I don't know why; I don't when; but I detect some outline of a how. To keep things short, I'll make a small bullet list of contributing factors:
-Bad relationship with a fickle, authoritarian mom
-Lack of any female interest in me, even treated as unworthy either for being white in a primarily Hispanic school and later, for being non-local in a small mountain town high school. Basically, looked down upon.
-An erratic, ill-tempered step-mother as a youth (Who I now have cordial, albeit rare interactions with)
-Not knowing one grandmother, and knowing the other as occasionally sweet, but otherwise exhaustive due to excessive anxiety and OCD. The step-grandmother was very self-righteous, judgmental, and otherwise cold in a lot of respects.
-I looked up to my aunts as a young boy, but in my teen years came to look at them as vapid (I use this word because it's mere use sounds egotistical on my part, which is what I'm trying to illustrate)
-The one or two girls that I have had a crush on in my life either turned out to be not worth it, or I overestimated their character appeal until getting to know them better.
-A mean stepsister (Who has since apologized for her meanness)
-A whole youth wasted on porn and viewing women as objects (And otherwise bizarre pornographic interests)
And this has been my personal experience with women. I don't think I have the full picture here or that I've arrived at healthy, true conclusions, which is why I suppose I'm on here, but right now, I can't slip out of the hurt and the eschewed sense that women are boring and not worth it and that some how, they all have enough negative for the positive not be appreciated. I know this is a wrong way of looking at it, but I feel like this is where I'm at. So could you guys help me out here in learning to appreciate women. Advice, books, articles, documentaries, heroic women who inspire even the most loathesome of men, etc... I need a woman appreciation boot camp.
What kind of work do you do? What are your hobbies? Do you have education or training beyond high school? In what? Basically, what interests you besides the vapidness of women? [I'm going somewhere with this, but having the answers first will help.]
I work at a Popeye's as a cashier and morning prep chef. I don't have many interests anymore due to a combination of a dissociative disorder known as de-realization and major depression (Perhaps that works in the reverse or goes both ways), but presently, I practice Jiu-Jitsu about three times a week. I used to be very interested in philosophy and playing music, but lazy is as lazy does and not putting time into it or developing a hobby out of it, I just became apathetic toward it. I think I may soon take up penmanship/calligraphy. After having read about the master penman on AoM, it reminded me of my past interests in calligraphy and the once-strong desire to put pen(cil) to paper and make cool designs. The rest of my non-work time goes to playing some online games with a cousin of mine and my friend since at a distance, we don't see each other, but a couple of times a year. I had some college, but haven't been back to complete a degree.
Take up calligraphy.
Look up expert female martial artists on YouTube. I know women complete in Olympic Judo.
Read a book on the history of women treating mental illness. Read a book on depression by a woman MD or PhD.
Listen to recordings by female artists.
get rid of the porn or get help to stop using it. Step one.
I am not saying all porn is bad but you admit it helps you to depersonalize women. You have unreasonable expectations fueled at least in part by overindulgence. and because you admit you watch stuff you yourself refer to as being bizarre, you transfer that feeling to women in general.
Then try to stop looking at people as genders, make friends based on personalities, don't try to date until you can truthfully say you have female FRIENDS.
and as harsh as it might sound, seems more like you just don't have a positive view of yourself or life in general. Have you ever been tested for depression?
I agree with Jess for step one. Cut the porn out. I don't care how you do it- religion, 12 step program, etc- just cut it out. As you fully recognize it's BAD in regards to your view of women. BAD. So cut it out. That's step one. The sooner you get it done the better.
Secondly, I think you're on the right track and you're good at identifying why you feel the way you do towards women. Knowing the "why" is half the battle. The other half is acting on that information. I suggest you use your knowledge to help you (knowledge is power my friend). You know you feel negatively towards women and you even know why. So set all that crap to the side and get out there meeting women. That's simply the easiest way. Meet women! Tell your subconscious that it's wrong- because it is. Screw your subconscious and it's bad feelings towards women. The fact of the matter is you are in complete control here. So I suggest you use that control to the best of your ability and meet women. Give it time. You'll find someone who will demolish your current feelings and replace them with very good ones.
Get out there and meet some women.
Women are very emotional and intimate...they connect by relating to each other...which for a dissociative, may feel very foreign and unsafe even. You have to be careful with the depression too, because it has a way of making one to over-analyze a possibility...predicting all outcomes to be pointless.
Maybe make a list of any women in film or characters or from your past that you thought were admirable (not because of their sexual prowess, body characteristics, or other shallow garbage...but their beliefs, faith, character, strength)...like, for me, I admire Jennifer Aniston...I don't why, I think because she comes off real, put together, and warm. And in that list, perhaps reflect upon those traits that feel like are even good traits for a man.
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is a good book.
i agree with this. women don't have to prove anything to you, they'll do fine on their own. i think that a lack of exposure to real women can cause a person to become jaded, then again meeting men of a certain caliber will certainly cause the same feelings.
I have to fight to keep up a positive view of men...wanna trade? lol
Try David Deida's work. He is a bit cartoony and black and white sometimes but underneath the showmanship, he got a good handle on the masculine/feminine thing.
You can appreciate what women do (martial arts, raising children, humanitarian, whatever) but it's not them you're appreciating. You're just appreciating what they're doing.
In the case of all the negative stuff from your history, same thing. Just the other side of the coin.
How to appreciate the woman who is doing those things?
Indeed, very well said.
Agreed. It's the "God helps those who help themselves" deal. Even if you aren't religious, if YOU don't start doing something, you simply are going to be going nowhere in your life, and you'll be lonely. A lot.