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Do Narcissists Hate Women?


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#1 Shakti

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 01:48 AM

I found this while once again visiting Sam Vaknin's site in response to tenderheart's thread about narcissistic traits. It's sort of related in a tengental way. I don't mean to be sexist or exclusionary but the stats are that most (not all but most) narcs are men (ie: 75%, supposedly). So I read this piece and it sounded a LOT like ExAbuserJerk. I wonder how many other catboxers can identify their abuser's personalities in this? So the question was posed to Sam Vaknin:

Question:

I read somewhere in your web site that narcissists hate women. Nothing can be further from the truth, from my experience. All the narcissists in my life ADORED women, they were addicted to women, they worshipped women. My ex-husband couldn't live without women - many women.

Answer:

Narcissists abhor and dread getting emotionally intimate. The cerebral ones regard sex as a maintenance chore, something they have to do in order to keep their Source of Secondary Narcissistic Supply (spouse or girlfriend). The somatic narcissist treats women as objects and sex as a means of obtaining narcissistic supply.

Moreover, many narcissists tend to FRUSTRATE women. They refrain from having sex with them, tease them and then leave them, resist the flirtatious and seductive behaviors of females and so on. Often, they invoke the existence of a girlfriend/fiancée/spouse (or boyfriend/etc. – male and female are interchangeable in my texts) as the "reason" why they cannot have sex or develop a relationship. But this is not out of loyalty and fidelity in the empathic and loving sense. This is because they wish (and often succeed) to sadistically frustrate the interested party.

But this pertains only to cerebral narcissists - not to somatic narcissists and people who suffer from HPD (Histrionic Personality Disorder). These use their bodies, sexuality, and seduction/flirtation to extract narcissistic supply from others.

Some narcissists are raised by weak or inaccessible mothers and harsh, rigid, or sadistic fathers. They tend to bond with males in male settings (army, sports, police, bodybuilding, the Catholic Church) and to seek empathy, warmth, support, secure friendship, and love among their male peers. This macho bonding masks repressed and latent homosexual tendencies, the result of incestuous or simply pathologically excessive love towards the father (or father figure).

Terrified of these homosexual tendencies, these narcissists are besieged by feelings of guilt (towards their mothers with whom they compete for the father's affection) and inadequacy (they can never quite measure up to the father's standards). They become extreme and virulent misogynists. By hating women and defying them - they hate and defy life itself (women being the givers of life). They thus deny their effeminate self and exercise their self-destructive impulses.

Narcissists are misogynists. They team up with women as mere sources of SNS (secondary narcissistic supply). The woman's chores are to accumulate past Narcissistic Supply and release it in an orderly manner, so as to regulate the fluctuating flow of primary supply. In other words, the woman's chore is to bear witness to the narcissist's moments of glory and recount them to him when he is down.

Otherwise, cerebral narcissists are not interested in women. Most of them are asexual (engage in sexual acts very rarely, if at all). They hold women in contempt and abhor the thought of being really intimate with them. Usually, they choose submissive women, well below their level, to perform the aforementioned functions.

This leads to a vicious cycle of neediness, self-contempt (“how come I am dependent on this inferior woman”) and aggression directed at the woman. Hence the abuse. When primary Narcissistic Supply is available – when the narcissist is the center of attention - the woman in his life is hardly tolerated. The narcissist interacts with her minimally, as one reluctantly pays the premium on an insurance policy.

The narcissist does regard the "subjugation" of an attractive woman to be a source of narcissistic supply.

It is a status symbol, a proof of virility, and it allows him to engage in "vicarious" narcissistic behaviors (allows him to be his narcissistic self through others, to transform others into tools at the service of his narcissism, into his extensions). This is done by employing defence mechanisms such as projective identification.

To re-iterate, Primary Narcissistic Supply (NS) is any kind of NS provided by people who are not "meaningful" or "significant" others. Adulation, attention, affirmation, fame, notoriety, sexual conquests – are all forms of Primary NS.

