Black and Blue: The Many Ways of Domestic Violence World

We are in a rape culture. We have a million examples in this neoliberal and neocon country of that. We have the fact of one out of 12 or 15 girls and women losing their viriginity through sexual assault. We have what — one out of five in this country experiencing sexual assault by the time they hit 40 years of age.

The reality is we have Clarence Thomas as one of the Supremes, with his sick attack on Anita Hill, as well as girls and women at large, and then the frat boy Kavanaugh, more male human stain. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, 55, is a professor of psychology at Palo Alto University who grew up in the suburbs of Washington DC. She’s also a research psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine. And her testimony was lambasted by a lot of men. Joe Biden attacked Anita Hill during her testimony to try and keep the Criminal Clarence off the bench. Dear reader, you can provide countless examples of rape culture, misogony, and the unending attack on women.

It is a worldwide phenomnem. Sure, we can get the New York Post or Jerusalem Post reporting on this most recent incident, without really getting under the molting skin of Western Culture:

A Pakistani father has been arrested in the suspected honor killing of his 18-year-old daughter in Italy after she refused an arranged marriage, police said Friday.

Shabbir Abbas was taken into custody in his village in the eastern Punjab province last week after a tip-off by Italian authorities and local police, senior police official Anwar Saeed Kingra said.

The suspect’s daughter, Saman Abbas, was last seen alive in late April by neighbors outside her family’s home in the farm town of Novellara, near the city of Reggio Emilia.

A few days later, a Milan airport video showed Saman’s parents, who had reportedly been pressuring her to marry a man she had never met, catching a flight to Pakistan.

Abbas’ arrest comes just days after a body was discovered in a shallow grave in an abandoned building near the Pakistani family’s home. (source)

Of course, violence, as we say, domestic violence, is a specific sort of hatred and overt misogyny. Yeah, Israel and so many other countries do their thing against innocent people because they know destroying teens and old men and old women destroy the cultural safety net.

Beware of anything tied to religion, tied to USA and Israel, too — it’s not just (sic) an honor killing. These demons in Israel know what they are doing to the dignity and mental health of young women. Here,

A Palestinian woman filed a complaint after being subjected to an intimate search. Her story reveals the tip of an iceberg of Israeli misconduct, excuses, and cover-ups at the highest levels of the security and justice establishment.

by Kathryn Shihadah

In recent weeks, the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz has been reporting on a disturbing case opened in 2018 by the Israeli State Prosecutor’s Office. The story reveals Israel’s official complicity with the intimate body search of at least one Palestinian woman, and Israel’s investigative agency’s unwillingness to police its own.

Israel has a long history of strip searching women and children, first revealed by If Americans Knew in 2007 (see this and this) and in number of additional reports since.

Following is a recent egregious example, and complicity at the highest levels of the Israeli security and justice establishment.

In 2015, Shin Bet and Israeli military personnel raided the home of a Palestinian woman suspected of having links with Hamas (the elected body ruling in Gaza) in order to confiscate cell phones and tablets. The woman cooperated, and the Israelis located the devices. They still needed to find a SIM card.

A high ranking Shin Bet officer (male) apparently told an Israeli military officer (also male) to order a body cavity search – an act that was not only unjustified, but may be considered rape and sodomy.

The military officer ordered the woman to be taken to a room and stripped, and two female soldiers (one a doctor) to perform the search; that is, she was searched twice. Nothing was found, and no one along the line of command questioned or reported the order (the SIM card was later found in the woman’s bedroom).

This rambling preamble is a way to set the stage, sort of speak, to a simple case (very complicated, actually) of how one 38 year old woman from Canada (who I just met in February) got hooked by a 36 year old from Arizona in their 5 year long relationship where the man drank daily into black out drunkenness, and, continuously attacked her, defamed her, humiliated her, exacted complete control over her. Intimate violence is one term for this. Yes, a woman who speaks and reads three languages, who had her own restaurant in Guatemala, and who is bright and confident, has a family — parents and sister — in Canada — but she was set into a trap where her good nature and her vulnerability (cultivated early, from her youth, as well as from how she was brought up, and from her family’s own issues with abuse) was exploited by a very mean, Doctor Jeckle, Mister Hyde guy who, of course, has his own victimhood as a youth by a horrible father and horrible mother.

It does come from Thomas Jefferson, no, the early seeds of white man’s abuse on this un-United States? (“A rapist and slaver who did other things — Touring Monticello one year into the George Floyd era“). We understand the rape of the continent by Spanish and French Portuguese, no? White Male Colonial Dominance.

Historic Centre of Lima, Peru


The writer accusing Donald Trump of raping her 27 years ago said the former U.S. president defamed her a second time last month by falsely telling his social media followers that he had not known her and the rape never happened.

E. Jean Carroll, a former Elle magazine columnist, made the accusation in a lawsuit she plans to file on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, accusing Trump of battery over their alleged encounter at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in Manhattan. (source)


When alleged rapists are members of a group Trump likes, however, he is more sympathetic. In 2013, in response to the Pentagon’s annual report on sexual assault, he tweeted: “26,000 unreported sexual assults [sic] in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”

“I do remember her telling me that Joe Biden had put her up against a wall and had put his hands up her skirt and had put his fingers inside her,” LaCasse said. Tara Reade, as detailed in a previous NPR report, has accused Biden of pinning her against a wall in the hallway of a Capitol Hill building and penetrating her vagina with his fingers in the spring of 1993.

The Biden campaign denies the alleged incident, as do longtime Biden staffers whom Reade worked for at the time.

The Biden campaign did not specifically respond to the latest developments, but pointed NPR to its previous statement, which said that the alleged incident “absolutely did not happen.” Biden has not addressed the accusation himself.

