I can now, without remorse about the funny pictures I’ll miss, “unlike” the Facebook group that posted this picture.
A friend of mine lent me her copy of Outdated: Why Dating is Ruining your Love Life by Samhhita Mukhopadhyay. I’m only on the first chapter and already I have more insight into my past and current dating experiences than I ever.
Outdated first speaks about how it appears impossible for feminist women to be able to navigate romantic relationships because there is not model for how feminism would work in said relationship. Feminism is currently being used incorrectly and being blamed for ruining relationships but that is not actually true. Many believe that feminism is encouraging women to not date or marry, that’s it’s all about the “independent women”. True but nothing is ever that simple. Feminists want love and relationships too. Outdated blames the gender roles that are pushed on men and women, followed by the romance industry and government legislation are the culprits for romantic relationships of any kind being difficult.
Gender Roles: It is was dictates everything. Gender roles in relationships tell us what men and women are supposed to be doing in order to be happy (it’s all lies by the way). For example: men should be the breadwinners and women the homemakers. Not following what your gender role tells you to do is believed to lead to chaos and the ultimate break up of your relationship. For some, stereotypical male and female gender roles may work but Outdated (and myself) would argue that majority of us end up suffering, staying in poor relationships longer than we should because we are trying to be someone we are not in order to find love.
Romance Industry: This industry enforces gender roles. What motivated the author of Outdated to write the book was because she found all women’s “self help” love books to be focused on what is wrong with us, women, and how we can fix ourselves to become a “man whisperer”. This is where “that girl” comes in. No woman wants to be “that girl”. Outdated uses The Needy Girl and The Bitch as examples of “types” of women these “self help” books say women should avoid being (ie: telling us to ignore that our partner doesn’t keep us posted on events in their life or else we’ll seem needy and controlling). These books, that claim to be able to help people find love, want us to repress what we personally want from relationships (ie: attention from our partner).
Government Legislation: There is nothing better than legalized sexism (sarcasm). It is in government legislation that we can really see not only gender but heternormativity (which in this case means straight, monogamous and married). Straight, monogamous, married couples are granted privileges that are denied cohabiting partners whether they be opposite or same sex (the details of this legislation depends on your country of residence). Privileges such as marriage, insurance coverage, ownership, separation etc are not given to most couples unless they are legally married. The government is dictating what types of relationships we can have which in turn can make us pursue relationships we do not want or not pursue relationships at all.
I can see how all of this played out in my life. Mostly when I was younger, and knew nothing of relationships, I put myself through a lot of pain because I wanted to be the perfect girlfriend. This usually meant that I ignored what I wanted and did what I thought would make the guy happy. I let a lot of things go, for example, not saying I felt ignored or that the relationship was unfair. I believe the perfect girlfriend let the guy decide things. Now I’m wondering what is my purpose in a relationship if I’m not an active participant in how it works? That’s not the relationship I want.
I was always worried about being labeled as “needy”, “crazy” or a “bitch”. No matter how hard I tried though I would end up being those things and it was probably because I was denying myself what would make me happy in a relationship.
How can we use feminism in our relationships? I think the first way of having feminism in your relationship is by not allowing gender roles to decide how your relationship works. I can’t speak for everyone but this is how I feel it’s playing out in mine.
I am with someone who has similar goals, values, morals and beliefs.
We support each other in our professional and creative endeavors.
We do not expect either of us to do certain things because of our identified gender.
We communicate about our needs and work through how to achieve them.
We accept each other as we are.
Still, Outdated is right, there is no framework for feminism and dating. There should be one but the most important thing is that you are in a relationship that is working for you. Only you and your partner(s) can decide how everything is going to work and that will actually change as your relationship changes.
I have a feeling this book is going to produce some great posts and hopefully great comments from all of you
Months back I wrote a blog about a “therapist” named named Sheri Schreiber who practice was dedicated to helping the
survivors of those who have been in personal/intimate relationships with someone who has BPD.
I’m bringing this up again because I received a comment (that I did not post on this blog) that I found not to helpful to the overall conversation but worth addressing.
The jist of the comment was how can saying “fuck you” to this woman help the BPD cause? This commenter felt that my anger towards Schreiber would further her proof that BPD’ers are hostile pricks.
I do not believe that the way to break stereotypes is to be someone I’m not. I break stereotypes by showing people that I am MORE than what the stereotype says.
I really want to stress that so it’s large, bold and in colour!
I should be able to say, “Fuck you!” and it not be all about my BPD diagnosis. I should be able to say “Fuck you!” and people ask, “Why is she angry? What has happened?”
One thing I hoped to show when I blogged about Shreiber was that BPD’ers are insightful and they are complex, which this woman neglected to think about (and maybe because she doesn’t believe it).
I did consciously not speak the way I was feeling inside because I wanted to show readers, who may not be familiar with BPD, that Shreiber’s claims where incorrect, based on stereotypes and based on what we are like at our painful worst. One “fuck you” should not take away the fact that I can be angry in an appropriate manner despite having a BPD diagnosis. That helps push along the stereotype in my opinion.
I will always stand by the BPD’ers are some of the most fiercely passionate and loving people I know. Recognize that!
I’m super angry right now so I’m going to distract myself with something else that makes me angry.
