Hard News: Lost Men
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mark taslov, in reply to
muscle bulk, which of course is gender-associated
Not to dispute your wider point but just to keep things loosely inclusive, and not going full Labour Party on the issue, if I may correct:
learned gendered behaviour will also be influenced by different cost/benefit results of aggressive behaviour for individuals with larger muscle bulk, which of course is sex-associated
mark taslov, in reply to
For those following at home, as citation for what’s being discussed MAOA: 5 common myths debunked (content warning – trans exclusionary):
To sum everything up the interaction between genetics and behaviour is very, very complex to put it mildly. Whilst it is very easy to make bold statements such as “low MAO-A activity leads to increased aggressiveness”, a modern day of equivalent “of a pill for every ill”the reality is much less clear.
Whilst there is definitely an association with the 2R, 3R and 5R forms of MAOA and increased aggression, the actual contribution of MAOA is unknown, but most likely low
A few points at this juncture,
1. this thread sure is living up to its headline.
2. the shifting definitions in conflating ‘vengeful’ or ‘obsessive’ behaviour and then switching that to mean ‘aggressive’ behaviour is again what I’d describe as a form gaslighting.
3. when sacha stated "I do not need anything further from you on the topic" and you continued @ing him – that’s a consent/boundary issue worth consideration.
As Emma first responded to you:
Which ties in with both this from the link:
The associations only appeared when a large enough population was studied, and this suggests that there are lots of other factors which are also influencing how aggressive we are, not just MAOA. Some studies have failed to find a link between MAOA and aggression
But! all these reports come with a very large caveat. Whilst they do show that the MAOA-L forms are associated with increased aggression, having an MAOA-L form does not mean that someone will be aggressive, there are numerous other factors associated, with the most important thought to be early life abuse
For me what confirms the validity of Emma’s response is simply that the USA is an outlier in issues of this nature – there are evidently a number of contributing conditions to what is – at this point – a very American problem.
Between 1983 to 2013, 119 mass shootings took place around the world. Sixty-six percent were in the U.S.
I’ll also point out that a trend has emerged Neil where you seem comfortable outright ignoring the women on this thread – there’s nothing remotely novel about this tendency but worth pointing it out all the same.
Coming back to your original point re: ‘vengeful’ or ‘obsessive’ behaviour- and bringing in findings from rainbow communities – which despite smaller cohorts function as controls for heteronormative assumptions, this is more relavant to what we may describe as ’vengeful’ or ‘obsessive’ behaviour’:
it was hypothesized that homicide brutality will vary with the offender’s sexual orientation and gender, such that the percentage of killings coded as brutal will be higher for (a) gay and lesbian relative to heterosexual relations, (b) men relative to women, (c) gay relative to heterosexual men, and (d) lesbian relative to heterosexual women. The rates of intimate partner homicide were also hypothesized to vary with the gender of the partners, such that (a) homicide rates will be higher in gay relative to heterosexual and lesbian couples and (b) homicide rates will be lowest in lesbian couples. The results support all but one prediction derived from the two hypotheses. We predicted that men would kill their partners more brutally than would women, but the results indicate that the opposite is true.
linger, in reply to
Thanks! (I ran out of editing time, then figured "associated" was a sufficient hedge as it makes no claim of direct causation. But it's better to make it explicit.)
Neil, in reply to
I’m surprised you haven’t accused me of weaponising comas.
Going back to the original post, there are two examples given of Lost Men - Cesar Sayoc and Robert Bowers. Their behaviour could be described as obsessive, in that they spent a great deal of time and envergy on their preoccupations and revenge motivated in that they sort to get back at those who they thought were doing wrong.
There’s a degree of compulsive fixation that leads them into a dark world and eventually to mass violence.
...and then there is that other gender champion Karl du Fresne on his epic quest to turn 'role modelling' into 'virtue-signalling'...
Ian Dalziel, in reply to
I’m surprised you haven’t accused me of weaponising comas.
Surely 'comas' would be 'sleeper agents'
or perhaps more 'cometary' than 'commentary'...?