AMERICA’S ACCOUNTABILITY PROBLEM is being laid bare. Once a global superpower, today jeers of “failed state” better describe our geriatric empire. Having survived impeachment, America’s acquitted president poorly navigates an unclear future as a pandemic rages and a recession looms, leaving hundreds of thousands dead in its global wake. An embattled population barrels toward a national election between two accused rapists and known liars: President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joseph Biden. (source)

I’m getting there, toward the Domestic Violence platform from which to continue, but this context is needed to validate how both the abuser and the victim is put into a cultural overlay and underlay of what makes people think they are or are not abusers, how victims see themselves, what the society sees and doesn’t see, how courts do and do not validate spousal abuse, and this amazingly complex issue of a victim’s mind rewiring to develop this yo-you of returning back to the abuser, and how Stockholm Syndrome is very real when it comes to domestic violence. Here, rape culture, and if you are smart, delve into news, study Hollywood, study so much in this society — and I am a male, so I have been in situations as a police reporter, a high school athlete, teacher of military personnel, and more, which gives me insider insight from males who have some of the most evil things to say about women, wives, girlfriends, daughters, et al.

Rape is the nation’s most underreported violent crime, according to U.S. Justice Department statistics, as survivors fear that juries will believe the perpetrators, not them, and if they pursue justice, they may suffer further physical, economic, or social harm.

This stacked deck, known as “rape culture,” is the set of social attitudes about sexual assault that leads to survivors being treated with skepticism and even hostility, while perpetrators are shown empathy and imbued with credibility not conferred on people accused of other serious crimes, like armed robbery. (“How rape culture shapes whether a survivor is believed: Survivors’ and suspects’ gender and familiarity can inform respondent bias, study says”).

Honor killings, murdering women land defenders, raping boys and girls in wars, the football macho culture, the Hollywood dramas, hell, even Marilyn raped by Zanuck:

In Joyce Carol Oates’ 700-page novel, Blonde, the lead character is usually named as Norma Jeane, the name Monroe was born with and known by until her movie career took off. Later, she is “Marilyn Monroe”. During the second world war, the novel’s Norma Jeane works at Radio Plane, a company doing war work – and the future star did work at such a company. Later, when she finds fame, she marries first “the Ex-Athlete” and then “the Playwright” – transparent references to Monroe’s husbands Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller.

Sexual experiences, mostly miserable ones, dominate Blonde – with an emphasis on the tyranny and treachery of many of her men. Early in the book, Norma Jeane is raped by a Hollywood studio mogul who is allotted the name “Mr Z”. The rape scene is graphically written, sparing no detail. “Mr Z” has been interpreted as a thinly veiled reference to the founder of Twentieth Century Fox, Darryl Zanuck. The real-life Monroe recalled “casting couch” sex encounters . . . .

Rape. Sexual assault, but rape. Forced, unsolicited, not wanted forced sex. Biden, Clinton, Trump, et al.

The hero, the baseball freak? Beat the crap out of Marilyn, which is Domestic Violence. So many doubt he did it, and alas, this is where we are in 2022.

The DiMaggio character’s last scene in “Blonde” is when he confronts her back at their hotel room. He calls her “a (expletive) whore” and gives her a beating so violent that director Andrew Dominik apparently thought it would be more dramatically effective to take it off screen.

Was DiMaggio really so controlling and abusive? Did he truly lose it over “The Seven Year Itch” scene? In many ways, this view of DiMaggio is true, according to biographies, news reports and eyewitness accounts.

DiMaggio was “obsessed” with Monroe, tried to control his wife’s career, discouraged her from taking roles that reinforced her sexualized blonde-bombshell image and wanted her to dress more modestly and not outshine him in public, Slate reported.

If Monroe didn’t comply, DiMaggio became physically abusive, Slate reported. Monroe’s plight is confirmed by his son, Joe DiMaggio Jr., who once recalled waking up to “the sound of my father and Marilyn screaming,” the New York Post reported in 2014, citing the book, Joe and Marilyn: Legends in Love by biographer C. David Heymann.

“After a few minutes, I heard Marilyn race down the stairs and out the front door, and my father running after her,” DiMaggio Jr. continued. “He caught up to her and grabbed her by the hair and sort of half-dragged her back to the house. She was trying to fight him off but couldn’t.”

Monroe also confirmed that her participation in The Seven Year Itch led to the end of their marriage. She was quoted as saying, “exposing my legs and thighs, even my crotch — that was the last straw,” according to (source)

Photographer George S. Zimbel recalled everything going deathly quiet as DiMaggio, present for filming the scene, stormed away from the set. A violent fight followed at their hotel, according to Zimbel.

I’ll give the list here, first, and then continue with the personal story:

  • One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
  • Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
  • Females who are 20 – 24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence.
  • Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
  • According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, on average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day.
  • In 70 – 80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
  • It is estimated that anywhere between 3.3 million and 10 million children witness domestic violence annually.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
  • Thirty to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children.
  • The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
  • There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million worth of (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion.
  • Fifty percent of battered women who are employed are harassed at work by their abusive partners.
  • Approximately one-half of the orders obtained by women against intimate partners who physically assaulted them were violated.
  • More than two-thirds of the restraining orders against intimate partners who raped or stalked the victim were violated.
  • Intimate partner violence affects people regardless of income. (source)

What follows is a 1,000 word piece that will appear in the local twice-a-week newspaper in my neck of the woods, Newport News Times, which is now under a paywall. It will appear around December 20 (I get a 1,000 words space every 30 days thus far). You know, discussing domestic violence during the holiday season when more abuse situations explode like a festering stye. Remember the stories of women trapped with their abusers during planned pandemic lockdowns? (A report released in 2021 by the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice shows that domestic violence incidents in the U.S. increased by 8.1% following the imposition of lockdown orders during the 2020 pandemic.)

