Narcissistic Abuse and Victim Aggression (Interview in Bronson Men)

Uploaded 10/21/2022, approx. 31 minute read

Thank you for having me. I feel welcome. Thank you. So let's get this rolling.

You have had an amazing and quite unusual life, with a pretty difficult childhood and a very adventurous life.

If you could tell us how your early beginnings were and how you became to be the number one professional on narcissism and cluster personality disorders.

Like all other psychologists, I started with my own mental health problems. It seems the old profession is one mental asylum, I think. I was born to a family of immigrants in Israel. They were not very highly educated, and they were ill-equipped to cope with the exigencies and demands of modern life, let alone with someone like me.

When I was born, I was an unusual child. I was a difficult child.

At some point, the authorities, the school authorities thought that I'm retarded, that I'm intellectually challenged. So they sent me to a psychologist because I was very disruptive at school.

I started to read at age four, and I read encyclopedias and the equivalent of Wall Street Journal, usually every day between ages four and six. School was a bit boring. So they sent me to a psychologist, and the psychologist diagnosed me with, at the time, 180 IQ, which was unusual.

They didn't know what to do. So they sent me to university at age nine.

I started to study at university at age nine.

I ended up being a junk professor at age 17.

My mother and father didn't know how to cope with any of this, and I think my father as well was mentally ill. My mother severely mentally.

So I was subjected to horrendous physical torture and verbal abuse for 12 years.

Consequently, of course, this affected the formation of my identity and my personality.

I ended up developing severe personality disorders and probably other mental health issues, probably a mood disorder as well.

And my life spiraled out of control. I was a high achiever. I made tens of millions of dollars. I was very famous in my country and so on and so forth, but I was sabotaging. I was self-destructing all the time. I was undermining my own success because deep inside, I had what we call in psychology, a bad object.

Deep inside, the message from my parents was, you're not lovable. You're a freak. You're a weirdo. You don't deserve any appreciation.

So I kept confirming their view of me.

Children cannot dispute the parents. They cannot. It's very frightening. The child prefers to believe that something is wrong with him or with her.

Then, rather than to say something is wrong with mother or something is wrong with father, because a child depends on mother and father for survival.

And so the child internalizes the parental interjects, the messages from the parents.

And if the messages are inadequate, you're a loser, you're a failure, you're unlovable and so on, that's lifelong. These messages are lifelong. They keep playing in your head all the time like tapes.

And so I sought to justify my parents, to validate them, to confirm their judgment of me by destroying myself time and again and again.

And finally, because I'm very good at what I do, I was very good at destroying myself also. And the destruction was over. I lost absolutely everything. I went to prison. I did time.

And it is in prison that I was diagnosed for the second time with narcissistic personality disorder.

And this time I listened. And I organized a network of people to smuggle literature into the prison.

At night, by candlelight, I wrote my findings, my results of my research and results of introspection.

So gradually, this became Malignant Self-Love: The Narcissus Book.

It was written in prison at night time with a candle.

And what I discovered in the literature is that there was no literature. To sum it up, there was an essay in 1914. There were some studies by Kohout in the 70s. And in between, there was almost nothing, almost nothing. Kernberg, a little, and that's it. There was no website online. There was no, nothing online. Absolutely nothing. No one has heard of narcissism. It was a desert.

The first thing I had to do is to understand myself.

But the second thing I had to do is to communicate my findings somehow. So I had to invent a whole new language. Most of the words in use today were invented by me in that period. That includes narcissistic abuse, cerebral nausea, somatic nausea, hoovering, you know, all these words, fly monkeys, all these words.

I tried to invent a new language. Ironically, I invented a new language so that narcissists could describe their internal landscape and their inner experience. But this language was appropriated almost immediately by victims of narcissism. So they used this language to describe the experience of being with the narcissist.

Although originally this language was invented for a totally different reason. That's in a nutshell.

And then there was Malignant Self-Love. And 10 years later, there was a second website. So for 10 years, I had the only website that I had, I owned all the support for narcissism. And then 10 years later, I was joined by another person.

