Friday, February 8

The Scum Manifesto


An interesting book with a very interesting message. If you are a man who is generally angry at feminists, this would at least give you a good reason to be mad. But still, the message of the book remains intriguing.

The book is entitled The S.C.U.M Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men). It is written by Valerie Solanas, one of the most controversial and notorious women in American feminist history. She actually became famous after attempting to murder three men in 1968. She actually turned herself in to the police on the same day to make a statement about why she shot those men. She received a sentence of three years, and became a martyr by the time of her release. But she came out only to go on stalking those who escaped death on the day she shot them. She then spent the rest of her life in mental hospitals.

Solanas wrote The SCUM Manifesto on the same year she was charged with attempted murder. By then, she had been a playwright. Her first play, was to be produced by one of the men she wanted to kill. But apparently he never returned her script and only gave her a small role in one of his films as compensation. Later on, when she demanded that he returns the script or pay her for it, he claimed that he lost it and refused to give her any money for it. Solanas apparently did not need the money, because she used to self-published her works at the time. She was protecting her copyrights it seems, but her own way.. How dare he steal her script! One thing you must keep in mind buddy: DON'T MESS WITH AN ANGRY WOMAN.

Anyway.. Solanas' Manifesto was meant to be an attack on the patriarchal culture, promoting the idea of a violent revolution to establish an all-female society. What is most outstanding about the book is that in spite of its extremism and furious style, and aside from the violent message it conveys, it actually makes lots of sense when dealing with social analysis and scientific facts. (It gets most interesting when she describes her theory that a male is actually an incomplete female, which is the total opposite of the Freudian theory.) You wouldn't expect this to be the work of a mad woman! But everybody wanted to believe that this woman was mad.. This was the sixties, don't forget.

Below I shall list some of my favorite quotes from The SCUM Manifesto, and I will also provide a link where you can read the book in full text. Yeah.. That's a free bonus! Fanta's gift for Valentine. Enjoy :)

"Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.

It is now technically feasible to reproduce without the aid of males (or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must begin immediately to do so. The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.

The male is completely egocentric, trapped inside himself, incapable of empathizing or identifying with others, or love, friendship, affection of tenderness. He is a completely isolated unit, incapable of rapport with anyone. His responses are entirely visceral, not cerebral; his intelligence is a mere tool in the services of his drives and needs; he is incapable of mental passion, mental interaction; he can't relate to anything other than his own physical sensations. He is a half-dead, unresponsive lump, incapable of giving or receiving pleasure or happiness; consequently, he is at best an utter bore, an inoffensive blob, since only those capable of absorption in others can be charming. He is trapped in a twilight zone halfway between humans and apes, and is far worse off than the apes because, unlike the apes, he is capable of a large array of negative feelings -- hate, jealousy, contempt, disgust, guilt, shame, doubt -- and moreover, he is aware of what he is and what he isn't."

"Being an incomplete female, the male spends his life attempting to complete himself, to become female. He attempts to do this by constantly seeking out, fraternizing with and trying to live through an fuse with the female, and by claiming as his own all female characteristics -- emotional strength and independence, forcefulness, dynamism, decisiveness, coolness, objectivity, assertiveness, courage, integrity, vitality, intensity, depth of character, grooviness, etc -- and projecting onto women all male traits -- vanity, frivolity, triviality, weakness, etc. It should be said, though, that the male has one glaring area of superiority over the female -- public relations. (He has done a brilliant job of convincing millions of women that men are women and women are men). The male claim that females find fulfillment through motherhood and sexuality reflects what males think they'd find fulfilling if they were female.

Women, in other words, don't have penis envy; men have pussy envy. When the male accepts his passivity, defines himself as a woman... He then achieves a continuous diffuse sexual feeling from `being a woman'."

"There is no human reason for money or for anyone to work more than two or three hours a week at the very most. All non-creative jobs (practically all jobs now being done) could have been automated long ago, and in a moneyless society everyone can have as much of the best of everything as she wants. But there are non-human, male reasons for wanting to maintain the money system."

"Unable to give love or affection, the male gives money. It makes him feel motherly. The mother gives milk; he gives bread. He is the Breadwinner."

"[Money] Provide the basis for the male's major opportunity to control and manipulate -- fatherhood."

