Green with Anger
Updated: Sep 21, 2022
Recently, I sent a clip of the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series to someone, because I wanted input from a self-avowed feminist on content of the newly released show. Though not her actual name, I’ll refer to this person as Ariadne.
Also, for the sake of this entry, when I refer to anger I’m morphing rage, hostility, aggression, and violence into a single emotion. In and of itself, anger is not bad, wrong, or awful.
While I treat people with so-called “anger management” issues, I’ve yet to have a prospective client contact me for joy or happiness management. Generally, it isn’t a naturally-occurring emotion that causes people to seek help.
Anger plus behavior is typically what leads clients in my direction when wanting to address their so-called anger issues. Smashing men while women are talking or hulking out, because of petty slights, are precisely the sort of issues with which I assist clients.
She-Hulk Series Review
In the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law clip, Jennifer “Jen” Walters, She-Hulk’s alter ego, says, “Here’s the thing, Bruce. I’m great at controlling my anger. I do it all the time. When I’m cat-called in the street, when incompetent men explain my own area of expertise to me—I do it pretty much every day, because if I don’t, I will get called emotional or difficult or might just literally get murdered. So, I’m an expert at controlling my anger, because I do it infinitely more than you!”
The scene has been described as “a great win for feminism.” Per one source, “She-Hulk could be considered feminist in the sense that ‘it feels more like you’re on Jen’s side, you’re put in her shoes in so many ways. And you experience her life and her coping with this massive change in her life in a way that is very personal to her.”
A separate source boasts about how “the newest Disney+ series is purported to be ‘very sex positive’ and full of ‘cool feminist commentary.” Another source claims, “A new TV series about a female lawyer with anger problems shows what a mess feminism is in.”
Yet another source states, “Continuing in the vein of things destined to piss off certain subsets of MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] enthusiasts, [Mark] Ruffalo revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he was thrilled to get his ass handed to him by his onscreen cousin [She-Hulk] for trying to mansplain how to be a Hulk.”
Astroturfedstraw-manning of critical analysis regarding the series is in full effect. One source states, “She-Hulk is far from alone in getting review bombed because it’s woke, feminist propaganda, or whatever,” citing how other supposedly progressive superhero adaptations have also been panned by critics.
I have no doubt my examination of this series will be labeled toxically masculine, misogynistic, or patriarchal. Logically, if I weigh the same as a duck, I’m made of wood, and therefore, a meninist.
I practice Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) which uses the ABC Model to highlight the Epictetian notion, “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”
People frequently maintain that an action (A) leads to a consequence (C). Someone catcalling Jen Walters (A) is said to lead to anger (C). However, REBT maintains that rather than an A-C connection, we disturb ourselves with beliefs (B)—B-C connection.
In this case, someone catcalls Jen Walters (A), she thinks, “This shouldn’t happen, and because it is, I’m being wronged,” (B) and as a result of this unhelpful belief she disturbs herself to an angry disposition (C). This is an A-B-C connection that could use disputation (D), leading to an effective (E) new belief (B).
I can imagine the pushback I will receive to how I framed Jen’s A-B-C event chain. Using what some have correlated with Cathy Newman’s interview style, I suspect someone will protest, “Deric, you’re saying you want women to be catcalled and they deserve the unwanted attention.”
While Jordan Peterson was gracious enough to counter strawman misrepresentations of his perspective during the Newman interview, I’ll respond in the way of Kool Moe Dee who once said, “I ain’t nice and I don’t play that.” I understand that the grift that keeps on grifting (feminism) requires that no one challenge feminist ideology.
I don’t see women as inherent victims. If you do, perhaps disputation of your irrational beliefs is in order. Likewise, any strawman argument about what I have to say herein—serving as mansplaining—is also met with a Kool Moe Dee line, “Knowledge is infinite, suckers ain’t into it. Ignorance is bliss, and they’re kin to it.”
