No woman is heterosexual. What men call heterosexuality is an institution where men make women captive for PIV, to control our reproductive functions and steal our labour. Heterosexuality, or sexuality with men does not exist, because the only relationship to men that exists is men’s violence, physical and mental invasion – one that men have so well crafted and disguised for so long that we can mistake it for attraction, sexual urges or love. All women’s “attraction” to men is 100% eroticised trauma bonding / stockholm syndrome. There is no other form of attraction to men possible than that. None. Any woman “sexually” or “sentimentally” attached to a man is ONLY trauma-bonded to him. This is a universal rule under patriarchy.
[To clarify, I use trauma-bonding and stockholm syndrome (or societal stockholm syndrome) interchangeably. To me it’s the same thing that’s being described, except that I find that the word ‘trauma-bonding’ more accurately defines the context of violence + response to it than a word with “Stockholm” and “syndrome” in it. It’s clear: you bond as a reaction to violence-trauma.]
As a historical note, the term “heterosexuality” only started to be used in the late 19th century by the male psycho contingents and was first coined by a German man apparently (this is in the context of Freudian psychoanalytical backlash against women). It was invented to replace the term “normalsexual” – which was probably too overtly political – and to oppose it to “homosexual”. The men in the psychogenocidal departments invented it for the following purposes:
- pathologise lesbianism (and homosexuality) and treat it as a deviance to be
curedpunished. / pathologise women who resisted PIV and marriage and chose to bond with women instead;
- define men’s sexual ownership of women as the norm (= their use of women as dick holes and breeders = rape /impregnation / forced childbearing /abuse);
define men’s sexual ownership of women as a “sexuality” and “sexual orientation” so to hide the violence of it;
naturalise it, that is, define it as a natural biological drive in both men AND women.
If we look at the etymology of the term:
Heteros = different (from the greek).
Sexuality = sexuality.
So the literal meaning of heterosexuality = sexual orientation/ attraction / practice of sexual & love relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Does the word “heterosexuality” define the reality of our relationship to men in patriarchy? Nope. We need to stop using that word and the word “straight” when referring to women occupied by men, because it’s incorrect. I also often see the term “heteronormativity” flying around. This applies only to men. Women are within no norm in the “hetero” world, because we’re not the beneficiary subjects of it, we’re the primary victims and targets of it. !!
Back to where I started. We really need to know and understand how our traumatic responses to men work. I see some feminists wondering why women would still be attracted to men after becoming feminist, why they would stay around to “date” them. They don’t understand why these women would remain “het” if they’ve been able to see how dangerous men are. Not to mention those who believe the only reason women stay with men is for supposed “benefits” – forgetting along the way that forced proximity (captivity) to men + PIV/male violence is THE definition of our oppression and that there is no way we can benefit from it! None at all, ever ever! To believe that, is to believe MEN’S anti-woman lies that oppression is good or natural for us. That we can somehow enjoy it, want it or cope with it. This is a lie; it’s not feminist to believe that, it doesn’t fit our reality at all. Really, this is basic understanding of how men’s violence and brainwashing operate.
Men know how we react to their violence and deliberately manipulate our responses to increase their control over us, and to decrease the efforts it takes them to do so. It’s in men’s interest to disguise their violence as much as possible. It’s not for nothing that modern western patriarchy has perfected “psycho” and “behavioural” (brainwashing and mind-control) sciences for centuries as a powerful anti-women’s liberation tool, and that men rely so heavily on it to keep us at their knees, or rather, below their dicks. It’s part of the global male infrastructure that ensures men a constant supply of ready-tamed and pre-possessed women to effortlessly stick their dicks in, impregnate and abuse. The more it grows, the easier it is for each individual man to break any woman’s will and trick her into PIV and being owned by him – and maintain submission level with the help of men’s institutions.
And so to groom women into “heterosexuality”, the most efficient form of mind-control they found is to traumatise women from birth through parental/family/child (often sexual) abuse – and from then on, use this traumatic memory/PTSD to abuse women without women being aware of it (or of the extent of it). The point is to drive the abuse directly into our unconscious, making it impossible for us to escape it because we’re no longer able to perceive men’s abuse as abusive at the conscious level. In other words, the strategy is to program us to respond to men’s violence through dissociation and trauma-bonding, and cloak/rename these responses as “love” or “attraction” to men – so on the top of it they make us believe we want it.
Let’s recall what trauma-bonding is: if we look at Dee Graham’s work (p.4, Loving to Survive), for a woman to trauma-bond to a man:
she must perceive her captor – the man – as having powers of life and death over her
she must believe that she cannot escape, and that therefore her life depends on her captor
she must be isolated from outsiders so that his perspective is the only perspective available
she must feel as if her captor – the man – showed her some kindness or attention.
This situation of captor-to-hostage is the situation of all women to all men. (This is also the point that D.G. makes in her book). That is, all men hold all women captive. All women are prisoners and hostages to men’s world. Men’s world is like a vast prison or concentration camp for women. This isn’t a metaphor, it’s reality. Each man is a threat. We can’t escape men. We are forced to depend on men and male infrastructures for our survival. Men’s perspective (and men’s language that names their perspective) is the only perspective available and we are isolated from other women and woman-centred perspectives. Not all men rape / abuse us at all times – a man just being polite might cause us to feel grateful and t-b.
So just by looking at the reality of men’s domination of women, it holds that emotional or sexual attachment to men can always only be trauma-bonding, because for it not to be trauma-bonding, men would have to not be our oppressors. But there’s more to this than what Dee Graham says, so I’m building on her theory here.
The reason so many of us trauma-bond so instantly and intensely to men in our proximity and sometimes to just any man that crosses our way, whether we are lesbian, celibate, separatist or “het”, is that we are programmed and groomed to react in this way to male threat since birth. The key to understanding this is dissociation, since trauma-bonding is a form of dissociation; so before I continue into the female child-grooming theory i’ll explain what I mean by dissociation and why trauma-bonding is a form of dissociation. Sorry if it’s a bit long but I have yet to find a shorter way of explaining it.
Dissociation is a normal survival reaction to intentional, human(male) violence. The condition for dissociation is when we perceive we can’t escape the violence, and are “frozen” on the spot. Most if not all men’s violence against women fits this criteria, because it takes place within a context of captivity to men. The closer and more dependent on the abuser we are, the more we will have to dissociate, especially at young age, especially if the abuse is ongoing. Also, the more the violence is socially hidden, unnamed, denied or renamed as something else, the more likely we are to dissociate from it, because we can’t connect our response to the situation (we feel bad but can’t perceive the violence as violence). This is a mindfuck which causes freeze fright, and dissociation.
Dissociation is when, in a situation of being trapped in violence, the brain creates a neuronal short-circuit so we don’t die of stress. Stress/fear is a normal reaction to an endangering, unsafe situation and means that adrenalin and cortisol gets sent to the heart and brain to react fast, think fast and get away fast. If we can’t make sense of the danger and get away from it, the brain shuts everything down to stop the emergency reaction from continuing (the sending of adrenalin + cortisol) because otherwise it could intoxicate our body and we can die from it. The brain then sends some other drugs (close to endorphin and Ketamine) to create an amnesia or blank in the mind, and to numb the pain. This is dissociation. Other ways of sending these dissociative drugs than directly from the brain is through genital arousal, trauma-bonding, or by taking external drugs such as alcohol or other anaesthetisers. Dissociation is what causes the traumatic memory, that is, unconscious memory of the violence which remains stuck in the lymphatic system (short-term memory place) because of the short-circuit – it couldn’t connect to the other parts of the brain anymore to get into the long-term memory, where we store our experiences and can learn from them. The memory never being processed, it comes back to us in invasive ways – either through flashes, dreams, sensations, or in more cryptic ways such as with somatic disorders, re-enacting similar trauma with other people, etc.
So yes, dissociation works like a DRUG, whether as an internal biological/chemical function or with the help of external products, when the internal one is no longer strong enough to numb the pain. This means that we may become addicted to the dissociation, and therefore the violence that triggers the dissociative state might become addictive too. And men make sure that the only available activities for women are violent and dissociative: from PIV to mutilating “femininity” practices to social binge drinking to traumatic relationships or workaholism, etc.
When we think of dissociation we imagine extreme torture and then feeling outside of our body, or feeling high: even if it can be that, very often it may be as simple as having a blank in the mind after seeing a misogynist advert, or forgetting the conversation you were having as you saw a man sexually harass his “girlfriend”, or feeling aroused when you come across a man that looks like the one you’ve previously trauma-bonded to / or who previously abused you, or having the urge to drink a glass of beer after some men insulted you (just to give some random examples). Because men’s violence is present in our everyday lives, so is dissociation, but most often we don’t realise how disconnected we are until we reconnect again some way or another and become more aware of the violence.