Neil, in reply to
We watch TV dramas for entertainment, not to be morally improved or have our cultural sensitivity enhanced....At worst it conveys a faint but unsettling whiff of Stalinist-style totalitarianism, which used art to enforce ideological orthodoxy and ruthlessly suppressed anything that didn't conform.
Pretty silly stuff from du Fresne. We tell stories for a variety of reasons and have to make them entertaining to keep peoples’ attention.
Telling stories is a fascinating ability we have which relies on brain structure that evolved in order to tell stories. But I would think that.
mark taslov, in reply to
sorry for the delay responding Neil i was awaiting some paperwork
I’m surprised you haven’t accused me of weaponising comas.
I’m relieved you’re familiar with the term as it may help you understand why was so upset by your weaponisation of both gender and mental illness recently. What was exacerbating for me was that as you began dismissing JLR’s medical professional’s diagnosis:
in this case by claiming to be mentally ill.
and reiterating your gender theories – in the same week as I began an ACC funded therapy regimen for sexual abuse (with a professional who incidentally specialises in NPD).
This was a big step for me given my experiences growing up with an abusive friend whose mother was a psychiatrist. Due to those formative experience I have a long held distrust of the mental health system (hence waiting 20 years to seek further professional therapy).
So we wasted Government funded therapy time discussing your claims as I plied his area of expertise attempted to verify how much of what you were saying about JLR might be accurate and how much was speculation – one thing I did glean was that those with NPD very rarely seek out therapy and even a cursory glance at JLR’s wikipedia page suggests he may have been seeking help for any number of issues.
This was further compounded a few weeks later when you misgendered trans women in this thread – and ok it happens – my therapist has misgendered me on the odd occasion but again seeing someone who works in the field publicly engaging in that was highly confronting.
As you were criticizing people ’smearing health professionals and doing a great disservice to mental health’ I was thinking of a good friend who was raped inside an acute patient unit, a psychiatrist who took me on as a patient despite a clear conflict of interest and an instance many years ago of being taken by police for psychological evaluation (though not sectioned) – knowing full well exactly how such a situation like that can be contrived – on top of your speculation – which strikes me as conflicting with a key precept of bioethics: Primum non nocere
"first, to do no harm."
These issues can be related back to both Sayoc and Bowers:
"My son has been ill for a long time and my family and I have tried, over and over again, without success to urge him to get the help he needs,” she wrote. “We, in America, have a mental health crisis in this country and need to change laws to allow families to compel and require mental health treatment for those in need of such treatment before their illness worsens to where it is too late.”
and in the case of Bowers:
According to those law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, officers responded to the potential suicide call and were able to talk Bowers out of killing himself. The same sources say Bowers agreed to voluntarily commit himself to a mental health clinic, but never followed through.
Certainly I’m very wary of attributing their actions to mental health issues – that would be a terrible conclusion – but I don’t think it’s entirely untoward to suggest that their rejection of mental health care – likely based on distrust of the mental health system – certainly didn’t help matters, i.e. there is correlation.
By the same token these recent contributions you’ve made have done nothing to enhance my trust for the mental health system – in fact what they’ve highlighted is the terrifying prospect that were I ever to be institutionalised I’d very likely be reduced to
men who have transitioned to women
rather than having my gender comprehensively affirmed. Which is not to single you out specifically Neil as much as to highlight that there are myriad reasons one might fear or distrust the safety of contemporary mental health services (both from inside the walls and beyond) and rather than trying to mitigate those worries by casting aspersions on them we need to be putting these issues under the microscope with due care.
mark taslov, in reply to
If I may expand on this a little, in late May 2017, new to twitter, I made the regrettable error of pointing out to a cis woman (which despite equivocations to the contrary is not a slur as much as a necessity of taxonomy, in the same way as the prefix endo- is not a slur in making the endosex/intersex distinction) on Twitter that the term 'male violence' is commonly employed as TERF dogwhistle against trans women - that's it.
No sooner had I done so than another cis woman I vaguely knew DMed me to make a suggestion explaining me that the woman I'd interacted with was 'a good one' and 'not transphobic'. She's a trans ally, so I welcomed feedback and provided an explanation as to what I was getting at (quoting from a well known trans-feminist treatise).
