Eight Mistakes Men Make With Women

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Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.


  1. seriousquestion says:

    Not talking to someone when you’re upset is abusive?
    …This is really news to me. Or does it only count as the silent treatment if you stop talking to the person completely about anything?

    • The latter. “Hey, can we stop talking about this, I’m upset” is good boundaries and self-care. “Hey, I’m upset, would you mind giving me a bit of alone time/quiet time?” is good boundaries and self-care. “I am going to give you the silent treatment and point out how obviously I’m NOT TALKING TO YOU” is at best extremely passive aggressive and, at worst, yes, emotionally abusive.

      • seriousquestion says:

        Thank you for the reply.
        I think I understand the difference a bit better, though not (I guess personal reasons) completely. BUT I don’t want to take up more of your time, so I’ll look for more information elsewhere.

      • Holy shit I know a lot of abusive women:O
        That’s actually quite scary…The guys I know tend to be rah rah vocally angry n let you know what’s on their mind, although a few are quite pass aggress.

        • As a culture we allow / accept as normal, women’s emotional violence towards men. My wife has used the PMS defense to damn many times after an argument…..as if after 30 years it excuses anything. Women are just a nasty and cruel as men can be at times….the methods maybe different, yet the causes and results are quite similar. Denying that women have all aspects of humanity doesn’t make women seem intrinsically “better”, it just denies women their full humanity.

  2. Since when did words gain calorific value, other than incinerating a dictionary?

    This reminds me of an exchange I had last week.

    me “How do you feel?”
    them “How do you think I feel!”
    me “I don’t know, that is why I asked. How are you feeling?”
    them “Isn’t it obvious how I feel?”
    me “Not really – it’s clear something is bugging you – would you like to talk about it?”
    them “Why should I have to talk about it. It should be obvious.”
    me “Ah well – I have politely asked you three times and received responses that are unclear, evasive
    and potentially controlling. When and if you wish to talk let me know – I have work to do. TTFN”

    - 24 hours later phone rings -

    them “I’m really upset how you would not let me talk and how you dismissed my feelings.”
    me “How do you feel?”
    them “How do you think I feel!” ……. Repeat subroutine until the time variable exceeds infinity.

    The person is still trapped in the same loop, and remains there … and I remain free to listen, talk or work as required. …. and just in case anyone wishes to think I’m being Gender Biased, them = male!

    I do tire of writers who equate emotional blackmail and control differently due to gender. Women does it, it’s because she’s is a Woman (It’s what women do due to hormones and lady bits). Man does it, it’s because he’s abusive, cold, withdrawn, socially incompetent and needs to be reformed and made more like….????

    “Eight Mistakes Men Make With Women” – Oh how the stereotypes sell books – magazine and even add revenue for bloggers. Could we have a nice piece titled “Eight Mistakes Gender Bigots Make When Writing About Men & Women.”?

    How about “Eight emotional control and abuse tactics that any gender can use, and how not to get trapped?”.

    • MediaHound, the second conversation is where it went from potentially controlling to actively controlling. It’s a really dishonest, passive bid for control too – “I’ve got a secret and you have to guess….”

      It wiould be interesting to see if these tactics are gendered, if the gender system opens up or shuts off availability to them based on gender. I bet it doesn’t work that way at all, I bet there may be differences but thy are superfical and the actual tactics really are the same.

  3. Ozy, you are so awesome!

    I would add:

    (1) Text — don’t argue….you can say key points in about 3 words or less…! (Really, silent treatment doesn’t work in a guy who has NO CLUE at all!)

    (2) Confide to your friends— sometimes they can help you see the whole matter in a different light (before you blow up into a big argument)…

    (3) Throw a big backyard barbecue party with friends and family — you will forget what you were so mad about…plus you will have to work as a team with others pitching in (and realize that everyone has a particular job or role to play and that we can all have fun while we’re doing it!)

  4. Argh, I get so tired of the idiotic evo-psych garbage. It’s always presented as some kind of Unified Field Theory of human nature. The. One. Single. Answer. To. Everything. Bah.

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  6. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    Unfortunately, the evo-psych garbage is sort of like the drone note in the background. Not the whole story, of course…

  7. “He should say, “I don’t know what I did, but I’m so sorry.””

    I hate this so much. You can’t apologize if you don’t know what you did wrong — it’s logically impossible. The line is a passive-aggressive attempt to say “look, I said the magic words, now you have to stop being angry,” or else “this problem will be fixed if I just grovel and let you have (the appearance of) power over me for a moment.” Neither addresses the substance of what you allegedly did wrong.

    • “I hate this so much. You can’t apologize if you don’t know what you did wrong — it’s logically impossible. ”
      Oh really? It’s called being afraid you have accidentally hurt someone, and that is why you feel sorry. They’re angry, you feel you did something wrong but you’re unsure of what so you apologize. It’s logically possible, though it’s possible it can happen the way you say too.

      • You can be sorry that you hurt someone without knowing why they’re hurt, but the way the article phrases it seems to suggest that he should apologize for what he did… without knowing what he did or if indeed he did anything. I can’t be sorry that I left your watch on top of the toaster oven and melted it, if I don’t know that the watch is now deceased. At least, that was my read of it.

        • Ah, good point.

        • It’s basically advice to walk on eggshells. It’s a recipe for geting the women to act like a sociopathic tyrant whether she wants ot or not. This is exaclty the dynamic people describe about the inner circle of the Saddam Hussein regime.

          The whole article just reeks of sickness.

        • Hank Vandenburgh says:

          It’s healthiest to say that each person is responsible for his/her own feelings, or at least for how they project them outward. Short of real abuse, that is. We seem to have lost that useful truism from the humanistic psychology movement of the 1970s now.

  8. “If you answer the phone or turn off boiling water in the middle of an important conversation with him, he thinks you’re not listening.”

    What? I can’t be the only person in the world who automatically makes tea during an argument. Loved one is unhappy! Must give them bitter hot liquid!

  9. If you just assume that whatever makes your loved one unhappy can be fixed with bitter hot liquid, you aren’t actually listening to why they are unhappy, are you?

  10. “Men do not have to be bribed with sex to do their responsibilities.”

    Why do so many of these articles make it sound like straight relationships are all just prostitution?

    • Because it’s a standard trope of TV comedy to pretend that they are. Also, to some real people (I hazard the guess that there’s significant overlap with the type of person who writes articles of this ilk) they genuinely are.

  11. Yes. The fish is really dead now :D

  12. Agreed. I often do minor tasks in tense situations, it is my version of counting to ten. It helps me to give the other person room and time to speak without interjecting or giving off impatient or angry body postures.

  13. Ozy, I’d like to suggest a slight change to #2 on your list.
    2) Do more than your fair share of the housework, and be forgiving if it doesn’t seem like your partner(s) is/are doing more than their fair share. (This advice goes to all people of all genders, lest someone think I’m being sexist here). Housework often feels like more than it is when you do it, and less than it is when others do it.

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