I admit it, I abused men in my past. How did I get away with it? No man ever stood up to me. I took responsibility for my actions, and am holding women accountable when our behavior crosses the line. Here’s my story.
Let’s talk about irresponsible behavior, and how some women use emotion, tantrums, drama, and manipulation to control men. Society ascribes this to irrational female behavior, or PMS, but when you analyze the situation, it boils down to women abusing men. This subject is rarely talked about, because it is common to believe that women are always victims of physical or mental abuse by males. When the tables are turned, and exactly the same treatment is inflicted upon men, experts don’t refer to it as abuse. Even men will rarely call us out, and they either accept it, laugh it off as ridiculous childish behavior, put up with it for fear they might be perceived as victims, or risk being accused of being the aggressors when they are simply standing up for themselves.
Let’s face it, women have been abusing men since the dawn of humankind. I’m willing to take a look in the mirror, and call myself out on all my prior offenses. I admit, that in my earliest relationships, long before I even learned that what I am doing is wrong, I have been known to use my best weapon, my sharp tongue and my big mouth, to bully men into submission.
I learned this defense tactic at a very young age. I was born to two narcissists and grew up in a home where an insecure male with a Napoleon complex, used harsh words and temper tantrums to instill fear and obedience. On a certain level, even as a child I knew this was wrong, but rather than simply accept it, I remember I decided to learn from him. I knew that his words were irrational, his threats empty, and all he had was his loud voice to scare us all into paralysis, but at 5 years of age, I also learned that it worked. In our house, you wouldn’t dare challenge the male because the consequences to all of us were painful, but bit by bit I gained the courage to do just that.
By 13, as I was turning into a rebellious teenager, I learned to speak up, push his buttons, even yell back a few times. Though I often lost the fight, and suffered harsh consequences, I witnessed his growing fear of me. He had a girl child who was slowly learning to challenge his authority, and unabashedly threaten his manhood. The few times he lost his emotional argument to my logic and reason, he stormed out of the room with his tail between his legs, accusing me of being a bitch from hell. Though it is painful to hear an insult from your own father, I was starting to see that I do have a lot of power over him. I could now get him to leave the room.
And that fight was my defining moment. That was the instant I realized that men are just as weak, emotional, and irrational as women are often accused of being. They are bigger and louder, but if you have a brain and are willing to use it, you can easily put him in his place. My father was the biggest, most fearsome monster I ever faced, and when he ran out of the room hurling insults, I realized I had just muzzled a lion. Never again was I afraid of men, nor did I ever respect them for using “manhood” to get what they want, instead I saw machismo as a deep insecurity and weakness I could now easily exploit to my advantage. After all, the more insecure a person is, the less likely he/she will rely on reason and intelligence, and more likely to use machismo or act like a bimbo to get what they want.
At 18, I moved away to college, and that was dad’s first loss of his noose around my neck. I suddenly had the freedom to enjoy my personal space, my privacy, my sexuality, my mind, without his approval or interference. And that was when he became more manipulative than ever. Without going into the details of his desperate dramas and attempts to remain in control of me, I’m just going to say that at 19, I completely cut my father out of my life. I answered no phone calls, rarely visited home, on so many levels he was dead to me. I felt perfectly justified, but also at peace. I didn’t let mom guilt me into dealing with a heartless abuser, and can honestly say that the few years without a relationship with my father, were the most empowering years of my life. I highly encourage girls to stand up to their parents, but that’s another story.
What I learned from this experience was invaluable, and still serves me today. But, this episode of my life also taught me I have a weapon that no man has- my sharp logic ( I had a history of winning high-school and college debates, destroying my opponents with mere words), my assertiveness- dad taught me to never back down, and that I can use my mouth and my words to not only win every argument, but to push any man into a corner. And so an abuser was born.
I used this talent to gain the upper hand in any relationship. The men I met in college were just target practice, by grad school I had a small army of men crawling on their hands and knees to me at the same time. Never did I consider myself as an abuser. I didn’t see it in myself, because as any of my friends and exes will say, I am an angel, I am caring, loving, giving, everyone’s best friend, and I defend my friends with my life. I’m that friend who will scrape you off the floor, and empower you to take over the world. So, no one ever accused me, and I never saw abuse in myself.
Fast forward to my early twenties, when I was newly married and for the first time sharing a home with the love of my life. I remember assembling our first pieces of IKEA furniture, and him doing it wrong. He would not finish putting the furniture together, instead he insisted on returning everything to the store, and spending much more money on pre-assembled furniture. I lost it. That was my first temper tantrum in our new home. I, at 110 lbs and 5’4”, picked up a 110 lb recliner with my bare hands, and threw it across the room at him. The look on his face was pure shock, fear, and total paralysis. He stood there motionless, then minutes later, picked up the screw driver and got back to assembling the console.
