Thursday, 5 December 2013


By Jill Greenberg
To be fair to him, this is not something the Baron has ever done. It was my Dad who used to do this thing. I was reminded of it recently while chatting with a friend whose Baron seems to be doing something similar.

When I was young, if I was winning an argument with my Dad, he would start to be mean. He would get rough-tempered, while insisting that he was right. I would get indignant and assert my more carefully thought through opinion, because I knew it was right. After a while I would start to cry with frustration. Then he would start laughing and say: Yes, yes, have it your way, you're right, don't worry about it. I would feel angry and confused. I knew I was right but I felt like my Dad was still winning, cuz he had only capitulated over the argument on emotional grounds, not on intellectual grounds.

By Picasso
When those in power use illegitimate means to assert a view of the world which we know to be false, it can make us feel as if we are the mad ones. Foucault argues that the hysterical woman was one of four highly symbolic figures around whom a politics of sexuality, a matrix of power, was operated.

When I realised what it was that my Dad was doing to me, I swore I would never cry while arguing with a man again. Occasionally I would find myself putting my point of view clearly and quietly with a man who would become so angry at his failure to make me cry that I would become fearful he might hit me. There was no going back. When I cry these days, it's not because I can't convince someone-else of the error of their ways although I sometimes say: "Sure. Have it your way, I'm not worried about it."

No comments:

Post a Comment