Violence against women increased to record levels around the world following lockdowns to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The United Nations called the situation a “shadow pandemic” in a 2021 report about domestic violence in 13 nations in Africa, Asia, South America, Eastern Europe, and the Balkans. In the United States, the American Journal of Emergency Medicine reported alarming trends in U.S. domestic violence, and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) received more than 74,000 calls, chats, and texts in February, the highest monthly contact volume of its 25-year history. (source)

Black and Blue – Domestic Violence is a Tale of Multiple Abuses

By Paul K. Haeder

The month of October and the color blue signify yet another “awareness” month (October). Domestic Violence is an issue that should be, unfortunately, recognized and dealt with 24/7, 365 days a year. Every single day! December historically has been the month when DV cases/incidents rise.

In Lincoln County, spousal abuse ranks high on many of the crimes ending up on the police blotter.

This newspaper covers plethora of arrests tied to assaults that are indeed in the realm of domestic abuse. In many cases alcohol and drugs are the driving force behind many cases. We can get deep and say an abuser probably comes from an abusive childhood, but it’s difficult to conjure up sympathy for a man who punches, strangles or stabs his spouse.

Front page newspaper stories about accused abusers are both dramatic and informative for the community, but the reality for the abused seeing a headline and reading a detailed story of her perpetrator’s arrest is both unsettling and validation.

This County has a major lack of so-called “services” for those impacted by domestic abuse. There are no multiple so-called safe houses for sheltering the victim (My Sister’s Place), or easily accessed dynamic programs to assist victims (and a victim includes both the spouse and children and pets when families are involved).

The Lincoln County District Attorney’s office has decent prosecutors, for sure, and there is a Victim’s Assistance staff doing amazing things; there are even so-called Domestic Violence-focused judges in this neck of the woods. I have personal experience with a sheriff deputy investigating a case of wife abuse which encourages me about the character of some cops.

Imagine, a deputy telling a victim that “. . . it’s not your fault, this guy targeted you, and you are powerful, smart and worthy of a loving, respectful relationship.” This deputy, in fact, lives in my community, Waldport, with three children and wife. I see how invested he is in creating a safe community for all of us.

Unfortunately, for women, the cycle of abuse includes the yo-yo motion of both psychological factors and the action of returning to their abusers. The relationship that involves physical and verbal abuse is one of co-dependency and actual physiological changes in the woman’s brain.

We can call the Stockholm Syndrome-like actions of a victim a “dual relationship between the power of the abuser and the weakness of the abused.” Obviously, high profile and highly successful women – CEOs, business owners, et al – can be that “victim,” as well as any sort of woman on various social determinant spectrums that predicate economic, psychological and educational outcomes.

People in marriages and relationships whose partners are abusers can develop Stockholm Syndrome towards any person who has an eerie degree of power over them. We see this with anyone in interpersonal relationships with — husbands, wives, partners, parents, grandparents, children.

I’ve seen this up close and personal here in Lincoln County with several people who have reached out to me and my resources to flee abuse. The syndrome is built on a foundation of fear, threats, and isolation, and is generally believed to require victims’ belief that they can’t escape the situation they’re in.

The foundational ingredient (or poison or dark magic) is these “small acts of kindness” on the part of the abuser, whether real or perceived. Behind all that darkness, the abuser’s own actions are looked at “as a source of the flame of something to live for.”

This entails a complex set of cultural, interpersonal, and psychological elements.  The abuser can be seen as a monster – and there are outright monsters I have seen as a reporter, case manager and brother of a sister who managed safe houses and DV programs in Arizona – or a charmer.

Some of the common personality factors in an abuser include narcissism, low self-esteem and a long list of elements to include:

  • A history of abuse in one’s family or past
  • Being physically or sexually abused as a child
  • A history of being physically abusive
  • A lack of appropriate coping skills
  • Untreated mental illness
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Socioeconomic pressures or economic stress (studies show a higher incidence of abuse in lower-income communities)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Emotional dependence and insecurity
  • Belief in strict gender roles (e.g., male dominance and aggression in relationships)
  • Desire for power and control in past relationships

While there may be a history of attitudes accepting or justifying violence and aggression in American society, as well as studies citing the US as a rape culture, the fact is women especially have so many challenges accepting they are abused, believing that they are not responsible for the abuse and not falling into despair and creating their own isolation as the abuser’s perceived and real power over a woman’s life dominates.

The cycle of mental, economic and physical abuse inside a relationship that is abusive includes the psychodynamics of perpetrator and victim. The idea of understanding one’s victimhood in whichever culture a woman lives (some men, of course, are victims, too) is to dig deep into that culture’s treatment of families, women, mental health as well as how it embraces the sociological determinants of mental health outcomes including lack of economic stability, substance abuse, and one’s own self-worth.

Two quotations, one from a male and a female survivor, give hope during this holiday season, when abuse seems to heighten:

            You survived the abuse. You’re gonna survive the recovery.

                You are not the darkness you endured. You are the light that refused to surrender.

**Call 911 when in danger. Contact My Sister’s Place/My Safe Place, Lincoln County, for help: (541) 574-9424; Crisis Hotline: (541) 994-5959**


Early Roots

Oh, it starts with the parents of the parents. That is for sure. So, my Quebec friend, her own mother’s life in a small town near Montreal, or somewhere, involved brothers. Four brothers sexually assaulting her. Imagine that. And then, years later, a niece — daughter of one of those brothers — doing the same to his daughter, and alas, the mother of my friend, we’ll call my 38 year old friend, Domineque, went to court, had her niece file charges, and then, the old man after months of trials and tribulations, was found guilty of child abuse. That 30 year old niece, the day after the guilty verdict — not really justice served — died of a drug overdose.

My friend’s parents, let’s say, Cindi and Clement, married as sweethearts, at the age of 16. The old man, Clement, he was a motorcycle mechanic, then car mechanic and then car salesman. The two of them had two daughters, my friend Domineque and her sister Julia, let’s call her.

