Ilya Shambat

Ilya Shambat
Melbourne, VIC, Australia
November 21
Adda Enterprises
Born in Russia, family moved to America when I was 12. Got a degree from University of Virginia at 18. Worked for Oracle, translated four books of classical Russian poety, was part of San Francisco and Washington, DC poetry and music scene. Good friends with San Francisco's own Persephone's Bees and acquainted with Patch Adams. Currently married with children, residing in Australia and working on a clean energy technology implementation.


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APRIL 12, 2012 4:12AM

Winnie Mandela: A case in study

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Nelson Mandela has entered history as one of the great political leaders of all time. As the memory serves, he had a wife named Winnie Mandela who acted like a complete brat and caused scandals all the time. This case is instructive for other man-woman relationships.

When a woman is with a man whom she does not deserve, she is likely to turn into a brat. She would take for granted what she has with a person beyond her merits, without remembering that she would not be able to get anywhere near that level on her own. Winnie Mandela was nowhere close to deserving Nelson Mandela, and she proved that through her behavior. Whereas Nelson Mandela's wife after her - Graca Machel, former head of Mozambique - was a much more appropriate choice of partners.

When a man is with a woman whom he does not deserve, he typically becomes abusive. He knows that he does not deserve the woman, so he reduces her value and beats her down in order to justify a relationship in which he is the head of someone whom he doesn't deserve. Typically he invents reasons to justify the abuse: that she's evil, that she's crazy, that she's arrogant, and further on along the same line. The real reason for his behavior is that he is with someone whom he knows to be better than him; and to justify such an arrangement he would invent any reasons he can to reduce her value and beat her down into a place in which he is in control.

In both cases the partner who doesn't deserve the other partner takes for granted a privileged state and acts as if that state belongs to them naturally. The worse partner becomes spoiled and appropriates what is not theirs without rewarding the better partner appropriately and while frequently beating the better partner down. We see this in any number of situations, and it is quite a guarantee that, when such are the dynamics, that is the behavior that we will see. 

The only way to counteract these malignant dynamics is for the better partner to see what is going on and either stand up to the abuse or the brattish behavior, or else go for a partner who is closer to their own merits.

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Winnie wouldn't win any awards, that's for sure. But, you leave me with the feeling that one must be paired to be content. Being brave enough to go it alone, rather than stay in an unhappy relationship, is something every human being should learn. It makes us better partners in the end.
Shanghai, I never said that one needs to be in a relationship. My comments were regarding dynamics that take place in some relationships. Freedom means freedom, and that means being in a relationship if one chooses to do so or not being in a relationship if one so chooses.