"Mother wants what's best for her kids; Daddy only wants what's best for Daddy, that is peace and quiet, pandering to his delusion of dignity (`respect'), a good reflection on himself (status) and the opportunity to control and manipulate, or, if he's an `enlightened' father, to `give guidance'... Daddy, unlike Mother, can never give in to his kids, as he must, at all costs, preserve his delusion of decisiveness, forcefulness, always-rightness and strength. Never getting one's way leads to lack of self-confidence in one's ability to cope with the world and to a passive acceptance of the status quo. Mother loves her kids, although she sometimes gets angry, but anger blows over quickly and even while it exists, doesn't preclude love and basic acceptance. Emotionally diseased Daddy doesn't love his kids; he approves of them -- if they're `good', that is, if they're nice, `respectful', obedient, subservient to his will, quiet and not given to unseemly displays of temper that would be most upsetting to Daddy's easily disturbed male nervous system -- in other words, if they're passive vegetables. If they're not `good', he doesn't get angry -- not if he's a modern, `civilized' father -- but rather express disapproval, a state that, unlike anger, endures and precludes a basic acceptance, leaving the kid with the feeling of worthlessness and a lifelong obsession wit being approved of; the result is fear of independent thought, as this leads to unconventional, disapproved of opinions and way of life.

For the kid to want Daddy's approval it must respect Daddy, and being garbage, Daddy can make sure that he is respected only by remaining aloof, by distantness, by acting on the precept of `familiarity breeds contempt', which is, of course, true, if one is contemptible. By being distant and aloof, he is able to remain unknown, mysterious, and thereby, to inspire fear (`respect')."

"The affect of fatherhood on males, specifically, is to make them `Men', that is, highly defensive of all impulses to passivity, faggotry, and of desires to be female. Every boy wants to imitate his mother, be her, fuse with her, but Daddy forbids this; he is the mother; he gets to fuse with her. So he tells the boy, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly, to not be a sissy, to act like a `Man'. The boy, scared shitless of and `respecting' his father, complies, and becomes just like Daddy, that model of `Man'-hood.

The effect of fatherhood on females is to make them male -- dependent, passive, domestic, animalistic, insecure, approval and security seekers, cowardly, humble, `respectful' of authorities and men, closed, not fully responsive, half-dead, trivial, dull, conventional, flattened-out and thoroughly contemptible. Daddy's Girl, always tense and fearful, uncool, unanalytical, lacking objectivity, appraises Daddy, and thereafter, other men, against a background of fear (`respect') and is not only unable to see the empty shell behind the facade, but accepts the male definition of himself as superior, as a female, and of herself, as inferior, as a male, which, thanks to Daddy, she really is."


Reducing the female to an animal, to Mama, to a male, is necessary for psychological as well as practical reasons: the male is a mere member of the species, interchangeable with every other male. He has no deep-seated individuality, which stems from what intrigues you, what outside yourself absorbs you, what you're in relation to. Completely self-absorbed, capable of being in relation only to their bodies and physical sensations, males differ from each other only to the degree and in the ways they attempt to defend against their passivity and against their desire to be female.

The female's individuality, which he is acutely aware of, but which he doesn't comprehend and isn't capable of relating to or grasping emotionally, frightens and upsets him and fills him with envy. So he denies it in her and proceeds to define everyone in terms of his or her function or use, assigning to himself, of course, the most important functions -- doctor, president, scientist -- therefore providing himself with an identity, if not individuality, and tries to convince himself and women that the female function is to bear and raise children and to relax, comfort and boost the ego if the male; that her function is such as to make her interchangeable with every other female. In actual fact, the female function is to relate, groove, love and be herself, irreplaceable by anyone else; the male function is to produce sperm."

"In actual fact, the female function is to explore, discover, invent, solve problems crack jokes, make music -- all with love. In other words, create a magic world."


Read full text of The S.C.U.M Manifesto

15 comments:

raaasa said...

Fanta,

Never in my wildest imaginings did I think that I would live to see the day that I would see discussion of the SCUM manifesto in Egypt! Bravo for shaking things up even more than usual:) I am eager to see the varied reactions. Excellent premise for an excellent post!

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

Dear Fanta,
Excellent post!! I have so much I would like to say. Wow!! What a subject! I think I can guess what is going on in the mind of any man who comes here and reads this article.... The name of the book actually strikes me as funny. Here is a woman who wants to abolish men from society... actually ban them and their existance!!! Maybe some people will look at it as an extreme way of thinking.... but I am sure those same people will think these actions as normal if they attribute it to someone else other than that woman.