Disputing Ariadne’s Perspective
Ariadne concurred with Jen Walters’ womansplaining to the Hulk, the alter ego of Bruce Banner, about how supposedly difficult it is to be a woman. I will set aside the hypocrisy of Jen complaining about others explaining how to do something—all while explaining to Bruce about how much better she is at doing something (controlling anger)—and address the dialogue I had with Ariadne.
Reader, beware, because the conversation with Ariadne meandered quite a bit. It wasn’t a one plus two equals three, neatly packaged discussion. Is anything as complex as feminism ever straight forward?
Feminism and hypocrisy aren’t always mutually exclusive. At any rate, Ariadne and I engaged in meaningful dialogue and though I won’t highlight all points of discussion herein, here’s essentially how the disputation played out.
Ariadne stated, “As women, we do have to deal with cat-calling and men thinking we’re incompetent. That doesn’t translate to ‘men are all terrible!’ it translates to ‘there is a divide within humans regarding gender, and men will never understand what women have to go through,’ and of course vice-versa, but even in the year 2022, it’s not to the same extent.”
I want to be as charitable to the catcalling matter as possible. After all, my “lived experience” of receiving this sort of treatment from women throughout my life would likely be dismissed offhand, because there is supposedly no “power and control” dynamic when I’ve been objectified.
There is no shortage of internet content related to how awful catcalling is considered to be by some. Studies, personal accounts, articles, and many other idea-laundered sources are available, and which highlight the purported consequences regarding what many relate to with catcalling serving as a form of harassment.
I make no attempt to refute these narratives, provide a whataboutism counter-narrative, or minimize the behavior. Still, I approach the topic of catcalling and Jen’s supposition regarding men thinking women are incompetent in much the same manner.
Suppose we can’t control the behavior of others—which we can’t—what may be done to move oneself from a rage-filled green monster to simply accepting that others don’t behave as we’d like them to? If one could choose to be slightly annoyed by these issues, would that be preferable to turning into a monster?
We disturb ourselves when we maintain that others should, must, or ought to do as we demand. This includes demanding that the world must be a utopia, that others should not offend us, and that we ought not to allow others to disrespect us.
Albert Ellis, creator of REBT, is noted as having stated, “There are three musts that hold us back: I must do well. You must treat me well. And the world must be easy.”
How might this understanding impact Ariadne’s claim, “[T]here is a divide within humans regarding gender, and men will never understand what women have to go through”? The implication is that there ought not to be a gender divide.
According to whom? Per David Hume’s is-ought problem—said to occur “when one makes claims about what ought to be that are based solely on statements about what is”—can we reduce self-disturbance by acknowledging that not everyone shares our worldview?
Sure, Ariadne may prefer not to have division among sexes and genders within the United States (U.S.), though disturbing herself by maintaining that it ought not to be this way isn’t helping her. What is relates to the fact that humans aren’t similar in many ways unrelated to sex/gender (i.e., race, ethnicity, values, etc.).
Suppose I held the irrational belief that people shouldn’t diminish claims of misandry and promote “strong, empowered women,” “you go girl,” and “the future is female” sex/gender supremacist rhetoric. It would be unhelpful to disturb myself into anger over what is when I think it ought not to be that way.
Moreover, declaring that “men will never understand what women have to go through” is as riddled with error as claiming that all women know what other women experience. Women aren’t a monolith.
What does a woman born and raised in New York, New York (NY)—never having traveled outside her state—know about the experience of life regarding a woman born and raised in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)? To further enhance the complexity of this matter, suppose the NY woman was born in 1801 and the UAE woman was born in 2001.
If all women share the same experience, and men will “never understand” that experience, how do we account for the NY-UAE conundrum? Expanding upon this point in a recent blog post entry, I highlighted how unlike other men I am.
Men are no more a monolith than are women. As such, men cannot possibly know one another’s experiences any more than we can know a woman’s experience. If Ariadne’s rigid demand is that humans must understand one another “to the same extent,” this is an impossible feat.
