When women buy into patriarchy

Note: I wrote this post on 28 June, and held off publishing to think about it. I still have not gotten some of the screenshots yet.

Self-defined feminists are still the minority of women, radical feminists make up an even smaller minority of that minority. We do not give men ‘the benefit of the doubt’ when something horrible or violent happens, because we are too aware of the widespread nature of male violence, particularly that directed at women and children (directed at other men, is out of our remit, but strengthens the case that male violence is society’s biggest problem).

We do not deny that sometimes, women commit horrible crimes, but they are so much in the minority—males committing over 95% of the world’s violence and murder. There is no way any thinking, rational, person could believe that females are ‘half the problem’ or that ‘women do it too’ is any kind of logical viewpoint. Particularly if you want to stop the world being a horrible,violent place—but sure, if your aim is to keep things as they are, deny the majority of the problem, and keep the status quo, then it is a logical viewpoint. Sick, but logical.

Male dominance (“patriarchy”) relies on vast numbers of the dominated class (females) buying into their own oppression. The brainwashing for this usually starts in girlhood (the grooming to ensure almost all females ‘become’ heterosexual and actively seek out marriage and motherhood), reinforced by the various media (films, news, tv, magazines). The concept of the ‘nuclear family’ is an incredibly important tool in keeping the majority of women under the supervision of the male head of household, and also breaks the bonds (isolates) women from each other. Women are conditioned into having loyalty to ‘their husband’ most of all, frequently at the expense of other women.

The ‘default’ position within a male dominated society, is to give males ‘the benefit of the doubt’, but always assume guilt towards females. Nowhere is this more true in rape cases, where consideration for the males’ (plural, given the prevalence of gang rapes, particularly school ones) “reputations” and how even bringing charges against him/them “could ruin his life”. The flipside to this excuse-making, is to accord as much blame as possible to the female victim/s. Excuses like “she flirted”, “she dressed like a slut”, “she should not have been drinking/out at night”. This has had some tragic consequences for victims, particularly young victims, and some have committed suicide after the ordeal of the trial.

How this post came about, was in reading (in a facebook group) about the death of a toddler left in a hot car to die. The alarm bells should have sounded for sane and rational people that the toddler was left in the vehicle (outside temperature of 32°C, inside vehicle over 50°C or more) for seven to eight hours.

Even with such a massive length of time, common knowledge to the general public that one does not leave animals or children in cars (and there are usually a lot of PSAs reminding people in Summer), a petition was started to have the charges dropped against the father of the child.

At least part of the petition said:

This is a horrible accident. The father loved his son immensely. Justin already has to live with a punishment worse than death.

Within less than a week, that petition got over 11,000 signatures of support to drop the charges. As a few more details were released, the petition was closed (and it seems that signatories were able to remove their support).

Over 11,000 people signed a petition calling for the murder charges against Justin Ross Harris to be dropped. Now, due to new evidence revealed against him, the petition has been closed.

Justin Ross Harris, 33, had over 11,000 supporters hoping to see the murder and child cruelty charges against him dropped. The supporters firmly believed the death of Cooper, Justin’s 22-month-old son, was an accident and felt he was being treated unfairly. However, new evidence suggesting that Justin may have intentionally left his son to die in the backseat of his vehicle was enough for his supporters to step down. […]

However, once the CCPD released more information regarding Cooper’s suspicious death, the Change.org petition was quickly and quietly shut down by it’s anonymous creator.

“This petition is closed due to the new information released in regards to this case,” wrote the anonymous creator. As of June 28, the petition only had 668 signatures — over 10,000 less than the 11,274 signatures that were present on June 25.

It is unclear when the petition was started, but reports suggest it has been online since at least Monday, June 23.