Do you know why I think some people willl treat this as normal? because it happens every day.... entire countries live on the basis of this ideology, and feel that this is what is right... and the opressed gender support their own opression! I am thinking of course of Saudi Arabia... and similar countries that practice extreme forms of religion ( most arab countries, afghanistan, pakistan...etc.)... This is the exact ideology infiltrating our country and taking it over without us recognizing the danger.... Except that they dont opress men, they opress women. They dont like the way democratic governments are run, and they dont like women having any rights.... In Egypt, they would like to overthrow the egyptian government and run their own "islamic state", where they will "destroy the female sex" they will forbid them as people, they will not let them walk in the streets without harrassment, they will not let them show their hair, they will not let them show their face, they will not let them work, they will not let them take care of their own affairs. they will not let them get an education, they will not let them get health care. their voices will not be heard, they will not be able to vote or hold a government position. they will not let them be any form of authority because they believe they are inferior ( naqesat 3aql wa deen). They will do to women what this woman wants to do to men, and what Saudi Arabia is actually doing right now!!! Yet many people feel that the Saudi way of life is what god intended.... so they run and opress their immediate family, wives, sisters, daughters...etc. trying to live up to their perceived perfection that is Saudi Arabian culture!!! they dont feel that this is extreme,or illogical... yet if they read this book, they are more likely to be objective and realize the absurdity of their own thought process and imported wahabi ideology.

In their own minds... women are lacking in intelligence.. Every decision they make and every opposition they have to a woman's right that is finally given to her is based upon one thought.... Women get periods.. therefore they couldnt possibly think or function in society, or make decisions or have responsibilities. Just last week"elmofti" issued a fatwa saying that it was okay for women to hold the position of "ma2zoon".... and all the people who disagreed with him had one argument... how can she do that when she gets a peiod??as well as.. "naqesat 3aql wa deen" so basicly they argued women are inferior and stupid and lack objectivity because they can reproduce...the exact same argument they used to argue women's rights to be judges!! Yet they found no shame in what they said, and never mentioned that this is an absurd idea that has no scientific basis. Now in this book, this woman states the exact same thing about men. They are not intelligent and they are not objective and they are inferior... Do they now feel how backward and unrealistic their ideas are? I hope they do.. because if they dont, then this confirms what this woman said about men's lack of mental interraction.

Her scientific analysis is amusing and true... men do lack part of a gene that was once present... and her behavioral theory is the exact opposite of the freudian theory of women feeling penis envy... which was one of the funniest things you learn when you study psychology... The only people who actually have this problem are the ones with gender identity disorder... which is not very common, and is a psycological disorder.. where a man or a woman feel that they have been born into the wrong body... so in conclusion, Freud came up with one of the most rediculous unrealistic theories ever, and since it demeaned women and not men, and gave men a sense of superiority since they have something a woman can only wish for, and despite the absurdity of this claim, it was widely acceped and is taught in medical schools and in psycology classes to this very day. She has done the exact same thing Freud has done... except favor women over men in the process.

Her description of men as lacking individuality and being interchangeable, is the same idiology used in our patriarchal society, and it is the basis on which they justify polygamy... since they feel that if one woman cannot do her job as perfectly as she should, then we'll get a second one to complement her deficiencies... totally oblivious to the fact that this will destroy the woman emotionally, and socially.. as well as putting the blame on her in the end, since she is the one with the deficiencies, and never caring how this will damage the family as a whole, or the children in particular... In short they feel that women are interchangeable. Now if you feel that her ideas are extreme and uncalled for, dont you think that these same ideas which are being applied to women in this day and age are similarily extreme and uncalled for?

The fact that this woman felt the need to go and murder the men she felt had dishonored her, is the same idea behind today's men who kill their daughters or wives or sisters to protect their family honor. The difference is that she was sent to a mental institution because this idea is insane, but the men of today are given the benefit of the doubt, and their lunacy is justified, and are never sent to get the apropriate psychiaric care... and sometimes their actions are even encouraged and condoned by society.


Replace the word woman by the word man and vice versa in everything that was posted here, and you will see that it is an accurate description of some societies, and of the menality that is taking over our country by storm and trying to turn it into such a society.


