Wednesday, 12 September 2012

How (Not) to Argue with a Woman

Ok, this is a public service announcement to all you angry, bitter, jaded-sounding men in the so called 'manosphere' of men's rights, pick-up artists, and other sundry issues:

You are doing it wrong.  You are attempting to talk to women as if they are men, but they're not, so you don't understand why when you try to explain something to them it doesn't seem to register.  This comes down to how the human brain works, and the differences between men and women.  The 'manosphere' is all about the dichotomy between the sexes, ans so strongly apposed to Feminism's desire to make us all androgynous hipsters, so please perk up your ears and listen.

Evolutionary speaking, the mind can be roughly segmented into three parts: the instinctual (or reptilian) mind, the emotional (or mammalian) mind, and the rational (or human) mind. The thing is, the earlier the segment of the mind evolved, the more dominate it is over the other pieces. So the emotional mind can't stop instinctive actions from occurring, and just as critically the rational brain gets pushed into the background whenever we experience strong emotions.

The problem men have is that we naturally argue in quite a vigorous fashion.  Women, on the other hand, are naturally more predisposed to avoid confrontation which is to say they are more fearful and anxious then men are. When a man tries to argue with a women as if she's a man, she perceives him as being angry and, surprise!, she becomes afraid.  Even in our soft culture, most men are far stronger then women and so men easily physically intimidate women. This is an emotional response is women, to avoid angry and upset men because that's where the risk of physical violence or rape comes from. We have laws that discourage violence, and anonymity on the internet that shields identity, but the emotional response is there, programmed in by eons of evolution back when homo sapiens was homo erectus.

The key thing to realize is that anxiety is an emotion, and as such it's governed by the emotional brain.  It's not rational for a woman to be upset about what some bitter and jaded Men's Rights Activist is screaming about on the internet. Whenever a woman's emotional brain becomes engaged, her rational brain retreats.  The moment you make a women anxious, you've lost the debate. The only way to return to a rational discourse is to give her 45 minutes for her amygdala to calm down, which means removing the stimulus that made her anxious in the first place and providing comfort.  This isn't something that's under your control on the internet, needless to say (but it is good advice for real-life).

To reiterate,
You cannot have a rational argument with a woman's emotional mind.
You cannot have a rational argument with a woman's emotional mind.
You cannot have a rational argument with a woman's emotional mind.  
Now, if you choke down an even bigger slice of self-reflection pie, try to recognize that if you are angry, your emotional brain is engaged. Which means you aren't rational.  You might think you're rational, but you're not.  Sorry, you're just not. Guess what?  The anxious women think they are being rational too, but neither of you are, so you keep talking past each other and no progress is made. So if you find you anger levels rising, the only solution is to step away from the computer for an hour and do something productive. You cannot control her behavior, but you can control yours.

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