Ariadne added, “Men don’t necessarily have to deal with the fear of incessant anxiety of being raped walking home alone in the dark, or being followed on the street, or getting asked to stay after class by male teachers. Of course, things happen but statistically, and through the words of other women, it’s not the same.”
Where to begin? Ariadne raised both quantitative and qualitative arguments, which was a wise strategy. I begin with the latter, because subjective (anecdotal) accounts are much easier to dispute.
For the record, I do not support the “believe all women” narrative. I don’t believe all of any group.
If one is to declare that “through the words of other women, it’s not the same” for men to experience similar fear and anxiety as women, we once again find ourselves in the monolith problem. Not all women describe fear or anxiety in the same way; nor do they all process these emotions and experiences the same.
For example, when working with clients, I ask what a person means when claiming to feel anxious. As well, if I simply presume I know what a client means when expressing fear, I likely won’t understand what fright is to, or how it impacts, the person.
Generally, I describe fear as that which has a readily identifiable cause. Fear of spiders, for instance, is believed to pinpoint what may cause a person’s heartrate to accelerate, breathing to become shallow, sweat to trickle down the forehead, etc.
This isn’t to be conflated with arachnophobia, because, as one source suggests, “The difference between a fear and a phobia is that a phobia is an intense and irrational fear toward one or more things or situations.”
I know someone who was bitten by a brown recluse spider and she developed severe symptoms. Her fear of spiders is rational, because of the damage associated with her bite. However, how much she disturbs herself could be addressed using REBT.
Anxiety, I describe as that which produces a similar experience to fear, though which a cause may not be readily identifiable. When people mention “social anxiety,” I ask a follow-up question about what element related to being in a social setting is most stressful.
Often, people can’t pinpoint the cause. That spider, that snake, or that clown are fairly straight forward fears, though a crowd or social setting is somewhat vague and so it falls into the category of anxiety.
If through the words of women, fearfulness or anxiousness aren’t experienced in the same or similar manner to men, upon what is this supposition based? How do women know men don’t experience an analogous feeling—emotion or bodily sensation?
If as a male I have social anxiety, does my experience somehow have less meaning or value as Ariadne’s experience of social anxiety as a female? Who decides whose experience has merit, and based on precisely what?
Even if a collective of women agree that they fear or experience anxiety in relation to a particular thing or event, who’s to say that men don’t also feel this way? One simply cannot remark with any certainty about such matters.
When Ariadne states, “Of course, things happen but statistically, and through the words of other women, it’s not the same,” she acknowledges the possibility of a quantitative argument existing that may refute her stance.
The qualitative caveat having effectively been addressed, let’s move to the statistics. In REBT, this would be referred to as an empirical dispute.
Noteworthy, many people who go the “feel your feelings” or “you can’t invalidate my feelings” route tend not to like challenge to the irrational attitudes that create such feelings. Caveat emptor.
According to the United Nation’s 2019 global study on homicide, “Men make up almost 80 percent of all homicide victims recorded worldwide,” and, “About 90 percent of all homicides recorded worldwide were committed by male perpetrators.”
Per Statista, the number of violent crime victims in the U.S. from 2005 to 2019, by gender, resulted in data suggestive of “the number of male and female violent crime victims was about even, with about 1,579,530 male victims and 1,479,540 female victims.”
Statistically speaking, as a man, I am in more danger when “walking home alone in the dark” or being “on a street” in a global setting than is Ariadne. Of course, she made the rape and stalking argument, and I made the extreme argument related to mortality. Some may object to my tactic.
First thing’s first, I acknowledge that on average, men tend to be more physically aggressive than women. I don’t know too many people who would disagree with this, though there are some intersectionality or “woke” adherents who would likely take issue with my declaration.
As well, there are some people who simply refuse to acknowledge sex or gender as objectively sound, and who rigidly demand that others adopt their worldview. I don’t allow such people to force ought statements on my recognition of what is.