Now, of course, it's an avalanche, a tsunami.

Talking about your narcissism, can you please tell us how briefly how a narcissist is formed? And what the main types are? And perhaps, how does it get chosen? How what type of narcissist one will evolve to be?

Narcissism, pathological narcissism, because there is healthy narcissism. There is healthy narcissism. It's also known as primary narcissism. It's a kind of narcissism that allows you as a baby to take on the world.

Because to take on the world, you need to be very grandiose. You need to feel that you're godlike. When you're two years old, you say goodbye to mommy, and you walk the first three steps away from her. That's a major revolution. It's also potentially traumatic if the mother is the wrong mother. So you need to be very grandiose.

Primary narcissism helps you to explore the world on the one hand and to explore yourself in a process known as introversion, to explore yourself as well.

Narcissism also has a very strong sexual component. So we have something called narcissistic libido. It's when your life force is exemplified by your sexuality is directed at yourself. You love yourself.

Why is this critical? Why is this healthy? Because by loving yourself, you are finally loving an object. You're loving something. Even if this something is you, you are learning to love something. So narcissism is extremely critical in proper healthy development. However, if it persists to an older age, if it persists into adulthood, then it's pathological. It's pathological because grandiosity is a cognitive distortion. Grandiosity provides you with wrong information about reality and the world. It impairs your reality test.

So if you are left with grandiosity lifelong, you would tend to misread people in situations and you would tend to make very bad decisions for yourself and for others.

Similarly, a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, a tendency to exploit people. These are all integral parts of primary narcissism, but in primary narcissism between the ages of 18 months and 36 months, it's healthy. After that, it's a pathology.

In this way, I also answered essentially your question.

Pathological narcissism is a fixation when you do not progress beyond a certain emotional age.

Now, why wouldn't you progress?

Because you are getting the wrong signals and input from your mother.

People ask me, only mother, not father. Well, maternal figure, someone who functions as your mother.

Now, in the vast majority of cases, mother functions as your mother. So it's mother.

But yes, it could be a father, could be a grandmother, could be a role model, could be a neighbor.

Anyone who functions as a mother is a maternal figure.

If the messages from the maternal figure are wrong, you will remain stuck for life.

There is a process called separation individuation. At some point, you need to say goodbye to mommy because you're beginning to realize that she's external to you.

Up to that point, you are symbiotic. You don't make a distinction between yourself and mommy. You're one and the same.

But at that point of separation individuation, you begin to realize that she is not you.

This is a critical moment because then you say, wait a minute, if she is not me, there are others who are not me.

And so for the first time, you see the whole of humanity available to you. And this is called object relations.

A mother who is what we call a dead mother, not dead physically, but a mother who is not available to you. A mother who doesn't provide you with a sense of security and safety, doesn't give you a secure base. A mother who is selfish, a mother who is depressed, absent, anxious, rageful.

This kind of mother or a mother on the very contrary, who is smothering and spoiling and pampering. A mother who doesn't let you go because of her own inadequacies and insecurities. This kind of mother would not allow you to separate from her and you would never become an individual. You would never become an individual.

This is a good description of narcissism.

Narcissists are essentially two years old, emotionally speaking, including me.

And people confuse intellectual agility, intelligence. They confuse this with maturity. The two have nothing to do with each other.

You can be super intelligent and at the same time, extremely immature. You could have high accomplishments in any field, politics, science, to name it, but emotionally you're two years old because you've never separated from other.

We're not given the chance to become you, to become something distinct and different.

And so who your mother is and how she responds to your attempts to walk away is a critical phase in development of narcissism.

You asked me another, sorry, you asked me another, there was another pathologist. He asked me how the child chooses the solution of narcissism.

It's a very good question because children have a variety of possible solutions.

When the parent is dysfunctional, when the parent is non-responsive, the non-reactive, when the parent is dead, absent, depressed, etc., selfish, instrumentalizes the child, parentifies the child, etc.

