We get a lot of emails to the tips line. Most are, well, tips (and much-appreciated!) A lot are spam or stupid pitches from publicists. This morning, hot on the heels of another missive castigating us for not blogging a story one overly-entitled reader deemed of utmost personal importance - "hopefully someone will blog about it today, if you think it's important enough that is" (italics ours) - we got another note, this time from a holier-than-thou, pretentious twit we'll call "Dylan White". Dylan has an issue with a post Dodai did about frenemies. Says one Jezebel: "My guess is that this guy just took Psych 101, and wishes to share his insight with us. And the parental issues line is weird. Projecting, perhaps? The PS completely defeats his entire argument. He rails on and on about proper ways to handle conflict, and then tosses out some stupid remark like that? Whatever." Says another: "Dude, it's a blog post, not an academic paper." Says me: Get off my deputy's ass. The email, after the jump.
Dear Jezebel, My dilemma is with the "What's Wrong with Frenemies" piece. Dodai's opinion is an indirect and passive aggressive response to Cherkinoff's article. Her conclusion "My answer to the question 'Why do women act this way?' is: Because we're evolved" is quite inconclusive actually. "When a human being is upset by another human being but doesn't want to upset the delicate balance of his or her immediate community and therefore smiles through the seething hate instead of clawing the offender's jugular out, that is advanced sociopsychological behavior." Incorrect. If the main concern is upsetting a community's delicate balance, in layman terms, what's being implied is an inherent fear of having others think differently of you after having seen you in emotional pain. That is insecurity. Dynamic human beings are not so selfish in their nature. Immature human beings with parental issues, however, are. This bottling of emotions is called acting, and perhaps advanced make-believe. "Why waste time and effort in confrontation and conflict over a so-called friend stealing champagne from your house when you can just vow not to speak to her for three months and then have dinner with her in six months?" Do you realize that this statement contradicts the point being conveyed in the preceding statement: "Wars can be avoided by learning the refined skill of diplomacy." Wars do not begin sporadically. War games are played prior to the beginning of a war. These are typical intimidation tactics: the testing of egos, patience, and manipulation of emotional weakness. That is not diplomacy. You are doing your "friend" a disservice by not addressing how said friend has upset you. If a friend steals things from you, and you think you'll teach them a lesson by ignoring them, you've allowed them to steal from you in the future. This friend doesn't respect you enough to apologize for stealing from you. If your intention is to allow time to instill guilt within this friend, that will not work either. Any adult petty enough to commit childish offenses against you will never feel the need to apologize. You are doing yourself a disservice by perpetually mishandling conflict. This will not solve anything long term. Please allow me to paraphrase that quote I just used. "Why waste time and effort in confrontation and conflict... when you can just vow not to speak to her for three months and then have dinner with her in six months?" Time and effort? A direct confrontation does not last three to six months. By implementing the strategy to avoid conflict, an even bigger conflict is created. In this strategy, the ego is inflated even more. This approach does not sacrifice pride, nor is it humble/diplomatic in any way. This is how wars truly start. Wars waste time and effort, as we've learned over the past five-and-a-half years. I am a male. When I'm upset by somebody, I have no problem voicing the pain I feel they caused me. This doesn't make me a warring individual at all. It makes me eager to restore peace through immediate discussion. Does this make me perfect when I handle conflict? Hell fucking no. I've made mistakes, and I continue to. I'm imperfect, but I try my best. I've learned that direct communication works if you're mature enough to handle it. Expressing discontent is not inherent of one sex only; it's human. Quite personally, I respect a woman that puts her feelings of mistreatment out on the table immediately. This piece has indirectly claimed that one supposedly gender-specific behavior trumps another. I fail to see the merit in applying any relative validity to such an absolute falsehood. Conflict mishandling is just that, regardless of its methods. Relationships still end up irreparably damaged, and sensitive people still end up irreversibly provoked. That is simply what happens when people in conflict choose to ignore the problem instead of addressing it. So here goes Jezebel, talking in circular contradiction yet again. Henceforth, this site continues to wallow in the stereotypes it claims to abhor. Dylan White ps I don't use block quotes because I'm informal and progressive, just like you! I'm really smashing taboo, aren't I?