Imagine I take down the image of black and white ghosts in my banner. I cannot recall where I got that image. Nor do I recall what sort of mind fugue I was in to see it as relevant to my blog’s name. Nevertheless, if I pulled it, what would I put in its place? If I took a screen shot of this blog post and cropped it just right, leaving some of the writing readable, it would make a fine, and powerfully relevant banner. But I’m not going to do that even if it does mention empathy. That and a strange new-to-me kind of irony makes me feel something or other.
Instead of using an image of the blog as my banner, I’ll just parse the post. Hopefully I won’t make hash out of it. Yuk yuk yuk, you’ll laugh with me in a few minutes. Really.
The blogger’s name is H.R. Hosmer. Here, you can find this brief bio:
Gryphyn-Bloodheart (H.R. Hosmer) is a young alumnus of the University of Central Florida, with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in creative writing. She interned for The Florida Review, and has been published in The Cypress Dome. She volunteered with the Literary Arts Partnership at UCF, teaching writing workshops at the Boys Town in Oviedo, and volunteered for the Page 15 Young Writers Summer Camp and Homework Room as a tutor. She worked for a time as a youth care worker with Family Resources in Bradenton, and is currently at home with her one-year-old son.
She is on about #YesAllWomen, a hash tagged Twitter movement spawned by the other men and women. You know the ones, NAWALT and NAMALT. (I had a twitter movement once, caused by downing a glass of water handed me by a hotel employee in Mumbai.)
Armed with a bachelors degree in psychology, Ms. Hosmer climbs on the back of the other backs that climbed on the back of the media coverage of the recent shooting and assigns cause as a lack of empathy and effect as murder.
As with most shooting sprees, calling the killer a madman, crazy, or sicko is in no way a satisfying explanation for why this happened, and only serves to stigmatize mental illness on the whole.
Lets put mental illness on our list of things not to stigmatize. Karma. earlier reading Matt Walsh’s blog, he had written a marriage permanence piece and the “don’t stigmatize divorce” crowd came out. Divorce, mental illness, and nose picking while driving….Keep ’em under the radar.
She then links to a twitter conversation where some truly crass men made flip comments. Tastless jokes. Really tasteless. Women do this thing where they take cause and effect and either inextricably link them or they make linking them utterly taboo. Once they have done it on a certain matter, they will not budge from it.Let me give unrelated examples for illustrative purposes.
First, where cause and effect work for her:
woman rejects man sexually for months, years. She says her husband isn’t pursuing her and loving her and listening to her heart. She is asserting cause and effect. Try introducing her marital biblical and vowed commitment to sexual access and you will be called a marital rape advocate. She will not de-link the man’s actions with hers.
Next, where cause and effect are verboten:
woman screams and spits in mans face, following him room to room, blocks his entrance or exit, man eventually shoves woman down. Women describe this as man physically abusing woman. And if someone dare mention the other, they are excusing the man’s actions. You’d best forget holding her accountable because that means cause and effect.
They move easily between both frames depending on the issue. Its easy to see which one they want to take regarding the men’s tweets saying things about being treated poorly by women. Women cannot read that objectively. They cannot separate the two things. Therefore they think men cannot separate the two things, the murder and their mistreatment complains, hence men are excusing murder. NOTHING can be solved, ever, when nothing can be discussed with intellectual honesty. before it even starts, NO, I’m not inclined to defend the remarks in those tweets because they lack decency. But they do NOT excuse murder as a response.
In predictable fashion the ladies grabbed those tweets and showed the world “the attitude of men after the shooting”. And Ms. Hosmer is in the camp that would say these men are excusing murder and that we cannot write them off as a few cranks online.
the killer justifying his actions by blaming women for choosing lesser men than him and leaving him a virgin was something that seemed to resonate well with certain individuals on the internet, namely men’s rights activists and certain other men who felt victimized by being friendzoned.
After this absurdity, its tough to take her psychological meandering seriously. If she reasons as above, she therefore lacks as an armchair diagnostician.
This so-called “nice guy” was likely rejected by women precisely because he lacked empathy – a distinguishing trait of his personality disorder, as well as many other antisocial personality disorders. It is the human capacity to experience the emotions of another person, as well as to respond appropriately to those feelings.
I wonder if she has explored the growing body of work and opinion that suggests there really is no such thing as empathy. There are types of sympathy, one type being the one we’d conflate with empathy, but empathy where we can indeed feel what someone else is feeling is a quaint but impossible idea. If women accept that empathy is a trait they seek in men they should also add that he live in a windmill. You’re gonna tilt? Then tilt.
Someone you are talking to says they are sad, they lost their mom or dad the month prior. Is it good form to suggest you know how they feel? Can you know how they feel? Is it not annoying when someone says they know because their aunt died and they were really close. Like that. Empathy is egoism and self centered. You do not know how they feel, you cannot know how they feel, and you do not get to have any of the sympathy they need. Its your craving of sympathy and attention that makes you celebrate empathy as a virtue.
Finally, she offers another blatant example of the comfy chair called the normalcy bias. Conventional wisdom has become not conventional wisdom, wisdom learned from life experience. Perhaps as a side effect of our lack of direct connectedness, conventional wisdom is what someone writes that it is, and another repeats it. That’s what she does here:
For too long we have told our young men that they were weak for shedding tears, that their feelings didn’t matter, even that they need to turn in their “man” card if they do feel too much. This misguided socialization is at the heart of what creates men’s violence. We train our boys to have as little empathy as possible, so that when the government sends them off to war, they can kill other humans without batting an eye (and when they do bat an eye, they go home with PTSD, and encounter barriers to treatment and even diagnosis). Their reward when they return: women and sex. With this system reinforced by the media and art, it’s no wonder men learn to objectify women so. It is absolutely despicable what we are doing to young men. And it’s killing women and men, and leaving women to lead lives in perpetual fear of men.
Straight from the women’s studies book. Not much refection of reality. How can anyone with eyes and ears live in this country, experience the media, the schools, the parenting skills that are taught, the fiction in the form of programming and books, how can they see all of that and make a statement that is 180 degrees off? Because it feels right. It feels right because it lets her keep her belief set. Her belief set is a well defined thing, cozy to stay in, and not something she wants to have challenged. Because its all interconnected. if one bit of reality gets in, the house of cards collapses.
Women have progressed from whatever you’d call it 75 years ago to something that’s grown easier and easier, to now not even being held to account for their wrongs. Is it any wonder they must create from whole cloth the monsters that reside under their beds? The best way to be perceived as a weighty advocate is to advocate against something that has the reliability of an urban legend. reliable in the sense that one can say it and anyone who disagrees will be disagreeing with what everyone knows.
Worse, if you challenge or disagree, she throws down this gauntlet:
So go and read #YesAllWomen as an empathy exercise. It’s okay to cry (we’ve certainly shed our share of tears). The more hostile you are to the idea of even checking it out, the more likely it is that you are the problem.
See. if I’m disinclined to go read the bilge, I am the problem. Brilliant emotional argumentation. The forensics, however, would be featured on Romper Room.
She closes by referring to a pending personal anecdote that she will share in a subsequent post. I read it. She describes a man walking up to her asking, “how ya doin?”. Then grabbing his crotch and asking if she wants to guess how ‘big this is”. Go read it here, then, if you’ve ever sat through a corporate training film on sexual harassment and seen how pat and silly the scenarios to actors on them run through, tell me if this doesn’t seem like one of those.
Some folks desperately want to be taken seriously when they say “I know how you feel”. Some, like my example above will strain an analogy, comparing the death of an aunt to that of a parent. Others will do quite something else.