The death of Cooper Harris was Wednesday 18 June, charges were laid by the next day. The police department started receiving a lot of criticism for those charges. Police eventually revealed two pieces of vital information:

  1. On Harris’ work computer, a search or searches were found ‘how long does it take for an animal to die in a hot car’
  2. Harris had gone to his car at lunchtime to put something in the vehicle in either the driver or passenger side (conflicting reports as to which side)

A bit of a slamdunk for a (pre-meditated) murder charge, particularly as police reported to local news that the vehicle “smelled to high heavens like a dead body.” Other evidence that emerged was that Harris had taken his son for breakfast at a restaurant about ten minutes away from work; Harris drove away from work about a mile to a nearby shopping strip where witnesses reported Harris’ bizarre hot/cold dramatics and ‘discovery’ of the child in the car (remember it stunk). The autopsy has revealed that Cooper Harris died from hyperthermia, consistent with being left in the hot vehicle. It is bizarre that Harris would put on the performance in the car park insisting that the child had choked, when the child was in rigor when removed from the vehicle, so had died hours earlier, and was probably dead during Harris’ lunchtime visit to the vehicle.

Oddly in this case, there was no marital break-up or impending break-up (that we are aware of, which is a common feature in these cases). Leanna Harris, the child’s mother, has been advised not to speak to the media, and there has been no indication of her involvement either, in spite of some media speculation.

Even before the additional information released within the last week, the go-to default ‘public opinion’ was in full swing. The petition with over 11,000 signatures protesting that a ‘poor innocent man’ had been charged over a ‘tragic accident’ (sorry, but 7-8 hours is at least wilful negligence). Had this been the mother who had done the same, there would only be a petition along the lines of ‘burn the witch’ and ‘death penality is too good for her’. There would have been no forgiveness, no presumption of innocence, as there was with the father named. This phenomenon of men’s presumed innocence and women’s automatic guilt are two sides of the one coin, and the latter only exists because of the first.

Sadly, it is frequently a majority of women participating in this. A quick look at the remaining ‘supporters’ on that petition (the most recent few entries are confirming that the police are correct in charging Harris).

[SCREENSHOTS PETITION – have not gotten around to getting them yet!]

But it gets worse. With the results of the autopsy confirming the cause of death (and no prior cause of death with the car used as a cover-up), therefore no hint of the mother’s involvement at all, the woman-blaming continues anyway! “where was the mother?!” “I am sure the mother was involved somehow”. This is a pathological degree of misogyny, and as it comes from women, internalised misogyny. A sample from one thread below.

harris-comments-01  harris-comments-02  harris-comments-03  harris-comments-04  harris-comments-05  harris-comments-06  harris-comments-07

The analysis of the 31 comments of that thread: 15 mother/woman-blaming’; 11 neutral/approprately placed anger; 2 tagging other people; 2 rational; 1 male-excusing. Basically half of those comments were mother blaming or woman blaming, and all of those comments came from women.

Regular women, you need to get a clue, because there but for the grace of the-deity-of-your-choice, goes you. It could easily be you, blamed for something you had no control over, no responsibility for. What mother hasn’t left their child or children in the care of some relative, biological father, or father figure at some time? It is an unrealistic demand placed on women that they are to blame when leaving children in the care of another (deemed responsible) adult. I will guarantee that many of the women criticising this mother, have left their children in the care of ‘responsible adults’.

That is not to say I recommend leaving children, particularly young children, with male relatives (including the fathers and step-fathers) as many tragedies (and sexual assaults) do occur, sometimes in less than half an hour.

This all comes back to the male problem again, only a few males can be trusted with children, but you cannot tell which ones unless something has gone wrong (after the fact). And chances are, that the mother will receive ‘half or more’ of the blame for the actions of a male. It is not uncommon for women to go to prison for the crimes that men do, merely by association—their guilt or accomplice status being circumstantial at best, this includes drug dealing, stolen goods, etc, even when most or all of the evidence points to the male or males involved.

In western countries, the prison populations are roughly 90% male, 10% female. However, whereas a significant number of males are incarcerated for violent crimes, the opposite is true of female prisoners—most females are in prison for non-violent crimes, and many crimes that males are rarely incarcerated for. This is the result of mainstream society judging women far more harshly than men.