Parents who bought an old home and remodeled it and fixed it up. My friend and sister learned the skills of doing that sort of house fixing, and her mother was all hands on deck too. I have seen photos of the place outside Montreal. Upstairs and downstairs, two suites.

I have this friend’s story pretty complete, certainly from the start of when Domineque met this guy, let’s call him Daniel. Met in Guatemala, where she was running a cool eatery in Antigua. The guy was another traveling dude, drinking and living off of his old man’s inheritence.

All stories begin in the womb and before conception, for sure. We call this epigenetics, and cultural and family histories. How your DNA runs and develops, well, think grandparents and beyond.

This paper reviews the research evidence concerning the intergenerational transmission of trauma effects and the possible role of epigenetic mechanisms in this transmission. Two broad categories of epigenetically mediated effects are highlighted. The first involves developmentally programmed effects. These can result from the influence of the offspring’s early environmental exposures, including postnatal maternal care as well as in utero exposure reflecting maternal stress during pregnancy. The second includes epigenetic changes associated with a preconception trauma in parents that may affect the germline, and impact fetoplacental interactions. Several factors, such as sex?specific epigenetic effects following trauma exposure and parental developmental stage at the time of exposure, explain different effects of maternal and paternal trauma. The most compelling work to date has been done in animal models, where the opportunity for controlled designs enables clear interpretations of transmissible effects. Given the paucity of human studies and the methodological challenges in conducting such studies, it is not possible to attribute intergenerational effects in humans to a single set of biological or other determinants at this time. Elucidating the role of epigenetic mechanisms in intergenerational effects through prospective, multi?generational studies may ultimately yield a cogent understanding of how individual, cultural and societal experiences permeate our biology. (source)

So, the story is that hypervigilance, and how the brain is rewired just in the uterus is pretty complicated. Also, nurture — a household with parents that have lived through their own trauma — think of my friend’s mother raped by four brothers, and what was that household like; i.e., father, mother, discipline, projection of parents’ failings onto their offspring, etc.

This can get really deep, and, of course, my friend has never had real emotional and spiritual roadwork on her life’s stressors during her formative years, let alone through five years of this domestic violence-abuse-denigrating period.

In a nutshell, my friend was treated as overly dramatic, and terms like “you are crazy . . . you are over dramatic . . . you are over-sensitive” are also part of her early life. She was put into a mental institution, against her will, when she was in her teens, in Quebec. That in itself is early trauma. Then, she wanted a bit of freedom and wanted to live with her sister for a while, and parents basically said, “If you go to her and live with her, do not expect to come back.”

We know this is not how to treat youth. We know that provincial folk in a small town near Montreal can bring with them some retrograde ideas of what it means to raise two daughters. Both daughters struggled with weight gain, and there is super anxiety with her older sister.

My friend decided to travel. She ended up going to Mexico and Central America, Dominican Republic and elsewhere. A good friend in DR, working for an NGO, well, that was also a bright spot in her life. My friend ended up in Guatemala, opened up a breakfast place that was so popular she expanded it.

She met this fellow, Daniel, who was kicking around Guatemala. There are many expatriates who are cultural leeches, leaving their own rotten lives behind, or running away from their own dead mentality. Lording over the lesser people, the brown people, these people bring with them toxins.

As all abusers start off, they can rope in people. My friend, Domineque, was dynamic, well known, outgoing, and this guy just did his ugly charm of tall and handsome and confident.

Of course, I know about other relationships my friend had, and they were abusive in some ways. This is the reality of epigenetics and family (early childhood) dynamics. It gets complicated.

Guatemala is generally a sexist society, and when I was there and when she was there, seeing 15 year old girls with a baby on their back, we know that that child is the product of rape, family rape, brother or father.

Think about that? This karma, man, this background energy, negative energy, with these Europeans and Americans and Canadians down there to drink cheap, eat cheap, play the hippie or post-hippie game of cultural appropriation. Many bring bucks, so when you go to these towns, you see lots of eateries and bars and businesses owned by expats.

The Great Santini

In his new memoir, The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son, Pat Conroy confesses, “I hated my father long before I knew there was a word for hate.”

Donald Conroy, a highly decorated Marine pilot who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, lived by a warrior’s code. His son says, “Dad’s job description was to kill our nation’s enemies, and nothing in his job hinted at any obligation to be a good father or husband.”

Now, 15 years after his father’s death, Conroy, who turns 68 on Saturday, is asked if he misses him.

“A great deal,” he says with a crooked smile. ”I miss how we argued and fought. I miss his total lack of modesty. I miss how, despite everything, he could make me laugh.” (2013, source)

Here, this Daniel’s old man was an air force pilot. Then a commercial airline pilot. Two sons, and he was already forcing them to do shots of hard booze at age 13. He was mean, a cheat, conservative, and hateful toward women, and he ended up being killed by a girlfriend after years of divorce separation from Daniel’s mother. Daniel and his brother hate their mother, hate women, and here we are — young guy with hundreds of thousands of dollars in inheritance-life insurance.

This Daniel went to school at ASU, was a drinker, got hurt so his footballing ended, and there you have his life — a dad who beat him, who even used a BB gun as a game to shoot both sons. Hate, booze, bad mother, bad dad, a family of lies and hidden truths, and an old man who got stabbed to death by a girlfriend who he abused.

All of this — and again, it’s complicated how the bad dad and the bad mother and the extended family (where the hell are grandparents and aunts and uncles?) can course through the cortex of a developing brain. The cycle of abuse, you’ve all heard. You bet we can drill down and figure out why Biden and Trump and Blinken and Obama and Clinton and et al are so bad, so hateful, so misogyny, so slick, so blunt and borish and dangerous to the world. As an activist and socialist-communist, I can’t spend a lot of mental space forgiving the monsters of the world because of their epigenetics and family dynamics and early childhood adverse experiences.

