assertiveness as a subversive act

cross posted at doves and serpents

the most subversive, revolutionary act in this world is to speak the truth. this is especially so for women. speaking one’s truth is an act of courage requiring a level of assertiveness that may or may not be in a woman’s possession. patriarchal cultures have traditionally frowned upon assertiveness in women, training their daughters instead to exist for those around them rather than for themselves. the consequences of trained passiveness don’t need explanation; suffice it to say that such a practice harms women in body, mind and soul.

i counseled victims of intimate partner violence for many years and saw firsthand the results of women trained to be passive and submissive. the damage done to women and children affected by this evil is unspeakable.  as part of my counseling, i offered my clients an assertiveness training course. here we would learn what assertiveness is and how it differs from passiveness and aggression—a concept that is a revelation for many women. i taught my clients how to use “I” language and how to communicate in an ethical way. and then we would practice . . . and practice . . . and practice . . . Read the rest of this entry »