Next, while it is often stated that females are largely the victims or rape, and that men aren’t victims of such crime, this longstanding narrative has been challenged—and I think rightfully so. I’ll address sex/gender-specific victimhood shortly.
Defining terms may help frame this portion of the discussion. Sexual assault and rape are often used synonymously. Though definitions vary depending on locale, rape is said to be associated with unwanted penetration, and sexual assault represents unwanted sexual contact.
Shortly after graduated from my second graduate program, The New York Times posted an article claiming “1 in 4 women experience sexual assault on campus.” The data driving the declaration were messy and as such the information was rightfully scrutinized.
The 288-page report acknowledged that more females participated in the survey than males, perhaps skewing the results, and included kissing as a form sexual assault. When you think of rape, do you think of kissing?
The report stated, “Words such as ‘rape’ and ‘assault’ were specifically avoided so that respondents would use a set of uniform definitions when reporting on the types of events that were of interest.” Therefore, one could understandably conflate these terms.
The report further listed on one survey item that a person who “went ahead without checking in or while you were still deciding,” as being related to assault, and declared, “When asked why the incident was not reported, the dominant reason was it was not considered serious enough.”
Some participants of the questionnaire outright admitted that actions such as “grabbing, groping, or rubbing against the other in a sexual way, even if the touching is over the other’s clothes” were not “considered serious enough” to report. Nonetheless, the 1 in 4 statistic is one I frequently hear being used to this day.
I don’t fault people like Ariadne for having been sold a fear-inducing victim narrative regarding the potential of sexual assault or rape in her lifetime. The misinformation, disinformation, or malinformation to which she’s likely been exposed is common.
By guidance in the aforementioned report, I’ve been the subject of both sexual assault and rape on more than one occasion in my life—with females as the perpetrators. Could other males also have endured similar experiences?
One source reports “a high prevalence of sexual victimization among men—in many circumstances similar to the prevalence found among women.” Reader, were you aware of this occurring within the U.S.?
Another source states that “among men reporting other forms of sexual victimization, 68.6% reported female perpetrators,” and, “79.2% of victimized men reported female perpetrators.” What do you make of this?
While it is claimed that “nearly 25% of females and 16% of males who reported being abused as a child advised that at least one of their sexual offenders was female,” men can be raped, as well. Perhaps Ariadne didn’t consider this likelihood, because she’s heard so little about sexual assault and rape of males outside of an incarcerated setting.
Keep in mind that it’s been since only 2012 that the U.S. Department of Justice changed its definition of rape to include the notion that males—both boys and men—could be victimized by sexual assault and rape. Do you think that may have skewed the U.S. statistics up until then?
Also, consider that in the United Kingdom (U.K.), it is said “a woman cannot rape a man, or another woman, as a matter of law.” Might this distort global reports of rape incidents?
Something I find interesting is that in the U.K. one study assessing the sexual abuse by educators revealed that “females and males were similar across the preliminary typology,” as women and men both perpetrated sexual acts against minors.
It’s almost as though citizens of the U.K.—while perhaps not allowing for women to be charged with rape—understand that women can be sexual predators. A typical tactic to dismiss female-on-male sexual assault is to admit that while it is possible, males are most often the aggressors.
I don’t refute the notion that males may aggress more than females. What I take issue with is the whataboutism and deflection of the argument. Disingenuous discussion of the matter is what has misled people like Ariadne.
Reported “radical feminist legal scholar” Catharine MacKinnon has stated, “Men are far more likely than women to perpetrate sexual violation, and women and girls are far more likely to be its victims, yet men and boys too are sexually assaulted, most frequently by other men”—though not always by other males.
Keep in mind that Ariadne claimed, “Men don’t necessarily have to deal with the fear of incessant anxiety of being raped.” How about boys? Do they factor into the equation? Is one subset of male more or less worthy of consideration in this regard?
One source claims that in the U.S. “women were responsible for 19% of child sexual abuse committed in positions of trust. A recent international research review across a number of countries also found concerning levels – reporting that one in nine sex offenders were female.”
