The End to Domestic Violence Lies in Our Own Maternal Hands
Sep 21, 2013 | 2348 views | 2 2 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The End to Domestic Violence Lies in Our Own Maternal Hands
by Morgan Rose
 
Earlier this summer, I publicly came forward as the third woman sexually assaulted by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. At the time, he was a United States Congressman, and Chairman of the Veteran's Affairs Committee. Mr. Filner and I met in a public place to discuss the memo our new First Lady, Michelle Obama, had requested as to how my national initiative, The America’s Angel Campaign, would address the horrifying escalation of violence in our military families. 
 
As a clinician who has worked with abused women and traumatized children, as a patriotic citizen with a vision to inspire a national movement to strengthen the American family, and as a woman in touch with her instinct, how could I know, on that sunny day in San Diego, that I was entering the danger zone? 
 
24 years earlier, I had my first experience of being restrained and assaulted by a man. In that moment, so many years before, I swore I would do whatever I had to do to empower my life, and the lives of other women, to never be in that position again. And, so I had. Yet, I discovered that even after climbing out of a victimized life, even earning my graduate degree against all odds, even creating programs to empower violated women, a Congressman in a public place with the opportunity to involve the White House in breaking the cycle of domestic violence, even then, again, as a woman, I was victimized. 
 
The link between sexual harassment and domestic violence is narcissism, the dominant trait of men who feel entitled to degrade, dehumanize, and violate us. It is this male narcissism that haunts our female intuition and denies us equality to move about our lives without fearing for our survival. This is our common thread as women. 
 
Over the decades, we have marched, rallied, built shelters, established hotlines, and even changed laws in a Herculean effort to stop the violence against us. Yet, the rates still rise as high as the hands that strike us down. 
 
We share this planet with cultures that have no word for violence because they don’t know what it is. I have walked in civilized cultures where women have no sense to fear for themselves, where they can walk a street alone at night knowing their gender does not make them a target. What do these people know that we don’t? They know that their families and society can only be as compassionate, happy and peaceful as the children they raise.  
 
Narcissism is normal in newborns. Living in the little world of “I,” the baby brain has no way to understand where the milk comes from or who soothes him when he cries. He just knows about “I.” What shifts this egocentric stage of “I” to “I and Thou” is the quality of nurturing the baby receives. Research shows that sons are more vulnerable than daughters, including a greater biological desperation for connection with mommy than females have. When a mother meets her son’s instinctual need for laughter and lullabies, his brain learns it is safe to trust others. This is how the shift begins. But, if a baby boy doesn’t have a “Happy Dance” with mommy, his brain won’t budge from his safe little world of “I.” In clinical terms, we call this arrested development. In practical terms, we call it narcissism. In my book, I refer to it as mother rage. In personal terms, you may call it predator, stalker, rapist, abuser, liar, or murderer.  For me personally, I add politician. Whatever you call it, the common thread is narcissists are still stuck in the “I” of infancy. Our insisting they “Just say NO!” to violence will not change the innate wiring of their brain. 
 
Sisters, we say we want the violation and violence to stop. We rally for our freedom to live without fear. But, until we address the root cause of why little boys become violent men; until we value what peaceful cultures value, the violence against us will continue. 
 
This might come as a terribly inconvenient truth, or the greatest truth to set us free, but since the dawn of time, how we mommy matters. This profound reality puts the power to end our violation in our own hands. Mother Nature gave it to us. If you want to argue with her, be my guest. If you want to create the change, she’s your go-to-girl.
 
We have a long way to go. We can start now. 
 
Morgan Rose is a mental health professional who specializes in women's issues. Her book, On Becoming NaughtABimbeaux: The Smart Woman's Guide to Finding Her Prince Without Ever Kissing Another Frog, reveals the psychology of dating, relationships, and intimacy. www.NaughtABimbeaux.com. Available at Amazon.
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Ami Aagard
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February 17, 2014
I completely agree with this article and I'm happy to finally see something like this posted. I believe the writer is right; however, this is a tough pill for most parents to swallow and they get very defensive when this topic is approached. Our society continues to preach "you have the right to live a life outside of your children" which parents have taken as a green light to make their children less of a priority - especially when it comes things like socializing & dating. I've personally seen how undivided attention and affection toward one's children can make a massive difference in how those children turn out as adults. I've also studied the research on matriarchal societies and that alone shows where we're failing as parents, as a society, and as mothers. Rather than work together, we've been taught to point fingers in the direction of others and compete for attention. It shouldn't be such a shock that narcissism and personality disorders are on the rise. After all, kids aren't born bad.
Althea Hayton
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September 21, 2013
Do not blame the parents for the way their children are. Narcissism is a character trait that is born in the individual, not put there by the parents. There are plenty of female narcissists who hate and abuse men.

Well don for your efforts though - good work. The only way to deal with a narcissist does seem to be to be very strong and not play the victim, because narcissistic people just overwhelm anyone who plays the Beta to their Alpha. There is another way however - expose narcissistic people as very scared of their own capacity to destroy the lives of others - no need for the victims to be made stronger, how can anyone fail to be stronger than a narcissist who is terrified of displaying any kind of personal weakness? They are weak and self-defeating and end up with no friends - and how clever is that? Its a stupid game in which the narcissist always loses. I know. My mother was a narcissist and was terrified all her life.