Read Pat Conroy, here:

Conroy, the oldest of seven kids, says his father was actually worse than the fictional and tyrannical Col. Bull Meecham.

But a strange thing happened after the novel became a movie starring Robert Duvall.

“My dad, always in denial, treated it all as fiction, like I had made it all up, not toned it down. To prove that, he reinvented himself. After my mother divorced him (in 1975) he had the best second act I ever saw. He became the best uncle, the best brother, the best grandfather, the best friend.”


After two divorces, Conroy’s third wife, novelist Cassandra King, “got him “to clean up my life,” as he puts it. “Eat better and stop drinking.”

He’s still hefty, with rosy cheeks, deep blue eyes and a hearty laugh. He married King a week after his father’s death in 1998, and credits her for “a long repair job on the shape and architecture of a troubled soul.”

In his memoir, Conroy writes, “I don’t believe in happy families.” One of his siblings committed suicide. Four others, including himself, have been suicidal at one time or another, he reports. And he’s estranged from his 31-year-old daughter, Susannah, who’s mentioned in his acknowledgments with an invitation: “The door is always open and so is my heart.”

But what if he had a happier childhood? Would he still have become a writer?

“I hope so,” he says. When he talks to writing students, “some seem to envy me, that I had a terrible dad and this ridiculous family that gave me so much to write about.”

He tells them, “Writing is more about imagination than anything else. I fell in love with words. I fell in love with storytelling.”

Had he grown up happier, “I probably would be a different writer, maybe a kind of sun-struck Florida novelist like Carl Hiaasen, who’s so hilarious.” (source)

Who Are We?

Hey, I’m not perfect. I was a perfectionist, highly engaged political, highly aggressive as an activist and college teacher. I was writing a lot, and my daughter paid the price for my exposing her to really adult topics of war, ecological destruction, and my own failings in a capitalist society to learn how to play well in the normals’ sandbox, how to keep my mouth zipped if I was around ideas that were harmful or wrong, and that has had a lasting and epigenetic effect on my daughter who is in her 26th year. Divorce didn’t help, and she was bullied in school, and I didn’t know that was the case. Her journey is hers to tell, so I’ll stop there. She is an empath, supersensitive and working with counselors.


Oh, we need deep reflection on why women have been subject to so much hate, so much sexualization, so much Weinstein and Epstein sickness. So much trafficking. Old work:

Violence Against Women, Definition:

“Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts,
coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life” DEVW (UN General Assembly in its resolution 48/104 of 20 December 1993)

Accordingly, violence against women encompasses but is not limited to the following:

(a) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation;
(b) Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community, including rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions and elsewhere, trafficking in women and forced prostitution;
(c) Physical, sexual and psychological violence perpetrated or condoned by the State, wherever it occurs.

From the final document of the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women, 1995 §114

This is the background fodder for males like Daniel to believe he is above and beyond all laws of nature and ethics and emotional connection to fellow humans. TV, sports, power structures, SCOTUS, or any of them: Texas? All of them, subhumans, and I was in Texas teaching and reporting when this piece of human stain was running for governor!

This is the old adage — you are what you hear, see, do, read, watch, learn, dream of, believe, hold true, deeply wish for. The opposite, too — you are what you DON’T hear, see, do, read, watch, learn, dream of, believe, hold true, deeply wish for. Over time, this all plays out in so many ways — in the sand box, playground, classroom. Ophelia Syndrome anyone?

I have a friend who is fond of saying, “If we both think the same way, one of us is unnecessary.” The clone, the chameleon personality is the Ophelia Syndrome in another form. One reading of Ophelia’s suicide later in Hamlet suggests that because she has no thoughts of her own, because she has listened only to the contradictory voices of the men around her — Laertes, Polonius, and Hamlet –she reaches a breaking point. They have all used her: “She is only valued for the roles that further other people’s plots. Treated as a helpless child, she finally becomes one . . . . Her childishness is just a step along the regression to suicide, a natural, if not logical solution to her dependence on conflicting authorities.

The Ophelia Syndrome manifests itself in universities. The Ophelia (substitute a male name, if you choose) writes copious notes in every class and memorizes them for examinations. The Polonius writes examination questions that address just what was covered in the textbook or lectures. The Ophelia wants to know exactly what the topic for a paper should be. The Polonius prescribes it. The Ophelia wants to be a parrot, because it feels safe. The Polonius enjoys making parrot cages. In the end, the Ophelia becomes the clone of the Polonius, and one of them is unnecessary. I worry often that universities may be rendering their most serious students, those who have been “good” all their lives, vulnerable to the Ophelia Syndrome rather than motivating them to individuation. (source)

So much in society that splays women into roles that they should not be put into. It is difficult to rise above society, and in many ways, the women that want power become the women that want to be like men. Feminism is a fight against war, capitalism, and we can see how messed up today we have war mongers of all LGBTQA persuasions.

Feminism is a global cry that offers us a roadmap in which “we” means all women and “all women” is what provides us answers. Facing the “us first” of those who advocate for the criminal alliance between capitalism, patriarchy, and imperialism, we say “us, together.” For this reason, women from all parts of the world have taken to the streets to make this purple horizon visible, in which we struggle for peace in Ukraine, which in turn means dismantling the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Regarding this “all,” we do not forget anyone. We also struggle with the Sahrawi women against the murderous regime of Mohammed VI of Morocco and his alliance with Europe. We struggle with Palestinian women against Israel’s Washington-funded apartheid to control a region of the world that has not been allowed to decide their own fate. With Yemen, with Sahel, with all places around the world, we as women know that now, right now, when everything is being fragmented, divided, polarized, simplified, and forgotten, we must pause, reflect, and provide a collective response: a feminist agenda for peace. Because yes, we knew how to achieve hegemony, and yes, we can create a new framework in face of neoliberalism.