Regardless of whether or not Ariadne’s proposed “walking home alone in the dark, or being followed on the street, or getting asked to stay after class by male teachers” constitutes a fear or phobia, rape is a male issue, as well.
I’ve framed the issue of male and female potential for sexual assault or rape. Does the Jen Walters-esque catcalling argument that Ariadne purports may lead to fear and anxiety require an angry response?
For clarity, allow me to set this up in two ABC Model examples. I will incorporate both rigid and extreme belief systems, as well as low frustration tolerance (LFT; e.g., “I can’t stand it”) in order to achieve a realistic B-C connection.
(A) When walking down a darkened street, someone catcalls Jen Walters by saying, “Ay, yo, ma…lemme holla at’chu! Ay, what’s good, ma? C’mere and lemma holla at’chu!”
(B) Jen thinks, “This shouldn’t happen, because I’m just trying to get home. I can’t stand when men do this!”
(C) Jen then disturbs herself to an angry disposition and administers street justice by turning into She-Hulk and beating the man within an inch of his life.
At this point, I imagine there are some “Yass, queen, slay” clapping seals who approve of Jen’s actions. After all, there are some people who believe a proper response to a perceived verbal offense is physical aggression.
I’m not here to give moral, ethical, legal, or health-related advice. In my REBT practice, I encourage clients to determine whether or not the consequences of their unhelpful or unhealthy belief systems are serving them well.
Suppose Jen is the sort of hero who isn’t a Mary Sue and doesn’t use her emotions as a superpower. If she were, I’d be writing about Captain Marvel. Keep in mind that Jen stated to Bruce, “I’m great at controlling my anger.”
For those of us who aren’t green monsters and who want to refrain from allowing rage, hostility, aggression, and violence to guide our behavior, imagine Jen using an effective new belief (EB) to alter the outcome of being catcalled.
(A) When walking down a darkened street, someone catcalls Jen Walters by saying, “Ay, yo, ma…lemme holla at’chu! Ay, what’s good, ma? C’mere and lemma holla at’chu!”
(B) Jen thinks, “I wish I didn’t have to put up with shit like this, though people like this guy don’t maintain my views, nor are they obligated to fulfill my wishes.”
(C) Though mildly annoyed by the man, Jen continues on her path. No man is smashed that day—double entendre aside.
While there are seemingly countless other alternatives to this example, I’ll use the two options for you to consider. Which do you think is the most helpful, healthy option—1 or 2?
According to one source, “The EB represents rational beliefs and serves as a counter, persuasive thought that neutralizes and replaces the irrational belief.” Moving forward with addressing Ariadne’s claims, I’ll reflect upon the EB that’s attained through the disputation I’ve demonstrated herein.
Ariadne stated, “That’s why women are taught from age 3 or 4 to cover up around men, or to constantly be on guard, or always carry pepper spray and hold your keys a certain way, or never be alone.”
I couldn’t possibly know what females are or aren’t taught from a young age, because I’m not one. I suspect that teaching a child, regardless of sex/gender, to be aware of safety and security is something with which many parents are familiar. However, highlighting how children should “cover up around men,” and not women, is shortsighted.
One source states, “Sexual offences against children committed by women appear to be underreported and not prosecuted adequately,” and, “The discrepancy between official reports and victimization surveys on the prevalence of FCSO [female child sexual offenders] clearly demonstrates the under-recognition of women who behave in a sexually abusive manner.”
It isn’t as though females are virtuously pure and never prey upon males. This sort of predatory behavior can be perpetrated by girls and women.
Another source adds, “Professional attitudes towards female-perpetrated sexual abuse (FPSA) reportedly reflect the gender-role expectations found in broader society, which cast males almost exclusively as sexual aggressors or willing sexual recipients, females as sexually non-coercive or victims and male-perpetrated sexual abuse as particularly significant or injurious. Such views, however, appear to stand in contrast to the perspectives of individuals who have experienced FPSA.”
