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This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

"Evil is a source of moral intelligence in the sense that we need to learn from our shadow, from our dark side, in order to be good."
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This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

Postby Spiritwind » Mon Apr 17, 2017 6:20 pm

I have questioned for a long time now how things got so out of balance. And it's not just the denigration of women. Children, elderly, and even all that nurtures has been under attack for some long time now, and that includes the nurturing abilities of men. Men have been just as affected by this imbalance, so healing is needed on all levels. But, this article is a start to something which I want to look at from many sides. When I realized that the prevalence of rape during times of war, by both sides, is more than just aggression towards women. It demoralizes the men just as much and is done in part to drive home ones powerlessness over ones oppressors. Men, especially in the role of protector of the family gets destroyed in these situations. I'm all about taking the healing journey, and it seems the concept of the family unit itself is in danger.

This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

http://www.feministcurrent.com/2016/10/ ... ndmothers/
Once, there were witches. No. There were never witches. Not in the way men said, anyway.

Once, there were many Indigenous polytheist and animist faith traditions in what is now Western Europe. Their customs supported varying levels of respect and authority for women. They had holy women, woman healers, and woman leaders.

Once, there was a church that was a kingdom, built on the body of the Roman Empire, which itself was built on the abduction and rape of the Sabine women. This church was a principality in truth, ruled by princes who had a lust for land and gold that was almost as insatiable as their burning hatred for women.

They converted heads of state and demanded tithes of members, while leaving most local governance alone. They created a very early, very ephemeral transnational empire that required little in the way of personnel or men under arms, and was mainly concerned with governing what’s often classed as the private sphere.

Eventually, the church’s client states had a problem keeping their peasants in line, because the church and the aristocracy wanted to steal all the land and privatize it for themselves through enclosure of the commons.

As Sylvia Federici explains in her book, Caliban and the Witch, secular authorities eventually hit on the popular strategy of giving everything that women had to men, including the women themselves. Civil servants didn’t forget to account for the economic value of women’s work; rather, it was explicitly written out of economic accounting — declared to have no value during the enclosure era. Male tradesmen coordinated boycotts of female competitors and of men who worked with them. Women who persisted in trying to engage in public trades were harassed, called “whores” or “witches,” or were even assaulted without repercussion.

Eventually, to be a woman in public alone was very nearly synonymous with being presumed a witch or prostituted woman. Violence against women was both normalized and sexualized. Women were increasingly driven into prostitution if no man supported them or if they were pushed outside of polite society through accusations of misbehavior, unsanctioned relationships, or sexual abuse. In the sex trade, upstanding men in their communities could torture these women at will, their victims the only party subject to legal sanction.

In order to do their part in solving the problem of the revolting peasantry and acquire their own share of the former commons, the church stepped up to bless this destruction of women’s rights and independence with the seal of divine approval. Their priests invented witches. That is, they invented women who worshipped and had sex with the Devil, who then gave them ludicrous powers — what feminist historian Max Dashu calls “diabolism.” The church further asserted that everything that wasn’t approved as Christian was diabolism.

Again, there weren’t any witches as the church defined them. The pornographic, diabolist image described in the Malleus Maleficarum didn’t refer to any existing persons. For the most part, it didn’t even refer to things that are possible, in spite of the fact that some Indigenous spiritual and women’s health practices were included as evidence of witchcraft.

“Witches” were just women. That’s what men meant, in their own words.

“All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman… What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil nature, painted with fair colours… When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil… Women are by nature instruments of Satan — they are by nature carnal, a structural defect rooted in the original creation.” – Malleus Maleficarum

Diabolism was so broadly defined that any female rejection of male authority was potential evidence of witchcraft. Any woman could be a witch. Any look or word that offended a man, any angry speech, any unnecessary fraternization with other women, any sexual activity outside church-approved relations — all could trigger a charge of witchcraft.

Accusations could also be levied for material gain, as the church or state could then seize the property of the accused or charge them ruinous fines for a chance at freedom. Jews and Muslims were targeted as well, fitting the expansive view of diabolism as synonymous with being non-Christian, conveniently enriching the prosecuting authorities.

It became a major public project to humiliate and subjugate women, or to get women and girls to testify against their accused mothers and then stand at the front as they were executed.