The child has a problem. The child can say, mommy is bad. She wouldn't let me go. She wouldn't let me play with my peers. She's bad, but no child will ever say this.

So the child says, I'm bad.

But then the question is, I'm bad in which way? In which way am I bad?

So the child can say, well, I am bad because I'm abusing mommy. I'm somehow an abuser. That is a narcissistic solution.

The child can say, I'm bad because I'm not pleasing mommy enough. So that would be the codependent people pleasing solution.

The child can also say, I am bad because there is no me. I don't exist. That's in this sense, I mean, adequate.

And that would be essentially the borderline solution. The borderline is actually a huge emptiness, a void.

And this kind of child becomes emotionally dysregulated.

Now, something that few people are aware of, children progress.

All children typically start with a people pleasing codependent solution. All children start with this.

When this doesn't work, when they try to please mommy, they give mommy little gifts. Sometimes they cry. Crying is an attachment behavior. It's like telling mommy, I want you, I need you. So they try to draw attention. When this fails, they become dysregulated. They can't control their emotions, especially terror, fear, an almost fear. So they become emotionally dysregulated. So they transition to borderline.

Some children at this point say, my emotions are so terrifying and so frightening. I would rather not have emotion. And mommy is so right about me, I would rather become the abuser.

So a minority of children at the borderline phase become narcissists, majority trying, but fail. So we say in psychoanalysis that narcissists are failed. The borderlines are failed narcissists. These are children who fail to transition to the final stage.

Ironically, in the evolution of dysfunction, narcissists are the elite. They made it. They are like the special forces, you know, the Navy SEALs. They made it. They went through codependency. They went through borderline. They graduated and became narcissists.

Quoting you, you say, not all abusers are narcissists, but all narcissists are abusers.

Why is this so?

Well, to start with, not all abusers are narcissists because a variety of mental health conditions and states of mind can lead to abuse. You don't have to be mentally ill or to abuse. Abuse, for example, in many societies and cultures is a form of communication.

Abuse in some periods of history and some societies and cultures is a way of saying, I love you.

So in many societies, if, for example, a husband and a wife, if the husband is not jealous, not possessed, doesn't react with aggression out of jealousy, then it's proof that he doesn't love. So they misidentify abuse as a form of love.

Abuse has multiple functions. It is simply the inability to communicate properly, lack of communication skills. That is why when we teach communication protocols to abusers, most of the abuse disappears and never comes back again.

Abuse is a form of miscommunication in majority of cases. A small minority of abusers are driven to abuse by mental illness. That's an entirely different issue.

In the first case where the abuser is not mentally ill, the orientation is towards the abused. The abuser wants to convey something, communicate something to the abused. The abuser wants to change, modify the behavior of the abuse.

So this kind of abuse is outward oriented. We call it object oriented abuse, but the abuse of the mentally ill has nothing to do with the abuse, nothing to do with the victim or the target. It's an internal process. It's intended to satisfy the psychological needs of the abuser.

So anyone who happens to be there will be abused. The identity of the specific person who is being abused is totally irrelevant. The victims find it very difficult to accept. They want to feel that they've been chosen. They are special. There was a reason for everything that happened. They want to make sense of meaning of what had happened to them. But the truth is they were victims of circumstance. It's totally random. The abuser abuses, you just happen to be there. And what psychological needs am I talking about?

In the case of narcissists, for example, it's a reenactment. It's a replay of early childhood conflicts.

Narcissists had been abused as a child. That's why I'm trying to convince my colleagues that narcissism is a post-traumatic condition, not a personality.

So narcissists have been abused as a child and it's the only form of love that he knows, the only form of attachment that he knows. He doesn't know to separate, so he never separates. And he doesn't know to interact normally when he gets attached in a shared fantasy.

So he abused.

And there are other reasons to abuse.

They're all internal.

You say that all personality types can be potential victims for narcissists. You don't have to be dependent.

But sometimes certain vulnerabilities help.

What I would like to ask is who are the most prone? And are these victims really helpless? Or do they have some kind of responsibility in these situations?

