Arguments Against The Aggressive Male

Arguments Against The Aggressive Male

Human voices are pretty great, let's use 'em!

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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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads


I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?


Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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