In both my personal and professional lives, I am shocked when I come across grown ass adults who not only employ maladaptive behaviors, but defend them as inevitable.
“This is who I am,” they say when you point it out. If you’re lucky, they might stop and even apologize after the initial burst(s) of defensiveness and justification. If you’re not lucky, calling out someone’s abusive, intrusive, manipulative, and downright insulting behavior can backfire in ways that are hard to predict. They may (remember this for later):
- double down on their abuse towards their victim
- make you a target of their abuse as well, or make others who defend you a target of their abuse so you stop asking for help
- attack you into backing down
- gaslight you into believing that you’re the one who is the problem
- manipulate others who don’t have the whole story into taking their side
- “tap in” others like them as reinforcements
- wage a social and economic campaign to discredit you
- stop the behavior, and then start back up again when your shields are down
- employ a different maladaptive behavior, challenging you to address it separately.
Do you recognize this person? Are you dealing with them right now and don’t know what to do? If you are, first of all, I’m sorry. We live in a world that makes you responsible for being wary about these kinds of people, looking out for the red flags, and picking up the pieces after the abuse.
There is an infinite amount of literature and unsolicited advice out there for victims. Resources? Ehhhh… not so much. Social and financial support? Ehhhh… maybe if you’re lucky. And I wholeheartedly believe that it’s designed that way, which is why I’m not talking to the victims in this piece. I’m talking to the abusers.
- Do you recognize yourself as this person?
- Are you getting defensive?
- Do you think maybe I should mind my own business?
- Or maybe that I don’t know jack shit, and I should just shut the fuck up?
Hi. I’m Andrea. Let’s talk.
A few months ago, my sister reached out to me with a dilemma. She wanted to start a podcast, but had lots of anxiety about it. I told her to do it. Men don’t question themselves this much when they want to do something, I said, they just go ahead and do it.
Today, Basic Latina Podcast is live with six episodes under its belt. Below is my episode.
In it, I discuss many of the things I’m always talking about: growing up Latina, being raised to uphold patriarchal values, dating, and exploring the illogical standards that we put on each other, and why.
It’s long, but it’s a nice little snippet of our personalities. And if you want to keep listening, Basic Latina is available on YouTube, CastBox, SoundCloud, and wherever you get your get your podcasts.
bill cosby, dr. luke, dudes, lies about rape, life*, male privilege, Maslow, media, men, news, rape, sad, self-actualization, self-awareness, social expectations, social standards, society, Sociology, women
Before anyone gets offended, please think of this: these points and examples that I am including in this article put words to the very real systems of abuse, discrimination and exploitation that people in our society experience.
Please take this as an opportunity to learn about the things that we women, the disenfranchised and the abused talk about among ourselves and wish for the rest of the world to understand.
We all agree that our society needs a change. Nothing will until we as individuals put our biases and our own assumptions about how the world works aside, and listen, and try to understand.
And if you experience any discomfort from reading this piece, please take a moment to evaluate where that discomfort comes from, and address it. Continue reading
This started as a response to Emma Lindsay’s story “Why Do Men Put So Little Effort Into Serious Dating?” and it got a little long.
Every time I try to venture onto a different platform, I feel like I have to give an overview of my personal experiences with men, respectability politics, and social expectations as a rule in order to legitimize that message, and that’s exhausting just to think about. Plus: trolls.
So… Continue reading
During November of 2012, right after the release of the James Bond sequel Skyfall, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen penned a hilarious opt-ed titled: James Bond and the new sex appeal. In it, Cohen, a middle-aged man himself, bemoaned the fact that Daniel Craig’s James Bond was a chiseled, muscled sex-god, and sadly, a Bond that no longer reminded him of himself. In his own words:
Craig is 44, but neither gravity nor age has done its evil work on him. Nothing about him looks natural, relaxed — a man in the prime of his life and enjoying it. Instead, I see a man chasing youth on a treadmill, performing sets and reps, a clean and press, a weighted knee raise, an incline pushup and, finally, something called an incline pec fly (don’t ask). I take these terms from the Daniel Craig Workout, which you can do, too, if your agent and publicist so insist. Otherwise, I recommend a book….
In my last post, I posed some questions that are key for self-actualization. They are:
- Are you doing the right thing?
- Are you a good person?
- Are you making the right decisions?
- AND: Are you making a positive impact for the world around you?
But I forgot the most important question of them all, and I want to talk about it more about it today.
Are you happy?
So it usually goes like this:
You’re born. At some point between drooling down your chin and learning how to walk, you realize that there are people who are constantly around you and watching everything you do. Bigger people, sometimes meaner people that are always saying no and telling you what to do, or sometimes nicer people that still tell you no and tell you what to do, and you have to listen because they said so.
And then there are more people, and more places, bigger places, and you realize there are some people who don’t tell you what to do. Some of them ignore you and pretend you do not exist, or are outright mean because you’re small and they’re big. And at some point you realize that not everything revolves around you. In fact, a lot does not revolve around you, and the bigger you get, the more you realize that you are not, in fact, the center of the universe, and probably never were.
I tend to remind people, constantly, and usually during arguments about social issues, that my bachelor’s degree and general interests lie in sociology, and that I have about ten years of social work experience working with people from all walks of life.
This isn’t me JUST feeling myself and parading around my credentials whenever I want. It’s partially that, but it’s also my attempt to remind people that reading about, studying, analyzing and dissecting social behavior is life. And I think, often, when we discuss politics, media, language, and even economics, we take sociology and social sciences for granted. Specifically with articles like this one.