The fact is that the majority of victims of narcissistic abuse and narcissistic abuse is different to normal abuse. Narcissistic abuse is about an attempt to eliminate the intimate partner as a separate entity, to reduce the intimate partner to the level of a manipulable object. It's a form of extreme objectification, to take away the partner's life, to deanimate the partner.

All other forms of abuse are limited to a dimension. So you can have legal abuse, financial abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, but usually the abuse targets some aspect of you, some dimension of you, some behavior, something, trait, or a circumstance, or maybe your assets, your money, your sex, your power.

So this kind of abuse is directional. It's limited. It's more like a laser beam.

Narcissistic abuse is more like a bulb, like a light bulb, is diffuse.

And the aim of narcissistic abuse is to deanimate you so that the narcissist can internalize you and then interact with the internal object only, not challenged by you outside.

So the narcissist makes a snapshot of you, takes a snapshot of you like a photo. Then he photoshops the photo, he idealizes it. And then he continues to talk to the photo. He has fights with the photo, he talks to the photo. He never notices your external existence because he's incapable of separating.

How can you accept that someone exists outside you if there is no outside, if you never separated?


But then you begin to act independently. You have friends, you go on trips, you do business, you are challenging the photo, you're challenging the snapshot, and you become, you're becoming this way, the narcissist enemy.

So this is narcissistic abuse.

The role of the abuse in this case is to control the anxieties of the narcissist. And this is the power of the narcissist over his victims.

Narcissism is a post-traumatic condition, focused around the reduction of anxiety. In other words, the narcissist and his victim are the same, identical. Borderline is exactly the same.

So the narcissist is the twin of his victims. They both come from a traumatic, abusive environment. They understand each other's language. They resonate. The narcissist knows which buttons to push because he has the same set of buttons.

And so take for example, the borderline. The borderline has two types of anxiety, twin anxieties. One of them is called separation insecurity, abandonment anxiety. She's afraid to be rejected, to be abandoned and so on. But she has another anxiety and it's called engulfment or enmeshment anxiety. She's terrified to be subsumed, to be absorbed by her intimate partner. Consequently, she approaches the partner because she doesn't want to be abandoned. But when the partner reciprocates, when he becomes intimate, she gets terrified. She feels that she's disappearing. So she runs away.

Approach, avoidance, repetition, compulsion.

So she needs a partner.

The ideal partner for a borderline is someone who, when she approaches, will love-bomb her and idealize her. And when she avoids, will devalue and discard her. And there's only one type who does this, the narcissist.

That's why there's a perfect match between borderlines and narcissists.

Similarly, the codependent. The codependent, codependency is a nice way of saying emotional blackmail. Codependence, emotionally blackmailed departments. They use their helplessness. They use their dependency. They use their sacrifice to blackmail the partner into a specific set of behaviors.

For example, if you abandoned me, I will die. Or I sacrifice so much for you. You owe me, you know, or I really need you. I can't do this without you.

These are all codependent messages.

Again, the codependent is a perfect match with the narcissist because the codependent enhances the narcissist's grandiosity. She tells him, I can't do it without you. You're godlike. You're so perfect. You're so amazing. I need you.

So again, you have a match, perfect match between pathologies.

Some types of pathologies enhance each other, amplify each other. And these would tend to attract.

However, having said all this, the main concern of the narcissist is narcissistic supply. Narcissistic supply actually has, there are two types.

There are multiple types, but there'll be two major types. One is grandiosity enhancing supply. Yes, you're a genius, you're a god, you're handsome, you're this, you're that.

And the other is sadistic supply. The narcissist needs to torture and inflict pain and hurt people because he's replaying or reenacting his early childhood trauma. He also needs to separate. The only way to separate from a maternal figure is to devalue her.

So you devalue and then say, well, I'm justified to separate, to discount. So there's a lot of sadism in narcissism. This is the only concern of the narcissist.

Grandiosity enhancing supply and sadism, sadistic targets for sadism. So anyone, anyone fits a bit, he would go for anyone. You give him supply, you become his intimate partner.