The Feminism expressed in this book is a rather extreme form of feminism... Todays women are not asking to destroy men or kill them, but rather to abolish one gender being superior to the other solely based on their reproductive organs. The value of this book is that men can look at things objectively and realise the irony of what this woman wished for, because in a sense,some men are applying it today in every aspect of society to some degree.. and are fighing to apply 100% of these ideas over the entire population because they feel they are right. I hope the day when their ideas are complete will never come!

ألِف said...

Fantasia, if I were you I'd translate the manifesto to Arabic and get some real discussions going.


EFC wrote "Todays women are not asking to destroy men or kill them"

Say that to my girlfriend, please.
:)

Arabic ID said...

the S.C.U.M

actually the first thought came to me is that why the extreme way of thinking??, I agree we have to understand that there is a problem, but why we would deny and don't see good things?? why we would notice the bad sides and choose a bad explanation for another good things??, and keep doing so just to make our theory stronger, but this makes it such a joke than a message.

I mean here the book and its writer
---------------
it is a beautiful post, but extreme , I will watch my head.

Egyptian Feminist Chic said...

arabic id... don't you think that there are people advocating this extreme form of thinking and would like to apply it to women?? and dont you think it is actually applied against women in some countries?? yet i dont find anyone saying that it is rediculous or a joke, or unacceptable, or needs to be changed... it is a fact, and it is out there. if people see how extreme those ideas are, they will not be as likely to use them against women... which is what is happening now. I think Fanta is brilliant in shedding a light onto this book... it may be the only way for some men to realize the impact of oppressive societies on women.

Arabic ID said...

E.F.C

yes of-course, hindo for an example
jews also...

and some Islamic societies , not all of them,

I find myself sometimes screaming of the violence and unfair the women treated with, it is just unfair, to have the power means to know how to use it, but do you know how did I learned that this is wrong, it is another issue not to discuss here.

but I was talking in general, why anyone wants to show his thoughts and announce for it he will adopt any way to insult the others views, for myself I understand the point of views of the others, as if I found someone is lynig to me, I will first expect that he is loving me so he didn't want to hurt me, or he is afraid of me, or if he is just making lies to get benefit or making laugh of me I will stop dealing with him.

trying to understand others situations makes a lot of difference in our judges.

again I was talking in general not for this book only.

thanks fantasia and E.F.C

Fantasia said...

dear raaasa,

well, you've seen it first on fantasia's world :)
thanks dear for encouraging me to shake things even more.. as i really believe that our society is in serious need of a wake up call.

this book has been on my mind for a long time.. yet, the severe present wave of discrimination against women made me decide to write about it. everybody will be celebrating valentine soon, and the world will sink into a sea of red roses and hearts. this made me wonder about men who buy roses on valentine for women they victimize on a daily basis! you love a woman and you are planning to make her quit her job? you love a woman and you don't allow her to make decisions without your consent? you love a woman and you force her to serve you 24/7? you love a woman and you can't imagine the idea that she may be more successful than yourself? i mean, hell.. what kind of love is this?!!

in a previous post called "your guide to dating an egyptian man" i told a real story which i witnessed at a nearby gift shop on valentine's day. this incident made me think about how men view love and how they treat the women they supposedly love. you just can't help seeing the contradiction.. some men see love as a tool to exploit women, and some women seem to be ok with it.

that's why i consider this manifesto to be so useful.. not for cutting up men.. but for predicting the future of female reaction if men continue to oppress women in such a way.

Fantasia said...

dear EFC,

YES, yes, and yes.. you said it all dear. i've got nothing left to say, honestly.

victimizing women and seeking to have complete domination over their lives won't lead to anything constructive. violence on one side breeds violence on the other. women who cut their husbands to pieces had no other choice. it is a fact. they were victims of long term abuse, with no hope of getting a divorce, and no hope to receive any real help to improve their conditions or relieve their pains. what do we expect in return? lots of people would like to forget that women are human beings, but that does not cancel the fact that they ARE human! they are capable of action. and when you block their way to all peaceful means, all they have left is vengeance. they will seek to destroy those who destroyed them. i believe this is fair enough.. at least it goes hand in hand with the logic of religious extremists who think that bombing innocent people is totally fair and that it even pleases God. OK.. how is this for a treat?
this is a woman who says that male cruelty has its genetic origins, just like those patriarchs keep promoting that women are weak by nature, or that they are unfit for certain jobs, or that they can't be left alone... etc. OK.. if you think this is how God created women, then you should accept that what this lady says is true. God created men to cruel, heartless, power freaks. now, how about women deciding to marginalize men, just as men decided to marginalize women? how about seeking to protect the world from male evil, just like men believe that women are a source of evil? how about that saying that men are in fact much weaker than women, and that they spoil everything they lay their hands on? there are millions of proofs by the way, it would be so easy to present all the facts that would back up this claim, especially after millenia of male domination on earth.