The default position of assuming woman-blame or mother-blame really has to stop. It is not only unfair, it is unrealistic in the majority of cases. It is totally unrealistic in a landscape where males commit over 95% of the world’s violence. Nor is it remotely like ‘equality’ when more venom is aimed at the very small number of women who are actually guilty, compared to men doing similar and worse crimes.

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25 thoughts on “When women buy into patriarchy

  1. I live in Atlanta, and Friday I noticed that the Atlanta Journal and Constitution’s (the area newspaper) mother-blaming headlines “Focus shifts to mother of Cobb toddler as investigation continues” had begun:
    http://www.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/focus-shifts-to-mother-of-cobb-toddler-as-investig/ngZCF/?__federated=1

    Okay, so let’s get this straight, dude leaves a kid in a bloody hot car, (I live here, it is hot and humid at 9 a.m. every day), so that he can predate upon women via sexting and it took just a matter of days, ten to be exact, to blame the mother? And you doubt if patriarchy is a ‘thing?’ You doubt if you might be affected? You would sign a petition to drop the pre-meditated murder charges for they predator? Really?

    Liked by 3 people

      • I had to re-read that article again, very troubling to say the least. I could pull it apart bit by bit, but will highlight two major things:

        1) Article starts with “Leanna Harris’ husband”, this is a deliberate attempt to subconsciously associate her name with the murder, and at the same time, make the actual perpetrator invisible. And this is totally the main theme of my post.

        2) This part is based solely on gender role stereotypes:
        What they’ve seen so far is stoicism that seems at odds with what has become a public tragedy. She has expressed little emotion throughout.

        The feminine gender role is to be emotional, in tears, uncontrolled. Yet many people (and people includes women!) when in the immediate aftermath of a huge family tragedy, will be in shock or denial, show little emotion, and be very stoic. That is usually because the situation is too overwhelming, too much emotion to process. That in no way implies guilt (which is what that article is doing “at odds with”, that is a disgusting piece of manipulation). It is really hard for anyone to fake emotion well (most people can tell, which is why in one article about Justin Harris, witnesses did report on his hot/cold, and obviously unconvincing, emotional performance). I have also seen many a guilty male try to fake emotion, like Gerard Baden-Clay when his wife was ‘missing’ – and who is now on trial for her murder.

        With regards to her child dying in a hot car as her greatest fear, IF this was an abusive marriage, it could be that Harris threatened he would do this to the boy. Abusers do that. As for her looking up that information on the internet, that could be manipulative reporting, if found on the home computer history, it could only be proven to be her if Harris was not there.

        Another common situation when a child is killed by the male parent, within the context of a domestic abuse situation, is to then charge the mother with ‘failing to protect the child’. This is ridiculous when she is also the victim of his violence.

        Liked by 7 people

  2. Thank you Davina for succinctly providing evidence that men must never ever be held accountable for crimes they commit against women and children. This male made the choice and enacted his agency to murder his biological son but as usual the mother is blamed because the father’s crime has to be excused/denied.

    Men rarely take responsibility/state they are accountable for their actions because women-blaming is readily accepted by other men and sadly innumerable women too.

    Women who believe men’s lies do so because they have been indoctrinated into mens’ fake (oops – real) view of their world.

    Male dominance means males are the only ones who can define what is and is not factual evidence and truth. This is 100% fool proof because no matter the reality of what men enact; they will always lie/justify/excuse or failing this resort to denying what happened. This is why innumerable women believe mens’ lies because male propaganda about women being innately more accountable than men and women being held accountable for men enacting their agency and choice starts from moment a female baby is born into our Male Supremacist women hating society.

    There is no symmetry between the crimes males commit and the crimes females commit but men continue to promote this lie as default truth. Why? Because it normalises pandemic male hatred/male contempt for women and ensures women view other women as the ‘enemy’ rather than men and their actions.