Women could also be made to wear scold’s bridles, or branks, in public for speaking out of turn to any man, including their husbands, or for simply being poor and too old to work. The injuries sometimes sustained while they were paraded through the streets would have been life-threatening in the days before modern medicine and antibiotics.

When chattel slavery was instituted in the colonies, the brank was used as a method of breaking the will of slaves. It had worked so well with the women back in the old country, after all. Throughout the colonies, subjugated peoples were controlled after the initial conquest in ways that strongly echoed the patterns of dominance European men had been trained to enact towards their female peers.

Again, every woman was maybe a disobedient witch who might displease her Lord or master. Every woman needed strict control to keep her in line and loyal in allegiance to men. The fact that the last two sentences are both true and sound like purple prose from a BDSM story should indicate that these attitudes remain with us. Eventually, European men no longer needed to burn their women alive or subject them to public torture in order to get them to cooperate, to be quieter, or to consent to play along willingly, even eagerly, in their own submission.

“Sadomasochism is an institutionalized celebration of dominant/subordinate relationships. And, it prepares us either to accept subordination or to enforce dominance. Even in play, to affirm that the exertion of power over powerlessness is erotic, is empowering, is to set the emotional and social stage for the continuation of that relationship, politically, socially, and economically. Sadomasochism feeds the belief that domination is inevitable and legitimately enjoyable.” – Audre Lorde

When men are put under constant surveillance, restricted in their speech, dehumanized, otherized as dirty and innately evil, or subject to torture or murder on the barest pretexts, all in hopes of a societal rebirth from the decadence of carnal softness, they call it fascism.

When women have to teach their daughters to conform to that sort of oppression, generation after generation, without any other hope of survival, men call it the natural order.

People seem to think that it was so long ago, it could hardly matter. Or that it only affected witches, whoever they were, and they sound like awful, terrible women, anyway, didn’t they.

The important thing to realize is that “witches” were just women that men were either jealous of, felt threatened by, or didn’t like. In practice, those were the triggering conditions for getting tried as a witch. More simply, witches were just women. Potentially all women.

To survive, women under the Inquisition submitted to isolating themselves away from the friendships of other women, and learned to be very good at making men like them. They taught their daughters to do the same.

For hundreds of years, any woman could be taken away to jail to be tortured and sexually assaulted. Any women could be pornographically tortured in public before her execution, in front of her family if she had any.

Why didn’t she speak up? That’s why. Why didn’t she stand up for other women? That’s why. European men ritually abused women for expressing any social solidarity with each other, or independence for themselves, for generations.

Men forced women to testify against other women, even their own mothers, to live. Yet they still mock women as jealous and spiteful of each other, still joke about “cat fights.”

The destruction of women’s history of community leadership, economic independence, and support for each other wasn’t so complete that there was no evidence remaining. But the living cultural practice of female solidarity was so utterly destroyed that it’s still newsworthy for us to talk about supporting each other.

Long after they stopped burning us alive in public, women could still be removed from public life to asylums, or subjected to torture, for displeasing men or showing too much independence. They could be abused for being pregnant or an unmarried mother.

When domestic violence wasn’t a crime, that meant it was still legal for a man to torture his wife in the privacy of their home if she displeased him. Or for no reason at all. The state considered it a matter of public health and safety to prosecute assaults, except of a man against his wife, which was legal. Marital rape wasn’t a crime in all 50 U.S. states until 1993. And given that barely one per cent of rapists ever see a day in jail in even the most supposedly egalitarian countries, that form of male torture against women is still effectively legal, also.

Individual men sometimes go to great lengths to plan to commit abuses against women and children, and this is often written off as inevitable misfortune. Other men often cover up for them out of a sense that they should give the male perpetrator the benefit of the doubt — an attitude which even police seem to extend to accused men, but often lack for female victims, empathy for women having been burned right out of our social norms. Male coverups and victim blaming is how individual misdeeds are transformed into what Andrea Dworkin called the barricade of sexual terrorism.

There are women still alive today who were simply disappeared from their communities for unsanctioned sexual activity. Maybe they became pregnant “out of wedlock,” outside the control of a husband, whether by choice or rape, and their children were taken from them. They were the girls who went away, either to give a child up for coerced adoption or to be committed to psychiatric hospitals and possibly treated with electroshock.

If you make the men angry, you can just disappear. That’s been true for a very long time. So many men still act in expectation of the instant obedience such fear can command, that the tragedy continues.