Secondary NS emanates from people who are in constant and repetitive touch with the narcissist. It includes the important roles of narcissistic accumulation and narcissistic regulation, among others.

The narcissist believes that being in love IS actually going through the motions and pretending. To him, emotions are mimicry and pretence.

He says: "I am a conscious misogynist. I fear and loathe women and tend to ignore them to the best of my ability. To me they are a mixture of hunter and parasite."

Most male Narcissists are misogynists. After all, they are the warped creations of women. Women gave birth to them and molded them into what they are: dysfunctional, maladaptive, emotionally dead. They are angry at their mothers and, by extension, mad at all women.

The narcissist's attitude to women is, naturally, complex and multi-layered but it revolves around four axes:

1. The Holy Whore
2. The Hunter Parasite
3. The Frustrating Object of Desire
4. Uniqueness Roles

The narcissist divides all women to saints and whores. He finds it difficult to have sex ("dirty", "forbidden", "punishable", "degrading") with feminine significant others (spouse, intimate girlfriend). To him, sex and intimacy are mutually exclusive rather than mutually expressive propositions. Sex is reserved to "whores" (all other women in the world).

This distinction resolves his constant cognitive dissonance ("I want her but...", "I don't need her but..."). It also legitimizes his sadistic urges (abstaining from sex is a major and recurrent narcissistic "penalty" inflicted on female "transgressors"). It tallies well with the frequent idealization-devaluation cycles the narcissist subjects his women to. The idealized females are sexless, the devalued ones – "deserving" of their degradation (sex) and the contempt that, inevitably, follows thereafter.

The narcissist believes firmly that women are out to "hunt" men and that this is almost a genetic predisposition. As a result, he feels threatened (as any prey would). This, of course, is an intellectualization of the real, absolutely opposite, state of things: the narcissist feels threatened by women and tries to justify this irrational fear by imbuing women with "objective" qualities which make them, to his mind, ominous.

This is a small detail in a larger canvass of "pathologizing" others in order to control them. According to the narcissist’s scenario, once her prey is secured, the woman assumes the role of a "body snatcher". She absconds with the narcissist's sperm, she generates an endless stream of demanding and nose dripping children, she financially bleeds the men in her life to cater to her needs and to the needs of her dependants. Put differently, she is a parasite, a leech, whose sole function is to suck dry every man she finds and Tarantula-like decapitate them once no longer useful. This, of course, is exactly what the narcissist does to people. Thus, his view of women is a projection.

Heterosexual narcissists desire women as any other red-blooded male does (even more so due to the special symbolic nature of the woman in the narcissist's life – humbling a woman in acts of faintly sadomasochistic sex is a way of getting back at mother). But he is frustrated by his inability to meaningfully interact with them, by their apparent emotional depth and powers of psychological penetration (real or attributed) and by their sexuality.

Their incessant demands for intimacy are perceived by the narcissist as a threat. He recoils instead of getting closer. The cerebral narcissist also despises sex and is bored by it, as we said before. Thus, caught in a seemingly intractable repetition complex, in approach-avoidance cycles, the narcissist becomes furious at the source of his frustration. Some of them set out to do some frustrating of their own. They tease (passively or actively), or they pretend to be asexual and, in any case, they turn down, rather cruelly, any attempt by a woman to court them and to get closer.

Sadistically, narcissists tremendously enjoy their ability to frustrate the desires, passions and sexual wishes of women. It endows them with a feeling of omnipotence. Narcissists regularly frustrate all women sexually – and frustrate the significant women in their lives both sexually and emotionally. Somatic narcissists simply use women as objects and then discard them. The emotional background is identical. While the cerebral narcissist punishes through abstention – the somatic narcissist penalizes through excess.

The narcissist's mother kept behaving as though the narcissist was and is not special (to her). The narcissist's whole life is a pathetic and pitiful effort to prove her wrong. The narcissist constantly seeks confirmation from others that he IS special – in other words that he IS.

