1. Women are considered as objects to be viewed, used and abused. Media, including Hollywood garbage films, fairy tales [including Grimes], religion, many institutions, and most businesses support this disgusting belief/practice.
2. We live in very hierarchical societies. Men [some] are at the top. The rest of us are to strive to “get ahead” and strive for wealth, power and fame. Our schooling, work, cultures, religions again support this. People fear those “above” them. Most fear losing the approval of “superiors”. We have no power and can lose our jobs due to some whim of the boss. This is very much the foundation of capitalism and what some call “democracy”. We “need” a leader. What would we do if we shared power in all areas of our lives? Imagine.
3. Age-ism still controls our societies. The young should [silently] obey elders. This is highlighted and esteemed in many cultures, including indigenous cultures – as a means of oppression. On the other hand, youth is romanticized and idealized in many respects.
4. Civilization demands conformity. We are like herd animals. We fear not fitting in. While we pretend and fantasize about the lone heroes and rebels, they are rare and disdained on most levels. Again this is taught and reinforced in all groups, cultures, religions, etc. Many deny this, yet others, including indigenous and more traditional cultures esteem conformity. In fact, all groups are unified through this mechanism.
5. Our world is extremely Macho. Men must not cry. Men can do what they want. Men are tough. Sports and the fetishism of sports reinforces this maladjustment! Note the millions or billions that follow sports that are violent and competitive. While competition can be healthy, when athletes drug up and do almost anything to win – to be the hero [with corporate sponsorship/endorsement] – something is wrong. Men still are praise to “conquer” women sexually. And both sexes are esteemed for dominating Nature: the destructive car is the weapon.
6. We are insecure and seek the approval of others – even above the approval of our-selves. Putney has termed this “indirect self acceptance”. Some like M.Scott Peck thinks that the good father is good not because he cares about his child but to receive praise from his neighbor.
7. We lie to justify silence. “Oh I don’t want to make the situation worse”…”I didn’t know what to do”… As therapist Alice Miller states, we need to break down the wall of silence. Good luck everybody!
8. We fear confrontation. While many clearly don’t, but some do. So we would rather be dishonest to ourselves and to others than be “uncomfortable”. Again we fear disapproval and being outcast from the group. The lamest attack on the victim is “you’re too sensitive” [when it is the other that really is…ie. Don’t reveal my faults or I will attack/belittle you].
9. Imitation is the key to success in life. How oft is the different child and then later, adult considered “weird”, “strange” etc. They may have few or no friends because they don’t imitate the crowd. Perhaps they don’t think, speak, buy, wear, etc. the same as the rest.
10. Lastly, until we realize that most of the problems are structural, nothing will change. We need all levels of religion, culture, work, school to change. See my previous article that discusses how religion tells women to cover themselves while men are free to do what they want. We also need to acknowledge that many men are verbally and physically abused. This barely gets discussed. Part of the problem is that men fear coming forth: they are told to be silent, “silence is strength”. There are very few if any supports for men. And a “real” “man” would never break the code of silence.
11. The final is sexualization. This occurs when non-sexual needs are misplaced as sexual ones. Most men dare not ask for a hug when sad [most men never know/admit they have such a “weak” emotion]. No, instead, but most men and many women will gladly punch you in the face. To touch somebody in a sexual way should be replaced with a revelation of our true deep feelings and needs. Affection and empathy are most likely what are needed in such cases. But who has the courage to ex-press such needs and be vulnerable.