These forms of abuse were exported to colonized states, and having started as a political persecution of women for economic gain, they metastasized into a political persecution and style of conquest employed against non-Christian peoples across the world.

The theft of children from Indigenous populations by settler states, alone, is an ongoing rights violation that differs more in scale than in kind from the historical thefts of children from “wayward” white women. It’s a logical consequence of societies operating under the cumulative presumption that only (white) men really have any rights to children; damn the mother, damn the child themselves, damn the forcibly “feminized” masses of the brutally subjugated.

The Inquisition certainly didn’t invent patriarchy, torture, or reigns of public terror designed to break the will of a conquered people. Yet it did set in motion a powerful set of social norms that remain with us. And even though the world has changed so much that the Catholic Church has apologized for persecuting heretics, such apologies are rare among the other churches and governments that murdered people on allegations of diabolism.

Women continue to be driven out of employment by male harassment, publicly vilified in sex-specific ways, tortured for entertainment in the sex industry, and killed for displeasing men.

As then, as ever, these injuries add up to degradation and disadvantage. Though they feel very personal when we are subject to them, the men who benefit from driving us out of public competition for power and resources don’t really care who we are. If another woman was in our place, they’d do it to her.

It’s the result of a centuries long, deliberate political project of destroying women’s will, power, and independence. That power and independence won’t be restored without similarly deliberate political resistance. Because, as Lierre Keith says, oppression is not a misunderstanding.

This is how they made her a political prisoner in her own home. This was how they broke her. Remember.

Natasha Chart is an online organizer and feminist living in the United States.
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Re: This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

Postby Naga_Fireball » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:57 pm

Extremely luminous & timely find, Spiritwind.
It explains a lot about the place I am living, actually.

They are indeed afraid of who we are and what we can do. Not that sexual abusers need a reason, but they do feel a need to make others powerless.

Diabolism is a pretty wide sweeping charge, too; people are really scared of anything "devil" related (thanks to conditioning), even if the person in question only consults the spirits informally when data is needed.
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

Postby Sandy Clark » Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:00 am

I am not really a feminist but lately I've been thinking about an abolishionist (if that is even a word) :-) I have a heart and do acknlowledge the conditioning of men as well as of women ...however in saying that something has to change!! No more rational or excuses for the way things are on Mother Earth. We need to evolve.

Women do speak up for one another these days ...not all, but many and maybe it is time to abolish men from our lives until they can change their behavior and or affect change with those they may have to challenge and alleinate themselves. It seems to me that the only way the masculine energy is going to give up the traits of aggression is for them to monitor themselves and re-establish acceptable behavior and boundaries, etc.

Women would do well too to do the same in establishing boundaries of acceptable behavior and alienate those who do not honour those behaviors and boundaries. Rejection and abandonment are powerful learning tools when used with tough and unconditional love. I can love an abuser but it does not mean I have to accept or hang out with one!!

In reality we need to see movement somewhere or the WARRING will continue and so will our de-evolution. :-(

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Re: This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

Postby Naga_Fireball » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:50 am

Hmm, wait, did you write that yourself? ?

Beautiful post, Spiritwind.
& Sandy, yes -- sadly it seems that may be necessary in some circumstances.

:(
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper

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Re: This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

Postby Spiritwind » Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:21 pm

The following article shows how large scale trauma experienced during times of war has been passed down for generations now. In a way, this is a form of mind control that goes far beyond the individual stories we hear about. It is a form a disempowering large swathes of humanity in insidious ways that can leave lasting effects. Which is one way of allowing an elite group to control the masses and get them to behave in ways that would otherwise have us all scratching our heads. When you ask yourself how did things get this way and why do we continue to sabotage ourselves in such far reaching ways. It's no different than asking a domestic violence victim why they don't leave. And then add in that it has become part of our subconscious terrain that has been passed down almost as far as we can trace ourselves back through time, it's no wonder we are where we are. The good news, to me anyway, is that conscious awareness of the problem itself leads to the solution. There is a way out...


How the trauma of life is passed down in SPERM, affecting the mental health of future generations

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... tions.html

The changes are so strong they can even influence a man's grandchildren
They make the offspring more prone to conditions like bipolar disorder

The children of people who have experienced extremely traumatic events are more likely to develop mental health problems. And new research shows this is because experiencing trauma leads to changes in the sperm.