Having sex with women threatens the success of this quest because it is "bestial" and "common". There is nothing "special or unique" about sex. Women keep dragging the narcissist to their level, the level of the lowest common denominator of intimacy, sex and human emotions.

Anybody can love, copulate and breed, says the narcissist to himself. These emotions and activities d not set me apart and above others. And yet women seem to be interested ONLY in these pursuits. Thus, the narcissist is led to believe that women are the continuation, by other means and in different guises, of his mother - this early robber of his uniqueness.

The narcissist hates women virulently, passionately and uncompromisingly. His hate is primal, irrational, the progeny of mortal fear and sustained abuse. Granted, most narcissists learn how to suppress, disguise, even repress these untoward feelings. But their hatred does get out of control and erupt from time to time. It is a terrifying, paralyzing sight - the true face of the narcissist.

To live with a narcissist is an arduous and eroding task. Narcissists are atrabilious, infinitely pessimistic, bad-tempered, paranoid and sadistic in an absent-minded and indifferent manner. Their daily routine is a rigmarole of threats, complaints, hurts, eruptions, moodiness and rage. The narcissist rails against slights true and imagined. He alienates people. He humiliates them because this is his only weapon against the humiliation wrought by their indifference.

Gradually, wherever he is, the narcissist’s social circle dwindles and then vanishes. Every narcissist is also a schizoid, to some extent. A schizoid is not a misanthrope. He does not necessarily hate people - he simply does not need them. He regards social interactions as a nuisance to be minimized.

The narcissist is torn between his need to obtain narcissistic supply (from human beings) - and his fervent wish to be left alone. This wish is peppered with contempt and feelings of superiority.

There are fundamental conflicts between counter-dependence and contempt, neediness and devaluation, seeking and avoiding, turning on the charm to attract adulation and being consumed by wrathful reactions to even the most minuscule "provocations". These conflicts lead to rapid cycling between gregariousness and self-imposed ascetic seclusion.

Such an unpredictable but always bilious and festering atmosphere is hardly conducive to love or sex. Gradually, both become extinct. Relationships are hollowed out. Imperceptibly, the narcissist switches to a non-sexual co-habitation.

But the vitriolic environment that the narcissist creates is only one hand of the equation. The other hand is his unfortunate female partner.

As we said, heterosexual narcissists are attracted to women, but simultaneously repelled, horrified, bewitched and provoked by them. They seek to frustrate and humiliate them. Psychodynamically, the Narcissist probably visits upon them his mother's sins - but such an instant explanation does the subject great injustice.

Most narcissists are misogynists. Their sexual and emotional lives are perturbed and chaotic. They are unable to love in any true sense of the word - nor are they capable of developing any measure of intimacy. Lacking empathy, they are unable to offer to the partner emotional sustenance.

Do narcissists miss loving, would they have liked to love and are they angry with their parents for crippling them so?

To the narcissist, these questions are incomprehensible. There is no way he can answer them. Narcissists never love. They do not know what is it that they are supposedly missing. Observing it from the outside, love seems to them to be a risible pathology. They equate love with weakness. They hate being weak and they hate and despise weak people (such as the very old, the sick, the poor, and the very young). They do not tolerate what they consider to be stupidity, disease and dependence - and love seems to be comprised of all three. These are not sour grapes. They really feel this way.

Narcissists are angry men - but not because they never experienced love and probably never will. They are angry because they are not as powerful, awe inspiring and successful as they wish they were and, to their mind, deserve to be. Because their daydreams refuse so stubbornly to come true. Because they are their worst enemy. And because, in their unmitigated paranoia, they see adversaries plotting everywhere and feel discriminated against and contemptuously ignored.

Many of them (the “borderline” narcissists) cannot conceive of a life in one place with one set of people, doing the same thing, in the same field with one goal within a decades-old game plan. To them, this is the equivalent of dying. They are most terrified of boredom and whenever faced with its daunting prospect, they inject drama, or even danger, into their lives. This is the only way they feel alive.

