may cry, but are more likely due to cultural conditioning to become angry as a way to get (or deflect)attention. Both crying and anger may be genuine or affected responses. They may be honest or a"performance" to win hearts and minds.When we know that women are no more likely to be physically harmed in personal relationships thanmen (Fiebert, 2005), our attitude to both men and women changes. When we know that men's feelingsare hurt as much as women's (Pease and Pease, 2004), but they do not show this, our attitude changesagain. When we understand that women are more creative and convincing liars (because they cannotresort so readily to physical force to win their fights), and that men are less good at hiding their lies(because they are punished more readily and frequently for lying during childhood) our attitude changeseven more (O'Connell, 1998; Pease and Pease, 2003). We start to understand that men need as muchprotection from tale telling as women need from physical violence or rape (Farrell, 2000).Women who understand men are no more inherently violent than themselves will no longer feel a needfor special protection. Although they will continue to fear violence from men more than from women, theywill begin to understand this is the response of any person who desires to be with them, but cannot beso. Men who start to understand that women are as violent as themselves will no longer feel such a needto give them special protection. If they do, they will come to understand this as a product of their desireto be a hero to the women who watch them, and part of their own need to win approval from them.
The Case for Mediation
Mediation offers a solution that is consistent with the values and goals of both democracy and genderequality. It affords protection to all parties regardless of status, ethnicity or gender. Critics of mediation(or "restorative justice" as it is called in criminology) worry that mediation simply gives the perpetratoranother opportunity to intimidate the victim. At the start of a dispute, however, it is not clear who isperpetrator and who is victim. The apparent victim may be the perpetrator - it is the mediation processthat helps to determine this (Roche, 2003).Mediation is hard work: it may involve participants coming to terms with deeply held prejudices, or faceup to the full impact of their behaviour on others. But it also gives them a chance to explain their intentand for others to learn why they responded in a particular way. The process may not be quick or easy.The alternative, however, is a workplace culture and society generally that pays lip service to fairnessand equality but takes refuge in defensive approaches to conflict.To support change, build the process of mediation into employment and trading contracts so thatinvestors and entrepreneurs, employers and employees, customers and suppliers, face penalties underthe law for authoritarian approaches to conflict resolution. These laws are the ones we can create forourselves, for our own organisations. They are not imposed by government statute. Consequently, noacts of parliament need to be passed for these laws to come into effect: they can be brought about bychanges in management understanding and practice.This way, existing laws will stop favouring the party who unilaterally withdraws and start favouring thosecommitted to reconciliation. The laws will start to reward compassion and tolerance. Individualbusinesses taking initiatives to switch to mediation as a tool of social control will be entrenchingdemocratic values without ever having to involve a politician! What greater incentive do you need?
If reprinting this article, please include the following citation:
Based on Ridley-Duff, R. J. (2007)
Emotion, Seduction and Intimacy: Alternative Perspectives on Organisation Behaviour
, Bracknell: Men's Hour Books, pp. 228-232.
Berne, E. (1964)
Games People Play
, Penguin.Farrell, W. (1986)
Why Men Are The Way They Are
, London, Bantam Books, Chapters 2 - 6.Farrell, W. (2000)
Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say
, New York, Tarcher/Putnam.Fiebert, M. (2007)
References Examining Assaults by Women on their Spouses or Male Partners: An Annotated Bibliography
, California State University. http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm