Exploitation

The word doesn’t immediately bring to mind malicious activity, because we all take advantage of what we have, be it competitive advantages or even good weather. However, in a world full of unequal advantages and obvious and seemingly increasing disadvantage for people around the world, exploitation can become something sinister. It doesn’t help when people are lured into circumstances they could have avoided with less naivety, but the fact that the abuse of gullibility has become a money-making industry is something many people are not aware of. There are organizations that operate on the edge of legality, running ideological enterprises and making money at the same time.

This is, of course, related to my blog entry on fragility and an earlier entry on dysphoria in which I described my discomfort while growing up, which also explained my emigration. My case was absolutely harmless compared to what some people, especially young women, go through when they suddenly become aware that nature has assigned them the role of childbearing, with all its particular discomforts and dangers. Not only that, but the obvious misogyny that thrives in the minds of men under the influence of pornography, from pick-up lines to rape, is enough for any girl to shy away from the role she plays in the minds of men. But that’s not all, is it? The inequality that has been part of women’s lives for a long time is still present, albeit in a discrete way that can bring consequences. But anyone who is physically, mentally, or socially vulnerable can be exploited, as shown by several examples of men who underwent life-changing surgery at a young age and regretted it.

It used to be common for boys to be criticized for taking advantage of younger children or girls who couldn’t physically keep up with them, and rightly so, because that was bullying. We probably all noted that in some cases girls and women were also known to bully. It was harassment that went unpunished except for social criticism or a “slap on the wrist” when it was allowed, but as an adult, such harassment should be punished by law. Of course, there are laws, and in most Western countries there is an equality law that deals with anti-discrimination, although it is often difficult to prove one’s case. Often people who have been exploited, harassed, or discriminated against are forced to turn away because their case is not considered presentable.

This is really a matter of social cohesion and having a group that will stand up for you and support you when you are being exploited in some way. But we also see how supportive groups can resemble the Crusaders of the Middle Ages who “practiced” their fighting skills on their way to Jerusalem, killing many unsuspecting people, mostly Jews, along the way. Instead of cohesion, groups have been known to pick their enemies, sometimes previous allies, and sow discord in society to attract “awareness” to their cause. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” goes the proverb, and indeed, the result is often not what may have been originally intended. The tendency to overshoot has been observed many times, with dubious results. At the present a cause that is causing a lot of pain is that of the trans-people, who obviously need less pain in their lives, but women are being targeted in the course of the discussion.

Therefore, the one cause, that seems to continually need representation is that of misogyny, and the suffering of women is widespread, has a long history, and by far outweighs the undisputed suffering of people with gender dysphoria, or those who have undergone transition. Women have been exploited for millennia, if not since the beginning of human existence, and primarily because they have the burden of birth. Until there was contraception and later a law made, under which women gained autonomy over their bodies, no woman was asked whether they wanted to undergo the birthing process, and many have died in the course of history, whilst bearing or giving birth to a child, or in the post-natal stage. The youngest person recorded as giving birth was 5 ½ (Lina Medina, from the Ticrapo District of Peru), after entering “precocious puberty.” The father was never found, but obviously Lina had been exploited by a man, although it should be called rape. There are more reported cases, and there is certainly a high number of unrecorded cases.

This just shows how vulnerable people can be, and the 10 million cases of children in prostitution worldwide give a number to this vulnerability. Thailand and Brazil are considered the countries where it is most prevalent. However, the recent conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell, who reportedly groomed young women for exploitation by friends of Jeffrey Epstein, shows that the dangers are very present in the West as well. A glaring imbalance is that apart from Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly took his own life, the men involved have not yet been charged and a woman is the first person to take responsibility. Granted, there are famous cases of women aiding and abetting, even for serial killers, but it is a sign of our inability to deal with such cases on an equal footing that Maxwell is the only one who goes to jail.

For this reason, it is understandable that women are angry at the overturning of precedent in the U.S. and applause in other countries, because it is a rollback of a hard-won right. The cases cited by fundamental opponents of abortion, in which abortion is used merely as a means of contraception or as a substitute for an ineffective or improperly used method of contraception, are obviously a problem in the eyes of people who regard life as something sacred. The statistics cited, that 46% of women who have an abortion did not use contraception in the month they became pregnant, and 47% have had at least one previous abortion, seem callous in the eyes of women struggling to have a child. There are many risks associated with abortion. With 75% of respondents reporting that they could not afford to have a child, and 50% of abortions performed to avoid being a single parent, the risk of laypersons using dangerous methods will increase.

Abusive parents, especially fathers, are an additional danger to young girls and wives, and of course the absence of fathers is also a problem. According to the United Nations, an estimated 736 million women worldwide – nearly one in three – have experienced physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their lives (30% of women aged 15 and older). Most acts of violence against women are perpetrated by current or former husbands or intimate partners. Unfortunately, many “pro-life” people are also convinced that life circumstances are a result of merit, meaning that poverty and other limiting influences in life are self-inflicted or due to lack of faith, rather than birthplace, parents’ occupation, skin colour, or the area in which one grew up. Even in middle-class areas, academics often give birth to children who are more likely to become academics themselves. So, it’s not uncommon for poorer children to follow in their parents’ footsteps – although many from poorer families do move up in society.

This picture drawn, while not complete, shows several facets of the situation young women face when they enter puberty. That a sceptical outlook is understandable for someone who is already uncomfortable in her life and can lead to a drastic course of action should be obvious. The effects of trends and fads on mindsets, which can even become contagious, are also well known, and regularly exploited. It is also clear that every loophole is misused by the most exploitive people in society, but instead of rebuking them, even the worst are broadly supported because they are perceived as a minority that needs assistance.

So, my thesis is that women are the most exploited people on the planet, and the less they can fend for themselves, the more they are exploited. There are obviously many other groups that endure exploitation when they are most vulnerable, but even then, it is the women that have the biggest burden to carry. I don’t want to exclude men, but I have always been the opinion that a man can fall on his feet more often than a woman can, because his burden is lighter. There is also no doubt in my mind that men are more often the victims in war, but there only exist estimations about the total number of people to have died in the history of war, and they have ranged from 150 million to 1 billion, so it’s hard to say. Some say about 36% of deaths are women.

Men also suffer differently; compared to men, women feel pain in more areas of their body and for longer durations. “There is evidence for hormones, like estrogen and testosterone, affecting a person’s pain experience,” Ed Keogh, a psychologist from the Pain Management Unit at the University of Bath, told LiveScience in a telephone interview. Women report varying pain experiences throughout their menstrual cycle, when estrogen levels vary widely. Moreover, pregnant women – who often have elevated estrogen levels – can tolerate the intense physical pain of childbirth.” However, my wife has to smile when she hears this, because, as she says, “What else are you going to do? It doesn’t make the toleration any better!”

The article (https://www.livescience.com/3898-women-suffer-men.html) goes on to say, ““Testosterone may have a similar protective effect for men,” Keogh said.  But he also thinks that the cultural differences between men and women are important as well. “Social and psychological factors cannot be ignored,” Keogh said. “We have found that women will focus on the emotional response to stress.” In contrast, men typically think only of the sensation itself, which may explain their higher thresholds and tolerances.”

To come to an end, women are biologically at a disadvantage if they are left to their role as childbearers, which has always been exploited. A social stance had been adopted in the West, so that women can be protected better, achieve a higher social standing than in the past and move towards equality in opportunity. Part of this process was the ability to avoid unwanted pregnancies and choose their way through life. It has made women stronger and more selective and left some men wanting on the wayside. It looks as though the people who don’t want this to happen are once again fighting back, and women are targeted for exploitation once more.

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