Saturday, December 11, 2010

A hidden case of Stockholm Syndrome

For most of known history women have been a slave cast in our society. I believe the psychological effects of this historical slavery are still in our world today. Understanding them and acknowledging how they still effect all of us, is I believe, the route to leave the paradigm it helps support behind us and move on to a more balanced relational world. As the story mirrors in the yin yang balance of everything we relate to, male or female.

A Slave is someones property, a slave is owned by its master and does the masters bidding.

Some examples:
- In law, for example in marriage, women are called a 'chattel' which means 'movable property' a girls father hands over his movable property or 'daughter' to the new movable property owner, the husband.
- Women have only had the right to vote for around a century and much less in most places. Many countries still treat women as second class citizens.
- In religion, for example in christianity a faith based on the doctrine of 'original sin' the Woman Eve is credited with being the first sinner, then being the 'temptress' who brought adam into the crime. Both Islam and Judaisim prescribe to the same story. Its a big deal to blame one sex for all the world's problems ie original sin.
- Women or 'movable property' are 'cast out' when they don't have an 'owner' or husband/father. In many countries they still are. The only other traditional owners a woman could go to were a 'pimp', by becoming a whore, or staying officaily still a daughter ie 'a daughter of christ' to be 'managed' by a new mother the 'mother superior' in a convent.

The only exceptions where women could actually 'own themselves', were by becoming either a 'widow' or a 'witch'. Historically society had quite a bit of trouble distinguishing these two. Witch trials were a sham, but basically the real difference is simply the widow does not have sex again and the witch did have sex again. The trial and the issue is really about the sexual freedom of women.

A free sexual woman was a dangerous woman and should be threatened in the most horrible way possible ie to be burned alive. Just like slaves are when they away from their owners. They are burned alive in a lynching. Fear is the psychological tool for cheap slavery maintenance. You dont need an army when you have Guilt and Fear at your disposal, already programmed in to the slaves.

I believe women are afraid to fully explore their sexual freedom for these reasons buried in the unconscious. I have not met a woman who does not seem to be a slave-in-recovery on some level, there is a very particular flavour to this fear. I also think this has an equivalent counter effect on men, where men feel unconsciously guilty of being the 'slave owner' even though on the conscious side they feel good about the power women 'naturally' give away to them as 'superior' men. So in a way, men are slaves to women being slaves to men. I just think of it as a victim of a victim, who starts the a merry dance.

In this context, taking a view of common women's magazines can look like seeing manuals on how to be a good slave, with material on tips and tricks on 'how to please your man' that to me reads like a manual on 'how do I keep my slave master happy so I get more treats' and stuff all about 'other peoples lives' that can read like 'don't think about your own life, you're a slave, so that would be painful, here is a better alternative to believe in' But so a lot of this applies to men too but that story is more about 'who you are by what you do out there'

Women still seem to buy into a slavery story on many levels and it seems to help support a conflicted love/hate relationship with men in general. And then I think the men get even more confused, or maybe just I do.

This morning I realised that what we had was a hidden case of Stockholm Syndrome in the unconscious dance. Stockholm Syndrome is the term used to describe a paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express adulation and have positive feelings towards their captors, that appear irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.

The most well-known (if infrequently acknowledged) victim of this syndrome is the female protagonist in the story of Beauty and the Beast. In the original version of the tale, the girl is captured by the beast and asked daily at dinner-time whether or not she loves him.

Its like this story is told in preparation for the slavery to come for a young girl.

"Stockholm syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28, 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their captors, and even defended them after they were freed from their six-day ordeal."

"Psychiatrist Frank Ochberg, widely credited with Stockholm Syndrome's psychiatric definition, describes it as 'a primitive gratitude for the gift of life,' not unlike that felt by an infant"

In a world where its not OK to not have an owner, I can understand how it could feel scary to become free of one. And at the same time be desperate for the security an owner could provide. The double whammy for women is that the 'owner' is then mixed with the psychological feelings of a father figure that adds a powerful emotional drive into the mix.

"According to the psychoanalytic view of the syndrome, this tendency might be the result of employing the strategy evolved by newborn babies to form an emotional attachment to the nearest powerful adult in order to maximize the probability that this adult will enable—at the very least—the survival of the child, if not also prove to be a good parental figure."

"An inverse of Stockholm syndrome called "Lima syndrome" has been proposed, in which abductors develop sympathy for their hostages." I wonder if this happens for men in some unconscious way.

Is your relationship a Lima-Stockholm thing ?

What I'm talking about how this is sitting there in the unconscious mind playing out all the time but through the cultural patterns that have been established around making it OK to be that way. Could do with a good clean out I think.

Yin a slave of Yang. There are two ways out for Yin.
1. Be more Yang than Yang and over power. But then your not Yin any more.
2. Be more Yin and let it all flow through.

Which is true and what does it look like ?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

This is one of the best articles that wraps up perfectly everything about how men and women take turns in a master/slave relationship. The underlying psyche of a Stockholm-Lima is pretty much the same. "The unconscious dance"