Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Power of Labels

Herman Cain’s campaign is flailing and sputtering out of control due to Cain’s documented behavior with women. Cain’s campaign seems to be relying on some good ole misogynistic labels and myths to get him out of his increasingly dire situation. And, like many people who engage in subterfuge, Cain does tell us some truth, even if he doesn't realize it. From a Bloomberg article 11/09/11 (link below):

Herman Cain said that sexual harassment claims against him are the work of political insiders trying to prevent a businessman from being elected U.S. president and that he expects more accusations.

Note: the article mentions the label “businessman” several times.

I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period,” Cain said

“In denying Bialek’s claim yesterday, Cain said the “Democrat machine in America has brought forth a troubled woman” to make false accusations against him.

OK, now let’s deconstruct:

Businessman: Violations of women don’t matter because Mr. Cain has business (i.e. man’s work) to attend. Stop distracting him with your whiney, petty complaints. It was just a joke. Don’t be so damn serious. If you can’t run with the big boys, stay home. Why would we worry about “boys being boys” when Mr. Cain has the keys to economic recovery in his pocket (just reach down in there honey and grab them.)

I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period.: Mr. Cain probably actually believes this. Many abusive people do not (even to themselves) recognize, acknowledge, admit, or even consider that they could have done something wrong. Denial of reality is a surprisingly effective technique – as long as the person who is doing it a) believes it and b) says it enough times. The victims themselves with doubt their own truth, “Well, maybe it was just a joke…He didn’t actually abuse me because he only pulled my hair, etc”

Acknowledging as much, he [Cain] said, “It is natural that some voters would be turned off by the mere mention of the accusations.” He added, “Sexual harassment is a very serious charge.”: Women lie about abuse and throw this allegation out for some gain (i.e. politics, divorce, revenge). Some women do lie about abuse for gain, just as some people might make a false insurance claim, or embezzle money, or some other dishonest act. However, the much more probable and prevalent lie is the denial and minimization of the abuse.

Democratic machine: It wasn’t my fault because other people are out to get me. People who use this excuse often rely on it through their whole lives, “The teacher didn’t like me, my boss didn’t like me, the police officer was out to get me, my wife said I abused her because she wanted custody, etc.”

Troubled woman: Read “whore.” This is the most effective technique of all. Not only does it stop many folks from even examining the facts, it also shuts the victim down and any other uppity women who might want tell their stories. I have talked with thousands of women in my career who told me that during a beating, her abusive male partner called her a “whore, slut, trash, etc.” In more public areas, if a woman is successfully labeled a “whore”, it won’t matter what evidence is present as she’ll have been relegated to the trash heap.

Men who abuse women use all these techniques – and more – to deny the victim’s reality that her abuse is REAL and VALID. But, that last one, labeling her a “whore” is the gold standard, whether used in the bedroom, the boardroom, or the courtroom.

Linkt to article:

1 comment:

therapydoc said...

It's always upsetting to hear about politicians acting this way. Please blog more! I'm linking over.