So am I a secret bloke after all? The thought occurs as I look back over the events of the last couple of days. My anger.
My “resistance”. My going ballistic and, in the end, my having a good old-fashioned punch-up with a public organisation.
Or is it just a bit more complicated? You may find this hard to believe, but I hate confrontation. A few close friends will testify to that: how I’ll reduce to tears before taking someone on in argument. On the rare occasions that I do, it makes me feel very out of sorts.
Its upsetting. Like, I can take someone on head first as long as that first flash of anger is there…but as soon as it dissipates, I start to worry about how I am making THEM feel.
One friend phones today to tell me how good I am at fighting: that she just doesn’t know how to and doesn’t know how I know how to. Another e-mails saying that for her, this connects very closely with difficulties she has over conflict…how, despite being an ardent feminist, she learnt very young how to please, to be a “good girl” and to do the right thing….and finds it dificult to break away from that habit.
Not sure. There are developments on the Charing Cross front, of which more later. They mean – to my great relief, that I can probably start to stand down the troops. I breathe a sigh of relief.
It started with a silly person forcing me to get cross. He didn’t just make me cross. He made me cross at being cross. Then I wanted vindication – and that’s easy. I’ll fight organisations for you any day of the week.
Fighting organisations is about being polite – mostly (sorry, Linda!) – knowing your rights, knowing the levers to pull, knowing the law and knowing how to use the media. I guess a woman who has a public media profile and writes on a daily basis about the law fits that bill very well.
Is fighting, confronting a blokish thing to do? I don’t think so. Some of my best friends are women who I would never want to cross…because I am sure that if crossed they would be absolutely ruthless.
I hate confrontation. But even more, I hate being belittled, put down or negated. A long time ago, in another life, I used to attend a very male management meeting once a week. The Company Chair used to tease me: ask why I didn’t intervene more; make my presence felt.
His wife (my boss) teased back. “Don’t be silly”, she said. “Haven’t you noticed? J doesn’t say much…but (s)he always gets her way”.
That’s me. Bitch from hell when provoked. But otherwise, I really, really do my best to remain sweet.