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Women and Mysticism - Essay Example

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Violence against women is a worldwide crisis. It results in physical, sexual and psychological harm and suffering. Women are battered physically, as well as psychologically. They are raped in war and mutilated for the sake of beauty. They are beaten by owners as well as husbands (Stickly, Kistisyna, Timofeevr, et.al., 260)…
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Women and Mysticism
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Women and Mysticism Women and Mysticism Violence against women is a worldwide crisis. It results in physical, sexual and psychological harm and suffering. Women are battered physically, as well as psychologically. They are raped in war and mutilated for the sake of beauty. They are beaten by owners as well as husbands (Stickly, Kistisyna, Timofeevr, et.al., 260). Bourguignon (570) presents a thesis that women are powerful but because of their socialization they cannot show their power except through mysticism. This paper contends that women are powerless throughout the world and there are demons. Possession is a manifestation of terror and psychological trauma. Sometimes death is easier than life and possession is easier than death.
No matter what your religion, the teachings for that religion refer to demons. These demons are able to possess those that lack strength and are vulnerable to that possession (Bengtsson &Saveman, 2). Women who have been abused and beaten especially by an intimate partner are vulnerable and lack the strength to protect themselves, thus the possession. This is not an effort to show power in a way that is acceptable, this is a direct result of the pain in their lives because of their powerlessness.
Distress of the proportions that these women experience bring depression, as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd) (Goodman, Smyth, Borges, 1). Goodman states that the combination of violence and poverty lead to stress, powerlessness, social isolation, ptsd, depression and other emotional problems. It is not hard to put this damage into perspective when demonization or possession occurs. Who can know whether the demonization they then feel is real or not real. To the victim it is real just like spiders on the wall are very real to the psychotic patient (Goodman, et.al., 2).
The Bourguignon paper (559) argues that possession normally affects women in such a way as to allow them to assume a powerful presence or to somehow get what they want. This seems somewhat skewed as women are the victims of abuse, not men. Therefore, men would not need a place to hide psychologically from their pain and despair. Women do. Also, women do not gain power by allowing that a demon has taken over their life, they just show another form of weakness. Men would also not be so vulnerable to attack by demons because they are powerful and their power is not removed while women are beaten into submission and made vulnerable and unable to fight the possession.
Bourguignon goes on to give examples of exorcism and the fact that the exorcist is usually a man, although there are some religions where it might be a female. Throughout history, until just recently, priests, rabbis and other religious leaders have been men so who else would exorcise the demon. It will be interesting to note whether this remains true as women continue to rise to priesthood
In conclusion, it is Bourguignon's theory (558) that women are powerful but because it is not accepted for them to be so, they must find an outlet to show that power and gain what they want. In contrast, this paper has proposed the thesis that women are powerless, deeply powerless. That powerlessness comes from abuse and pain, as well as desperation. All religions believe in demons so when one is so powerless, it becomes easy to become a victim of those demons in possession.
Resources
Bengtsson-Tops, A., Saveman, B., Tops, D. 2009. Staff experience and understanding
Working with abused women suffering from mental illness. Health and Social
Care in the Community. 17(5) 459-465.
Bourguignon, E. 2004. Suffering and healing, subordination and power: women and
Possession trance. Ethos. 32(4).
Goodman, L., Smyth, K. Borges, A., 2009. When crises collide. Trauma, Violence &
Abuse. 10(4) 306-329.
Sticly, Kistisyna, Timofeevr et.al. 2008. Attitudes toward intimate partner violence
Against women in Moscow, Russia. Journal of Family Violence. 23. 447-458. Read More
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