In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage
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I can’t be the only reader who was nonplussed by your choice of the excerpt by Jane Roberts for the August Dog-Eared Page [“Honoring Aggression”]. It has so many obvious distortions and misconceptions, supposedly channeled from a noncorporeal being, that there isn’t space in one letter to refute them all. The key flaw is the idea that aggression is good. I read the piece several times, looking in vain for the sort of insight I have always found on this page. I also checked several dictionaries for a positive definition of aggression. No luck. Attila the Hun was aggressive. So was Hitler. So was George W. Bush.
Thank you for the Jane Roberts excerpt on aggression. In the seventies there was a push for people — especially women — to be assertive rather than aggressive.
As I was reading the piece, my daughter came to me upset because she had tried to be clear and direct with another child, who’d mistaken her straightforward communication for meanness. In this culture clear and direct speech is typically seen as aggressive. The Roberts piece helped me discuss with my daughter the complexity of being direct with others, as well as the potential consequences, which are not as horrible as we might think.
I needed this excerpt, too. It relieved some of the fear of conflict that I’ve lived with all my life.