Freedom from Shame – The Fifth Essential Freedom

04.13 HHH iconLeslie Carol Botha: Germaine Greer has come out swinging on this topic.  Women are taught to feel shame at a very early age.  Guilt, shame and stigma are deeply embedded in every global culture and it is deemed in the great Holy Book that calls women ‘unclean’ and ‘impure’ because of menstruation. Women who do not buy into this triangle of emotions are called – ‘whores, prostitutes, cunts, bitches, witches and feminists.

I myself have never been able to figure out precisely what feminism is:
I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a door mat or a prostitute.
– Rebecca West

The shaming of menstruation is the original font of women’s guilt and victimization. And girls learn this at an early age.  Women’s health care programs needs to be re-structured and revamped so that empowering information about the importance and significance of the menstrual cycle is taught.

Guilt is one side of a nasty triangle; the other two are shame and stigma.
This grim coalition combines to inculpate women themselves of the crimes committed against them.

Germaine Greer: Guilt poisons women

CNN
By Germaine Greer, Special to CNN
updated 12:52 PM EDT, Tue March 12, 2013

germaine greerEditor’s note: Germaine Greer, an Australian academic and journalist, is the author of “The Female Eunuch,” “Sex and Destiny,” “The Change,” “Shakespeare’s Wife” and “The Whole Woman.” She is professor emerita of English literature and comparative studies at the University of Warwick in England.

(CNN) — A Spanish study found women are more susceptible to guilt than men, and suggested that in the interests of equality, men should accept more guilt, women less. Equality considered in such terms is a shibboleth. Guilt is bad stuff; it poisons life, saps resolution and crushes orgasmic potency. No psychologist ought to wish more guilt on anyone of any sex.

Dr. Itziar Extebarria, who led the study of 360 men and women carried out at the University of the Basque Country and published in the Spanish Journal of Psychology, says the research “highlights the need for educational practices and socializing agents to reduce the tendency towards anxious aggressive guilt in women, and to promote interpersonal sensitivity in men.”

Rescuing women from their burden of unwarranted guilt is going to require “educational practices and socializing agents” even more effective than the ones that have been relentlessly loading female humans with responsibility for other people’s behavior from their earliest childhood.

Women feel more guilt than men, not because of some weird chromosomal issue but because they have a history of being blamed for other people’s behavior. You get hit, you must have annoyed someone; you get raped, you must have excited someone; your kid is a junkie, you must have brought him up wrong.

Read full article…

PG

Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.