Annette C. Hollmann
ah690549 at bcm.tmc.edu
Wed May 28 07:37:19 EST 1997
In article <5mfftm$c5h at vixen.cso.uiuc.edu> ecoscoll at staff.uiuc.edu
(eileene coscolluela) writes:
> I've been a general lurker of this newgroup for the past two years
>and I've also been a general lurker of soc.feminism and an interesting
>post caught my attention and I'd like to take the problem to this
>From: "Sharon E. Finberg" <sharon at phys.psu.edu>
>Subject: acceptable irrational responses?
>Something happened to me last week that's still bothering me.
>I had a horrible day in lab which left me completely frustrated.
To those who have insufficient experience to have found out for
themselves: Lousy days / weeks / months / projects happen to
the best of us.
>So, I'm in the hallway (walking away from lab for a bit) and one
>professor asks me "How is it going". I respond "Everything's breaking
>today, I'm so frustrated I could cry." To which the professor responds,
>"Don't do that, everyone will say 'that's what girls do'".
>So, I said to him "Okay, how about 'I'm so angry I could put my fist
>through the equipment?'". To which he says "that's better."
>So, why is venting "I'm angry, I feel violent" acceptable,
> (no, violence would not be acceptable)
>while venting "I'm frustrated, I feel like crying" unacceptable?
Crying indicates that you are helpless, and need your mommy to save you.
Getting extremely P.O'd indicates that even though you are frustrated, you
are going to tackle the problem with whatever force (intellectual or
physical) is necessary.
Smashing things isn't necessarily bad - just make sure you do it in karate
class. Maybe putting your fist through 4 inches of wood will make you feel
better (inexperienced users please start with 1/4 inch of wood and
supervision by a blackbelt instructor - you can't load that next gel if
you break your hand instead of the wood!)
Many other sports that require a lot of speed and/or strength can also
safely dissipate violent energy and get you chilled out enough to go back
into the lab - and then attack the problem that got you so frustrated and
hammer it into the ground.
>It seems both responses are irrational to some extent. One is
>tradtionally male, while the other response is traditionally female. So,
>is this sexism, or is there something deeper I'm missing?
It's not really gender related, it's based on your previous experience.
Crying and violence can both be reactions to anger.
People who have been in a lot of situations they could not deal with
(such as being beaten up by siblings/classmates twice their size, or being
abused by an adult), they will be more likely to resort to crying rather
than violence because that was the one chance of getting any help. If they
have been in a large number of hopeless situations, they stop trying to
deal with even the problems they can handle - because they have learned
that resistance is futile.
Crying is considered an unacceptable way of dealing with problems because
it indicates that you are going to give up.
More information about the Womenbio