We must situate our view of the world, which expands analyses, builds alliances, and creates processes of cooperation, solidarity, and mutual support, always looking at those who suffer, who are exploited, oppressed, and rendered invisible. This is also why, while the war summit is organized in my town, Madrid, we are organizing the Peace Summit “No To NATO.” (“Feminism Is a Global Cry Against War “. . . . Nora García on the role of feminism in building anti-capitalist peace)

To be honest intimate partner violence stems from the sickness of capitalism (I’m looking at it now from a capitalist country, and not denying all the ugliness of honor killings and acid thrown on women and all the violence of the Taliban sorts). Garcia is so right: “And we say: never again peace between the classes and war between the peoples. We will cry again together: peace between the peoples, war between the classes!”

In one sense my friend Domineque’s husband is a product of toxic male machoism, product of a monster of a military dad, product of a mother who decided money and homes were worth her own sacrifice, and I do not know this Daniel’s mother’s background, though I have talked to her on an earlier escape from Daniel by my friend, and she admitted her son was an alcoholic, and she even footed the bill for my friend (her daughter-in-law) to get her and her dog out of Oregon, with the rental car, and such.

Now, though, this same mother-in-law rushed to Oregon from Colorado, and the first thing she did upon arrive 3.5 hours later from Portland in her rental car was to go to her daughter-in-law who is in the house they shared, and demanded her son’s wallet, phone, passport and personal belongings. He’s got a restraining order on him, and that includes violating it by contacting ANYONE to confront my friend Domineque.

This woman is in her 60s, and she took time off her high school teaching job to do what? I did not see her at her son’s arraignment where the ADA read off the charges, and then a long list of prior criminality, dating back to 2003, to include assault, DUI, and another domestic violence case. She wasn’t there to see her pathetic son on Zoom listen to the next court date. And, the ADA also mentioned this guy’s phone calls in jail, to include telling a friend to go to his wife’s house to get his passport and cell phone, and he also in another phone call told someone he wasn’t going to prison, that he would run, and then, of course, the call to mama to harass his wife, her daughter-in-law.

This retrograde woman, his mother, it’s as if she’s throwing acid on all women:

[NEW DELHI, INDIA – JULY 30: Laxmi Aggarwal (23), and Nasreen (one name, 33) in the balcony of the new campaign office Stop Acid Attacks in New Delhi. Aggarwal was only 16 when a man threw acid on her face and hands for refusing his proposal. She remained hidden behind the veil for many years. But this year, buoyed by the anti-rape protests and a new law against acid attacks, Aggarwal found the courage to come out and join the campaign. Since then she has become a sort of the poster-child of the campaign against acid attacks. For the first time, India established specific penalties for the crime, and now the Supreme Court directed the government two weeks ago to regulate acid sales and award quick money for medical treatment for the survivors. Not to lose on the momentum generated by the anti-rape activism and the new law, acid attack survivors are now coming together to push the government to enforce the court’s orders, demand rehabilitation and planning street plays to raise awareness about the prevalence of the crime in Indian cities. ‘It is very important to show the face, people should see the horror. Hiding the face is the same as staying silent,’ Aggarwal said. (Photo by Rama Lakshmi/The Washington Post via Getty Images)] (source)

There are heroes, and they are in danger, for defending the LAND, the next and next and next generation:

In this context, women defenders are perceived as a threat because they question and jeopardize the power structures that are based on class privileges and gender discrimination. Moreover, they routinely and clearly denounce just how harmful it is for humanity to continue supporting a system that permanently exploits life on the planet. These women are the victims that most suffer the consequences of the loss of access to land and natural resources.

In addition to the risk that women defending the rights of the land, the territories and the environment have to face, they also have to withstand the difficulties derived from living in rural areas, from belonging to farming communities, from being afro-descendants or indigenous, from being women or from their sexual orientation or diverse gender identity. (“Women defenders of the land and the environment: silenced voices”)

All of this, believe it or not, gives males their entitlement, their self-absorbed resentment, their hate of women, therefore their hate for mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, grandmothers.

We as women are always in this work, staying active, even though many want to put out the flame that we have inside us. But we are always giving a little bit more firewood so that the flame stays active. Despite the struggles, there is always a woman there supporting the cause.  Maria Magdalena Cuc Choc

It’s appalling to see women go against their own gender, but that is the way of money, power, twisted capitalism, and xenophobia. This anti-feminism from women, well, part of the brainwashing and stupidity of humanity, at the expense of fighting for common cause:

The categories for why these women reject feminism are as follows, in order from most commonly written about reason for rejecting feminism to the least, and further explained:

