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Gaslighting, a form of emotional manipulation

Happy New Years! Well I expected and hoped that NYE would leave me optimistic and ready to take on the world but per usual someone tried to rain on my parade. To this person, guess what? I still had a great time because I made it that way! So in a¬†way I will thank this person and the universe for giving me a chance to prove that this year will be whatever I make of it, no more depending on others for MY happiness! I remember me ūüėČ

Now for the in-depth analysis…….

A good friend sent me this article the other day on gas lighting and how women are manipulated and perceived as being crazy for having emotional reactions to inconsiderate behaviour.

I assume that he sent this to me because of recent experiences that I shared with him.¬† Without going into too much detail, I totally and completely agree with the author’s assertion.¬† I am an intense personality, I mean I am a redhead, it comes with the territory right? But I have also been called abnormally logical for a woman.¬† The second clause in that sentence is exactly what bothers me about men.¬† So because I am logical and a woman that is strange?¬† Seriously?

However, the same man who¬†can compliment¬†my ability to remove all emotion from a situation and handle confrontation rationally can then accuse me of “overreacting” and being “dramatic” when their poor behaviour is called into question.¬† The idea that¬†both those aspects can truthfully coexist in one human being is a little far-fetched.¬† I am certainly not asserting that I have NEVER overreacted¬†but it is not my norm.¬† I am considered to be a strong, independent and intelligent woman. I say that I am “considered” this but I believe it to be true as well or at least I do until a man tells me that I am not.¬† I am unsure as to what is worse, the fact that I allow myself to judge my entire personality because of what some dude says or the fact that men seem to want to control me with manipulation.¬† Either way, it is an unhealthy and undesirable cycle.¬† I find myself making the same excuses and exhibiting the same traits that are described in the article.¬† Telling someone¬†that¬†it is acceptable that you stood me up, or did not call, or were late, or took the¬†cowardly way out when it is entirely NOT!¬†And why? Because if I tell you what an ahole and how ill-mannered and disrespectful you were, I will be the “crazy” girl.¬† It is amazing, I spent years in a relationship with someone who manipulated me in this manner and now that I have been back in the dating pool, I have already witnessed it.¬† I am sorry but common decency and consideration are not too much to ask for and if you are going to try to convince me that they are, you will be met with resistance!

I can only imagine society without the understanding and forgiveness of women.  I also contemplate the legitimacy of the diva philosophy.  I had a friend once that told me I was way too nice and sweet.  She said that this was my problem. She on the other hand acted like a total diva to guys. If they did ONE thing that she did not like, she either totally iced them out or acted like a total bitch.  Unfortunately, this garnered the  opposite reaction that I would expect, they loved it.  They chased her down, begged for her attention, bought her gifts, took her to elaborate dinners and vacations.  They could not get enough and it was almost as if the meaner and more irrational she was, the harder they tried.  Up to this point, I have rejected this philosophy.  If I have to play games and act out of character then I do not want you.  But some men really do seem to respond to the challenge girls, which I appear to be at first.  After awhile though, they figure out that the tough and hardened exterior that I present is just that.  Once the facade is penetrated the goal has been accomplished and interest is lost.  And yet, I hear men endlessly complain about bitches, gold diggers, divas, and self-absorbed women. But when confronted with a good, sweet and caring chick that digs them, it is just too easy.  So the acting out commences and they start testing your resolve.  And when you have finally had enough of the BS and you express your frustration and disapproval, you are a psycho or melodramatic.

I am all for personal accountability and growth but the endless attempts at deflecting responsibility¬†lead nowhere.¬† I am not crazy for¬†expressing my dislike for something rude and inconsiderate.¬† It does not make me a drama queen that when I caught you being dishonest I told you that it was unacceptable.¬† Now if I threw my shoe at you and cursed you out or slashed your tires, maybe……. But merely stating my displeasure, no!

So here’s a thought, women stop criticizing yourselves for being expressive and dudes, if you did something that is not cool, admit it and move on!

Now then 2012, watch out because this girl is feeling empowered ūüėČ


Men Children: A nationwide growing epidemic

Where have all the cowboys gone? Paula Cole made a very astute observation many years ago and unfortunately it is still true today.¬†What has happened to all the men? Increasingly I am witnessing a growing epidemic of¬†emotionally spoiled, entitled, immature men children.¬† ¬†What is a man-child?¬† Most likely we have all encountered them.¬† The guy that wants to go dutch on every beginning date because he feels that it is unfair to just expect the man to pay and he makes sure to preface this with, “Well it is 2011, I mean women are just as independent and capable now.” Did you just use¬†the entire feminist movement¬†to guilt me into paying? Douche.¬† Or the guy that after you have been dating for months makes you feel like you are a co-dependent hot mess because you expect him to take care of you when you are sick.¬† Seriously dude? I have taken off work, missed my own birthday celebration to take care of you but when I am sick, I should just suck it up and rub some dirt in it?¬† Some serious role reversals are taking place and they are not good! I have even experienced the I can not be intimate right now because I am stressed and emotional. Aren’t I supposed to be saying that?¬† Something has to be done. But first I like to hypothesize how this epidemic even started.

