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  1. That’s an interesting point, Jonathan. According to wikipedia, Stockholm syndrome, or:

    capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.

    I’d never thought of it that way before, but after some consideration it makes good sense to me. Why would some women or some minority members oppress other women or minorities? Because they’ve been given some benefits (or “a lack of abuse”) by the gender, ethnicity, or culture which oppresses them, such that they have positive feelings towards it and are trying to empathize with it. Consequently they’re not just defending it, they’re also trying to separate themselves from what they are — they’re not like those creepy, ungrateful, socially disruptive Others! “Divide and conquer” is a classic technique socially as well as militarily.

    Thinking about this further, I’d have to say — with some chagrin — that I’m guilty of this myself. As a very young woman, I felt men had all the power, and women were just whiny and communicatively sneaky and confusing. I didn’t want any female friends — just male friends. I wasn’t like those confusing, nasty women — I was one of the guys!

    It took several years of trying to be something I wasn’t for me to finally realize: the “guys” might treat me nicely when I behaved the way they wanted me to, but the minute I tried to be me instead of who they wanted me to be — if I stepped out of their party line even once! -then I was “just another untrustworthy backstabbing bitch.”

    Yyyeah… how ’bout no.

    So I guess the question becomes: how do we help these people get over their variant on Stockholm Syndrome? What worked for the hostages? Maybe that will help here as well — because what’s going on is definitely not healthy… for any of us.

  2. I want to say it’s some kind of Stockholm Syndrome but it has to be more than that, and I don’t know the psychological mechanisms of Stockholm to really be able to say that.

    I do wonder if it’s not another expression of kyriarchy. Look at Phyllis Schlafly’s atrocious and mean disdain for anyone working for equal rights (and the attacks she undertook against people working for the ERA.) See also the mind-numbing cognitive dissonance and hypocrisy exhibited by Beverly LeHaye of the ‘Concerned Women for America,’ which espouses traditional gender roles… which keeps Mrs. LeHaye in Washington DC and lobbying against womens ‘rights, and away from her (famous) husband whose home is in California. You can add in any religious woman who doesn’t contest the teachings of any patriarchal church or cult.

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