Now to heterosexuality and dissociation. Relationships with men or any sexual intention from their part is, when not repulsive and making you want to run away – necessarily dissociative and trauma-bonding. That’s because of the combined violence/perceived niceness inherent in “heterosexuality” (+ points 1, 2 and 3 from Grahams’s conditions for stockholm syndrome).
To trauma-bond, on top of everything D.G said, there needs to be actual violence or threat of violence, not just the perception of it. Our perceptions and responses never trick us, we only trauma-bond to people who represent a real threat or within an unequal, unsafe setting. Being around any man constitutes a threat to us, because they are our oppressors. Being wanted by a man and him treating you as if you were his is inherently violent. That’s anything from him showing he wants you, “dating” with you, being in a relationship or married to him. In either case, it consists in some kind of physical or mental violation from his part, on top of the constant threat of PIV/rape he represents as a man, whether he decides to enforce it or not.
Second, men brainwash women into believing that a man wanting us is positive attention. Worse, we are persuaded that we can’t EXIST, be happy and whole if a man doesn’t want us. They conduct heavy brainwashing on girls and women to force the perspective that PIV isn’t rape but “sex”, that sexual harassment is “seduction”, “courting” and men owning us is “love”, “romance”. We are to actively seek men to want us and this should be at the centre of all our worries and activities. And no matter how violent he is when he wants us, it means he likes me. We should be grateful.
Because of this, anything within “heterosexuality” from men merely being polite in our presence to “dating”, to buying us a drink to regular PIV/rape to brutally attacking us may cause a similar reaction of trauma-bonding (depending on how groomed to it we are in the first place) because if he wants us, it means positive attention. And a man “liking us” means EXISTING, being saved, rescued from non-existence or near death. And so we may feel grateful for that attention even if it was horrendous, horribly destructive – we may go back to him because we feel guilty not to show our gratitude for that attention. We feel obligated to thank him. We are left to blame ourselves for the awfulness of the experience, because there is no other explanation available to us. It’s our fault if it felt wrong, we just chose the wrong guy, we’re not liberated enough to enjoy it, we didn’t do enough to please him, etc.
This means that male sexualised invasion (heterosexuality) is essentially a mindfuck. The violent/nice aspect of it is inherent to heterosexuality. What’s perceived as nice IS the act of invasion itself, there is no separation between the perceived acts of niceness and the violence here. So if we’re made dependent on male sexual violence, perceived as positive attention, it is experienced only through a dissociated state. We can’t experience the violence on a conscious level because we can’t see why it makes us feel awful despite the “love/attraction” (Trauma-b.). We know we feel bad but we can’t connect it to the situation because it can only mean positive attention. And there is nothing, nobody to confirm the reality of this violence. We can only deny, suppress our responses and dissociate from it – and blame ourselves for feeling bad. It’s a mindfuck because it’s a paradox: the thing we are told is supposed to do most good to us, what we are supposed to cling on for life and seek forever, is exactly what does most harm to us. On one hand our existence is made to depend on being wanted by a man, but on the other our existence is endangered by being around with this man. If we can’t make sense of it, we stay trapped, freeze fright, and trauma-bond to the man.
So because of this nice/violent mindfuck nature of male sexual invasion (heterosexuality), dissociation is almost automatic, and it takes the form of trauma-bonding. We flip to this TB state in men’s presence all the more automatically if we were “drugged” on it for years, especially if we had lots of PIV/rape that caused genital arousal, which increases the intensity of TB tenfold (the intensity of TB and dissociation is always proportionate to the violence). It intoxicates us and we immediately lose our senses, it’s like being driven outside of our body. It’s like being an empty shell filled up by him, clinging on to him even if he’s a bastard. It instantly creates a state of melancholia because we’re driven outside of ourselves, but because we’re colonised by the guy we think it’s because we’re missing HIM. In fact we’re missing ourself and it feels very painful, like you’re being eaten up from the inside. This is the ongoing genocide of women by men. Even though they kill many of us, they need us alive and tied to them so they can keep using for PIV/reproduction, so what they do is kill us from the inside as much as they possibly can, drive us outside of our bodies, into exile from ourselves.
