What role do you think gender plays in how assertiveness is perceived? Do you suppose Adele made the right choice in using forceful language in this situation? Do you think a woman barging into a boys' club needs to be confrontational to avoid being assumed weak and docile, or do you think she went overboard here?
Post by blondiviolette on Oct 1, 2011 4:04:49 GMT -5
It seems in society that males are seen as more assertive and females are laidback, like how they say men go to store counters and say, "I want" whereas females go, "I'd like". Which is all just generalisation and crazy especially in this century. If a male is assertive it can be taken more as a threat and sometimes violence ensues. If a woman is assertive men can think they're not gonna be bossed around by a woman or they might think it's funny and tease about a woman being assertive or turn it into a 'oooh that's sexy' type of thing, "a woman who knows what she wants" or some rubbish. These are not concrete obviously, just some observations. Adele should have explained herself more to the gang whilst keeping her assertiveness and forceful language. I don't think being confrontational in this situation did her any favours or would do any woman any favours if they barged into a boys' club. Especially if she wants to stay with them and she acts like that they're not gonna want to be around her. She might have it in her head 'This is what's best for everyone that I stay' cause she knows why she has to stay, but they don't know what's going on so they have every right to feel confused and a bit angry. Then again she has to cement herself into their lives for her reasons so she can't be docile and just let them turn her away, so I can understand that she would think she has to act this way otherwise what she came to acheive might disintegrate.
Post by brightamethyst on Oct 1, 2011 4:18:59 GMT -5
What's needed in most situations like this isn't force so much as confidence. In my experience, a show of complete confidence is better than a show of force 9 times out out 10.
We saw this with Alix. He wasn't confrontational. Just absolutely sure that things would go his way in the end. Adele is also confident about that (due to her powers) but she's acting so smug and confrontational that the gang seems to instinctively dislike, or at least mistrust her. (And I don't think gender has any impact on that in this case.)
I agree with what Blondiviolette was saying -- language like "I want" vs. "I'd like" is really revealing of the way men and women are socialized. So much is stacked against women being taken seriously and respected. The word that most offends me in the English language, far more than the f-word, is the one that is often applied to women who assert themselves. (Incidentally, I'm not aware of it ever having been used against me, but perhaps that's because I'm so concerned about being nice that I've held myself back more than I should.) Men are still socialized to feel like they're being emasculated if they take orders from a woman, and women may put themselves in harm's way or fail to make needed progress (for themselves and for others) because they are trained to be submissive.
It also reminds me of the fact that for men, being powerful generally makes them seem more attractive; for women, it's the opposite. (Perhaps the reason so many male politicians are caught making bad decisions of this type, while I'm not aware of any female politician ever making such a mistake!)
So, regarding this situation, I think it was right for Adele to use forceful language. Of course, one caveat is that if she could tell enough about the future to know that gentle language would get her what she wanted *and* make her new companions more comfortable, that might have been the best choice of all, but if she didn't know that, then for her own safety and for the sake of what she has to accomplish, I think she was right to project power from the beginning. Goodness knows males do this.
Now, you can get into a more nuanced discussion of how best to use power and when it's actually better (both out of respect for others and to achieve what you want) to be gentler, but it's difficult to micromanage things that way. And sure, it would be helpful for her to brush up on social graces in the future, being out of practice as she is (through no fault of her own).
I don't think she was being confrontational at all; she didn't threaten them or say anything rude. On the contrary, she giggled, apologized, and was friendly. She just made it clear that she had a purpose. I think she was a great female role model in this situation. If a man had acted like this, he would not have come across as assertive at all, in my opinion.
Yeah, definitely, people seem to think it's unusual, wrong, or weird if women are bosses or take charge in certain situations, and when no one would bat an eye over an assertive man, an assertive woman is both condescended to and told (both explicitly and implicitly) that she's less feminine for doing so.
I'm not sure exactly how much Adele knew about this situation, but she mentioned feeling that it was important to be "forceful." I think that could have been partially because Alix is there, and we've all seen that Alix does retain some privileged attitudes from being raised in a human Western culture. But Dax and Weaver are very self-sufficient themselves and none of them would enter this situation assuming Adele had anything they needed. I think she wanted to get their attention . . . and I think she didn't want them to think she was begging for acceptance. In fact, when she gets a chance to say more, I think it'll be along the lines of "I'm here for your own good." (Even though it will do her some good too.)
And I think it's kinda good that she came in not acting stereotypically feminine, because the last thing she wants is for these dudes to feel like she's someone to provide for and protect. She's not interested in being anyone's damsel.