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Super Tuesday in America/ Battered Wife Syndrome

February 5, 2008
When I read about all the people who are giddy today, optimistic and hopeful, I cannot help to think of the cycle of the battered wife. Today, her husband has been behaving, even exhibiting signs of change, buying flowers a few times, promising a vacation, even complimenting the children, but lurking in the shadows will come the beast from the past, maybe not today, not next week, or in the coming months, but the shoe will drop and he will beat and beat and beat again because it is he who has not changed his evil ways, because he does not have to.

Or if she has moved on and met a new beau (this is what happens when repeating the same method) who is charismatic, handsome, knows how to treat a woman, until…….

This is how I see America today. The battered wife hoping things will change only to find out that it is the same ol same ol.

  1. Hecate permalink
    February 5, 2008 7:06 pm

    I think part of the problem is this notion that one person can “save” us. It’s a participatory democracy. We, like every abused woman out there, have to save our own lives, save our own democracy.

  2. Kitty Glendower permalink
    February 5, 2008 7:12 pm

    Yes, if I could only find the answer. If I could only convince some that there is no one but oneself who will save them.

  3. Chris permalink
    February 6, 2008 2:21 am

    Brutal. Honest, but brutal. Wish I could say you were wrong.

  4. momo permalink
    February 6, 2008 4:18 am

    I see the analogy differently. It feels to me as if, after years of being afraid to admit the truth, afraid to leave, the battered wife is taking off, leaving the abuser. What’s in store? we don’t really know for sure, but we know that things have to change. I just got back from my caucus, and all over the state, the places were overflowing. A HUGE turnout. People want change, even if they are not 100% sure who will bring it; they are not staying home. I see that as a good thing, after these years of seemingly being hypnotized.

  5. Kitty Glendower permalink
    February 6, 2008 5:55 am

    It’s a good thing that people are coming out to vote. For too long people stayed home. What I hate, is someone is going to have hurt feelings. A group of someone’s and it is not going to be pretty regardless of which group it is. Alas, that is what our country has done to us, making us identify in groups, groups that have been oppressed and abused by the system that so many have held on to for so long.

  6. Rent Party permalink
    February 6, 2008 11:23 pm

    Ah momo I am far more pessimistic. I’d say the election, CHANGE NOW, etc. is the moment she goes to the battered women’s group, files a police report, etc. The moment of winning is when she thinks she has enough saved up to leave. When she does actually try to rent an apartment, though, it turns out all of the agencies have already heard about her case. They won’t rent it, but they promise her that they’ve gotten her husband to quit his c***.

    So then she goes home and is shell shocked, maybe misses the next election, and finally gets up the strength to try again, and so on.

    My point: ya gotta do more than vote. (Not that I am doing much more at this moment.)

  7. momo permalink
    February 6, 2008 11:31 pm

    Sure, but getting previously non-voting people to get up off their butts to show up to a caucus might mean they are fired up and willing to do more than vote. It may be evidence that a lot of grass-roots organizing on issues is paying off with action. It also drags along the other candidates, resolutions, and projects that are in the pipeline. It’s not business as usual. What I”m hearing over and over from people, here at least, is that they are tired of the politics of fear. That’s a hell of a lot different than “support the troops or you’re a traitor!”

  8. ECOPHOTOS permalink
    February 7, 2008 9:54 pm

    Your analogy of America as a battered wife is dark but painfully apt. What strikes me most about your analogy is an implied “repetition compulsion,” the tendency of the abuse victim to become habituated to the abuse.

    I say “apt” because this best describes the American voter: Long suffering and woefully abused but still succumbing to empty sound-bites and sloganeering even in the face of overwhelming evidence that conservative policies are decidedly against their own best interests.

  9. Kitty Glendower permalink
    February 8, 2008 1:42 am

    During the whole Bush presidency, it was like a long state of paralysis, a paralysis induced by beaten after beaten. Now, it is like the shiny knight will ride in and save us all from that mean King who no one could topple. Fairytales, fairytales, that is what it feels like I’m being told. And the media is the storytelling.

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