As that was happening the woman who I'd 'called out' (who is also a prominent local trans ally) DMed me this - a troubling admission to make to a trans woman, we've not spoken since. Meanwhile the woman I vaguely knew was telling me to take care - I was rattled, was it some kind of good cop/bad cop thing?
As I spoke about oppositional-sexism in relation to representations of violence she was focused on discussing cis males and offered me the opportunity to write something on her blog which I refused - it's a bit of cliché IME: finding out we're trans and asking us to do mahi. If in doubt, and this is widely applicable; no means no.
This is where things became distinctly uncomfortable, as she continued talking about cis male violence, again offering to let me write for her blog. Attempting to brush it off I said 'I'll think about it' and continued trying to clarify my point wrt oppositional-sexism - to which she reiterated her focus on cis males - understandable given she works with vulnerable women - but we were evidently talking past one another.
A casual remark about transphobia in my family prompted her to ask about my transition (if in doubt, don't do this). I attempted to express my reluctance to answer and was informed I was making assumptions. Reassured that she didn't need to know anything I sidestepped the question only to be bombarded a couple of minutes later with her assumption - all guesswork on her part - incorrect - my explanations and an excerpt from the well known text minimised to me being "touchy".
Many trans people will be familiar with this form of microaggression: 'you only think that because you're trans/closeted' of whatever - it's part and parcel of the unmarked/marked distinction - what she was saying wasn't applicable to my circumstances but when cornered I submit.
I didn't sleep well that night - the next day I tried to correct these misapprehensions - this time dismissed as adversarial. We like stroppy women but only when they're on message. So I left it a couple of days and again tried to clarify my boundaries - I offered information which I'd rather not have provided, redirecting the conversation to intersectionality and the weaponisation of gender, once again I was asked to do mahi - again I had to sidestep but if in doubt - no really means NO. A couple of days later I realised this whole exchange had been a case of me doing mahi.
I was exhausted and figured she'd grasped the basic gist of where I was coming from so beyond some follower recommendations we didn't speak for a month until I saw her boost one of those oppositional-sexist tweets and I blocked her.
Feeling guilty about this abjugation of responsibility I unblocked to find out where things went wrong - it was then that I cottoned to the fact that there was some subtext I'd neglected. Fair enough, that was repugnant behaviour on my part. The repeated admission that I was trolling only exacerbating the harm caused. Fortunately our conversations are moving on from the ciscentric framing to some extent now.
As to how she knew who I am on here? That's something I'd felt best to disclose during the brief introduction which had preceeded these interactions.
Anyway, I thought that might be the beginning of a new phase - instead I was listening to myths about trans people. To anyone new to the topic, trans men have been having babies for eons, even from a trans medical perspective one of the oldest cases in popular memory dates back almost twenty years.
She was very helpful at that point in crowdsourcing some information but essentially it was just the same old thing where I'm an angry trans woman, the only person bothered by the weaponisation of gender - which by then knew to be gaslighting having in the meantime encountered more trans people to whom this causes a great deal of anxiety.
Anyway, we didn't have another proper private for a couple of months, and only then - ignoring that 'don't punch down' slogan - when things came to a head after she jumped onto a thread I was writing about decentering gender binary wrt sexual violence. More mahi. More invalidation.
There was no further private communication for another 6 weeks until she retweeted another one of those pieces that erases female perps. I tried to put on a brave face but as far as I was concerned I was done, quickly thereafter disengaging, suffice to say we've not conversed since. I wasn't even so much troubled by the fact that she was once again dismissing loosely related CDC findings but more so by the fact that there's a thread on this site, in which she was a participant, and in which her friend briefly mentions a couple of incidents where on recollection she realised that her sexual partner had been obliging her (up to the point of recognition).
A word to the wise; when someone is outlining intimate details of sexual assault, don't try to argue semantics and by no means make wise cracks to distract from the topic. Never #notall... an assault victim. 50% of trans people have experienced sexual assault and many trans women - in part due to our lack of credibility - have unaired experiences with predatory cis women.