    Men lie and lie and lie and these lies continue to be accepted by innumerable women as ‘mens’ truths!’ This is why male propaganda against women is so effective because it maintains male dominance/male oppression over all women and children.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Hi Davina. About four years ago a man down the road from where I live killed his wife, mother in law and newborn baby. It made the national headlines. He was literally caught red handed.
    Online, people began debating online whether or not he was innocent. They were saying things like: “I think there’s more to it than meets the eye. It might have been the mother who killed the baby, then HE probably killed her in retaliation for that crime.”
    Nope. All evidence pointed to the fact that he had killed the baby. And his wife. And his mother in law.
    A man kills two people and a baby in cold blood and people walked to the ends of the earth trying to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Not too long ago a male who I grew up across the street from made the news briefly because he was convicted of raping a woman. I grew up watching how he fought and yelled at these women, whom were the mother of his [I do believe] 12 children…. There was also talk of him gang raping a young woman to death. When I found out it was him on the news, I looked up his case and sure enough, he had been charged with another sexual assault case and this current one, as well as other crimes.

      However, reading those comments made my stomach churn as these people sided with this monster in saying crap like “How tragic to have your life thrown away over false rape charges”. Yes, the handmaidens and MRAs were out in full swing, only feeling false sympathy for this “poor black man” because the evvvvviiil system and eevvviiilll women were/are trying to hold him down as a black man!

      The icing on the cake was when my own mother, the one who told the story of what he did to that underage woman, defended him!
      Later that night, all I could do was just cry hard over the fact that those poor women he had damaged got no justice and was silenced/forgotten and shunned. That they would be labeled as “ghetto hood rats just asking for it”. Or “young and promiscuous and therefore STILL asking for it” . Again, two things to excuse HIS behaviour and actions.

      Truly, women really need to start waking the heck up. They keep thinking that this can’t/won’t happen to them. That they’re somehow immune simply because they don’t fit those labels created for certain kinds of women.

      Also, thank you Davina for bringing this out.Because I’ve read too many comments always blaming women for something in articles. I remember at one point I would just click on that article just to see how bad the bashing was on that woman being reported on. The misogyny never failed.
      All I can do is hope that karma comes back with a vengance on these foul monsters.

      Liked by 5 people

      • “They keep thinking that this can’t/won’t happen to them. That they’re somehow immune simply because they don’t fit those labels created for certain kinds of women.”

        Very wise words. Females need to wake up as to how interchangeable AND disposable they are within male supremacy. And nope, sucking up to dudes won’t save you—sure you may be ‘lucky’ and escape the brunt of male violence and male sexual violence, but that is primarily luck more than anything else, and in the meantime, you sell out your more unfortunate sisters in order to afford yourself the ILLUSION of self-protection. Individualism, and incredibly selfish. And totally anti-feminist to its core.

        Liked by 5 people

  4. It’s an interesting point the way women condemn their own sex. But I am not convinced it is simply because they are brainwashed . What if it is innate? Female behaviour is peculiarly self-destructive and that also seems to extend in their nonsensical lack of support for their own group – other women . It would take sophisticated conditioning to make people consistently act against their own interests. Women seem to do it naturally, and it is odd.

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    • Simple answer – widespread Stockholm Syndrome. Maybe some denial thrown into the mix.
      It does not take ‘sophisticated conditioning’, just 24/7 around the clock propaganda. Disney films have a lot to answer for, in terms of early brainwashing.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Good answer. I noticed as a child quite a lot of the other girls had a self-defeating mind-set. I also noticed a lot of married women seemed to live with ongoing denigration from their husbands. So the girls are picking up from their mothers and internalising failure? Which would explain their rage against other women who have escaped .

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    • Prayerwarriorpsychicnot,
      Have you ever heard of the witch-craze? It was but one method that has been used in order to get women to comply. Who is to say that women are still not suffering the after-effects of that gynocide alone? It would be strange if we weren’t.
      The strongest, wizest and most independent women were targeted. All women’s role models would have disappeared. In one village in France, only two women remained, all the others having been killed off.

