I was busy today and looked only very briefly at the last letter you sent. In reference to men making brash and unsupported (or that they support with specious and biased bullshit) statements about women, I only get angry, then I get mean, and finally I become thoughtful and intelligent.
I go from this simple axiom: People are capable. Individuals express gender differences. Men who feel they must define women in a category, or ascribe one or more defined traits to gender show their shallow and fearful nature. They need to have things sharply defined. Unless they know, or think they know what they face, they find themselves in a world they don’t control.
This alleged man who wants to put you into a “bitchy and PMS-y” category demonstrates how little his wants to engage you in conversation as a human being. Instead, he wants to deligitimize your arguments and discussion with intimidation. Somehow, your presentation of a topic of discussion comes off to him not as “bitchy,” as he says, but as one human being talking to another. He feels threatened. The best way he knows to put you on the defensive is to approach your gender, which he feels he can dominate.
The problem with people like him is this: They can’t accept that the world is chaos. They don’t control it, and, even worse, they never will. Powerless people, I think, tend to exact power on those who either have even less power than them or those who they perceive having less power.
In either instance (exacting power or keeping others off guard), they become aggressive. They become, in fact, bullies.
Now, my ideas are not new nor applicable only to male/female relations. I tend to analyze issues, relationships, and history through power relationships. That is, the way people, institutions, collectives, corporations, etc. relate to and within one another. Not every relationship has a base of power, and not all people seek power. But so many things people do relate to power–money, strength, ambition, sex, and so on.
I am also speaking of power in a broad and nuanced sense. It’s not all raw aggression and making people behave through intimidation. People express power through things as small as vying for the last bite of the pie, or deciding to let a friend have it.
So, as far as this aggressive dickhead goes, when you recognize or engage his argument, that act when you allow him to upset you, you acknowledge or legitimate his power. On the other hand, if you approach him him with humor or avoid him, he has no power. You forget him, and he achieves nothing. And, of course, he goes on to bully other unknowing souls.
And I hate, above all, people who exploit others. All people are capable of finding their own limits. They don’t need limitations others put on them. Reverting to bullshit and traditional norms to limit others represents reprehensible, immoral, and unfair behavior.
There are only two sources of good in this world, honesty and fairness. Sins, transgressions, injustice arise from dishonesty and unfairness.