That should have been the end of it except that she then started winning awards and popping up on the TV. She has a gift for broadcasting what she doesn't want and encouraging people to own their shit - which is evidently easier said than done. It reminded me a lot of the experience I outlined above - where my high school best friend was fucking me and a few others over but was regarded as a hero by most - as the psychologist pointed out - with that disregard of consent and the repeated attempts to reframe my experience for me I've basically been reliving the sexual assaults with this situation.
That would have been the end of it as far as I was concerned except that in January someone retweeted her solicitation to offer support to genderqueer people in DV relationships, and moreover that this was being endorsed by another high profile twitter personality who I had words with, showed some of these screen caps to and was dismissed with; "just disengage".
What launched my anxiety into orbit was firstly that over all these conversations, in knowing from the outset that I was experiencing DV at home, this was the full extent of concern shown on the matter. Furthermore, her 'preoccupation with cis male toxicity' left me with the distinct impression that she's simply not equipped to handle these types of dicussions with most trans women (specifically) given the stats indicate that only about 20% of us are strictly heterosexual, but more so that 41% of us have 1 or more mental health issues (compared to 17% of the general population) and it feels like she just steamrolled over me.
This is certainly not an isolated example - there are numerous cis people who centre themselves in Twitter trans discourse - they talk up their support for trans people considerably more than they boost trans voices - with the odd token exception. So we end up with the ridiculous situation where trans people expend energy correcting these widely disseminated errors (caution uncensored transphobic slur) by people who'd rather talk over us than listen.
I fail to see the necessity for this type of ill-conceived messaging from an account ostensibly devoted to helping women in violent relationships and I'm certain it must be possible to do the same amount of good in the community without snooping into trans peoples' lives on Twitter.
On that note she also had some reckons about JLR - only in her case she tried to work trans women into the fray - obviously oblivious to the sexuality stats above, and evidently in the dark wrt Building Rainbow communities free of partner and sexual violence (2016) which found members of the rainbow community experience IPV from both cis males and females at roughly equal rates.
mark taslov, in reply to
So I wasted time trying to spread the word that the counselling service being offered to folks in my position may be detrimental. Meanwhile she kept winning awards and disseminated toxic tweets without content warnings for Twitter gotchas. I went as far as to try to highlight the issue to one of her close friends in the hopes that someone, anyone, would intervene and point out that some of this stuff is not ok, but I was essentially accused of fabrication or something, a troubling allegation given the Twitter account is managed by a third party and any misrepresentation on my part would be defamatory (hence all the screen caps).
Her public response to that was similarly incredibly troubling. I wasn't trying to malign her community - the only connection was that she'd used the community's account to engage me from the outset - so the name was on all the screencaps - the fact of the matter was that I'd been donating to that community prior to these interactions. Eventually I just soft-blocked everyone in that orbit.
Why did things get so out of hand? Well it's one thing being impacted by violence in a relationship and quite another thing when there are no visible consequences for that violence. The lengths a trans woman has to go to to get police to intervene end up entailing revictimisation and ultimately, as far as the perp is concerned, there are no consequences, people will go to extraordinary lengths to maintain narratives which conceal (caution details of IPV) the fact that this violence is occuring]] in our communities. One doesn't have to dig deep to find these testimonies whispered in forgotten corners by women hospitalised by their partners only to be ostracised by the LGBT community for their trouble.
On that note it was a great relief to hear Jan Logie announced the introduction of the new Family Violence Offence - in part geared towards addressing violence in same-sex relationships (2:00).
I feel we should be past this binarism by now. The Thursdays in Black Report (2017) made considerable headway in presenting more intersectional methods of collating the widespread prevalence of sexual violence (affecting all corners of our communities - but we are not far enough.
Which is why I took such umbrage Neil, because there is considerable destruction in our communities and unfortunately not all of it is conveniently perpetrated by cis males - but the type of narrative this preoccupation with cis male toxicity feeds erases the inconceivable violence affecting some of the most marginalised members of society.
