage. Thank you.
I really hope anyone who has experience of 'healing' advice that includes the enhancement of fear or anger against a whole group of people will feel free to contact me by private message here, thanks.
And likewise anyone who finds themselves cut off from family due to unfair allegations.