Of course, it's wonderful if the intimate partner also resonates with the narcissist pathology. So that's why narcissists would prefer border lines. I prefer border lines, for example.

Absolutely. If I have a choice between a borderline and a non-border line, and they both provide me with supply, I would choose the borderline because she provides me with supply plus, she gives me something extra.

Perhaps now is the time to talk about the cycle of the narcissist, how they engage and what are the stations of a relationship from love bombing to maybe Hoover and power and sorry. And if you can also include a little bit about trauma bonding and why that is such a difficult topic.

The narcissist operates through a mechanism called shared fantasy.

Was first discovered in 1989 and described in 1989.

So a shared fantasy is a fantastic space, which guarantees the gratification of the psychological needs of the intimate partner.

One of the main aspects of the shared fantasy is idealization.

So now this is the first stage, is love bombing and idealizing the partner.

But the narcissist has a special twist.

Many, many, many types of mental, mentally ill people idealize, for example, border lines, idealize psychopaths, actually idealize example, but the narcissist idealization has a twist.

He idealizes you and then he gives you access to your own idealized image. He lets you see yourself through his eyes, through his gaze. You fall in love with yourself through the narcissist gaze.

In this sense, he recreates for you the maternal experience. You know, the mother looks at the babies. Isn't he the most beautiful baby ever? Of course he's not. He looks like a monkey, but in her mind, she idealizes it.

So the narcissist allows you to give you a second chance at a childhood with the mother who sees you in an idealized way and loves you unconditionally.

This is addictive. This is totally addictive.

So he hooks you this way.

And then within, I don't want now to go through all the, there are seven phases of shared fantasy. It's a very long thing. And there's a video on my channel about the seven stages of shared fantasy.

But in a nutshell, having done this, the narcissist then converts you into a maternal figure.

So having hooked you by providing you the drug of maternal love, in effect, he then tries to convert you into his own mother.

It's like, I call it dual mothership. It's like, I'll be your mother. You'll be my mother.

And he wants you to love him as unconditionally as he loves you.

Yes. So he wants you to idealize him. This is called co-idealization. He wants you to idealize him.

And then he wants you to love him unconditionally, but he needs to test you.

How would he know that you do love him unconditionally? Don't forget that narcissists are paralipomena. They have persecretary delusions.

So he needs to test you.

This is the first stage of narcissistic abuse.

The narcissist starts to abuse you initially is to test you to see if you're really a good enough mother who would love him unconditionally.

He pushes the envelope. He escalates. He goes further and further all the time testing you. Will you stay? Will you love him? Will you accept him as he is? Will you absorb the abuse and still be there for him as a mother?

Okay. And then if you pass this test, you become his maternal image figure.

Then he begins to interact with you as a maternal figure.

The problem is this. He wants you to be his mother because he wants to reenact or replay with you his original childhood. He wants to get it right this time. He got it wrong then.

Now he wants to get it right.

So he wants you to be a mother and he wants to separate from you. He wants to separate and become an individual, individual. To separate from you, he needs to devalue you.

So then he must devalue you and discard you. This is symbolic separation.

I got rid of my mother. I'm now a free man and now a person, this person.

No, but there's a problem. He gets rid of the external object. He discards you, lets you go, approaches you away, but the internal object remains.

It's still there and it's still idealized.

This creates a tremendous dissonance in the narcissist.

And so he would need to bring you back and re-idealize you or create an alternative internal object that is even stronger than your internal object.

So some narcissists try another intimate partner and many narcissists hoover you, bring you back.

And the cycle starts all over again. It's Sisyphean work.

The narcissist tries to separate an individual all his life and to his dying day he fails. In the process, he accumulates a library of introjects, a library of internal objects, each one of which represents a past intimate partner.

So he has this huge library of intimate partners, 20, 30, you know, intimate partners. All of them psychodynamically active. All of them competing with each other.

And this is a narcissist's predicament. That's his verdict. This is punishment.