Which is not to say I don't understand why these narratives are dominant - it's simply that they fail to account for the full extent of what's occuring. They work for those only impacted by that issue - which is most women, but we're currently very much still just scratching away at the surface. A visible example is Chris Brown, we acknowledge he's a monster, but in doing so we invariably neglect to account for his abusive stepfather or the fact that he experienced statutory rape as an 8 year old by a 15 year old girl - something he has internalised as evidence of his prowess. As that MAOA link above stated:
there are numerous other factors associated, with the most important thought to be early life abuse
Beyond genetics it's clearer - when looking passed the symptoms - to observe correlation - acknowledging sources and potential for preventative interventions, that is if and when we get past these largely performative - albeit sometimes cathartic - preoccupations, 'obsessions' if you will, with cis male toxicity. As my therapist put it, quoting Maslow:
"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"
He pointed out to me that contrary to what was claimed - not only am I not the only trans person affected by this weaponisation of gender - many cis people are too - which for me begs the question; why go to such lengths to maintain inadequate frames.
Certainly we're not going to make as much headway as required posturing and erasing pullulating issues - and attempting to drag those with differing opinions into our own narrow preoccuptations is time poorly spent.
Anyway, as I mentioned further up, when the Government is funding counselling and we're wasting considerable time in those sessions discussing issues related to someone who works in the mental health system and someone who helps victims of domestic violence then there's something terribly wrong with that picture. As the therapist reminded me; 'all power corrupts'. It doesn't matter how much of a hero any of us is, or how much money is funnelled into the system, if we as a society ignore the precept;
"first, to do no harm."
Unfortunately recognizing harm we're causing isn't always as easy as it sounds via textual interaction - and recognising harm others are doing is near on impossible when it's behind closed doors, but that's as good a reason as any not to be beleaguering minorities and people with mental health issues online.
Anyway I'm done. I don't see change on the horizon for people in my position and as professionals in domestic violence services are going to those kinds lengths to challenge and hush and minimise marginalised voices whose experiences are incongruent with heterocentric narratives then It's considerably less stress to shut up and take the laptop to the face as we're inundated with messaging inculcating us that this violence is just a male problem - just men being shitty to women - than risk attempting to speak out let alone involve authorities. Just as if those working in the mental health system are comfortable publicly second guessing qualified professionals then why would the general public have much faith in that system, and how would that reduce the stigma around mental illness and treatment? Certainly it's going to take more than simply throwing money at these problems.
But Neil, since you've shown a predilection for armchair diagnosis of personality disorders, I'm wondering if based on what you've seen here whether you would like to -with my consent - have a shot at offering me a second opinion?
mark taslov, in reply to
That was a courageous and inspiring piece, the only bit I stumbled over was the conflict between:
Many intersex activists are bravely working to end this practice and to ensure that intersex people have autonomy and control over their bodies;
a generous and kind society, to continue off the words of our Prime Minister.
In that it is this 'Government of Kindness' that is dragging its heels on ratifying The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child's recommendations. In this way, what has become increasingly pronounced to me over the duration of this administration is the distinction between kindness and care i.e. the Government engaged in a performative an act of kindness when they flew the intersex flag at Parliament and yet they still don't evince the requisite care to ban unnecessary surgeries on intersex children without their consent.
The role of the military in forming gender ideals. More overt in the US, but here, every Anzac day theres a spike in patriotic honouring and reminiscing in the glory of the death of men as a corner stone of our national identity.
Exposed incessantly to war stories at school (conscription and all) and being an avid follower of M*A*S*H I sometimes wondered (cued by Klinger) whether my gender dysphoria was simply a pathological form of conscientious objection. Had it been I'm sure it would have subsided once I passed that age bracket, but such was my impression of the way we raise males to tolerate violence, to be our warriors, defenders, to be disposable; "trash" if you will. While belatedly sanding against this grain, attempting to drum into them as adults that they shouldn't see others as disposable while papering over the role this oppositional (as opposed to spectral or homogenous) socialialistion plays in continuing to cultivate undesirable characteristics from childhood.