The narcissist is a lonely wolf. He is a shaky platform, indeed, on which to found a family.

LINK:
http://samvak.tripod...shatewomen.html

#2 hedgie

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 08:04 AM

According to Wikipedia link About 50-75% of those diagnosed with NPD are male. I would venture to say that such a small percentage of individuals with NPD are ever diagnosed, that there's no way to have a representative sample.

If I take my own acquaintences as a sample, I tend to think NPD is an equal-opportunity disorder.

#3 GuestCat_DayByDay_*

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 08:47 AM

While some of Sam Vadkins stuff is useful, he admits to being a narcissist himself and also is not a mental health professional. Here is the official diagnostic criteria from the DSM IV.

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

(1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

(2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

(3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

(4) requires excessive admiration

(5) has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

(6) is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

(7) lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

(8) is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

(9) shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

One important thing to remember about personality disorders is that the criteria is a pervasive pattern. There are those who have some traits of a personality disorder which is different than a real NPD who relates to the world and others with this pattern. My ex is definitely one. Anyway, while the majority of NPD are male, there are female NPD also. People with NPD are not capable of loving, only of using and discarding. They will hate anyone who does not go along with what they want. They will shower attention on those who give them narcissitic supply - not to love but to keep them dazzled and in their grasp.

DayByDay

#4 Echo

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 08:57 AM

I don't think mine fits here. I know he has definite issues in the woman department. He makes sexist remarks, but I don't think he actually 'hates' women. I do think he has a strange relationship with his mother, often putting her before me over the years and not wanting to upset her, going out of his way to please her, getting excessively stressed when she visits, that sort of stuff that I think he should have been able to put away a long time ago.

#5 Cassandra

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:23 AM

Daybyday,

Yep, My x was a narc. he had all 9 of those traits.

I am not too big on Sam Varkin.

Cassandra

#6 tenderheart

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:54 AM

Hmmmmm....

You know? There was a LOT in there that made so much sense to me. I compared it with my stbx and it just seems like all the stuff that I suspected (not all of it, but much of it). My T (about two years ago) told me my husband was a misogynist. I felt my husband hated women also. My husband's mother was inattentive to my husband...didn't give him the attention he needed...my husband didn't have a strong male role model in his life...when there was a man in his life...the man cut him down and verbally abused him. AT age 16 my husband's mother washed her hands of him. Let him go...told him he can do what he wants...she gave up. Maybe my husband was impossible at age 16...but I think much of it was because he was abused growing up. Abused verbally by his father...step father...and sister...and neglected by his mother. There are some interesting dynamics going on with my stbx. And he is now 45 years old. I don't believe there is any hope for a man who was already developing narcissistic characteristics at a very young age...and goes through half a life time NEVER seeing what he has become and never reaching out for help. At age 45...he is still searching for something he will never find: The perfect woman...obedient to him and under his control.

I do believe that Sam V. has some very good points. Yes...he is an admitted Narc which makes me curious if we can trust him...but the stuff he speaks of truly hits home with me MOST of the time.

I don't believe all narcs hate women...but I would be willing to bet that MOST narcs "do" hate women. I think they just HATE, period. I think they HATE themselves as much as they hate women...so bottom line is that they are "haters" not "lovers."

Just my humble opinion.
TH

#7 Chipper

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:05 AM

Well all I can say is that I LIVED the above scenario. Having an H who had Emotional Incest w/his mother spelled disaster for him and marriage/wife.

As I have said before we didn't have much of a sex life (madonna/whore)...yet he had affairs. His unconscience hatred of his mom was played out on me in every area of our lives. Heartbreaking.

While I understand concerns re Sam...it was his writings that helped me open my eyes even wider w/understanding....thus again, bringing me the validation and affirmation I so longed for.

Chipper

#8 tenderheart

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:29 AM

Well all I can say is that I LIVED the above scenario. Having an H who had Emotional Incest w/his mother spelled disaster for him and marriage/wife.

