No wonder some women are unconsciously passive aggressive when expressing anger, sadness, or frustration. For years, they have been subjected to so much gaslighting that they can no longer express themselves in a way that feels authentic to them.
They say, “I’m sorry” before giving their opinion. In an email or text message, they place a smiley face next to a serious question or concern, thereby reducing the impact of having to express their true feelings.
You know how it looks: “You’re late :D ”
These are the same women who stay in relationships they don’t belong in, who don’t follow their dreams, who withdraw from the kind of life they want to live.” —
I hate when people claim that women are crazy or complicated or don’t know what they want because fuck you. When a woman is vocal about her opinions, desires, feelings, you call her a bitch or crazy or hysterical. Women have been taught that the only way to communicate while maintaining their physical and emotional safety is to be indirect.
i feel like i have to filter my feelings somehow at all times. i made someone cry a few weeks ago at school. i didn’t even insult him. i was expressing a critique about his art. at art school. when the guys do it, they’re informed and ‘probably right.’ when the women do it, we’re crazy overachievers. i find myself having to say, ‘i mean, maybe it’s just me, but…’ or ‘well, this is just my opinion…’ all the time. why am i afraid to say what i really think when no one else seems to be?
Margo Maine, Ph.D. (Body Wars)
There was a time that, as a person of the male persuasion, seeing this quote made me really mad. It made me mad that women would assume that I was a rapist; it made me mad that rape was becoming ‘my problem’; it made me mad because, frankly, I didn’t think it was true. I think that this is a really common male attitude when confronted with rape statistics- or, at least, it has been in my purely anecdotal experience.
But now, I know there is no excuse for that. Men need to take responsibility and look at these numbers for what they really are, and what they really, truly represent. Men, don’t be mad at the woman who is justifiably wary that more than half of the men she knows could be her potential rapist. Don’t be mad at that there’s someone trying to rain on your fun, privileged parade where rape is something that only happens on Law & Order. Don’t be mad that you can’t accept that rape is way more common than you think. Most of all, don’t be mad at the woman who was raped and is seeking justice and help for her assault just because you thinks she looks like she was ‘asking for it.’
Be mad at the man who waits in the park to prey on the women who have a right to feel safe in their own communities. Be mad at the man who takes advantage of his drunk girlfriend. Be mad at the man who pushes the issue when his wife isn’t in the mood. Be mad at the man who catcalls, who makes unwelcome advances, who cops a feel.
Don’t be angry at the woman who doesn’t entirely trust you. Be angry at the men who have made her feel that way. Don’t be a part of a problem.
Be a part of the solution.