Actually, people want to punish a narcissist, take revenge. This there's no need. There's absolutely no need.

He punishes himself.

What would be the most significant difference between female and a male narcissist? Is there any ideas for that? Not psychologically, but socially and culturally.

Yes, of course. The genders, the difference between a male and a female narcissist is not psychological. There is no psychological difference between the two.

However, they fulfill different gender roles. In other words, the difference is socio-cultural in specific societies and cultures and periods in history, women and men manifest to express their underlying psychology differently.

So in the 1950s and 50s and 70s, a woman would have expressed her grandioseity via her home, her domestic chores. So she would say, I'm the greatest housewife. I'm the best mother.

And a man would say, I'm a great earner and a provider. I make money. I'm a winner.

It's today, it's much more blurred because we are transitioning to a uni gender. We are actually becoming a single gender. Everyone is the same.

And so more and more women, first of all, a bigger number of women are diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder. While in the United States, while in the sixties and seventies, only 25% of people diagnosed with NPD were women.

Today, the number is 50, 50, 50. And the second thing is that more and more women manifest their narcissism almost identically to men. For example, cheating, romantic cheating has exploded among women. It has risen five times over the past 30 years. Women describe themselves in masculine terms, predominantly.

And so the differences are disappearing. Shortly we will be in a uni gender society where narcissism will be identically expressed across what used to be genders. And narcissism will become a form of religion, private religion, but it's not a different issue.

Thank you.

Based on your evidence and research, you talk very openly about very difficult subjects, incest, parental abuse, certain political issues. What are your views on on such things as cancel culture and the whole woke movement and trying to keep all narratives politically correct? What's your view on this? Where is this leading us?

So my view is the view of clinical psychology. In the past few years, we have begun to study victim mode movements and the psychology of victim movement. So we have, for example, studies by Gabbay, Gabbay and allies, four massive studies conducted mainly in Israel. We have studies in British Columbia and so forth, and I'll summarize them for you. What we're beginning to find is that certain people are prone to adopt victimhood as an identity. Their victimhood is their identity. Their victimhood endows their life with meaning, makes sense of the world.

So it's an organizing principle. They would seek to be victims even in situations where they would not have been victimized otherwise. When they are not victimized, they push you to victimize them. This is called projective identification.

And so there is something called TIV. TIV is a new psychological construct describing these kind of people.

You can see these people online, for example, in the empaths movement and other nonsensical labels, where these people are actually very narcissistic, very grandiose, extremely aggressive, lacking in empathy of any kind. And yet they claim that they have been victimized all their lives because they are super empathic and they are sensitive and so forth. And they are proud of their victimhood. They compete with each other.

My abuser was much worse than your abuser. No, my abuse was unprecedented. I understand that you were abused. I'm sorry for you, but my abuse was much.

And so it's identity politics, because identity politics. A separate set of studies in Canada and elsewhere has shown that very fast, very soon, within usually two to three years maximum, victimhood movements such as Me Too, Black Lives Matter, and so on, get hijacked by narcissists and psychopaths. So the infiltration of narcissists and psychopaths is universal in all these victimhood movements, and they become the public face of the movement.

Victimhood movements are one of the most threatening and pernicious developments.

There is a sociologist by the name of Campbell, and he said that we have transitioned from the age of dignity to the age of victimhood. It's very dangerous because if you are a perennial victim, if this is your identity, if you are determined by your victim, you would tend to develop attendant behaviors. For example, you would tend to feel entitled to special treatment. And if you don't get this special treatment, you will become aggressive.

And this is the irony. This was first described by Kaupmann. There's a guy called Kaupmann, and he described what he called the drama triangle. And he said abusers, the drama triangle includes abuser, victim, and rescuer or savior.

But he said these roles are not fixed. When the victim is not gratified by the rescuer, she becomes an abuser. And when the abuser witnesses the behavior of the rescuer, he tries to be the rescuer.

So everyone cycles.

What I'm trying to say is that the potential for aggression and even violence in victimhood movements is much larger than in the general population. And even I would go as far as saying that it's equal to psychopathic movements.

