Msnowe's Blog

Speak Up or Die

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on August 21, 2007

A new study came out recently, and it stifles the mind to think of what some scientists are interested in analyzing, or even think we need to analyze. A report on the study can be found here: (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20361092/)

What this evaluation basically says is that women who stay quiet and submissive during martial tiffs are more likely to keel over quicker than those women who hold their ground in an argument. What makes this blogger want to shout out loud is the fact that this wasn’t an assumed fact in the first place. Its like saying, “people with air bags in their cars survive more accidents,” or “those who sleep around are more likely to get STDs.” Well, Gee.

The study lays out the information culled from a little under 4,000 people over 10 years, and the health of the women, who either had a tendency to “self-silence,” or speak their minds freely. And surprise, surprise, the women who held their tongues lost their lives within ten years four times more often than those with free rein of their oral organ. Conversely, men in marriages, compared to men who stayed single, had better health and longer lifespans on average. No study was done to test whether men were speaking up or not, however – because it’s assumed men will always speak up?

Without any evidence, here’s a theory that should easily be applied to this study’s findings. Every time a woman holds her tongue, a little part of her independence, nature, and true ability to be a woman, dies. All those little deaths add up, and consume her eventually. And they seep out into everyday life – with fewer rights for women as the voices dwindle. The study says that this “tactic” of silence is most pronounced in women who exist in abusive relationships – it’s a form of self-preservation that actually ends up killing them. Here’s the test of a healthy relationship: If you find yourself holding your tongue too often, it’s time to hit the road.

If this is an evolutionary trait, like they say it might be, than their findings just don’t make sense. Because if it is a matter of survival, it would be most advantageous for women to speak their minds, and live longer. And hopefully (although this sounds brutal), the trait will weed itself out, and those women who do keep silent will kick the proverbial bucket before they can pass this less than desirable practice onto too many others. Harsh, I know, but necessary. But the one positive thing about this affliction is that it is in many ways self-imposed, and therefore reversible – it is a process of self-assertion that can allow you to receive help, and ultimately the decision to speak up rests in your own heart, mind, and mouth. Violets are shrinking because they droop with under-exposure. Wall-flowers have a pasted, lonely look because they refuse to spread out. It’s time to realize that standing in the shadows will only take people farther into them – regardless of their sex.

It’s not about being a revolutionary or a fighter, it’s about the simple act of acknowledging a person’s right to be. If that’s something you can’t talk about, perhaps it would be better to be quiet.

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