there is nothing easier than cancelling the other. that is what i always say. you wanna throw me in the river, and i can do it too, but life just doesn't work this way. humanity has reached a point in its history when more people are finally able to distinguish right from wrong.. they can know the difference between good and evil.. between justice and injustice. so there is no point in playing dumb just to hold on to the privileges that male ancestors gained in ancient times.

thanks dearest feminist chic for the wonderful post you've written here. i seriously mean it.. this can actually become part 2 of my post. it is amazing how are able to explain what i have in mind! blessed i am to have you as a partner :)

Fantasia said...

dear alif,

OMG! i didn't think you were that evil! you wanna have me killed or what? man, won't you miss my writings? :)

well, i really wish i had enough time to work on translating this book. but i seriously doubt that anyone would be willing to discuss it. i believe those who will read it will rather be too busy searching for a fatwa to behead me. lol

and what's up with your girlfriend, buddy? is she a manifesto-follower or what?

Fantasia said...

arabic id,

one extreme will lead to the other. we can't really blame this woman for writing this book. if this is one extreme example from the feminist side, how about thousands of examples from the patriarchal side?

let me tell you also that this book was never taken seriously due to many reasons related to its author.. but men's extreme writings and preachings about women receive huge support and find millions who are happy to adopt their ideas.

i just wanted to draw the attention that the end of injustice, cruelty, violence, oppression, and discrimination against women, would lead to this extreme one day. the oppressed usually lose their minds when they reach the boiling point, and nothing would prevent them from going extreme.. because extremism is the easiest way.

egy anatomist said...

Fanta Hanem

Too late? Wish I am not.

New style and new idears. You have managed to offer a brand new prespective of women's issues in your blog.

Nice reading for the weired book. I always need to read you twice to get away from the magic of your style and concenterate on words and meaning.

Well, you have said it all in your last comment on Mr Arabic ID. Nothing more can be said.

Oppression is the password to all the misery in the world. The problem is that oppressors don't read and if they read; they laugh!

Regards

raaasa said...

Dear group,

I must again repeat how much I enjoy the ideas expressed, and experimented with, here by Fanta, EFC, and the rest of the support team and occasional visitors. Visits here and to your other blogs are a regular part of my days now--and yes, I do have a life:) Thanks for that.

Fanta, I absolutely agree that here many--I am showing optimism by not saying all or most-- men use love as a tool to exploit women. And it is true, many women fall for it. Love can make people stupid. Flowers, perfume, jewellery, extravagant words and gestures lead to marriage and then--boom--too late for the woman to have any balance in the relationship if it hasn't already been established. Yep, been there.

Excellent point, Anatomist, that oppressors don't read and if they do, they laugh.

I left my relationship in Egypt because I truly felt if it did not end, someone was going to die. (I was lucky enough to be in the position to do so.) Here, we have often noted the potential snapping of a person who has been pushed beyond their limits. Out of curiosity, is there any information available on the numbers of wives who have killed their husbands? How and what etc?

Fantasia said...

dear anatomist,

nope, you're not late at all. i am the late one here. pardon me, as i've got too much over my head nowadays.

thanks a lot for praising my writing style. i wish i would go back to my shorter posts in order to be able to concentrate more on perfecting my style, as i really enjoy the writing process in itself. i believe writing is a unique experience during which a person gets to discover a lot about his/her mind and self.

great point you made here.. as usual. and it makes me wonder: why have human beings been so obsessed with opression throughout history? what joy can any person (i mean a normal person) derive from opressing a human being? let aside the religious or moral side, and just forget about cruelty and all.. what's inside there that actually finds some sort of pleasure in making another person suffer? can this be a fact that we have to accept rather than try to fight against? i'm seriously giving this some deep thought and i hope i don't end up with something like "it's inevitable. men will be men."

