After posting a href=”http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=669342005″on this study /a yesterday finding that women have more anger than men and are more passive aggressive in showing their feelings, I started wondering how this relational passive aggressiveness or sometimes just plain aggressiveness plays itself out with men. When people talk about women’s relational aggression, they often mean, “How are women mean to one another?” But what happens when women are mean to men? I see that a href=”http://voxday.blogspot.com/2007/03/ever-simmering-sex.html”Vox Day has weighed in/a on this issue and given this advice to his male readers: br /br /blockquoteAnger isn’t often righteous, it’s usually stupid, petty and irrational. If one feels angry all the time, or bordering on being angry all the time, then one is teetering on the edge of constant irrationality. If that’s not enough to give you pause about giving into anger at every opportunity or even glorying in it, well, there’s not much point in attempting to speak reason to you, is there, since you’re nothing but an irrational creature capable of nothing but being emotionally manipulated.br /br /And living in fear of such a one is rather like being a well-trained dog. Face the fear, let the anger come and then note how little effect it has on you once the shouting is done. And once the angry realize how little effect their anger has on you, they’ll either cut it out or their passive hatred for you will go active. Either way, you’ll be much better off./blockquotebr /br /I understand Vox’s disgust with anger and irrationality and his subsequent advice for men–just face the anger, which is certainly better than being afraid of it. I have certainly seen men who are so afraid of a woman’s anger that they will “Yes, dear” her to death. Bad move–it teaches the woman nothing about how to control or constructively use her anger–and reinforces her anger which, in turn, will ensure that she will do it again. What an unpleasant dynamic. br /br /But I don’t agree with much of what Vox says. Anger is not always stupid, petty and irrational; sometimes it is a legitimate response, a way to tell us that something is wrong or that we need to become more aware of what we are feeling and why. Women are not irrational creatures, but actually very rational at times and their angry behavior, even in a passive aggressive form, is not always about being emotionally manipulated. br /br /It is often about not understanding how to display anger in a constructive way–instead they often react by being passive aggressive, which is a tool of emotional manipulation against others, not necessarily against oneself. In passive aggressiveness, a woman can get back at her object of anger, yet psychologically avoid responsibility. It is not an irrational strategy, only a sometimes ineffective and psychologically helpless one. Also, does women’s anger really have no effect on men? To say it does not seems to me to be a cop-out. One that makes sense, of course, but a cop-out nonetheless.br /br /Which brings up my next question; the real point of this post is just kind of wondering aloud to myself and my readers: what is the effect of women’s anger, both directly and indirectly on men and their later emotional well-being? We ask so many times how anger is felt by women or how women are affected by men’s anger or the anger of other women, but I would really like to know how angry women affect men. It’s always funny in our culture to see women lash out angrily at men, hit them, call them names and act in passive aggressive forms towards kids, husbands and male colleagues, and many men take the abuse, but at what cost? Does the anger of women toward the male sex and males in general effect the male psyche and in what way? br /br /If you are male and have had an experience with women and anger, either with family members, female colleagues, or others, what was the emotional toll on you or was there one? I would love to hear from you, either in the comments or by email.
March 30, 2007 - 5:13 am