Re: Arguments and Arguing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 08:19:27 -0600 (MDT)
> There is a member of my community who is extraordinarily passive aggressive.
> She has this whole schtick where she won't discuss anything negative with
> anyone, using the excuse that they are angry, and that she is "afraid" when
> they are angry.

Thanks for describing this so clearly. I grew up with a sister who got her
way by crying and she could do it on cue. Because she cried, I was the evil
doer. So I'm particularly sensitive to the issue.

> it is like adolescent boys and girls. Troubled
> youths are equally divided among the sexes, but the boys get far more
> intervention, because they tend to act out, rather than internalizing.
> Meanwhile, the girls who never get help go on to perpetuate the problems
> with the next generation of children. I know this is a vast generalization
> here, but my point is that by focusing on loud outbursts, you miss 90% of
> the rest of the problems that need intervention.

This is actually not an exaggeration. I worked for several years in an
inpatient adolescent program with a boys unit and a girls unit. The girls
unit was much more difficult and the problems much more severe.

This was a "new theory" program with "revolutionary" treatment programs so
we were seeing things through different eyes (or theories). We wondered if
girls were more violent and not one noticed before.

We did a comparison of the cases and discovered fairly extreme differences
between the points at which boys and girls were referred for psychiatric
treatment or court intervention.

All a boy had to do be referred for residential psychiatric treatment was to
become anxious enough to perform at a lower than expected level. A girl had
to be hearing (and talking to) voices, making suicide attempts that actually
produced blood or broken bones,  or become "autistic."

A boy was commanded to state supervision the first time he "borrowed" a car
without permission. One of our girls had stolen 23 cars and driven most of
them across state lines before the court did more than return her to her
parents. She was a good student and had a lovely smile. What's the problem?

Sharon Villines
MacGuffin Guide to Detective Fiction
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington, DC

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