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  •  *Salute* (4+ / 0-)

    I'm so sorry for what you went through, but glad you put yourself on the line for others.  That's a finer display of military mettle than just about anything I've seen in my decade of service.  Your sisters (by which I mean women in general) should be proud of you.

    One thing you wrote triggered a memory, though I can't remember where I read it:

    Some of them are probably getting off on that notion though.
    The subject of the piece was female genital mutilation, and was a first person account from a girl of twelve or so undergoing the process.  At one point, she catches a glimpse of her mother standing in the background and tries to describe her expression.  I may be paraphrasing, but it was something to the effect of, "Mother wanted daughter to be just as diminished as she was."  I think Nietzsche also mentioned this phenomenon when he wrote about ressentiment; basically, the hatred of the weak for the strong.  In this case, the women who support policies like this have likely been either abused, shamed or otherwise coerced into accepting their subservient position, and one of the ways in which they can still live with themselves is to spend their energies trying to diminish the women around them in a similar fashion.

    If this is the case, the proper attitude towards them should be sympathy, and a deep sense of the wrong that has been done to them.  They are victims as well, though they lacked your strength and coped rather worse.  Of course, this outlook isn't very useful in terms of tactics; they still serve the the enemies of their gender, no matter by what pitiable road they arrived in that camp.

    Anyway, I'll stop before I start to ramble.  Thank you for a very powerful piece of writing.

    •  I didn't always cope well in the beginning (5+ / 0-)

      It took time to comprehend the buttons that had been planted within me with regards to this. A long long time.

      I agree, and pondered something similar in an earlier diary.

      I did not realize there was a word for that. Resentiment. And from Nietzsche no less.

      Many times I seen subjects such as this [because there are many] framed as "Paying your dues"--almost like an extreme form of hazing. But really it is an sad attempt to validate a broken system that does nothing but undermine the innate strength of women and men by perverting what should be pleasure with pain and ostracism and abuse.

      Life is hard enough, we don't need to make it any worse.

      And diminishment as you put it in your post is nothing short of soul theft which is just another kind of rape.

      •  Diminishment (5+ / 0-)

        On that subject, I posted this on another diary.  It seems appropriate to reuse it:

        In my own ever so humble opinion,
        any human who actually believes that our species can be anything but diminished when a full half of the population is prevented from reaching their full potential is frankly insane.  The challenges we will face over the next century or two are unprecedented in our long history on this planet, and an individual or group seeking to cripple the species by disempowering women must be viewed as a threat to our long term survival.  As well to cut off one leg before running a marathon and see how well you fare.
        Sort of an "ask not for whom the bell tolls" kind of thing, as we are all diminished when one of us is, and our future is that much poorer for it.  It still staggers me that there are people for whom this absurdity is not only normal, but absolutely essential in their twisted version of a well-ordered cosmos.
    •  I hope you're working on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lonely Texan, RonV

      expanding this comment into its own diary, ASAP.

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