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The Pint Of No Return
I just posted a new Advice Goddess column -- a response to an irate female reader who was critical of my advice to the woman who slapped the man in the bar. Here's an excerpt from my response:

A woman who’s convinced of the idea of men as oppressors -- especially one who’s been brain-snatched by the Victim-Industrial Complex feminism has become -- will see everything through victim-vision. An extreme case is “feminist vegetarian theorist” Carol J. Adams, who claims eating meat promotes the subjugation of women, and, according to “The Harvard Crimson,” “called asparagus a phallic symbol and said parsley was representative of pubic hair.” (No word on what it means if your mashed potatoes resemble Betty Friedan.)

So, some drunk asks your bra size. You can outsmart him, out-funny him, or treat him like a bar snack stuck to the bottom of your shoe. But, delivering a lecture in women’s studies at the top of your lungs, then smacking him one? You don’t do this because you feel powerful, but because you have the self-image of “Squash me, I’m a bug.” If you’re looking to effect change, consider the difference between “losing your temper” and directing your temper like a laser. Rage is toxic. Stress hormones shut off your ability to reason, and turn your body into a little shop of poisons. This is your idea of empowerment? Well, that, and the notion that men who hit women are guilty of assault, but women who hit men are worthy of…applause?

Life is a hostile workplace. Approach it accordingly. The woman in question wrote, “The last thing I wanted was attention from men,” but proceeded to run off to a pickup joint. This makes about as much sense as going to a packed stadium for a little solitude, or holding your A.A. meeting in the corner liquor store. As for whether women should expect to be raped in a dodgy part of town, well, admitting it’s a possibility seems a better defense than celebrating your freedom to jog in a short skirt through dark alleys shouting, “Take back the night!” and “No means no!”

The entire thing is here.

Posted by aalkon at April 18, 2007 2:21 PM


Anyone who slaps people around, regardless of gender, is an idiot and a bully.

Slam dunk.
Over and out.

Posted by: kanani at April 18, 2007 12:34 AM

> but because you have the
> self-image of “Squash me,
> I’m a bug.”

It ain't self-esteem, it's fear. She's too bright and her behavior too weird for her to fall into the usual category of the self-destructive. Don't you get the feeling she'd never been in a bar before? Or been spoken to by a man she found sexually intimidating? She seems incredibly naive. ("He expresses attraction for me, even though I feel nothing for him! Something's TERRIBLY WRONG!")

Also, Kanani, it's hard to call someone like this a bully. She never put anyone else in danger, or intimidated anybody. She just made a fool of herself.

Posted by: Crid at April 18, 2007 4:32 AM

Or, she's suffering from severe Borderline Personality Disorder!

Posted by: Flynne at April 18, 2007 5:56 AM

It ain't self-esteem, it's fear.

I was responding to the comment by the woman that this was an expression of strength on the slapper/shouter's part. But, I guarantee you, this woman (the slapper) feels like "the human void."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at April 18, 2007 7:34 AM

Do you suppose this person had ever flirted with anybody? Ever?

Posted by: Crid at April 18, 2007 8:18 AM

It does seem rather naïve. If she had ever been hit on in her youth shed should have developed the soft let-down. This can be followed by the slightly cutting brush-off, which if required is followed by the "you're going to regret this". This weekend, a man approached me and prevented me from walking away with me friend. He got the polite "I have a bf" and then "seriously, I'm not interested" and then the "I'm going to hurt you", which was the one that was effective. Probably helps that I look capable of doing so. Anyway, one must look with amusement on one's hilariously unromantic suitors. Or maybe lash out like a cornered skunk and end up nearly 40 in a bar feeling lost.

Posted by: christina at April 18, 2007 9:32 AM

especially one who’s been brain-snatched by the Victim-Industrial Complex feminism has become

Sheesh! For a second there I thought you had written "Vagina-Industrial Complex"....but I guess that would have worked as well.

Posted by: RedPretzel in Cannes at April 18, 2007 10:56 PM

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