For example, the Nazi movement. Of course, the Nazi was a victimhood movement. Nazis presented themselves as victims of the Versailles agreement, of the world order, Germany was discriminated against, and look at where it led.

Similarly, communism was a victimhood movement. The proletariat was exploited by the landowners, and by the industrialists, and so on. We need to redress grievances. Anything that is grievance based leads to violence and death, end of story. All death cults started as victimhood movements. ISIS is no exception.

So it's interesting.

Okay. Thank you. We have one last question for the taped version.

How do you see male identity state in today's Western culture, or global culture, if they're the same, especially when the coveted off-the-mill stereotype is basically a psychopath?

There is a huge confusion between sexual identity, sexual orientation, and gender roles. Sexual identity is the innate feeling, the self-perception that you are either male or female. It's largely biologically determined. You tend to attribute yourself certain identity parameters based on your genitalia, basically.

Sexual identity can be dysphoric in the sense that you could have one set of genitalia, but feel of the opposite sex.

And that is the foundation for the transgender movement.

But transgender movement is an excellent example of the confusion because they confuse sexual identity with sexual orientation.

They say, I was born a man with a set of genitalia of a man, but I always felt like a woman. And how do I know that I felt like a woman? Because I'm attracted to men.

But being attracted to men is not sexual identity. It's sexual orientation. You could feel like 100% men and be attracted to men. Your attraction has nothing to do with your sexual identity.

So there's a enormous confusion.

And above all, the biggest confusion is in gender roles. Gender roles have nothing whatsoever, not even remotely, to do with your biology. None, zero, zilch, nothing.

So, statistically, of course, if you are born with a penis, society, your parents, the agents of socialization, your peers, your teachers, your neighbors, you name it, role models, mass media, they will broadcast to you that if you have a penis, here is the set of behaviors that you should adopt. Boys don't play with dogs.

They also teach you social-sexual scripts. They tell you, if you have a penis, you should pay for the drinks. In the past, at least. So these are social-cultural messages.

They are part of the process of socialization and acculturation. They have nothing to do with biology, sexual identity, sexual orientation. This is the enormous source of confusion today with regards to masculinity and femininity. Male and female are real categories. Women are not.

We do have societies where men have roles which are identical to female roles in other societies. And these are not liberal or progressive societies. Northern Albania. In Northern Albania, a woman can decide to be a man. All she has to do is bind her chest. And from that moment, she is allowed to sit with a man in coffee houses, to smoke. She has all the privileges of men. It's a decision.

She just announces, gets up one morning and says, I'm a man. So there is no such thing as masculinity. That's the irony. Masculinity is a confusion or conflation of sexual identity, sexual orientation.

And gender roles.

And because there is no such thing as masculinity, when we started to have fluid, fluid sexual identities, and when we started to legitimize sexual orientations, we got completely confused when it comes to gender roles.

Because we mistakenly connected these. Fluidity should be, should exist on the level of identity and orientation. On the level of gender roles, we should realize that either we can safely abolish them, we can redefine them, we can play with them.

They are not necessary. Gender roles are not necessary. They reflected economic, economic kind of.

So men, you needed muscles in the agricultural revolution. So men became dominant.

Economic distribution of wealth, economic distribution of allocation of resources, determined gender role.

Today, women and men are becoming one. Unigender. 43% of primary breadwinners in the United States are women. Women outweigh men in college graduation. Almost two to one. That's the best predictor of future income.

Under age 25, women earn considerably more than men. Women do begin to fulfill traditional male roles during World War II. Most traditional male roles were fulfilled by women because the men were all fighting.

This is nonsense. All this conversation about masculinity, femininity, gender roles, men, women, this is nonsense. Total nonsense and not founded on anything that is scientific.

I think that's a great way to end an interview for Men's Magazine. Could you have more stars? Thank you so much. Thank you for your time. Wonderful interview.

Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it.

Okay, we're going to have a little cigarette break.

Is that okay?.

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