This automatic trauma-bonding reaction to men that we might mistake for sexual urges or falling in love is one of the main reasons separatism from men is so important. As long as men are our oppressors and probably as long as they have dicks, they will be a threat so the only way to prevent TB from happening is to avoid any close contact with men. if we TB, it’s not in our control, especially if we were heavily “drugged” on TB / PIV before. Choosing to be only around with women isn’t a special identity or a VIP radfem status that other lesser feminists have to attain, it’s a matter of protection. Even after several years of not interacting with men any more and choosing to love only women, I still get invasive flashes and dreams of PIV/rape, and I still TB to men if I can’t avoid them and they’re “friendly”. I hope it will dissipate more over time though.
The reason we may switch to TB to men so quickly in the first place though, instead of other forms of dissociation or being horrified by what boys and men are and avoiding them like the plague, is really because men program us to react in that way to abuse from since we are born, and by the time we’re grown up, this mechanism becomes like a second skin. TB to parents/fathers, more than any other form of dissociation, is the primary template to which we are raised as girls, which men then build on to abuse us as adult women. It would be completely impossible for men to subordinate us the way they do without parental/men’s abuse of girls.
now please enjoy my super diagram on child grooming!
Some notes on the diagram: the centre of the circle is the core, bare minimum of child abuse inherent in the patriarchal “family”. IOW the conditions in which women give birth to girls are inherently abusive in patriarchy. We are owned by a woman who’s owned and abused herself by a man.
Basically with girls we have the same configuration, the same paradox as with heterosexuality where the very people who we’re emotionally and physically dependent on to survive are those who are endangering our life, attacking our integrity through treating us as possessions, lack of care, neglect and abuse. We can’t escape our parents: abandonment effectively means death. We are terrorised of being further harmed or abandoned.
Because there is no way as a baby, infant or child to make sense of this mindfuck violence as the reality of it is never named or confirmed, as we are utterly alone with our suffering and powerless in this situation, our instinctual reaction is to trauma-bond to our parents and blame ourselves for their mistreatment. We think that if they don’t take care of me or treat me badly, it’s because they don’t like me, because I’m bad, I’m not lovable, I’m a stain, I’m disposable, I’m a monster inside, I’m not worth being loved and protected, I’m a bad girl.Winning our parents’ approval and pleasing them, desperately wanting to be “loved” by them and dissociating from the neglect or abuse is a survival reaction.
This abusive captivity to owners (parents) is called family and love, and we are supposed to be forever grateful to our parents.
To this captivity/trauma-bonding we add patriarchal “education”, often administered from birth, which consists in suppressing in the child any expressions of anger, distress (which is always justified) or individual will, through punishments and rewards. If a child cries or screams, to express normal needs or protest her condition, she has to be “corrected” by being shouted at, scorned, finger wagged, put in a corner or beaten. She might also be rewarded by attention or good marks for being obedient. Then adults deny us the right to express any anger or resistance to this treatment, because “it’s for our own good”. This is the slow but steady grooming to dissociate from violence – being punished for reacting to the violence, and the reality of the violence being constantly denied, we learn to suppress our normal responses to abuse and our capacity to defend ourselves from it. We learn to fragment our minds and experience the ongoing violence only on an unconscious level, to survive. The more extreme the violence, as in with severe psychological, sexual or physical abuse, the more we live in dissociation.
To this, of course, we add steady grooming to sexually service men and brainwashing into PIV, constant sexual harassment and abuse from men in general, mutilating femininity practices and general hatred of females.
This is the template on which grooming to heterosexuality is fixed. I think the reason we can so easily switch to trauma-bonding to men, experience men’s approval as such a matter of life or death, perceive that our self-worth is so dependent on somebody else’s external attention even if they are repugnant oafs, is because this is how we learned to live and survive as a child, from birth. Then we simply continue to adapt in this way to male violence as we grow, we know no other way to react to abuse. The system of captivity to parents is the same as with male ownership / relationships to men. Same isolation, same captivity, same need to dissociate / TB from ongoing abuse, etc. There’s no way we would dissociate so easily from men’s abuse were it not for this treatment as girls. There’s no way we would go near men at all.
So, all these words to explain in every way possible that heterosexuality doesn’t exist and our “urges” to bond with them emotionally or sexually aren’t natural drives but normal PTSD reactions to years of abuse and mind-programming.