  1. Equality for all
    a. Any comment made by a woman that deems feminism unfit because it
    b. doesn’t give equality to all
    c. Women shouldn’t get more rights or get away with more than men, that is not
    d. Example: “Equality does not equal superiority.” (Post-31)
  2. Enjoys being a mother and a wife
    a. Any comment made by a woman that states she doesn’t need or want feminism
    because she enjoys being a mother and a wife and that feminism doesn’t agree
    with this lifestyle
    b. Any comment that refers to their male significant other loving them and treating
    them right so they don’t need feminism
    c. Example: “Being a wife and mother is the greatest source of joy in my life.”
  3. In favor of men or looking from a man’s point of view/feminism is only for women
    a. Any comment that advocates for the male, trying to prove that men are important
    because they believe feminists hate men/ Any comment that states that feminism
    only fights for women’s rights, and ignores men’s rights
    b. Example: “I love men and value their human rights.” (Post-37).
    c. Example: “Focusing on only women will never bring equality.” (Post-20).
  4. Femininity
    a. Any comment in which the woman states that she enjoys being feminine, and
    believes feminism doesn’t agree with femininity
    b. Example: “I like to be treated like a lady by a gentleman.” (Post-52)
  5. I am not a victim/I am not oppressed
    a. Any comment by a woman that states feminism makes women into victims, and
    they don’t feel victimized/Any comment by a woman that states feminism tries to
    fight for women who are oppressed but isn’t helping or they aren’t feeling
    b. Example: “I am not a ‘victim’ there is no war against me.” (Post-140)
    c. “We don’t need feminism because oppression is universal and has far more to do
    with how wealthy your parents are rather than whether or not you have a Y
    chromosome.” (Post-33).
  6. I am too self-confident and responsible of my actions
    a. Any comment made by a woman that states that a woman rejects feminism
    because she doesn’t need an excuse or wants to shift blame on anyone else and
    believes that’s what feminism does
    b. Example: “I don’t need feminism b/c I can take responsibility for my insecurities
    and I don’t need to blame other people for my problems!” (Post-119)
  7. Feminist groups are a negative group
    a. Any comment that suggests they don’t need feminism because it is a very
    negative group (angry women, misogynists, a cult, etc.)
    b. “Feminist culture has become cannibalistic….a cult rejecting free-thinking.”
  8. There is a significant difference between men and women we must acknowledge
    a. Any comment that states women and men are treated differently because they are
    different and we must accept and embrace that and feminism doesn’t
    b. “Men and women are inherently different, and that’s great!” (Post-17)
  9. My future or current children won’t need feminism/I won’t teach it to them
    a. Any comment in which the woman doesn’t believe that feminism will be useful
    for her children in the future
    b. “I don’t need feminism because I want my boys to grow up knowing what TRUE
    equality is.” (Post-26)
  10. Rape related issue
    a. Any comment that claims feminism tries to shift the blame in a situation
    involving rape
    b. Example: “My rapist was a woman!” (Post-8)
  11. I am against modern feminism
    a. Any comment where a woman states that she doesn’t need modern feminism in
    her life specifically for various reasons
    b. “I don’t need modern ‘feminism’ because I don’t need others to fight my battles
    for me.” (Post-116). (Women Against Feminism — a study of comments on one website)

Call the Midwifeerr, Cheerleaders/Bombardiers — How Bad is this so-called awake culture, dynamic, grand exceptional culture of Manifest Destiny and Monroe Doctrine has a million threadbare elements to its so-called great democracy (not)? Again, the sickness of Empire, 2022:

Donald Trump shakes hands with Marillyn Hewson at the White House

[President Donald Trump shakes hands with Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson as Chief Test Pilot Alan B. Norman watches during an event in July at the White House. Hewson is one of four women to serve atop four of the nation’s five largest defense — offensive murder incorporated contractors. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images]

So, with ALL of this and more, the child is raised into a hell of a rotten man. Not just talking Trump or Biden, but this Arizona Daniel. He has grandparents in New Jersey who do not know his rap sheet. He has charmed men and women into believing he’s just a regular guy, travel loving guy, builds houses, uses people to help him build houses. There is a dark side, yep. Wasn’t it that creep of a subhuman, Jordan Peterson, who said what? Canadian psychologist who gets endless copy and money for speaking? This is one warped guy, but not unusual: Jordan Peterson thinks there is ‘a bit of Hitler in everyone’ Now, the flipside is that he was questioned by another false journalist trying to say Putin is a Hitler. Amazing, no, how turned around the world has become in a few months.

I would say most women in the world want clean air, water, soil, families, and children. They do not want war, and they did not want constant bombing from the Nazi’s in Urkaine, and then this effete guy, Zelenksy, running around like some Academy Award-Emmy Award splat lying and conniving. AHH, Putin just spoke with the mothers, man:


Russian President Vladimir Putin held a personal meeting on Friday with the mothers of Russian soldiers. He said that the country’s leadership, and he personally, regards their sons as heroes.

Putin revealed that he proposed the meeting with the mothers of soldiers because he wanted to hear their opinions, their firsthand experiences and information they have received from the frontlines. “A lot of information comes to me from various sources, but your assessments, your opinions, ideas and suggestions – that’s a completely different matter,” Putin said, adding that he will try to make sure that everything discussed during the meeting is taken into account and used in real life “to the maximum.” 

It’s an aside, but really, this country is insane, both Pelosi or Schumer, and the women wearing that Blue and Yellow are supporting Nazism. Here, a different take on Putin talking to the mothers:

It’s all very complicated, how misanthropic and misogynistic this world is. And, a great book, by Linda G. Ford, on the maltreatment of women radicals/politicals.

In The Eye of the Beholder: USA History of Imprisoning Women Politicals

Part One of review and discussion of Linda G. Ford’s Women Politicals in America: Jailed Dissenters from Mother Jones to Lynne Stewart

Long Live the Armed Struggle!

Part Two of book review, and … The Revolution Will Not Be Televised or plugged onto Twitter, or in the Streets with Your Placards, or Sending in ‘Save the Whale’ Postcards

[The Night of Terror: When Suffragists Were Imprisoned and Tortured in 1917: After peacefully demonstrating in front of the White House, 33 women endured a night of brutal beatings.]

It all matters, and so, 2022, November, she calls the cops after the guy she’s been married to for 5 years grabbed her hair, her throat, used a pillow to attempt suffocation, and threw he down — face down — for more suffocation. She has it on cell phone video, and she called the cops from a neighbor’s since he tossed her phone into a half acre of blackberry bushes. He locked her and the dog out of the house. She got the deputies there. They were in the front and the back. They knocked on the door, he opened it, then shut and locked it. They had to call a DA for a search warrant, and two hours later, they got into the house, and he locked himself into the bedroom, and they asked him to open up. They kicked in the door. He struggled. He told them it was an illegal search warrant.

All of this has those years of back and forth, leaving for a few weeks to Canada, or, to a hotel, but always returning. She was isolated, and he had the truck in his name, the house, and they did not share a bank account. Why? Why didn’t she leave? Brain rewiring, upbringing, and so much more.

