Thursday, November 7, 2013

Women, Good : Men, Bad. Hmmmmm.

Occasionally the reality of 'people' breaks through the cant, even in the Tavern. Sometimes the nasty part of Humanity breaks through our comfortable illusions. Take 'Women' for example.
It is almost a Mantra in this current era that men are 'bad', formed as little boys from "slugs and snails and puppy-dog tails", as the old nursery rhyme went. But Women are 'good'; little girls are made from "sugar and spice and all things nice". 

He has little chance of connecting with girls in his lifetime.
But maybe he should steer clear of them anyway.

I guess girls get that 'head-start' on the niceness bizzo, at least in the minds of parents and observers.
But regardless of popular mythology, Feminist Myth-making and anti-male calumny, we are all a mixture of good response and bad response to the world around us. And we were taken today on a trip into the darker recesses of heart, mind and Soul that we rarely ever bother to look at; or have scrupulously avoided looking at for decades.
Sorry about this but here is the bad news.
Women can be just as evil as men.
This is not a journey into women-bashing. It is a grasping of reality, with significant evidence for the Prosecution.  Just as 'men-kind' as a sex has to confront its darker examples of evil, so does 'Women-kind'. And neither has a monopoly on kindness, or even a firm grasp.

This is not presented to Praise Good Men or Good Women, either, abundant as both are, but to 'balance'. And by the Lord Harry some balance is needed before society falls backward on its arse.
Lynn Joyce Hunter was in the Pin & Balloon Bar with a sharp and pointy spear to tell us some inconvenient truths about the ladies and to 'prick' those arses into a more upright posture.


She came by to tell us about a book by Wendy Lower, who has 'studied', as Dr. Venkmann of the Ghostbusters  said.

Wendy busts a few ghosts too.

In “Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields,” a nonfiction long-list contender for the 2013 National Book Award, Lower profiles 13 women who became Nazi killers and accomplices, and contends that these women are representative of hundreds of thousands of ordinary German women who  
“got away with with murder.”

These were ordinary secretaries, nurses and wives

Wearing military jackets with swastika armbands, goose-stepping in jackboots and barking “Heil Hitler!” — we all recognize murderous Nazis when we see them. Except when we don’t, claims historian Wendy Lower: Except when they wore starched white nurse caps or walked to secretarial jobs in stacked heels and pleated skirts.  
Except when “he” was a “she,”  
and she looked a lot like us.
I am impressed that both Wendy and Lynn both talked directly to Women. They are women doing what a man can rarely do and escape with his skin.

According to Lower, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, the half-million women who participated in the mass murders that took place during the years 1941-44 in the killing fields of the Nazi East — the occupied areas of present-day Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia  and Estonia — have been largely ignored by historians and the criminal justice system.  
Pieced together by Lower from survivor interviews and archival documents that became accessible for scholarly review only after the fall of the Iron Curtain, the accounts of these women in their roles as nurses, teachers, secretaries and SS wives illustrate how they participated in genocidal violence.

But why would so many Nazi criminals be overlooked until now, 70 years later?  
Lower describes a German postwar consciousness of closely guarded secrets, where evidence of wrongdoing was entombed as much in the repressed memories of the living as in the passing of the dead.  
Embedded in this culture of forgetting were abiding assumptions about the nature of womanhood and their role in society.  
These assumptions functioned as an interpretive bias, fostering perceptions of German women as mostly innocent hausfraus tending to hearth and home, while attributing more notorious acts of terror and sadism to female camp guards who were viewed as deviant, marginal perpetrators.
 Add to that rationale another reality. We have had a clear run for Feminism for the past 50 of those 70 years and those femi-nazis have been tremendously successful in denying female guilt about anything at all, even killing their own babies. 'Mostly innocent' women everywhere seem Hell-bent on justifying such a lot of female behaviour, even horrible, unjust, hateful acts committed daily.

Meanwhile those same 'mostly innocent women' calumnize men freely. Even in the class-room, increasingly dominated by female teachers busily AgitPropping our children:

Doris Lessing, herself hailed as a Feminist in the 70's has had her rose-glasses smashed by vicious feminists that came after her. She said on TV:

I find myself increasingly shocked at the unthinking and automatic rubbishing of men which is now so part of our culture that it is hardly even noticed.  
I was in a class of nine- and 10-year-olds, girls and boys, and this young woman was telling these kids that the reason for wars was the innately violent nature of men. You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologising for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives.   
This kind of thing is happening in schools all over the place and no one says a thing. 
 It has become a kind of religion that you can’t criticise because then you become a traitor to the great cause, which I am not. 
 The most stupid, ill-educated and nasty woman can rubbish the nicest, kindest and most intelligent man and no one protests …
Lynn continued:
Lower’s book explores and challenges this gender bias, depicting Nazi women as immersed in the blood-soaked landscape of the “wild east,” where Jews and forced laborers were shot routinely in broad daylight, and where the foul odor of mass graves was the air they breathed.  
“Interaction with Jews and mass murder entered into these women’s everyday lives in unexpected but recurring ways,” Lower writes, describing the situation of young nurses who delivered lethal injections and of secretaries who typed up death orders.

The most chilling accounts in “Hitler’s Furies” are about the women whose violence was targeted at children.  
In unsparing detail, Lower recounts the viciousness of Johanna Altvater, a young secretary who threw one child after another to their deaths off a third-floor railing in a Jewish ghetto.  
Or Erna Petri, wife of an SS officer, who in a gruesome version of Hansel and Gretel fed six tattered Jewish children in her home before marching them to the pit of a nearby mass grave and shooting them one by one, execution-style.