These changes can cause a man’s children to develop bipolar disorder and are so strong they can even influence the man’s grandchildren. Psychologists have long known that traumatic experiences can induce behavioral disorders that are passed down from one generation to the next. However, they are only just beginning to understand how this happens. Researchers at the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich now think they have come one step closer to understanding how the effects of traumas can be passed down the generations.

The researchers found that short RNA molecules – molecules that perform a wide range of vital roles in the body - are made from DNA by enzymes that read specific sections of the DNA and use them as template to produce corresponding RNAs.
Other enzymes then trim these RNAs into mature forms.

Cells naturally contain a large number of different short RNA molecules called microRNAs. They have regulatory functions, such as controlling how many copies of a particular protein are made.

The researchers studied the number and kind of microRNAs expressed by adult mice exposed to traumatic conditions in early life and compared them with non-traumatised mice. They discovered that traumatic stress alters the amount of several microRNAs in the blood, brain and sperm – while some microRNAs were produced in excess, others were lower than in the corresponding tissues or cells of control animals.
These alterations resulted in misregulation of cellular processes normally controlled by these microRNAs.

After traumatic experiences, the mice behaved markedly differently - they partly lost their natural aversion to open spaces and bright light and showed symptoms of depression.

These behavioral symptoms were also transferred to the next generation via sperm, even though the offspring were not exposed to any traumatic stress themselves.
The metabolisms of the offspring of stressed mice were also impaired - their insulin and blood sugar levels were lower than in the offspring of non-traumatised parents.
‘We were able to demonstrate for the first time that traumatic experiences affect metabolism in the long-term and that these changes are hereditary,’ said Professor Isabelle Mansuy. ‘With the imbalance in microRNAs in sperm, we have discovered a key factor through which trauma can be passed on.’

However, certain questions remain open, such as how the dysregulation in short RNAs comes about. Professor Mansuy said: ‘Most likely, it is part of a chain of events that begins with the body producing too many stress hormones.’ Importantly, acquired traits other than those induced by trauma could also be inherited through similar mechanisms, the researcher suspects.
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Re: This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

Postby Eelco » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:50 am

It's not just how they broke our grandmothers.
It's about the breaking of humanity. And even though I have said and will say that I think it's time to regain some balance by being tipping the power to a matriarchal system for a "maybe long" while. Us men are as much a victim as you woman by all this.

I reckon it is as painful for a boy to see his mother burning as a which as it is for a girl, even though he is knowledgeable that such a fate will not be his, just his sister. I guess that's where the inquisition came in. For those pesky men who wouldn't subdue themselves to the church..

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Re: This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

Postby Sandy Clark » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:28 am

I couldn't agree more Eelco. However, it is my assessement that Men still have all the power and basically call all the shots when it comes to the management of Earth and Humankind. Short of women ostrasizing them, we have no real power to create a new paradigm.

There will be no lasting change unless brothers step up to the plate, set and stand by a new set of standards of behavior and ostrasize those men who do not, will not or can not change.

The challenge is great and like changing the world it can be done even if it begins with one individual at a time. I know a few men who confront other men and their inappropriate behavior to others and they are my hero's and like all things great we need more of the same IMHO.

Women who are not bought into the masculine energy will support any man doing this and stand sholder to sholder with him in affecting behavior change. :-)

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Re: This is how They Broke our Grandmothers

Postby Naga_Fireball » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:51 am

It is a dark and unjust world that puts a victim at the mercy of her abuser.

Slowly & surely, more reasonable people are overtaking the abusive patriarchy.

Nice men acknowledge the importance of the female figures in their lives. They don't undercut or undermine the worth of dedication.

The trouble with gangs & secret society types is that they subvert the energies native to a functional family unit, displacing healthy interaction with woefully abusive and one sided injustices.

There are plenty of men who are into abusing women and children whether or not they have help doing it, ie Gacy vs fraternity rapists, Gacy lured & killed young men, and the popular thing at frats is apparently gang rape..

This shit happens to men also.
Brotherhood falls asunder at the touch of fire!
He finds his fellow guilty of a skin
Not coloured like his own, and having power
To enforce the wrong, for such a worthy cause
Dooms and devotes him as his lawful prey.
~William Cowper


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