I’m working on a program called Conflict Communications where I’m studying the patterns of conflict so things can be resolved more effectively. Starting with recognizing when violence can be avoided or it’s the answer (Physical violence is seldom the answer, but when it is, it’s the best answer.) Here are four things I’ve run across in my research:
1- Violence has many forms, many levels and many purposes — it is not a homogenized horrible — and treating it as if it is is a mistake.
2 – Violence overwhelmingly (like 98% of the time) comes with instructions how to avoid it
3 – The threat of physical violence is more effective than actual violence for changing someone’s behavior
4 – We ALL use the threat of physical violence to get what we want.
Number 4 is where people get weird — especially if we take the moralistic high ground of including verbal and emotional violence in the homogenized horrible. That’s because violence is bad, they’re good people, so by extension, what they are doing ISN’T violent.
Never mind the screaming, yelling, insulting and physical threat displays warning you how close they are to physically attacking if you don’t straighten up and fly right. That’s NOT being violent. Just ask them. They’ll tell you.
I tell you this because if ALL harassment and threats are categorically bad, then ANY level is unacceptable. (This is where we get into mental gymnastics that mine isn’t, but yours is horrible, evil and wrong).
Or we act like adults and acknowledge that there’s a middle ground. That we have to accept a certain degree, but that once it passes a certain point, no. A middle ground that we as a society have to debate, discuss and establish. And in doing so we have to accept a certain degree of discomfort and tolerate stuff we don’t like.
So of the millions of people who have seen this video a microscopic number of yo-yos have decided to threaten her. Oooooooh big scary.
I’m not being facetious when I said: You knew the job was dangerous when you took it. When you put yourself out in front of millions, you will get barking moon bats. As such, you have to shift your standards. Oh my gosh, she got rape threats! Big fucking deal. It’s air. It’s electrons. It’s not a crazy muthafucker coming at you. THAT’S what you gotta be concerned about.
There’s an old Roman saying of “A barking dog isn’t biting.” When you’ve made yourself a public figure, you’re going to get a lot of barking directed at you. That’s the downside of fame. Another downside is that you have to change your standards and behaviors because the barks are WAY less important than the bites. 99 barking dogs? No problem, you gotta watch for the one that’s silently closing in on you.
(Oh yeah, the guy who was most dangerous to her in that video was the dude who walked silently along side of her for allegedly five minutes. Interestingly enough, what wasn’t filmed was how that situation was resolved. But I can guarantee you it wasn’t by her turning down a lonely alley. Oh BTW, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that his presence cut down on the contacts she had to deal with while he was there. Interesting dynamic there neh?)
Simply put, the fact that she’s pumping that she got threats is a continuation of the premise of ‘women are victims’ ideology.
Being raised around powerful, competent and thinking women, I find this concept …well, offensive. I can tell you from having seen countless women handle themselves quite well in these kinds of situations that it’s possible. That it’s not a horrible oppression, it’s a fact of life. Is it outside your comfort zone? Welcome to living in the modern world.
Unfortunately, there’s a movement towards “I don’t have to learn how to deal with this. I have the right to maintain my comfort zone” followed by “Everyone else must change their behaviors to fit my expectations and feelings. And if they don’t I’ll kick, scream, cry and demand others force you to meet my standards.”
Those were words of individuals. Her chosen response was silence during the event, but then she went viral about how wrong it was. She never stood up for herself. So tell me, why the fuck didn’t she deal with those situations herself?
What’s the point here except to reconfirm a certain group’s ideology and to sell to the rest of us that we have to change to fit her comfort zone and refusal of handling shit herself?