Controlling Women

I’ve written earlier of controlling men and the violence that can become part of that behaviour, for women my contention is that violence is not often an option in their repertoire. This is not to say that women are not violent, I’ve witnessed enough women without any embarrassment beating their children in the street to suggest otherwise. Also I’ve been seen women beating each other and men in public and private, so my earlier piece can cover some of those behaviours, my contention here is that women use other forms of control.
The easiest to spot is the ‘Vaginal Wrench’ this is the use of sex or the withholding of it to gain control or favours of some kind. Mens part in this is to go along with the prevailing notion that sex is scarce and must be paid for in some way. Women are trained from early teenage years that ‘boys want only one thing and you don’t’ this reinforces for women that they must control sex. Controlling sex has been a major issue for feminism, initially the advances that contraception gave them to be equal players in the game of ‘free sex’ seemed inviting, and then as their power imbalances did not alter they returned to older styles of thinking. They may have called this ‘owning our bodies’ the ‘right to orgasm’ but these to me are old ideas painted as new, women have always controlled when sex took place, how it took place and how often. I can hear the plaint: but what of those women who never had a pleasurable sex life?
What of them? Women have always known that sex is and can be pleasurable, history, whether fact or fiction reminds us there have always been ‘Brazen’ or ‘loose’ women. These terms I understand to mean women who enjoy sex. To build a philosophy based upon the meanness of spirit of the few is what some controlling women have done: ‘it is our burden to bear men the pleasure of sex, therefore they must pay for their pleasures’ Though the gain may not be sexually pleasurable, the gain in economic or political terms is immense, victims always exact compensation…
Women control sex, they demand that men know the difference between a cuddle and a prelude to sex without having to articulate their own needs. This is a perennial complaint from men I meet, “women will not articulate their needs. What happens instead is a mummers play of trying to get something right without quite knowing what the something is…”
I recognise here immediately a game in action, if true intimacy is taking place then ‘anything and everything’ can and will be articulated. True intimacy is not like pop songs; depth in relationship stems from loving the other, as they are, not how we would want them to be. Intimacy dispels fear, control creates fears. Games.
The next easiest control behaviour to spot is nagging; the nag holds a comfort spot in my understanding of control. Comfortable, we all know that the nag has our interests at heart, knows what is best, the cosy comfortable nag. Supposedly the nag at least is upfront about what they want, the changes needed to make them happy. But are they? The nag delivers two messages, the upfront: do this, do that, you know you must do the right thing. However underlying this is the more important message: you are not right. This hidden is the more important message; you are not right, you cannot make me
happy. As such this is a controlling power game played to the third degree: you are not right. If the recipient does not wake up to the underlying message, years of mutual misery can occur. True happiness lies within us is not dependent upon others. If men must learn to accept responsibility for their
controlling violence and that others cannot make them happy then women too must accept this responsibility: others cannot make them happy.
This last message is not only property of the nag. Controlling behaviour always has messages of; you are not right, you must work harder to make me happy. Otherwise there would be no need to control.
Women learn these behaviours initially from ‘Mum’ or persons acting in to this role. Of course parents must teach us what is right and wrong, however to do this without giving meanings to children that they are wrong or bad is the real trick to good parenting. One unfortunately few manage.
Initially this behaviour begins relatively innocuously, ” I prefer you in….” and eventually can become “He never knows what to buy/wear” I use this general example only to demonstrate the shift from helping behaviour into Controlling behaviour; the recipient is not right, the speaker holds the power of authority in deciding the truth of situations. The first statement is about the speaker, the second tells you how ‘not right’ the other is.
My specific example of this, one morning I woke feeling fed up, down. (I was dealing with a lot of stressful situations at the time) I breakfasted, washed and went off to meet a friend. We spoke, I told her of feeling of my feeling fed up etc. at the end she said ” Go home, Shave, Have a bath” I left feeling that this exchange somehow wasn’t right. It wasn’t until much later that I made the connection, I was being told that it wasn’t o.k. for me to look or be fed up around her, I must shave, be perfect (right) for her, though she was supposed to be a friend, I could only be o.k. on her terms…
These situations can be so seductively subtle. The nag, the ‘vaginal wrencher’ have nothing on these controllers, their art is in having their needs met without actually asking for them specifically. And therein lies their terrifying beauty, by not being specific; their victims cannot ever meet their controllers needs. The game continues on forever until this deadly game gets broken. I hear men talk of ‘ball busters’ ‘bitches’ and not being able to articulate any further what this means to them. This inarticulacy stems from their not learning to articulate their own needs but from having learned to meet and articulate the needs of another. I notice too that women do not feel any need to research this area of women’s control, yet seem able to pronounce upon men’s controlling behaviour (and inarticulacy of emotions!) I offer this not to divide us further as men and women but to open up the debate, Controlling behaviour is exactly what it says it is, whether violence, nagging, vaginal wrenching or the view that others are ‘not right’ all of these behaviours are designed to bring others under control. The only way to end the game is intimacy, the end of fear and moving into acceptance of others as they are.


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