      So I would definitely not use the word “sophisticated” to describe what has been done, and continues to be done, to women. What *is* odd is that women continue to resist, and that feminism continues to take root generation upon generation, despite men’s best efforts to turn women into something that we are not: skivvies, breeders and fuckholes.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I think that is a fair interpretation of the witch-hunts. Getting rid of intelligent, resourceful, successful women, to keep the other slaves in line? Possibly also eugenics. Then there was foot-binding in a China, and child-slave marriage practiced in many cultures and continues today. Working class women until quite recently were treated little better than slaves and viewed as fair game for sexual opportunists and pimps. If men were treated like this they would notice they were being treated as slaves and start to fight back. Men are less undermining to other men. “female psychology” seems to make women compete with other women rather than band together. A member of an oppressed group either hangs together or hangs separately. Economic oppression/poverty has done most to keep “women in their place”. Are women sabotaged by their desire for children? The last thing an oppressed/poor person needs is taking on care of a child, to keep them poor and to be a hostage for compliance. ?

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      • No I think the witch hunts were driven by pure misogyny rather than being a calculated, well thought out tactic of picking off certain women as a political measure.
        At least that’s the feeling you get when you read the frantic, senile, raving, loony laws that had been created by men around that time concerning women.Who knows if men really believed that women were hexing cows and creating nests out of penises, as the laws they had written claimed.

        But the most resourceful women would have inadvertantly been targeted, not because they were strong per se, but because they probably didn’t have a male “guardian” to vouch for their goings on. Women need to be surveilled at all times under patriarchy, and when a woman is not being surveilled, society (men) get nervous at what she might be up getting up to. A woman very dependant on men would have had no privacy at all (pretty much like you see with women today, especially married women) and there would have been less “grounds” to execute her.

        The off-shoot of the witchcraze, of course, was terror in women for generations to come, until the present day.

        Prayerwarriropsychicnot, I think you’re underestimating how far-reaching women’s oppression is ,and how our every move is still today, judged in minute detail. Women don’t want to see another woman step out of line because it evoke the witch-craze. It evokes terror, and horror.

        And I’m being quite Euro/Anglo-centric here but having lived in an Asian country for nine years now, I look around at the women sometimes and wonder to myself what has happened to them. They are frightened. There was no witch-craze, foot-binding or FGM in this place that I live in but you can tell that *something* has happened to keep them in line.

        Liked by 5 people

      • Many great points CBL (and welcome back from your hiatus, I have been on one too, it’s good to take breaks).

        It is certainly something to consider, whether there has been wisewoman-whisperings down through the generations. I do recall from the past the whisperings from older women to be wary of men, today’s young women rarely listen to older women in the same way (again, a deliberate strategy of patriarchy to isolate generations of women from each other). But also, domestic violence prevalence, the fairly constant threat of rape, etc, serve as day-to-day reminders of what males are capable of, if a woman/girl “steps out of line”. Not all girls get the memo on male violence, they fall for the propaganda that females can ‘trust men’, and I think it may be these overly trusting young women that fall victim to femicide in many cases. I am not implying it is the victims’ fault, merely they did not know the situation they were getting into.

        Prayerwarriorpsychicnot, I think you need to learn about ‘adaptive (survival) strategies’, divide-on-conquer as well as Stockholm Syndrome. I took exception to your comment of “What if it is innate? Female behaviour is peculiarly self-destructive and that also seems to extend in their nonsensical lack of support for their own group – other women.” Overall, I don’t think women are that stupid, and can be down to either denial, or (misguided) group preservation insticts, eg “don’t do things to anger him/them”.

        Liked by 4 people

      • In relation to something else, I came across this writing by Marilyn Frye, and I think it very relevant to the discussion in this sub-thread:

        The mundane experience of the oppressed provides another clue. One of the most characteristic and ubiquitous features of the world as experienced by oppressed people is the double bind – situations in which options are reduced to a very few and all of them expose one to penalty, censure or deprivation. For example, it is often a requirement upon oppressed people that we smile and be cheerful. If we comply, we signal our docility and our acquiescence in our situation. We need not, then, be taken note of. We acquiesce in being made invisible, in our occupying no space. We participate in our own erasure. On the other hand, anything but the sunniest countenance exposes us to being perceived as mean, bitter, angry or dangerous. This means, at the least, that we may be found “difficult” or unpleasant to work with, which is enough to cost one one’s livelihood; at worst, being seen as mean, bitter, angry or dangerous has been known to result in rape, arrest, beating, and murder. One can only choose to risk one’s preferred form and rate of annihilation.

        http://people.terry.uga.edu/dawndba/4500Oppression.html

        Liked by 4 people

      • Exactly Davina. Women and girls are constantly told by *random* *men* *on* *the* *street* to “Hey, smile, it might never happen” if we accidentally lapse for a moment. This is how carefully, and constantly, our behavior is policed.

