Your brain is like a computer network. One attacker can bring down the whole system if he finds your vulnerability first
Image by GDJ on Needpix
Even if a computer network is 99.5% secure, the remaining vulnerabilities can be exploited by ‘bad actors’.
A network manager protects the system. Her responsibility is to ferret out vulnerabilities and patch them. If a cyber attacker finds one first he can exploit it and bring down the whole system. Her job just got a whole lot harder. She must recover the network and patch that vulnerability so it can’t be exploited again.
Her employer doesn’t fire her, but there will be a meeting review to determine what happened, why it happened, and take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again. In the corporate world this is called mitigating future risk. If the employer is fair, he doesn’t blame the network manager, but she has to take responsibility. It’s possible she couldn’t have yet known about the vulnerability; responsible software providers alert network managers and provide a fix as soon as one’s available, but sometimes the bad actors find them first. In highly technical network security parlance, ‘Shit happens’.
Sometimes it’s no one’s fault, but it’s still the network manager’s responsibility to patch it and make sure it doesn't happen again.
The idea of addressing vulnerabilities in female psychology shuts some women down. They don’t want to talk about it. Don’t want to think about it. And if you persist, they recite the holy mantra.
The feminism police are looking for me.
If her home had been robbed, her friends would tell her, “You need to install a good home security system.”
If she’d gotten into a minor winter auto accident, her friends would say, “You should get snow tires.”
If she’d lost her expensive sunglasses, her friends would suggest, “Put them in the middle pocket of your purse; they’re less inclined to fall out.”
None of these responses indicate the woman is stupid or that it’s her fault. Maybe she thought her door locks were enough when they weren’t, or she erred in not investing in snow tires. Her friends’ suggestions imply she can take steps to mitigate the risk of a recurrence. A power move.
Now just imagine if the network manager responded to her boss, “Why are you blaming the victim?”
“I’m not blaming you,” the boss might respond. “I want to know what you can do to reduce the risk of a repeat incident. This I.T. post-mortem will investigate what went wrong and how you can protect the network better.”
The psychological post-mortem and risk mitigation plan
Sometimes women find themselves in toxic relationships. It happens, even to smart women. Instead of snapping, “Why are you blaming me?” she might ask herself, “What can I do better next time? Better yet, how can I avoid a next time?”
All human brains have vulnerabilities that should be addressed and patched. Where have we ignored women’s as we focus on the man, the batterer, male privilege, male entitlement, etc.?
I began patching my brain when I got into a car once with a guy I'd recently met who met my reticence with, "Oh, come on, it'll be okay." It was, until he was supposed to drop me off at my place. Instead, he drove into our building's dark underground garage and launched himself at me like a heat-seeking boobs missile.
I got out okay, but I beat myself up for that. Why, oh why did I do such dumb shit? I was a tender young thing of---51!
I wanted him to like me. I worried about his feelings, not make him feel like a pervert, or that I thought every man is a rapist. (They're not, but I met one who potentially was.) Wanting to be liked and being too concerned about others' feelings over your own personal safety are two of the most common, easily exploited vulnerabilities in female psychology.
This particular vulnerability can be exploited by anyone. Even little girls know almost by instinct how to exclude, bully, and humiliate other girls who want to be part of the playgroup, the crowd, the clique, the tribe. Whole books have been written about this. Queen Bees and Wannabes, the basis for the movie Mean Girls. No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident and Compassionate Girls. Little Girls Can Be Mean: Four Steps to Bully-Proof Girls in the Early Grades. Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That Will End Female Bullying.
Here’s an unpleasant thought: Maybe baby females unconsciously groom each other for future abusive relationships by exploiting that oh-so-critical desire to be liked and accepted and do what the other girls want so they’ll allow them the awesome privilege of playing with them and getting invited to their sleepovers.
The female brain is wired side to side between hemispheres, which translates into more sophisticated emotional expression, communication and language, as opposed to men, whose brains are wired front to back. There’s more blood flow into the part of the female brain wired for emotion than there is in men’s, and our wiring is stronger for social cognition and verbal communication. We’re better-suited for establishing relationships and understanding how feelings work.
Part of it is environment too, like culture, family, the society we live in, the values all those elements impart. Masculinity culture contributes by teaching baby males to ignore or hide their feelings, to pretend they don’t have them, period, which further tips the emotional and communication scales in women’s favor.