One of the questions we hear time and time again is “Why doesn’t she just leave?” (source)

We need to stop blaming survivors for staying and start supporting them to enable them to leave. By understanding the many barriers that stand in the way of a woman leaving an abusive relationship – be it psychological, emotional, financial or physical threats –  we can begin to support and empower women to make the best decision for them while holding abusers solely accountable for their behaviour. Here are just a few of the reasons that prevent a woman leaving:

Danger and fear; Isolation; Shame, embarrassment or denial; Trauma and low confidence; Practical reasons; The support isn’t there when they need it! This is a good article on the why’s: “The Dirty Secrets About Why Women Don’t Leave Abusive Relationships: This is why we have an epidemic of domestic violence” by Michelle Jaqua

Sure, you get the Psychology Today story: “Common Reactions of the Brain to an Abuser”

Several important ingredients that contribute to someone’s “addiction” to their abuser are oxytocin (bonding), endogenous opioids (pleasure, pain, withdrawal, dependence), corticotropin-releasing factor (withdrawal, stress), and dopamine (craving, seeking, wanting). With such strong neurochemistry in dysregulated states, it will be extremely difficult to manage emotions or make logical decisions.

None of this makes any sense, since we are limited creatures in this Disneyfied and Infantilized culture. But throughout Catholic Societies, throughout so many cultures over time, women have been attacked, forbidden, foreclosed, imprisoned, limited, held back, held down and raped, assaulted, murdered. Nothing those of us in the main can tell themselves that sometimes there are many grays to a theory, and that counterintuitive arguments are absolutely necessary to understand this toxic relationship scenario. Lots of articles on how the brain is wired and responds to stress: “Cultural Differences in the Impact of Social Support on Psychological and Biological Stress Responses”

Social support, not just family and friends, is the key to why there are so many breakdowns in women wanting out but not finding the mettle to get out. Most domestic violence cases get thrown out of court, we have to remember. We have so much animosity for those who are willing to go against powerful men, as we see in the #MeToo movement, and so much more.

It does drill down into the brain of a girl from Quebec, no matter how much chutzpah she had as a youngster. People are targeted every day by schemers, by bilking artists, by thieves, systems of oppression, by so many in this dog-eat-dog society. So a woman in an abusive relationship is facing so much culturally, and, to be honest, the brain is just so rewired to process all those hormones and chemicals a certain way. Glutton for punishment may sound cool when it’s a workout fiend or weightlifter or marathoner, but there are many chemical markers that keep people in dangerous and retrograde and addictive situations.

I could go on with this story: She’s got victims assistance folk helping. Even people I introduce her to in the co-op give her hugs. The nurses at the hospital. In the DA’s office. She has female Assistant DA, female judges and now a female lawyer for the divorce. She has found out other things about this guy, and she is still reeling from how she ended up with someone she didn’t know. He cheated on her, and his big deal now is getting the house into his mom’s name. He is up for $750,00 security bond, and even his public defender is female. My friend has been hugged by many females. She’s been to one domestive violence support group. This is an uphill battle, but her mother is now on board, not blaming her, not telling her to just leave and go back to Quebec. Her sister has come around. Her old man, I have spent time with, and my own modeling of support and in-your-face advocacy is showing him that people care about his daughter. I didn’t know her before February 2022. My own spouse said, “Well, she reached out to you, so now you are responsible for how to help her.”

Every day is a new day. He will be served divorce papers in jail. She is selling tools and toys of his to raise money for the attorney’s retainer — $2500. Everywhere she goes she hears of a story after a story of women who also were in abusive situations. Ten years, 20 years, with kids. Luckily, there are no children involved. She has lost 5 years of her life, but she is strong.

As I say, she’s had an interesting and dynamic and traveling life. But her story is hers to tell. Through her eyes. Through all the calluses on her soul, heart, feet. She wants to write a haunted house on the beach story, and she should write it, and her memoir! The next few weeks, with plea bargains, with the bs of divorce, and property (he’s controlled all the money and deeds to the house), well, it’s a fragile time and powerful time too. She loves this neck of the woods/world, but the associations with this criminal man, this abuser, well, and the house they have, she’ll never be able to buy out his share, and, housing here sucks. Her life is one of outdoor security cameras, flinching at every branch outside cracking (deer) and door jams and so much more.

She reads the articles, This is March 2022. May the judges all die early deaths: “She said her husband was abusive. A judge took away her kids and ordered her arrest.”
The judge in Julie Valadez’s custody case found her disruptive, questioned her credibility and put out a warrant for her arrest. A rare appellate victory is now giving her case a fresh look, but Valadez still is fighting for her four children. (Wisconsin).

And, ending on a good note would be myself putting my reputation and lived experiences and radical communism on the line.

“The Court does not find credible Ms. Valadez’s other allegations of abuse and battery, including uncorroborated allegations of sexual abuse, physical abuse, stalking and property damage,” Michael J. Aprahamian concluded.

The judge acknowledged that Ricardo Valadez, whom he described as an alcoholic, had lied to the court about his sobriety. Still, he wrote, “As a general matter, the Court found Ms. Valadez not credible.”

We are counting on a different outcome since thus far all the people involved court wise, DA wise, Judge wise, have been wise, empathetic and aware of the cycle of abuse and the reality of murder in the first degree if guys like this get out . . . . He’s already stalked a fiance in 2010. Rich parents, and they picked up and left without a trace.

More updates following.

Paul Haeder's been a teacher, social worker, newspaperman, environmental activist, and marginalized muckraker, union organizer. Paul's book, Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber (2016), looks at 10 years (now going on 17 years) of his writing at Dissident Voice. Read his musings at LA Progressive. Read (purchase) his short story collection, Wide Open Eyes: Surfacing from Vietnam now out, published by Cirque Journal. Here's his Amazon page with more published work Amazon. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.