Fantasia said...

dearest raaasa,

hey, i really liked it when you referred to us as a group. i believe that's what blogging is all about. i knew this blog has finally turned into something once i started interacting with certain people on a regular basis, and i realized that i now belong to an excellent group of readers and bloggers who share the same vision (with its variations of course). and now, reading the brilliant ideas of everybody who's joining the discussions going on.. i sit back and say, "well fanta, you sure did something good." and i feel happy and satisfied. i owe this feeling to you and to all those who wonderful people who support me here.

but still i can't stop hoping for more and searching for more. that's why i'm currently working on a bigger project that i hope would be fruitful in the near future. wish me luck.

thanks for sharing your past experience with us, dear. i believe all egyptian girls can relate to your story one way or another, as well as lots of girls from around the world of course.. in egypt though, violence and discrimination against women is so common that you tend to see it as the default. you are lucky coz you got out of this relationship at the right time. many girls don't get the same chance, either because they lack the realistic vision, or because they would rather go on with whatever relationship they have in order to get married.
marriage in egypt is a disaster, i have to say. even with the high rate of divorce we witness nowadays, i can assure you that at least 70% of the marriages that continue are a failure. the divorce rate can give an indication as to how serious the problem has become, but again it does not reflect the true size of the problem.
as to domestic violence and abuse, the numbers recorded in statistics are horrifying enough, although they are not accurate. you know that most women would usually shut up about what happens inside their homes, even if this puts them and their children in serious risk. estimates are that about 1 in 3 women in egypt suffer from domestic abuse.

please refer to this document for more detailed information: http://www.omct.org/pdf/VAW/EgyptEng2001.pdf

and here are the latest numbers (first half of 2007):
http://www.lchr-eg.org/77/77-57.htm


aside from this, i'd like you to check out this link http://www.feminist.com/news/vaw11.html
it talks about an event which i happened to witness and which reflects another dimension of the problem

as to the number of wives who have killed their husbands, i haven't seen any reports about that one. but every now and then you read about this in newspapers.

as to the how and what, you can refer to the 3 most famous cases of Samiha, Rabaa, and Mona. those 3 have killed their husbands in most vicious ways, that's why they made it big in the media.

samiha actually cut her husband into 10 pieces. he had been abusing her all through their married life, but when he started accusing her of knowing other men she couldn't take it any longer and was afraid that he would divorce her after ruining her reputation and leave her to face the shame all by herself.

rabaa beheaded her husband while he was kneeling to pray. she had been married for 13 years, and suddenly her husband decided to marry another woman. she tried to prevent him, but he started beating her violently and said that nothing was going to stop him from having his right to re-marry.. (haha.. yeah, right!) so, as you can say, she stopped him her own way.

while mona is the most famous of them all. she stabbed her husband 20 times in the chest. he has been so violent and abusive, he stole all her money, and he attempted to rape (or raped, according to another story) her daughter, whom she had from a previous marriage. this woman has been recently released after serving 15 years in prison. but men were going crazy when they learned that she won't be executed. i say 15 years is too much already! what if she was a man who killed another man for attempting to rape his daughter, huh?

thus, as you can see, the three stories involved domestic abuse. of course, there are wives who kill their husbands for other reasons, but the majority have been victimized for so long before turning into criminals.

raaasa said...

Dear Fanta,

Thank you so much for your reflective and informative response.

Good-- no best of-- luck with your new venture(s), but please don't forget about us here:)

I very much agree with what you responded to Anatomist's post about writing. For me also, writing is very much about self-discovery and following the road to what I think and what I feel about issues and the world and my connection with it.

Regarding obsessive control, I read years ago a book about a man who collected women as one would collect butterflies. Where was I going with this? Maaleysh.

Ok, I think the joy for control freaks is to have a person completely under his/her power--to be the one to reward or punish--to rule through fear--to keep women in a perpetual childlike state--to ultimately provide the man with shelter from the cruel world outside. I think also that in countries where people have limited power and control over their destinies, the men are somehow pacified by having total control over their women. Hmmm. I could go on and on with this but will stop myself for the moment.

Thank you also for the famous examples of cases. My suspicion is that because they were somehow sensational, the average Egyptian man and woman would be able to say, "oh, no, nothing at all like my situation."

I am not at all surprized that women lose it. I mean, after all, for many, marriage is the only thing they have been able to invest in. It is their only security (unless they have money and resources of their own).

I will take a look at the links you posted when I have enough time to pay thorough attention to them.

"When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid" - Audre Lorde