Bullies and Burdens…and Getting Even

A person who works with my husband had clipped this article, written by Laura Pritchett, from 5280 magazine (July 2013), and it caught my attention:

“Although both men and women can be bullies, [Huffington Post writer Yashar] Ali argues that women in particular are susceptible to gaslighting; it’s much more common in our culture to place our emotional burdens on the shoulders of women. “It’s a whole lot easier to emotionally manipulate someone who has been conditioned by our society to accept it,” he writes. “We continue to burden women because they don’t refuse our burdens as easily. It’s the ultimate cowardice.”

Here’s a clip from one of my favorite films, Amelie, about a man who gaslights Amelie as a young girl, and her delicious revenge.

A definition of Gaslighting from Pritchett’s article:

“‘Gaslighting’ is a widely used term these days. It comes from the play and movie Gaslight, in which a husband flicks a house light on and off and then teases his wife for observing it, thereby making her think she is insane and ultimately achieving his sinister goal of having her admitted to a mental hospital.

In real-world gaslighting, bullies do something malicious to create a reaction. When the targets comply, the “gaslighters” make them feel uncomfortable and insecure about their responses. If the poor souls feel absurd or start to second-guess themselves, the bullies have gained even more power. The term once described an extreme form of bullying; now, it’s become commonly used in clinical and research literature.”

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