Male & Female Brains: Are they wired differently? (Psychology Today)
Because women know and value the importance of being liked and forging human relationships, women are also experts at exploiting that female vulnerability in each other. Just like boys do with their own vulnerabilities.
It’s not all ‘the patriarchy’s’ fault. There’s a nasty emotional ‘gynarchy’ that starts in the sandbox.
Potential future teen bitches and/or battered women of the future. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
When rape is totally hot
What if somewhere in female psychology is the deep-seated desire to be dominated by a man?
“I remember a very aggressive and unpleasant letter from a self styled feminist telling me to stop with the Roquelaure [S/M fantasy] novels. She was horrified and offended that I would present women enjoying S&M. Feminism to me means supporting the right of women to do what they want, and that includes writing S&M pornography if they want, or doing the kind of erotica that Madonna did.” — Anne Rice interview on The Nerdist
I disagree it’s our ‘role’, but why is rape literature so popular with women?
I’ve written before about women’s contribution to ‘rape culture’ and in particular the disturbing popularity of the Fifty Shades and Sleeping Beauty ‘erotica’ series (rape literature is ‘erotic’ when women write it and ‘misogynist’ when men do). My pseudonymous fellow writer friend Louise Sawyer has written unapologetically about the prevalence of rape fantasies in women, and Googling ‘kink’ finds plenty of writers — almost entirely female — writing about the beauties of domination.
Then there are 'gang bang' rooms in sex clubs where women can have sex with a conveyor belt of men, however with plenty of rules in place to ensure safety, consent and condoms. And maybe today, face masks.
There’s nothing wrong with kink, BDSM, or acting out rape fantasies as long as it’s done in accordance with the rules. I don’t fault anyone for enjoying Anne Rice, E.L. James, or Rhett’s schlep up the stairs with Scarlett (still one of my own personal favorite rapey movie scenes). Since the misogynist tweeter quoted above identified a weakness in female psychology, if not necessarily its application, we must acknowledge there is in fact an attraction for a helluva lot of women to male domination. How that attraction is expressed is critical. It’s a potential weakness for exploitation, because women who enjoy a good old-fashioned Viking rape fantasy starring Chris Hemsworth may want to live the dream, but didn't know there were supposed to be 'safe words'.
Rape fantasies aren’t real rape. They’re female-defined: He desires me so much, he’s so crazy in love with me, he can’t control himself. Even more important: And I want him too, even though I’m saying no for some contrived reason. She controls him, between her ears. In the real world, if that same guy tried to rape her, in the manner she imagined so many times, it would now be all about his contempt for her, his male privilege, his willingness to hurt and subjugate her and use her body for his own pleasure. It’s not sexy anymore when it’s rape on his terms.
Several decades of rape-y bodice-ripping romance novels written by women, for women’s wanking pleasure, are a testament to the deep-seated attraction to being dominated by a man.
Photo by John Rocha from Pexels
It’s not wrong. Women aren’t bad people or bad feminists for wanting this.
It’s simply a potential weakness in her psychology that could be exploited if she hasn’t defined for herself her boundaries, her values, her likes and dislikes, and how she wants to be treated.
I keep coming back, in my head, to the tragic case of Nicole Brown. What bothers me about her story is the emotional vulnerability she expressed in high school, a few years before she met O.J. Simpson.
During a class conversation on career choices, Brown said she aspired to marry a wealthy man.
In other words, give up her power to him. There was one vulnerability, right there, she never addressed.
Economic dependence is one of the primary attractions for abusive, controlling men. If you want to marry a rich man, just stick a label on your forehead saying Open to abuse, for the right price.
Many years later, after Nicole had successfully left O.J. and he’d psychologically disengaged from her, she went after him again. Wanted him back. Pursued him. Got him back. But still nothing changed, or would ever change. She finally got it. She left him again.
This time, he didn’t psychologically disengage.
Nicole’s psychology was as screwed-up as O.J.’s. She put herself in danger. She was always willing to give up her power. She never addressed her prime vulnerability.
You can call that ‘blaming the victim’, but I call it ‘neurosecurity management.’ Nicole didn’t learn from her mistakes and patch her brain, but others can.
Never give up your power. Identify your own vulnerabilities. And patch them ASAP.
This is article originally appeared on Medium, and then was republished on Vocal.media in March 2022. Did you like this post? Would you like to see more? I lean left of center, but not so far over my brains fall out. Subscribe to my Substack newsletter Grow Some Labia so you never miss a post!