Today we are interviewing Ms. Stockholm Syndrome 2017. After a grueling 5 years of direct exposure to patriarchical abuse, she has emerged in our pageant to be the most silent, the most obsequious, and the most darling robot of misogynists, patriarchs, and narcissists everywhere. Introducing Chrissy Smith, whose beauty and adherence to strict gender roles has led her to emerge an overwhelming winner.
Bill: Congratulations on your win, Chrissy! One of your greatest skills for obeying patriarchy has always been your nonthreatening manner. Give us some tips. How do you manage to remain so nonthreatening?
Chrissy: Well, Bill, it’s all about appearance. If I keep my voice soft, have an agreeable demeanor, and wear my beauty in such a way that it is underplayed, then I’m not threatening. I wear clothing that will blend in and don’t make myself too flashy. I am deliberately appeasing and agreeable in my mannerisms. At the same time, when a man needs me to dress up and be his “doll” I am always happy to oblige and do not complain. If something I deem bad happens to me, I maintain silence and never, ever, ever speak up about what others might deem abusive.
The main thing is to not have or show feelings. Narcissists and those who take pleasure in the pain of others cannot tolerate feelings. If I dare show a feeling, it is likely to arouse narcissistic injury and I know I will be punished. To navigate this, I make sure I put on a blank face, like if I’m shell-shocked, you know the look? I taught myself to become very finely attuned to my tormentors’ signals that their mood is angry and punishing. I understand that the only feeling ever allowed is their anger and I always follow their rules around this. To that end, I practice dissociation as a way of life so I do not threaten them in any way. I am also quiet about any ideas or thoughts I might have that are not in line with my tormentors’ narrative. Only their thoughts and wishes count, and I really know how to hold this rule.
I try to be funny, too. That’s another tip. If one acts goofy and clueless, tormentors are amused and that’s what you want.
Bill: Speaking of complaining, how do you resist complaining when a man or group engages in even deliberate bullying actions? I mean, you’ve had to pay rich people for their abuse towards you, right?They knew there was a huge imbalance of resources and that it would hurt you and they enjoyed doing this to you. This alone was one of the considerations for your nomination.
Chrissy: This one is easy. These days, there are so many women speaking up against abuse, but making no headway in changing patriarchy. I mean, #metoo is everywhere, and I’ve seen those t-shirts that say “Nevertheless, she persisted.” I see those as what NOT to do. I cannot possibly model Stockholm Syndrome if I have my voice. I must in every way allow my voice, wishes, and desires for my life to be minimized and even snuffed out. This kind of martyrdom is what I’m really good at. Again, I must be seen only when they want me to be seen, and never heard. Silence is golden for the principles of Stockholm Syndrome.
It works that way when other people call their behavior deplorable and see the truth of the situation, then point out their dysfunction and lack of morals, or projection, or cluelessness about how others perceive them as they are-cruel bullies. But I make sure to defend their behavior and when others do not excuse them, I redouble my efforts to put the blame on myself so I nip that in the bud and keep the mythology going. Besides, it helps that my tormentors look like normal people on the outside. It’s really easy to convince others I am the problem because my tormentors have already prepared the way for me. I just make sure everyone knows I believe they are above reproach also and that it is completely just for them to wreak vengeance on me all the time.
Bill: What do you do when your voice creeps out? This has been a real problem for women who are trying to do the right thing and honor patriarchy.
Chrissy: I remember who narrates the story. I remember who defines me as a woman, as a person, as a mother, and as a contributing member of society, and it must never be me. If I stray from allowing myself to be controlled and robotic, I know I am not Stockholm Syndrome material and have to pull back and become a mouse. Looking to places where misogyny is strong helps me a lot- like family court, churches, sexists, racists, and certain organizations. They help me retrain my mind so I’m not tempted to be disobedient in any way.
I have a man and a family in my life who need to keep me in line. When I’ve tried to speak up for myself or define my own role, I’ve been severely punished. It was this punishment that taught me to become obedient and unquestioning, and helped me win this title. Without them, I would not be receiving this award.
Bill: We live in a society that encourages critical thinking. How do you remain, as you say, “unquestioning”?
Chrissy: I think the key to this is education. I had to get educated about the other side so I could choose. It’s like learning an instrument very strictly, and messing up and sounding terrible, then realizing you have to discipline your thoughts to conform to what is in your mind. Only instead of allowing what is in my mind to be filtered through my own perceptions or awareness or knowledge, I simply surrender to what my tormentors – and Bill, I use that term with complete affection and love, because I could not be Ms. Stockholm Syndrome without tormentors, obviously- so I just let them tell me what to think and acquiesce to their perception of me. For example, if they perceive me as messy, I simply accept that and become arbitrarily ashamed of myself. If they tell me I am wrong, I believe them wholeheartedly and become ashamed of myself. If they tell me how to be, what furniture to use, what to wear, I obey and allow them to define me. They must always be in control and in charge of me, otherwise, I mess up. I have to ignore things like science and fact. Gaslighting and manipulation are two of the tools misogynists and my tormentors use frequently. I simply surrender to the lies and pretend they are truth. That way, nobody gets hurt. “Obsequious” is my middle name! (laughs softly)
Bill: You mentioned shame. Tell me more.
Chrissy: Stockholm syndrome does not work without shame and redefining your worth as a person. I accept my tormentors’ views of me as flawed and incompetent. It keeps me in line and in check. That way, I have no reason to think for myself because it will always be bad, you know? I accept my punishment for straying even when I think I am being obedient. My thoughts only exist to be shamed.
Bill: Chrissy, it’s obvious your pleasing demeanor has made you hands down the most obsequious candidate we’ve seen in a long time, as well as your beauty and strict, flawless adherence to rigid and outdated gender roles. Keep up the good work and congratulations.
Chrissy: Thank you, Bill. The pleasure was all mine. I’m sorry if I offended anyone.
Bill: Apology accepted. You offend simply by existing. (smiles)
That’s all folks. Stay tuned for a few announcements.