A Commonplace

What is a commonplace?



From "The Gentle Art of Vebal Self Defense"

In verbal self-defence, as in any other art, if you master the basics and apply them by frequent practice, you are well on your way.

Learn this rule early: NEVER REPLY TO BLAMER MODE WITH ANOTHER BLAMER MODE UTTERANCE. The only way a Blamer ever beats another Blamer is by having more sheer force available - being able to yell louder, knowing more rotten things to say, being able to keep up an exchange of insults longer without running out of steam, or by any similar "advantage."

An amazingly high percentage of men, with absolute honesty, are astonished when they find that the verbal attacks they've carried out in courtroom or at the conference table are resented by a woman on the receiving end. THEY ARE NOT PRETENDING THEY TRULY DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

[this isn't a man/woman thing this is a capable/not-capable of verbal self-defence thing]

Males learn very early that verbal confrontations are a part of the necessary activity of their careers. They learn to admire the skilled verbal infighter, to keep track of the "one for you, and one for me" scores as the confrontations go along, and they do not take any of this personally. (The man who doesn't learn this is the man who gets passed over again and again while less able people are promoted over his head).

[Ouch, touche, POINT TAKEN!]

The fact that women are frequently unable to play this game - and make no mistake about it, it is just that, a game - limits them forever to the lower strata of most corporations, universities, hospitals, publishing houses, and so on. Men look upon it much as they do any other sport: Get in there and play to win, and then when the final whistle blows, everybody go out together for pizza and beer. (Or steak and a good red wine, or doughnuts and coffee depending.)

either learn to play the game or forget about a career within the system. I'm sure this statement is not going to be looked upon with any pleasure by people of either sex; but it is the grim truth, and nothing will be gained by pretending that it isn't.

If you go into a football game and insist upon playing it by the rules of tennis, you surely have better sense than to think that (a) you will win; or (b) anybody will ever let you play in their football game again.

If you try to think of some way to start a sentence with "Even you" and finish it without having insulted the person you're speaking to, you'll find it almost impossible.

These quotations taken from The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense by Suzette Haden Elgin