Why women frighten me

Have you ever had an argument with a woman where there were passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) remarks being passed back and forth. In this situation you are the underdog. Either you are being berated or you are being made to feel you have done something wrong.

The negative remarks are escalating in intensity. You can feel the woman pawing at the boundaries of what you will put up with, how far she can push you before you push back. And then she says it. She goes too far. She knows you well enough to know exactly which button to push. And when you look up at her you see something.

It’s a happy, hateful glint in her eyes, like she is enjoying putting you down, like she has one-upped you. A look that says “I am bigger than you and I got to you, and that makes me happy.”

That look is why I am terrified of women. I have never seen anything that even approaches such pleasure-taking in cruelty in a man. For all the terrible/bizarre things I’ve put up with in romantic relationships, no man has ever looked at me that way.

I have, however, seen that look from three women. Countless times from my mother. But also, memorably, on my twenty-first birthday from a girl I thought was a dear friend in college. I also saw it from the girl who bullied me in middle school as she told me she and my other three friends no longer wanted to hang out with me. It scares the shit out of me.

The terrifying thing about the glint is that it’s not derived from anger or sadness. It looks like success, like pleasure. It’s a happy internal moment for the woman, derived from your downfall.

In my mother, the glint disappears if you get close to mentioning the kind of hatred that brings it on. If you force her into your mindset (she has to be forced), the light is quickly extinguished. She says, “I would have rather had a nice, dumb daughter than a smart bitch.” I see the glint. I say, “Wow, that is incredibly hurtful.” The glint is extinguished. But she would keep going if I didn’t stop her. Sometimes I let it go past the glint-inducing comment, just to see how deep the rabbit hole goes, but I usually don’t last much longer.

My point is that I think the glint is an opening to a world men are rarely privy to. Women simply do not aggress toward men the way they do toward other women. And in many groups there is a silent undercurrent running among women that men are blissfully unaware of. I wonder if men even see things like the glint, or if they slip below their notice. I hope men are perceptive enough to run hard and fast in the other direction if they accidentally stumble upon this kind of woman, but I often worry that they’re not. This kind of woman is very skilled at concealing what she is, at least for a while.

At certain moments in my life, I have felt that women have a special hatred for me. I don’t know if they target me because I give off the impression of frailty because I am thin and I have a quiet speaking voice or because I’m an asshole. Or if I target them because I attract abusers because of my relationship with my mother (before I entered therapy, abusers made me feel so comfortable and complete, an experience shared by many people who have been abused).

I have been blessed with some truly loving, fulfilling, gentle relationships with women. These relationships have been tested and they endure. And my radar is now attuned to seek out and eliminate from my life women who can produce “the glint.” If you recognize this characteristic in yourself, please seek help and stay far away from me.

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5 Comments

Filed under Psychology, Women

5 responses to “Why women frighten me

  1. I know exactly what you mean. My mother has NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Fun times! ;)

    • Michelle, I love you. I think a lot of kids who had shitty childhoods develop a really wonderful, wry sense of humor, which is an excellent life skill! Have you looked at “The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook: Practical Strategies for Living with Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder” by Randi Kreger? I just started it, and it’s really good.

  2. Checking this out on Amazon right away.Thank you! :)

  3. Haha, then read the response Slate’s Prudence giives to an abusive parent from one of this week’s columns. Verbal bitch-slap! http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2012/02/work_husband_my_wife_is_going_away_with_her_close_work_friend_should_i_worry_.html

  4. Pingback: “Divorce is immature and selfish. Don’t do it.” | christinenataliewhite

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