The young man was throwing a massive, explosive tantrum. He was going ballistic over who knows what. A puff of dust rose from the ground where he threw down the whitebait pole-net. The dog jumped up from where he was lying in the sun and got out of the way. The young man’s two mates ignored him. As in completely ignored him. Not one flicker of concern or ‘give a feck’ for their mate’s meltdown, nor tension in their body language, that I could see. I was bloody impressed! I prepared to stop my ebike, and clear the pole-net from the riverside pathway, so I could get past. One of the other young men saw me, said “sorry” and picked the net up out of the way. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it, because they looked like ‘rough’ young men, and I chagrinly acknowledged my uncalled-for prejudice.
At the time, it was whitebait season, and the banks of the river were dotted here and there with men – for the main part – doing bugger all, which is also known as whitebaiting. Curiously, I seldom see a woman whitebaiting. The returns for the whitebaiters’ efforts have been getting slimmer and slimmer, though, because of the degradation of our waterways through forest clearance, and the impacts of agriculture and urbanisation. So, I suppose it’s lucky that bugger all effort is required in its pursuit.
The group of young men I came across on this particular ride seemed to have set up a whitebaiting camp for themselves on the river bank. From what I could gather in my brief ride-by, they had a couple of small tents and an old camper-van. The angry young man, after throwing the pole-net down on the ground, accompanied by some violent cursing, stormed into the campervan. There he continued swearing, and began thumping and banging stuff around, too. On and on it went. His mates didn’t blink an eye. They looked totally relaxed and unconcerned. I couldn’t help comparing how differently this might have played out if –
- There had been a woman, or women, with the angry young man, instead of his mates. A man’s anger is potentially dangerous for a woman or her property, so there probably would have been a good deal of mollifying going on in some way to defuse it. Or, she might have scarpered. It’s possible that this kind of behaviour was nothing new to the young man’s mates, and ignoring it was the best way to defuse it for them. Whatever – they could afford to wait it out, because it didn’t carry the same potential threat for them as a man’s anger does for a woman. There can be exceptions, of course, but we all know that an angry man going psycho in the same space as a woman is in, can potentially go a lot worse for her than it may do for his mates.
- It was a woman throwing a massive physical tantrum, with her mates nearby. Personally, I have never seen a woman throw as much of a long-lasting physical tantrum as I witnessed from the young man today, and on other occasions from other men. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, but personally I have only witnessed short bursts. I have seen some massive sulks from women (but not limited to women), and I have done a few myself, and generally those are left to defuse on their own. But getting angry and throwing a giant physically destructive tantrum? Nah – it’s rare, because women are not supposed to blow their top for no other reason than feeling shitty-livered, or things not going their way. They do, of course, but not usually in public where judgement abounds. Supposing it did happen, though, there would have been a helluva lot more fluttering around her from her mates, I reckon, than I saw from these guys – lol!
My thoughts are that we need to take a leaf out the ‘Blokes’ Bible’. Especially the one these particular blokes have clearly read. Let’s follow the blokes’ lead on how to be angry if we feckin’ well feel justified in doing so. Insist that everyone can just damn well get chill with that – because the world most definitely gets steamed up at the moment about angry women. Then when it’s done, it’s done. We all get on with things.
We accept – although don’t necessarily like – angry men, but an angry woman is all sorts of a bitch, and has all sorts of personal problems, apart from just being angry about an issue. A woman who shows her anger in public, even justified anger, breaks rule #10,023 in the ‘Rules for Women’ book. Here’s something I bet you’ll be surprised at – the Blokes’ Bible is a much smaller book than the Rules for Women book
Time to throw the rule book out, eh?