I’m willing to grant that a false premise can lead to an incorrect conclusion. The syllogism used is something like:
Premise 1: Females must remain on guard around males.
Premise 2: Ariadne and I are in close proximity to one another.
Conclusion: Ariadne must remain on guard around me.
I can appreciate how safety and security are of concern. Still, what is the implication of the aforementioned rigid premise, that at any moment I’m likely to attack Ariadne?
Here, let’s try a slightly more complex syllogism:
Premise 1: Only men are capable of sexually abusing children.
Premise 2: Wilhelmina, a woman, has engaged in a sexual relationship with a child.
Conclusion: Wilhelmina’s actions aren’t abusive.
This is precisely the sort of nonsense that leads to news stories such as a recent Houston, Texas report that stated, “Court documents state that Bodine and the student had an inappropriate sexual relationship for three years, starting when the child turned 13 years old.” An “inappropriate” relationship, was it?
I understand that this isn’t the sort of topic you likely expected to encounter, dear reader. Nonetheless, this is the direction in which the conversation with Ariadne headed, so here we are.
Ariadne claimed that females were warned “to constantly be on guard, or always carry pepper spray and hold your keys a certain way, or never be alone.” I can’t speak for males or females on this one, only for myself.
As a young child, my mom and dad taught me that the world was an unsafe place. In my adolescence, I hung around a group of hoodlums who verified my parent’s account.
As a young adult, the United States Marine Corps introduced me to the concept of just how unsafe the world could be. As a middle-aged man, I don’t casually stroll through darkened streets alone or without protection—and I’m not talking about hot juice or unlocking devices.
When asked about altering society to make it safe and secure for women, feminist Camille Paglia promoted personal responsibility and accountability when she declared, “My code of Amazonism says, ok, ‘Every woman is responsible for her own self, for her own sexuality.’ You are responsible. Stop thinking there’s gonna’ be parent figures to get you out of jams afterward. You decide what you want, ok. Something happens to you, ok. You learn from it and you move on.”
I’m not a feminist. I don’t support feminism. Damn if Paglia didn’t nail that point though!
Though Ariadne acknowledged that men also have struggles, she added, “They aren’t told that they’re distracting girls by showing their shoulders and legs. They aren’t told that they should be good housewives, to cook and clean for the husband. They refer to taking care of their own children as ‘babysitting’ while the wife actually raises them.”
If the irrational belief is, “I shouldn’t have to hide my shoulders and legs,” and this is causing self-disturbance in the form of anger, what EB may better serve an individual? Perhaps, “In a perfect world, I could walk around completely nude, though I don’t live in a perfect world and never have.”
If the self-disturbing belief is, “I must not meet the standards of a ‘good’ housewife by catering to a man who refers to childcare for his own children as ‘babysitting’ while I actually raise the kids,” and after considering the statement as valid for oneself, change may be in order.
We cannot force others to change so that our demands are met. This is where unconditional other- or life-acceptance comes into play. We can only take command of things within our personal circle of control.
Ariadne may be able to influence her husband. Certainly, a number of spouses have all but mastered the art of manipulating their partners, as well. Can Ariadne change him though?
Rather than allowing a rigid belief to trigger an angry consequence, Ariadne could say, “I disapprove of tradcon values and the notion that I, a woman, am responsible for typical domestic duties and childrearing, so when seeking a partner, I will discuss this upfront.”
I imagine someone will reject this, projecting one’s own situation on Ariadne—who isn’t actually married. Very well, I’ll offer an EB for you, dear reader.
You may say to yourself, “I thought marriage would be a mutually-cooperative experience and I was wrong. While I’d love for my partner to help me, the reality is that I’ve addressed this matter more times than I can remember, to no avail. Since I can’t change my partner, what can I do? I can change myself or make changes otherwise, though I can’t force others to fulfill my commands.”
Understanding that we have options about whether or not we choose to disturb ourselves is fundamental in this regard. The conversation with Ariadne ended well and I applaud her willingness to push through discomfort and allow challenge to her perspective.
