Arguments Against The Aggressive Male

Arguments Against The Aggressive Male

Human voices are pretty great, let's use 'em!
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He interrupted us to bestow his assertive advice and opinions upon us. It’s interesting when someone thinks it’s their job to teach others. It shows that he was under the tunnel-vision assumption that he knew what I needed to learn. If you really were someone who I wanted to admire, then I would choose to admire you. Don't patronize me on how to be like you, when I'm just having a civil conversation with my friend, and frankly not interested. I find the patriarchal teachings of boys in our society play out in nearly every way of life, including regular conversations. I can hear it in his condescending tone and see it in the way he aggressively stands up and wafts his hands in the air when talking over me. I can feel it way he disregards my positions, no matter what they are. I want to laugh because he has no idea how unaware or unwelcome he is. But I don't laugh because I am tired of letting people act this way without being challenged. I am not your stage to stand on. He bursts into our conversation aggressively sharing stories of his heroic battles teaching people who are obviously not as smart as he is. His stories and methods are rooted in aggressive assertion and ego. I calmly ask questions like, “well, why do you think you reacted so strongly?” Simply advocating for the person that wasn't there to share their side of the story is met with personal and strong retribution. Mine and my friend's sweet conversation about consciousness had swiftly been hijacked by a testosterone-driven-conversation-dominating male into a hostile and unwelcome lesson on life.

I read an article today about how cis men act aggressive in conversations because that is how we are taught men are supposed to be. The article is titled 5 Common Behaviors Cis Men May Not Realize Are Abusive (And How to Stop Them) and it's a good read. It was written by a man who recognized how he unconsciously found himself using the aggressive male role in an argument with his girlfriend. This kind of attitude is something women experience from men on a regular basis. It’s good challenge for me to know how to verbally respond and disarm this aggression, although I really don’t want to engage in battles I don't care about. When people who I haven't chosen to admire insist on bestowing their all knowing wisdom upon me, it is humorous more than irritating. Usually these kinds of people are macho men who see me as a young-and-far-from-equal girl who ought to listen to them. But they never ask for my time or interest. The truth is that I don't feel like it's my responsibility to correct them because who am I to know what lessons they need to learn? (A perspective I wish he had taken in the first place) I'd much rather let them learn their own lesson at their own pace. But I can choose not to listen. I do not want to give you my attention despite being culturally taught that I should always offer it when spoken to. Both males and females are inadvertently molded into the norms that teach us that it’s proper for a girl to be nurturing, always offering consolidation and comfort, and carrying others (especially men's) burdens. But that’s not right and that's not why I’m here. You are intruding on my conversation. I'm not an emotional dumping grounds for you. I actually am going to pick and poke at your egotistical tribulations to remind us both that you are not in a position of authority between us.

Knowing how to call him out on his aggression is good practice for me because despite this negative encounter, he is my friend. But the people who I’ll see do this in my life wont always be. I need to know how to logically shut down these behaviors without personally getting hurt by the aggression. I need to be able to carry on being who I am despite someone else being who they are. That entails emotional stability and verbal clarity. This is easy now because I know him and love him even with his macho-ness. I can look him in the eye and tell him why he's being so ridiculous. I can separate the patronizing tone from the person that he is. But the battle to fight is much bigger than just him and I. This kind of attitude seeps into all sorts of microaggressions that are not just ridiculous, but dangerous.

So what do we do? Sit calmly, and use our wit. Fight the battle with as little words and energy as you need. Too often I see women losing their voice because they are taught that it's more feminine to not fight back or vocalize what they are thinking. But one of the greatest human powers is our voice, and there's no chance that I'm not using it.

Cover Image Credit: Raleigh LaCombe

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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