Friday, March 18, 2011

Female Aggression: The Punch In The Nose Theory

Most men, by the time they are men, have had at least one experience of being punched in the nose.  At the very least, they've had to face the very real threat of being punched in the nose.  Talking to the wrong guys girlfriend, making the wrong comment or any perceived slight in a bar can produce a threat of physical violence.

Most women have never had to face the same threat.  Girls who are physically aggressive tend to have the run of the play ground as far as physical violence among girls goes.  Most girls will avoid any possibility of physical confrntation so the physically aggressive female rarely get's to practice her aggression on her peers in fair combat.

That is why, in the adult world, I find aggressive women are far more emboldened and unrestrained than aggressive men.  Men have had to face serious corrective consequences to misplaced or overzealous aggression in the form of very serious rivals and therefore have had to learn to restrain their aggression.  Even a well matched fight usually leads to risk of serious injury to both parties.

So, the aggressive adult woman believes that aggression solves problems while adult men understand that unchecked aggression can lead to worse problems.  So, while men are on average, more aggressive - especially in the younger years before the lessons have sunk in - the women who are aggressive are much more adversarial and dangerous. 

For example, watch the aggressive female driver.  She's a mom of two with the pedal to the metal from traffic light to traffic light.  The aggressive sports moms I've seen are far more vocal and confrontational than sports dads.  Most dads are laid back and relaxed while the odd mom who gives a damn about sports is shouting from the sidelines.

This is just a trend I've noticed and my theory of such a trend.  To test the theory, perhaps one could test whether physical confrontation, or threat thereof, at a young age correlate to greater social caution in middle age? Separating the thugs, soldiers and MMA fans that just enjoy blood from the test sample would be necessary.


chris said...

I have made this bloody nose point many times.

Women in our meetings are far more likely to raise their voices. The men less likely to do so. I came to the conclusion long ago that this was because most men have had the experience of talking too much shit and getting cracked in the face. Unless you're dim-witted, a correlation eventually occurs and you learn to speak with calm authority; the poker face.

Adding to this argument is the fact that young men aren't able to fist-fight any longer. Back in my day we got in fights regularly and no one ever considered using a weapon in retaliation. These days you have to worry about being shot by some sore punk. And as young adults no one had to worry that some smart-assed pussy was going to press charges after running his mouth and being dropped.

The young punks I see these days treat older men with such disrespect. In a world where guns and litigation weren't an option these shit-heads would be put in their places by the Men.

Days of Broken Arrows said...

Great post!

This backs up a theory I have of why men seem to be more respectful in the workplace. It's because if you really piss a guy off, you just might be looking at him thrashing you in the parking lot or at a bar during the weekend. You never know when you cross a guy if a maniac lurks underneath.

Women don't live with the implicit fear of violence behind their actions and words, so behave in a much more unrestrained way.

Cul-De-Sac Hero said...

Thanks for the compliments. Since they're the first comments I've received on this blog, they really mean a lot.

That is exactly my point. In my experience, most women at the office are respectful and mild-mannered. However, there are aggressive women who seem to push their way to powerful positions, not just with their (mostly) intelligent decisions, but more due to their unbridled aggression. They'll insult and belittle people with little thought to the consequences. I find that their careers are more volatile and positions shorter lived than average as they eventually run into trouble.

I wonder what will happen as helicopter parenting, anti-bullying and zero tolerance policies take their toll on nature's way of teaching boys to behave themselves.