I anticipate some pushback for my challenge to the dialogue of a fictional character. Jen Walters may be perceived as one who advocates for women’s rights and there is said to be a “celebration of female friendship in She-Hulk that’s really fun.”
I recognize that “fun” is a subjective term. I further acknowledge that I’m not opposed to She-Hulk: Attorney at Law regarding the enjoyment of others. In fact, I find value in what Kevin Hart once stated about content he finds displeasing, by being able to simply state, “It’s very easy to just…to just say, ‘You know what, that’s not for me,’ and just find what is.”
The purpose of this blog entry largely relates to my conversation with Ariadne and how to dispute unhelpful or unhealthy beliefs that lead to fear, anxiousness, and other unpleasant emotions. This reflects the work I perform with clients.
Using Occam’s razor, Ariadne was presented with the two most likely options from which to choose and she could choose the one requiring the fewest assumptions. Suppose the same technique was offered to Jen Walters.
To recap, Jen womansplained to Bruce Banner when she said, “Here’s the thing, Bruce. I’m great at controlling my anger. I do it all the time. When I’m cat-called in the street, when incompetent men explain my own area of expertise to me—I do it pretty much every day, because if I don’t, I will get called emotional or difficult or might just literally get murdered. So, I’m an expert at controlling my anger, because I do it infinitely more than you!”
While discussion with Ariadne took various twists and turns, because this is how conversation unfolds—and not necessarily a clinical session—disputation can occur in far fewer steps. Keep in mind that the aim when assessing which options most effectively serves one’s goals is for selection of simpler explanations of observations to more complex ones.
While there may be many alternatives from which to choose, which of the following options would require the fewest assumptions and could lead to less anger (i.e., self-disturbance)?
Jen could demand authoritarian legislation, to be enforced by weaponry from the state, in order to address the matters with which she experiences LFT. The murder she addresses is already illegal.
Perhaps Jen could use activism to also enshrine into law the illegality of catcalling, mansplaining, or being labeled by men “emotional or difficult.” This option requires a lot of steps.
Jen could assertively womansplain to every man with whom she has contact, much in the way she did to Bruce, about how offended, annoyed, or angry she is that her rigid demands of the world aren’t being met. There is a possibility some men would listen.
There’s also a very feasible possibility others won’t accept Jen’s prescriptions for the world, which could lead to further enragement when her unhelpful beliefs aren’t validated. Not only does this option require many steps, it sets Jen up for future disappointment and excessive anger.
Jen could join a feminist collective and combine options 1 and 2. This option would require many steps and stands the potential to also exacerbate the problems of options 1 and 2.
Jen could actively dispute her unhelpful, and perhaps unhealthy, rigid and extreme beliefs using the ABC Model. Jen wouldn’t dispute the (A)ction or the (C)onsequence, only the (B)eliefs which aren’t aligned with her goals for reduced self-disturbance.
Jen could keep in mind that the goal isn’t to change the world, though to work on that which she can effect change and control: Herself. Once a person learns the ABC steps—as you have since reading this entry—this option doesn’t require many steps.
Jen could do nothing at all. This is the simplest option, meeting the Occam’s razor standard, though it does nothing to address the matter of monstrous anger.
Well, reader, which of the aforementioned options do you think is the most pragmatic, healthy, and attainable? I’m not here to tell you what to do. After all, I’m an REBT therapist and I’ve no intention to tell you what you, Ariadne, or Jen should, must, or ought to do.
Some of you will choose anger. Some people will inflexibly demand that the world must change to appease them. Some will strawman what I’ve stated herein, rallying screaming banshees who decry the so-called patriarchy and other mythical foes.
Still, others will take ownership for the role they play in disturbing themselves, not behaving as a victims and pushing through the discomfort of self-challenge for personal growth. Each of us has options.
If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how irrational beliefs impact your life in an unhelpful way, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.
As a psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues ranging from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.
At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!
Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW
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