Emotional Manipulation at its Finest Have you ever felt like everything is always your fault? Like you’re always the person that’s stirring up trouble in your relationship? Women feel this way in particular and it’s because of the men that make us feel this way as well as the pressuring media. I’m sure that most women have heard derogatory comments such as “you’re crazy” or “you’re so dramatic” from husbands, boyfriends, male co-workers, fathers, kids, or even male friends at least once in their lifetime.
As the epidemic of women being “crazy”, “sensitive” and “irrational” increases over time, we are seeing that women are being emotionally manipulated by men at an escalating rate. This sort of behaviour is appalling to women everywhere because it is a stereotypical way of treating us. Men and the media should not have the right to make women feel terrible for “overreacting” when they were the ones that caused us to react in the first place. Emotional manipulation is the driving force behind the male population’s egotistical way of viewing life.
Having the power to make your wife or girlfriend feel bad for something you did boosts a man’s ego and confirms that they are the powerful spouse within the relationship. Although this stereotype has been around since before anyone can remember, it is important for women to fight back against the idiotic behaviour of men. In order for men and the media to stop emotionally manipulating women, society must stop authorizing this abusive and inconsiderate behaviour in their behalf. The term “gaslighting” comes into effect when situations such as these are observed.
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Gaslighting, as Yashar Hedayat wrote in his work entitled “A Message to Women from a Man: You are Not “Crazy””, is “a term often used by mental health professionals to describe manipulative behaviour used to confuse people into thinking their reactions are so far off base that they’re crazy”. This is what men do to get themselves out of trouble with their women and it is toying with the women’s emotions. In my personal opinion, it is not fair for women to feel this way because it’s the alternate spouse, friend, co-worker, etc that caused the trouble within the relationship.
Why should the woman feel bad for the male’s irresponsibility? In this day and age, women are afraid to let out their true inner feelings because men make it hard for them to do that. For example, Yashar Hedayat explores the idea of a man being late to dinner. The woman decides to text him to see where he is but instead of saying “you’re late where are you? You were supposed to be here 20 minutes ago. ” she writes “you’re late lol where are you babe? ” See the difference? She doesn’t want to upset him in any way so she adds a smile to lighten the mood.
If men were not emotionally abusing women, this sort of behaviour on the woman’s part would not have to occur. It saddens me that women have to pretend to be happy in front of someone they’re supposed to be able to tell everything to. If such trust existed, would relationships have a different atmosphere? This manipulation is like jail for women; they are trapped in the fact that they cannot express how they feel when a man plays with their emotions. As I stated before, men have a sense of power within their relationships especially when gaslighting plays a huge factor in the relationship.
Yashar Hedayat states that “acts of gaslighting steal [women’s] most powerful tool: their voice” Since the beginning, men have always been the dominant partner within relationships and this has caused women to remain quiet and not fight back. We can see this in the 1950’s when women were destined to be housewives from the age of eighteen. Men were the spouse that went to work every day and made money for the couple and the family if they had one. The stereotype of women being the recessive spouse continued into today’s society.
Although women are not destined to be housewives anymore, men are still considered to be the dominant spouse in most relationships. When men partake in gaslighting, they are confirming their power over the woman. Often, the woman feels defeated and overpowered by the male which in turn causes emotional manipulation within the relationship. So why do men feel the need to manipulate women into thinking that they're crazy? Dr. Joseph Nowinski wrote an article on psychologytoday. com explaining how men are just as insecure as women.
He states that men's insecurities have in fact altered relationships between men and women. Some men are so insecure that they force their insecurities onto their spouse and this is where gaslighting plays its role. Because of these insecurities, men feel the need to drive women crazy. The media is also a pressure on women. As state earlier, there is a stereotype surrounding women that they are clingy and too emotional when it comes to men. You see "overly-attached girlfriend" trending on twitter all the time and this authenticates the tereotype. Although some women may be overly sensitive and attached, it is not the case for all women. The media has also produced many films about crazy people and the main character is almost always a woman. The new exorcist movie coming out (the name escapes me) has a girl as the main character. The 1994 movie "Gaslight" (origin of the word) is about a woman that is sent to a mental institution when her husband makes her seem crazy. The media is always going to have stereotypical views on women whether we like it or not.
This has been going on for a long time and I'm not surprised that the issue is getting larger and larger as the years go on. Gaslighting is an issue in today’s society and we must try to break down the barriers that surround it. Gaslighting is not something that can be touched upon lightly and women should start to stand up for themselves when it comes to this situation. Although men and the media are large contributing factors to this issue, we must still band together and fight against it.
This enhanced interrogation of women’s emotions is starting to deteriorate how strong and independent women once were. To be gain these qualities back, women must begin to take control of their emotions and stop letting men play with them. Works Cited Ali Yashar. “A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy”” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost. com, 12 Sept 2011. Web. Nowinski, Joseph. "Is It Love, Or Is It Insecurity? " Psychologytoday. com. The New Grief, 8 Nov. 2011. Web. 04 Mar. 2013 LEGEND: Thesis PINK Methods of Proof YELLOW Rhetorical Devices GREEN Literary Devices BLUE
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