As a trans woman it's such a difficult position to find oneself in this era of heightened gender weaponisation (which incidentally feels like the perfect groundwork for sending another generation of men off to war). Namely I'm acutely aware of the conflict between how when accepted as a woman; the assaults I've experienced are unacceptable, and when not accepted as a woman - I'm classed with the murderers and the rapists.
WRT these types of double standards I've seen some really troubling stuff in this area this year whereby previously commonly used uncontroversial stats showing that '1/3-4 females and 1/6-7 males experience sexual abuse in their lifetime' are being displaced by MOJ "reported" stats centred on adulthood claiming 24% of women (1/4) and 6% (1/16) of men 'will experience sexual violence during their lifetime' . A massive difference - implying that by adulthood abused boys will have just kind of 'gotten over it'; see "take it like a man" as if this type of erasure ('loss of privilege') isn't simply more fuel for the chaotic bonfire of violence and sexual predation that infests every nook and cranny of this Godzone or whatever.
An equally troubling instance of these double standards occurred earlier in the year when The Spinoff published (and then retracted) a #metoonz article written by a serial sexual assailant lamenting how not having been taught consent contributed to the litany of sexual assaults she perpetrated against women. It began:
A lesbian grapples with the implications of #metoo for her community and looks back with regret at the way she handled sexual relationships in the past. Im writing this because Im worried that I too have assaulted a woman.
"I realised that I didn't really know what consent was. I didn't know how to have consensual sex with a woman. I realised I needed help."
A #metoonz article from the perspective of the rapist - the mind boggled - there was no mention of any resort to justice, let alone any indication of any attempts to do right by the victims. Inquiries to Toby Manhire and Duncan Greive as to the relative insulation being afforded by the publication to this predator were stonewalled.
So in short Steven, I feel you, especially at this point, when you're reminded just how inconvenient what you've been put through is to 'the narrative', how unless all the numbers line up wrt to the sex of the perpetrator *and* the sex of the victim then you get treated like you don't matter, because what happens to you doesn't happen enough, that these crimes don't merit equal consideration - how these issues won't be meaningfully addressed by sloganeering, internet arguments and shortform opinion pieces - how our carelessness in this regard continues to erase crime and how this erasure continues to exacerbate these issues by breaking fresh ground for unlikely perps and their defenders.
Neil, in reply to
You’ve made quite a range of points. To address just one.
Male/female brain differences certainly don’t explain all types of violence. However they do contribute to some such as described in the original post on male gun violence in the US.
I believe an understanding of this phenomenon is helpful to undertake social intervention to prevent it.
There are other less direct differences such as male risk taking in adolescence leading to a larger proportion of traumatic brain injury which can often predispose people to aggression.
I think evidence from brain imaging on male/female differences also offers valuable insight into current debates surrounding transgender rights:
Although the number of studies examining the brain of people with GI [gender incongruence] is still low, they have taught us that brain phenotypes for FtM [Female to Male] and MtF [Male to Female] seem to exist, and provided evidence for the role of prenatal organization of the brain in the development of gender incongruence.
In other words in terms of gender a person’s brain may not match their natal body.
Moz, in reply to
the way we raise males to tolerate violence, to be our warriors, defenders, to be disposable;
... and then wonder why, having been raised with violence and taught to valourise violence, so few of them are violent? I'm occasionally shocked by women who are habitually violent toward men and how acceptable that is. I mean the "casually punching him on the arm" type violence... hint: if he can't respond in kind, it's not a "we're good mates" thing.
It's not just a matter of "violent defense is ok", it's a whole raft of social subtlety around exactly what attacks permit defense and in what context. But that's very rarely addressed explicitly, even in violent occupations. Which is why we see everyone from sports stars to military personnel being educated by the legal system. Why is it ok to use violence to defend unjust laws but not to defend unjust privilege?(1)
I do wonder why we expect those people to be able to turn off major parts of their personality and experience on demand, when that's considered hugely problematic when we ask other people to do the same thing? It occurs to me that PTSD might be one result of that demand. "just stop being someone who was raped" is mind-bogglingly stupid, but "just stop being a violent thug when you're not at work" is normal...
(1) Saying "the legal system couldn't work otherwise" is a condemnation of the legal system, not a defense of it.
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