Freeing Women: Deprogramming and Reprogramming as First Steps
I decided last year that I had to transition. From Male-Focused to Female-Focused. I mean, a lot of women know that men harm them fundamentally and relentlessly on a daily/constant basis. But knowing is not the same as committing to doing something about it. Commitment is fucking hard, especially one that requires that you deconstruct an identity formed through years and years of 24/7 programming that goes against your nature, and to create a new one that has no model to which you can look for guidance or upon which to build.
Becoming a ‘natural woman’, by which I mean ‘free woman’, is uncharted territory, or perhaps undocumented territory is the better term, given how thoroughly men erase any evidence of women’s progress and even their basic existence beyond the second dimension. There are just so few amazing role models for women seeking to free themselves. Those few that exist are so thoroughly punished, excoriated, eviscerated by men, patriarchy, and frightened, brainwashed, penis-identified women, that you wonder whether it is even worth it to try even conservative emulation.
But you have to do it. You open your can of whoop ass, and you realize there is no going back. The price of self-immolation is too high. You start to see all of these things about yourself – evidence of your brainwashing – and you know you can’t continue. You realize even the ‘nice guys’ you have in your life aren’t really that nice. They, too, use you, and will turn on you the moment you fail to fall in line. You realize that despite your independent spirit, you do all the things you hate about male-identified women’s behaviour.
You realize that deprogramming is going to be much harder than just making realizations. It will take time and effort and repetition. But realizations, acceptance and commitment to change are the first steps. Negative automatic behaviours – we’ll call them acts of femininity compliance – must be noticed, stopped mid-action, and then replaced with positive, new programming. And yes, it is new programming until you can successfully remove detrimental behaviours, free yourself, and then have options for how you deal with the world.
Given that I have a weird, very isolated, and highly unhealthy life in China, my first real opportunity to test out the 1) noticing, 2) interrupting, and 3) replacing methodology for freeing myself, was my recent trip to the US. Just being in a more social, human-interaction-oriented country offered so many more opportunities for me to test out behaviour in a variety of situations. I’ve probably inadvertently provided examples of pro-feminist behaviour in some of my previous posts. This one is a good example. In a previous life, I almost certainly would have engaged more with the male narcissist. I might have listened to him, provided him his energy supply at my great expense (especially as an introvert with limited people-oriented energy stores). But using my methodology, I (a) recognized the role he wanted me to play, (b) stopped my automatic, compliant behaviour, and (c) reprogrammed my response to benefit me instead of him. And he didn’t like it. And that, primarily, demonstrated the success and promise of my endeavour, and now I need to repeat, repeat, repeat, until it becomes my natural response to male narcissistic demands for my attention and energy.
There were other examples, some small (but still important), and others that were really significant. An example of the latter came in the form of dealing with two long-standing relationships with men. I wrote about one of them a few times, including here and here. And there was a second one whom I consented to meet with before I left, that I don’t want to write about because it is very personal and very difficult. But the essence of both situations is this: I had kept two males in my life for a long time. I put up with and explained away their misogynist treatment for years since they were Liberal Nice Guys™ instead of blatant, raging MRAs. And they caused me frequent pain, which I suppressed in order to maintain the relationships. Well, these recent interactions went differently, even though they were incredibly difficult. I (a) recognized the roles they expected me to play / what they wanted to take from me, (b) stopped my automatic, compliant behaviour, and (c) reprogrammed my response to benefit me instead of them. My interactions with these types of guys had previously been part of cycles of abuse. They hurt me, I spend an enormous amount of time explaining my feelings, my hurt, etc. The don’t quite apologize, but do just enough to placate me, and then shit goes back to the way it was only to build up to another abusive event. I stopped that. I didn’t explain myself. I acted. I walked away. I gave them what they gave me – the bare minimum – instead of what they wanted/needed. And although it hurts now, I know I did the right thing, and I have begun building a model of behaviour that I can rely upon if forced to enter relationships with men in the future. It is impossible to avoid them completely in this world, after all. And with respect to one or both of these dudes described above, I unfortunately need to keep them in the periphery of my life, at least for now. But I don’t need to maintain the abusive cycle of the relationship anymore.
To sort of wrap this up, I’ll say the following. If you can find a female partner/friend (or group) in this endeavour, I highly recommend it. Being able to review what you’ve done/learned with someone, having someone support you and comment and make suggestions, and getting positive reinforcement for your successes (because sometimes they feel like pain rather than success and you wonder if you did the wrong thing) is so very important. Many women don’t have this, and they must navigate their struggle on their own. Support is invaluable. But if you don’t have it now, you shouldn’t stop yourself from heading down the road to healing and rebuilding.
Posted on February 8, 2016, in Feminism, Male Privilege and tagged behaviour, brainwashing, conditioning, misogyny, patriarchy, psychology, radical feminism, reprogramming. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Freeing Women: Deprogramming and Reprogramming as First Steps.