Borderline Personality Journal posted recently about a therapist named Shari Schreiber who seems to have discriminating against individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder down to a disgusting art. She has a BA in Human Behavior Psychology and a Master of Arts in Counseling Psych. She is what we would call a “helping professional”
Her website comes off as positive at first until you start clicking on links, reading articles and hearing her answers to questions from the public.
Her bio includes the following messages of hope:
I am passionately dedicated to your empowerment, expansion and success…My methods are transformative…a comprehensive approach to Healing, and helping you surmount obstacles that inhibit your joy and contentment. As I hold myself to the highest standards of care and confidentiality, your privacy is always respected and stringently guarded.
Schreiber appears to work with those who have had relationships (intimate or otherwise) with women (and some men) who had BPD. As someone who identifies with this disorder I am not blind to the pain I have caused and do cause my past and current partners so I do agree that non-BPD individuals need support. Schreiber goes about this support by demonizing the individual with BPD.
BLACKMAILED INTO FATHERHOOD; Borderline women, and men who love them.
An article which talks about how Borderline women manipulate men into having children with them so the men can never fully sever ties.
AT ANY COST: Saving your Life after Loving a Borderline.
An article about, again, how Borderline women manipulate men into staying in relationships.
BREAKING UP WITH A BORDERLINE: There must be 50 Ways to leave your Lover.
An article that looks at how to effectively break with someone who has BPD and is done so in a degrading way.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BORDERLINE: Crucial Strategies for Living with a BPD Partner
Another article about those damn manipulative Borderlines (sarcasm).
Please read these articles (clicking on her name above takes you to her website) to fully understand what I’m saying.
It seems to me that Schreiber has ZERO understanding of who a Borderline truly is or what a Borderline may understand about themselves. She makes it sound, in all her articles, as if we are inherently shitty people! The real case is that we developed this way because of trauma’s in our lives! I do not want this to excuse our poor behaviour but we should not be demonized this way!
It is because of people like Schreiber that professionals do not want to work with individuals with BPD, the reason why we are viewed so poorly and the reason why we view ourselves so poorly.
I couldn’t understand when a man called a “pain in the ass” when I told him I identified as BPD but now I do. Why didn’t I understand before? Because I’m not a pain the ass. I’m a great person who also carries a great pain.
How does reading all these articles by this woman make me feel? Well, I feel pretty sad when I read about how people should escape me. I know I have done some of the things she talks about. I have been extremely manipulative before, I have hurt people in my rages and at times I have not been a nice person. But she makes us sound hopeless,that we need to be “survived” and I know from my own lived experience and from some of you who I follow who identify as BPD that we are not hopeless.
From her Forum section:
Q. Dear Shari, do you have any advice for dating a Borderline?
Fuck you Shari!
- From the Bitchy Borderline who has been in a loving, always improving, relationship for 4 years with a man who sees her for who she really is and won’t give up on her and won’t let her give up on herself!
For those who do not know this is 24 year old James Holmes. He is in police custody after he entered a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado in body army and plenty of guns. Possibly dressed as The Joker, Holmes went into a theatre playing The Dark Knight Rises and let lose a storm of bullets. So far 12 people have been killed and around 58 injured, some critically. He is still seen as a suspect and will be in court very soon.
Although personally the articles I have read have barely mentioned the mental health status of Holmes I did see manic depression and the ever prevalent psychopath beside his name at least once. They are possibly mentioning this more on the news which I always miss due to my work schedule.
I read this picture literally and then I also see what is underneath it which I think a lot of people are missing because they are super offended.
Yes, it is true that people of colour are criminalized and white people are psychiatrized. I 100% agree with the statement this photo is making and I’m very upset by it! Racial profiling is dangerous and degrading! Holmes should be treated no differently because he is white than if a black man or an Arab man had done this and those men should stand a chance at being labelled mentally ill also, not terrorist or thug.
Now, the second part that is making me upset, and the part I think majority are over looking (probably because they do not care and believe the stereotypes) is the age old, and I’m sure our favourite, people with mental health issues are violent and dangerous.
This is also a dangerous and degrading profile that many of us face on a daily basis from society. The same way a black man can be accused of murder just because he was nearby, the same an Arab mane can be detained without cause because he’s wearing a turban, our disorders can be placed on those who have done the unthinkable and taken a human or multiple human lives.
I’m very irritated that in the process of trying to show discrimination we are discriminated against.
I hope the victims, their families and friends are being supported at this time. I’m sorry this happened to your community.
Not A Pretty Girl by Ani Difranco
I am not a pretty girl
that is not what I do
I ain’t no damsel in distress
and I don’t need to be rescued
so put me down punk
maybe you’d prefer a maiden fair
isn’t there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere
I am not an angry girl
but it seems like I’ve got everyone fooled
every time I say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you’re a girl
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they’d prefer you
were dirty and smiling
and I am sorry
I am not a maiden fair
and I am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere
and generally my generation
wouldn’t be caught dead working for the man
and generally I agree with them
trouble is you gotta have yourself an alternate plan
and I have earned my disillusionment
I have been working all of my life
and I am a patriot
I have been fighting the good fight
and what if there are no damsels in distress
what if I knew that and I called your bluff?
don’t you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up
I am not a pretty girl
I don’t want to be a pretty girl
no I want to be more than a pretty girl