http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Systemic_problem mixed in with unintended consequences http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unintended_consequences
I recently ran into an interesting tidbit in light of the rampant psychological problems and mental illness that we have in this culture. That is there hardly any mental illness in places where family and community outweigh the importance of the individual. Now granted such individuals might be mentally deficient because of childhood malnutrition, but problematic craziness? Not so much.
It’s arguable that this arises from two different elements. One is a stronger and more reliable social network. Two is the attitude of “If you knew something was wrong with a child why would you let him grow up?” (an actual quote). While the latter sounds harsh, realize that a mentally unstable individual can threaten the survival of the entire tribe.
With our current emphasis on individuality and self-agency we often sneer at the limitations of group functionality. In doing so we throw the baby out with the bathwater. This includes our understanding of the safety that being a member of a powerful group brings — especially a group that is willing to commit violence in protection of itself and its members. Yes a member can walk down the street of a dangerous area and not be bothered because everyone knows the cost of doing so.
If you as an individual cannot generate such a cost, then you’re going to get hassled. If you insist that you should not have to develop coping skills or the willingness to enforce your boundaries, you’re going to be forever uncomfortable. If you have a conflict within yourself where you refuse to participate in a group due to the ‘danger’ to your individuality, but at the same time refuse to develop certain attributes, well you have a problem
In our demand for freedom to go anywhere, we often overlook that we are — in fact — moving into someone else’s territory. A territory that we do not belong in. And we treat outsiders differently than people from our territory. And the fastest way to get into trouble in someone else’s territory is to not only forget that you’re a guest, but insist on doing things the way you think they should be. If you want a fast track to being attacked, insist with contempt that others behave up to your expectations (e.g., how dare you violate my isolation bubble)
Now let’s flip this around, in ye bad old days, trouble makers, low lifes and others knew not to bother ‘ladies.’ Simply stated, it was a great way to turn the corner and find a bunch of her relatives, enforcers and towns folk waiting for you with clubs, tar and feathers. The limiting factor the danger had on bad behavior cannot be overstated. (I mean shit, it’s said in both Vlad the Impaler and Genghis Khan’s realms a virgin could walk with gold safely).
What there a downside? Of course.That’s a big part of the reason I’m going to say don’t try to make a Strawman and say that I’m calling for a return for the good old days. I’m not.
What I am saying is that there is a cost to individuality, freedom to go where ever, equality and the denial of value of violence. Not the least of which is an increase in this behavior towards women by these kinds of people (oh and BTW, they also are a pain in the ass to men too.) Why? Because they’re douchebags. And hey, because of freedom, equality and rights, they have the right to do so.
This is the downside of those things we hold dear. So the question is “How do we help women to prepare to handle this kind of stuff?” Because it’s going to happen.
Or are we going to say that equality shouldn’t require people learn how to cope with this kind of shit? That it’s someone else’s responsibility to change so the complainers can stay in their comfort zone about individuality, rights and what they should be able to do without negative results?