If, as Lower argues,  
these were not sociopaths but ordinary women  
who didn’t exhibit violent tendencies either before or after the war, how do we make sense of their appalling participation in Nazi genocide?  

What do these women tell us about history, gender, what it is to be human?

That vast numbers of Nazi women were not held accountable for their complicity in the mass murders of the Holocaust due to their sex is a compelling argument for writing history to take into account the lens of gender.  
But what we can learn from Lower about the concept of “gender” or the supposed nature of women is less clear — only that notions about sex and gender are social and psychological constructs that are constantly being contradicted and overturned by the actual details of individual lives.
An aspect not dealt with in this book, but has been elsewhere, is the role at 'street-level' amongst the million of women who were not, seemingly, part of the 'Machine'. The 'Woman in the Street'.  Yes, like her Allied counterparts she worked in the factories (but a lot less than Allied womenfolk, as German ladies had slaves to 'help out' with the hard 'work' chores).

Mostly the Hausfrau was just that. She was at home.

And she was keeping a close eye on the street, especially the homes of Jews whom she could - and did regularly - denounce to the SS. Barely five minutes after the midnight knock on the door and the forced taking of people, the local hausfrau was in there taking the furniture and valuables.

Not part of the Machine, perhaps, but oily rags, polishing it and profiting from it.

Raised on the Nazi ideal of female wholesomeness, where the rosy glow of a woman’s cheeks was to come not from makeup but from robust activity, and where her worth increased with every child she bore, women nonetheless became killers once they landed on the eastern front. And this documented violence, challenging as it may be to 21st century gender expectations, if widely known at the time would have threatened Nazi gender ideology, exposing the falseness of Hitler’s Aryan mythology and humiliating the women of the Reich.
It is just as today.

Remember,  the American 'Democrats' are Socialists.
Nazi means the National SOCIALIST Workers Party of Germany.
Change of name: getting around to the same anti-humanity.

Try to raise the subject of Abortion, which in the West since the mid'70's has killed upward of 75 million babies, and the femi-nazis and a host of fellow-travelling female ( and some male) 'beneficiaries' will howl you down, calumnize you and pass laws to prevent you even praying silently in the street.

And baby do you need those prayers and that love because millions wanted you dead.

But isn’t this whiff of women’s presumed moral purity still in the air today?

So often women are held, in comparison with men, as the kinder sex, more peace-loving and relational, more committed to the protection of life.  
Yet the evil of the Holocaust was clearly an equal-opportunity affair, entered into by women who birthed children and loved their husbands as well as by the men who loved them in return.
“Mass murder transforms the people who witness it,” Lower writes, attributing the unimaginable cruelty of women such as Johanna Altvater and Erna Petri to repeated exposures to routine violence that stripped away their moral grounding.  
To understand this doesn’t mean that we consider these “Furies” any less accountable for the horrors they perpetrated.  
It means instead that when we hold the weight of their transgressions in front of us, we don’t shy away from pondering the possibility of our own capacity for evil in similar circumstances.
Today, when (anti-Male)* and other forms of hate speech fuel online media daily, when the scapegoating of (masculine)* groups is a tried and true political tactic, might we look at these women and pause for a moment to see at least a little bit of ourselves?  
Putting aside the reflexive tendency to view evil in black and white terms, might we benefit by remembering that one aspect of our common humanity is... 
a vulnerability to moral corruption?

If the legacy of the Holocaust and the work of scholars like Lower teach us anything, it’s the need for ordinary people — women as well as men— to continually monitor our moral decency.  
And if and when we see ourselves slipping into callousness, to do the hard but heroic work of quickening compassion and enlarging our hearts. 

Yes, hard as it is to look ourselves in the face, even harder is it to look into our hearts, minds and Souls.

Drink deep of Grace. Seek forgiveness. Seek a Better Path.

* My substitutions. See original, via the link.

Pax Dei Vobiscum.



  1. "Women can be just as evil as men."

    This is a true statement. But I think there is an even better one that can be used to illustrate this feature of the human condition, that is if we are to strive for both equality and honesty as humans rights movement. And that statement is:

    "Women are just as evil as men"

    And here is why I suggest using it instead: If we do not fully embrace a true moral equivalency between men and women, we not only give women an undeserved exception in terms of accountability, but we heap an unfair onus upon men. This is an imbalance. A horrible, bigoted, dishonest, abusive one. And an imbalance can never be the basis of equality. Furthermore, this assumption of moral inequality has gone on long enough. The time for change is now.

    From Iron John

    1. All your points (but one) are cogent. The one is the change from 'can be' to 'are'.

      There are many people who are far from evil. They may not be perfect and they can and might fall into evil if circumstance overcomes their resolve and moral fibre, but by dint of hard insights and self-restraint they manage to walk the straight path. This applies to both men and women.

      In that regard we can see that the sexes 'are' equivalently 'able'. The issue highlighted in my remarks in the post is that currently there is an assumption, right from the start, that women are good and men are not. That is the disequilibrium we have to overcome.

  2. Just so we're clear on MY personal "position".
    German soldier is NOT the same as the "political" NAZI.
    "I was just following orders", and "I had NO idea" was NOT a positive defense in Nuremburg.
    "A WOMAN would NEVER do that" is simply a lie.
    And "quotas" of women in particular positions of "power", wealth, or "special exceptions", because...SEXISM!...EQUALITY!, (or something like that) is contra productive, and "emotionally" stunted.



Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..