I have to admit, that for the first two years, I ruled this household with an iron fist. Sure, I was the fun, easy going, happy-go-lucky Sherry people know today, but all that time he never dared to challenge me. To my disappointment, he backed out of every political debate, agreed with every pop philosophy I picked up at the book store, even agreed to donate money to causes he did not agree with, for fear of upsetting me. Did I ever see myself as an abuser? No.
So, how did I change? One day, while visiting my parents, I was watching the news on TV with my father. My mom brought him his tea, and laid the tray in front of him, as he was staring intently at the screen. As she was leaving the room, he took his first sip, and threw the entire tray across the room, simply stating it is too cold. That sharp stab of fear and paralysis in my chest was now that sharp slap in my face that woke me up. It triggered a memory of my childhood, where I would crouch in the corner, promising myself at 5 yrs old, that I will never let a man treat me this way. Ever. And here I was, 26, staring at a mirror image of myself. I was my father.
I picked up my car keys and drove a 100 miles home. I walked through the door, and apologized to my ex. I finally understood why throwing that recliner across the room was wrong. I can’t believe that took years for me to understand that this is wrong, but I swore to both him and me, that I will never do that to anyone again. And I never have.
As soon as I made this change in my life, my relationship with my ex got better. It was like we were best friends all over again. I became more calm, and started to work on my temper. Oddly, the calmer I became, he still never dared to verbally challenge me.
Fast forward decades later. By now I have dated many monsters- monsters who have wronged many women, but never me. No, I do not abuse men at all, but I am firm, I am rational, and most of all, I have nothing but self respect for myself. To this day, I have never insulted any man I have dated, but I have also never put up with a second of disrespect. I am not afraid of men at all, but I am not afraid of losing them either.
Looking back, I now see my relationship with my father differently. Until recently, I always saw him as a rabid dog, a Hitler, an insecure little man. I perceived him as an abuser, my mom and sister as his victims, and myself as the only one willing to fight and put him in his place. But as Nietzsche said: “That which doesn’t kill us, only makes us stronger”. I have to admit that I am who I am because I learned to stand up for myself against the most fearsome man I ever knew. I looked into the face of a monster, and realized he is more afraid of me, than I am of him. My father was the most important teacher in my life, and for that, I am truly grateful.
Today I meet so many women through TheGoddessPrinciples.net, who I empower to stand up for themselves, so I have to call them out when I see women using irrationality, tantrums, childishness, and manipulation to control men. You see, a man will never use the word “abuse” to refer to himself. It is emasculating, and no man sees himself as a woman’s victim. But they do suffer in silence, or propagate well-deserved stereotypes of women. Does this serve us at all?
Most of us still struggle to be taken seriously as professionals, and these stereotypes that have been inflicted on us weigh us down. Do you cry every time a man won’t treat you like his equal in the home? Guess what, he will use that against another woman in the office, when he refuses her a seat in the board room. Do you put every one of your insecurities on display when you ban him from his friends, troll his inbox, demand his password, create household rules a grown-up should not have to obey? That is a deep insecurity on your part, and there is no reason for a grown man to put up with it.
Face it, women are just as abusive as men. What we lack in physical strength, we make up for with emotional trauma. There is an equality among the sexes, it’s just that our weapons of choice seem to be different. We have all been victims of abuse at some points in our lives, but how we help ourselves cope afterwards is different. Women hold hands with other women, who in an attempt to offer counsel and support display their wounds of abuse to each other. We bash men, accuse them of being monsters when they won’t give us what we want, when they won’t behave in ways that make us feel whole. Men “man up”, walk out, punch holes in walls, retaliate by cheating or by acting like Neanderthals to prove that they, in fact, are a real man. They don’t gush with emotion in front of other men, they don’t wipe each others noses or tears, they bottle it up inside, and call it manhood.
This is my reason for not coddling the women who belong to TheGoddessPrinciples.net. I don’t commiserate, nor do I worship martyrs. If you suffer, I won’t suffer with you, I am that woman who will kick you in the butt and tell you to stop whining, wipe you nose, polish up those horns on your head, and act like a Goddess. When you forget how to be one, I will remind you, but I won’t sink down to your level. I have no respect for victims, male or female. We are all responsible for who we are, how we behave, how people treat us, and how they perceive us. If you can’t accept that responsibility, you are not a Goddess. If you refuse to behave rationally, own your choices or your mistakes, you’re not ready to be a woman. If you throw temper tantrums, use your body and sexuality to manipulate males, you are still a girl who hasn’t even learned to respect herself. That’s okay, we all start at the beginning. Girl, Woman, Goddess, we get there by mastering self respect, self control, independence, rationality, reason, logic, wisdom, humility, kindness, freedom, and most of all love of ourselves, then for everyone else.