First, I blame the parents.¬† I have seen the way mothers of my generation coddle their sons.¬† They groom them to believe that they are the most wonderful and talented individuals on the face of the earth and therefore everyone should treat them accordingly.¬† Every little thing that these men children¬†do is rewarded with this unconditional and unrealistic support.¬† This creates an environment where we as women can say nothing against these creatures because if we do, we are immediately met with defensiveness, hostility and a total unwillingness to understand.¬† These boys also run to their mothers with every last problem and piece of gossip, nothing is sacred in relationships with these tools.¬† They will tell their mothers the most intimate and personal information that you share with them and next thing you know, you are being disparaged.¬† My ex’s parents helped him to do probably the most irresponsible thing that he will ever do in his lifetime.¬† They actually encouraged him to leave me pregnant with his child, quit his job, leave the state and then move to another country in a matter of months.¬† My parents would disown my brother if he even thought about doing that to someone.¬† But there in lies the problem, in his parent’s mind he can do no wrong.¬† There were never any consequences for anything he ever did, so in his world consequences do not exist.¬† For anyone who has studied psychology or I do not know, has common sense, you are not creating a well-adjusted adult by making them think that the universe revolves around them.¬† In effect you are creating a narcissist who may never be able to have a meaningful connection with anyone, let alone a lifelong mate.¬† And guess who has to deal with your little monster, us.

Secondly I blame us.  I know it is unfortunate but some of us women are to blame as well.  I think with all of our desire to be equal, we have given these types of men excuses to behave this way.  I hear their arguments and it all originates there.  They question why they must open the door for us when we are perfectly capable or better yet why do we not open the door for them?  I have been at an exceptional disadvantage having been a professional fighter.  I asked my ex to come pick me up one night from my hair appointment, he had dropped me off earlier and gone to a sports bar down the street to watch hockey.  I called him around 10 or 10:30 when I was finished and asked that he come get me.  His response was that I should just walk, it was only a couple of blocks right?  His argument being that what was the worst that could happen and I am a fighter so I can take care of myself.  The frustrating part was that he was right, I could take care of myself but should I have to?  Is it really too much to ask that we are treated like ladies no matter what our profession?  It feels like they are the ladies now.  The other reason I kind of blame women for these men are that we tolerate them.  If we all rebelled and refused to go dutch on a legit date or never fed into their narcissistic tendencies, they would be forced to evolve.  Adapt or die.  But I know how difficult it is first hand.  I loved my ex more than anything and therefore I was willing to tolerate his behaviour and make excuses for him.  At some point he actually convinced me that I was wrong and that I should do things his way.  I let myself be run over instead of standing my ground.  Lesson learned.

Sadly, these idiots are all around us.  They feel entitled to be taken care of financially, emotionally and physically.  Chivalry is some antiquated term they heard in a movie once.  Some girl that they had actually been good to, crushed them at some point in their life and we are all to be punished for it.  Being a man to them means holding down a job and taking care of themselves but not being responsible for anyone else.  Your emotions and needs are nothing but burdens to them, chains that shackle them and enslave them to lives of monotony.  I am reminded of an exchange in Casino Royale when Vesper tells Bond that she would not go so far as to call him a cold-hearted bastard but it would not be a stretch to think that he considers women as disposable objects rather than meaningful pursuits.  It is certainly not just Bond that treats women this way, more and more it is almost every guy that I run into.  Even when I am not personally involved, I hear stories.  Is every man like this? I hope not and I am sure that there are wonderful, attentive, loving, caring, responsible, emotionally balanced and healthy men out there.  I am just concerned that they are few and far between at this point.

So I say to you men: Yes, we are equal.¬† We are just as strong, smart, and talented as you. This does not mean that we are not still women who should be treated with respect and courtesy.¬† Open a friggin¬†door once in a while, if you are broke and can not pay for an expensive meal, make us dinner, hell microwave some popcorn and put in a movie.¬† And for heaven sake’s learn to appreciate the beauty of waking up¬† next to an extraordinary woman who loves you no matter how sick, how gross, how annoying or how many times you checked out that waitress’ deriere.¬† Because there is one thing that we have that you do not, the ability to endlessly forgive and love unconditionally.¬† You think that our emotions are our downfalls when really it is where we derive strength.

It is time for a change and an end to this epidemic because I for one do not see the point.¬† All these men children need to wake up and realize the only thing that they are accomplishing is making themselves obsolete.¬† If we are expected to pay for everything, expected to take care of ourselves emotionally and otherwise, handle all the household responsibilities then why the hell do we need you?¬† I have enough children to raise, I am not looking for another one, especially one that is in his 30’s!

I am woman, hear me roar ūüėČ