        Forget about asking for basic human rights! We are nowhere near that point yet if we can’t even make a tiny change to our wardrobe without drawing harrassment. Looking disorganized or dishevelled is really bad news for women under patriarchy so we have to be in tip top condition, every single day.
        It reminds me of this post by FCM called “Underpants Revolution”
        http://factcheckme.wordpress.com/2011/12/24/underpants-revolution/

        Liked by 3 people

  5. This story made me sick when I saw it. You have to be an especially vile character to murder your child in such a fashion, so that they slowly suffer in the sweltering summer heat. Very cruel. And yes, of course, somehow this is now the mother’s fault. Crappy Father’s Rights groups always claim it’s the evil single mothers & their boyfriends who do stuff like this…as if biological fathers are some sort of demi-gods and incapable of abuse. But here is the coveted, super-special two parent family…the conservative ideal…proven to be just as potentially dangerous as any other living arrangement. But nevermind what Bad Dad did…let’s blame the nearest woman for not being a single mother and trusting the father to care for his own son. This is a very good example of how, living under The P, women are screwed no matter what we do. The mother is a “good girl” (by patriarchal definition); she’s a white, heterosexual, middle-class, married mother…but all of those things can’t save her from the misplaced anger & suspicion of a misogynistic society that blames it’s least privileged citizens for the crimes committed by it’s most privileged.

    Liked by 4 people

    • There is a lot of women like that in the atheist community. I find the atheist community deeply disturbing and full of at best liberal faux feminism but most times simply pure unbridled misogyny. The Amazing Atheist is a good example of everything wrong with this nonmovement. Really it is too vague to even be a movement, which various idiots accuse of us of (wrongly) because they are ignorant. The “Amazing” Atheist has a whole playlist of videos strawmaning feminism. They love to blame every social problem on religion instead of blaming men. Sure the Abrahamic religions have been extremely damaging to the world but this rhetoric completely erases the many pagan religions we know little about from history. Not all people that believe in deities are even religious. Atheists are often guilty of the Appeal to Ridicule fallacy, saying believing in a god is like believing in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy etc and that they are “imaginary friends in the sky”. When if they would look at the science they claim to care about they would realize the immense emotional benefit of believing in a god when we are all faced with not knowing when we will die and the fear our consciousness will simply disappear. It is extra scary for women because most of us never got to live a decent life. Jaclyn Glenn is an atheist who makes anti-feminist videos.

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  6. An early report I saw had the mother saying she was not mad at the father it was an accident. And I thought what’s up you are not mad at someone who could forget that their child was in the car? So perhaps she was an abused woman not daring to say anything against him. She may also be one of those women who will never blame men. I am a long time radical feminist and agree with this article but flags went up for me when she said she was not angry at him. If I lost my child I would raging mad. No doubt we may learn more about this situation. THis man is filthy piece of crap not worth the time and energy his mother put in to keep him alive./

    Liked by 3 people

    • Welcome Peggy, always good to meet more radfems!

      Yes, that would be my go-to, an abused woman suffering ptsd—and her emotions have already shut down before this, so seemingly unusual emotional responses come forth. Also, if she had looked up that search on the internet (out of genuine concern for safety) and expressed to him how she feared this, it would be just like an abuser to use that method as ultimate torture. Not the first time abusive men have used children or pets to punish the victim.

      Personally though, I just hated the way the public jumped to “where was the mother in all this!” Which is so over the top as far as blaming goes.

      If a death like this had happened at home (in a dv household) the cops charge the abused woman with failing to protect a child. Ridiculous, when she is a victim too, and powerless to do anything.

      Liked by 4 people

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