A somewhat random post here that I am writing for the benefit of my readers, especially the newer ones.
If you have been around these parts long enough, odds are pretty good you’ve seen something like this:
- ‘Spherian writer pens a post in which he takes a stand that goes against the common grain (as far as general society is concerned). The goal of the writer in this instance is to make things better, at least within his own perspective.
- A woman reads this and blows up. She says that the post is evidence that the men of the sphere are horrible human beings and that the writer has something wrong with him. If the woman claims to be a Christian it usually involves an allegation of a dark or twisted soul.
- Men, sometimes the writer, sometimes the commentators, try to tell the woman that nothing malicious was meant. They carefully try to explain to her the logic involved, and why she should reconsider.
- This doesn’t work.
The reason why this ultimately doesn’t work is because the woman is not thinking logically, she is thinking emotionally (or rhetorically, if you prefer). Furthermore, her thought processes are centered around projecting- both emotions and intentions. It goes something like this:
- Woman reads something she doesn’t like.
- Woman becomes upset about it, because it upends some part of her self-image or her understanding of the way things are supposed to be.
- The woman recognizes how upset this makes her at a subconscious level.
- She tries, again at a subconscious level, to figure out why she is upset.
- Her default settings kick in, which involves projecting her own nature upon the person writing.
- Her thought process is something akin to- a) this person made me upset, b) I would only make someone upset if I meant to make them upset, c) therefore this person intended to make me upset.
- If this person intended to make me upset, then they are not a good person, and therefore what they have written has a malicious purpose behind it.
Emotions and projecting drive this behavior. Appealing to reason and logical will never work with the woman because she isn’t thinking logically. You cannot convince her of your good intent (or at least no malicious intent) because no amount of logic will affect her emotional reaction to what she read.
My advice in this situation is to always let the woman be. Ignore her ranting. She won’t be swayed by anything you say or do aside from total capitulation. You will simply waste your time, and probably derail the whole conversation. Now, perhaps my readers have some ideas on a way to “solve” this problem, but I haven’t seen anything work to date.