As I have said before we didn't have much of a sex life (madonna/whore)...yet he had affairs. His unconscience hatred of his mom was played out on me in every area of our lives. Heartbreaking.

While I understand concerns re Sam...it was his writings that helped me open my eyes even wider w/understanding....thus again, bringing me the validation and affirmation I so longed for.

Chipper


Chipper,
I agree...Sam V. did help me to understand narcissism...and although whatever we read, anywhere, we need to be careful...I do believe Sam V. KNOWS about narcissism. Afterall...he is one. My only question is that if he is a narc why does he care to help those of us who are suffering? Bottom line...the stuff he writes makes sense and it never seems to be against the victim...it's all about the narc and who they are. Maybe he just likes who he is and writing about himself is some type of "high" he gets? Again, though, I think the guy is pretty much right on with everything.

TH

#9 Chipper

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 11:09 AM

Because we are his narcissitic supply! We give him what he wants most, admiration, etc. But that's fine by me...at least I'm finally getting something back from a Narc....and isn't that novel!!!!

Again, I don't know or even really care who he is or what he's not....I was just finally relieved to see someone putting into words what I was experiencing. I tried 4 counsellors to try and understand what I was dealing with...and not one of them had a clue.

Sam's writings were many of those that finally had not only one lightbulb going off for me...but a whole hollywood makeup stage lighting go off for me. Huge, huge help for me personally. First I learned about EI, then I learned of Nism....just so completed the puzzle.

Chipper

> My only question is that if he is a narc why does he care to help those of us who are suffering? Bottom line...the stuff he writes makes sense and it never seems to be against the victim...it's all about the narc and who they are. Maybe he just likes who he is and writing about himself is some type of "high" he gets? Again, though, I think the guy is pretty much right on with everything.

#10 Shakti

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 11:25 AM

Do Narcissists Hate Women?

No. The general term 'Narcissist' is not a sex (male nor female). It is a noun : Someone in love with themselves.

I have read some of SV's site and I have to say I do not agree with all that he writes. Some of it I have found very good though - just not all of it. JMO.

I think much of his 'writings' can be taken with a grain of salt as he himself is a self-confessed Narc ... let's not forget that very valid point ..... and it is his writing from his own perspective there (on him being a male Narcissist).

It's unfair to 'groom' people to think all narcs are male ....

D



I understand what you're saying. I think Vaknin unfairly insinuates this because he seems to lump them all together as male in that particular write-up - probably because he is male so it's from his perspective. He should have titled it: "Do all MALE narcissists hate women?".

The statistics generally estimate that that 50-75% of narcs are male (half or over half). Dr. Doc says it's more like 50/50. There seem to be two schools of thought on that.

Also, male and female narcissism apparently is somewhat different - that is - female narc behavior is somewhat different than in men.

Here's a link that talks about that:

http://pages.citebit...m/j1m1c8u9n6fuu

Demographics

DSM-IV-TR states that 2% to 16% of the clinical population and slightly less than 1% of the general population of the United States suffers from NPD. Between 50% and 75% of those diagnosed with NPD are males. Little is known about the prevalence of NPD across racial and ethnic groups.


Gender issues

The high preponderance of male patients in studies of narcissism has prompted researchers to explore the effects of gender roles on this particular personality disorder. Some have speculated that the gender imbalance in NPD results from society's disapproval of self-centered and exploitative behavior in women, who are typically socialized to nurture, please, and generally focus their attention on others. Others have remarked that the imbalance is more apparent than real, and that it reflects a basically sexist definition of narcissism. These researchers suggest that definitions of the disorder should be rewritten in future editions of DSM to account for ways in which narcissistic personality traits manifest differently in men and in women.



Anyway, I understand what you're saying.

Just IMO I still think Vaknin's writing on male narcissism is valid -- just because ExAbuserJerk had many of the traits he described. A female narc would undoubtedly behave in a somewhat different way than a male one.




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