Thursday, October 8, 2009

"you got a staring problem, man?"

Today in the UCF library while studying with a male friend I experienced an interesting situation and I wanted to share and then post a question to the class.

As stated before a male friend and I were trying to get some studying done around 7:00 p.m. in the main campus library, we were soon interrupted by a group of males walking by that were having a loud conversation and laughing. We looked up and they said sorry about being so loud and that what they just did was rude. They then entered a study room but left the door wide open. After about 15-20 min of listening to their very loud conversation my male friend went to the door way and asked if they could close the door because we were trying to study for a test and it was hard to focus with the noise, their reply “sure bro, sorry”. After about 5 min three more males approached the room and after they had knocked and entered the room the door was left open again. It was obvious that the room was too small and did not fit their needs (it didn’t have a chalk board, which we heard them complain about the whole time). A short time later a female student showed up at their room and said that she had gotten a key to another study room on the fourth floor, this was after the males students keeping the door open (yet again) were laughing, talking , and watching utube videos on max volume. By this point I was completely pissed off and ready to explode (but figured they were on their way out). They started to leave I glared at them. When the last two males were on their way out they totally ignored me and looked at my male friend who then stared back at them and they said “do you have a staring problem man?” I replied saying that they were really loud and that we are in a library trying to study, again they ignored me and told my male friend to “do something about it” my friend and I felt it was unnecessary to continue communication and just ignored the students and left it at that, they then walked away still insisting that my male friend be physically aggressive with them or that we should move to a different area if we wanted it to be quiet.
I found it interesting they decided to confront him and not me even though I was the person who was staring and was visibly aggravated. Also it was interesting that even after I explained why we were annoyed they chose my male friend to have an issue with and instead of understanding our side of the situation and that they were being extremely loud in a library they wanted to start up a fight and not take responsibility for their actions. The end result for them was that my male friend had a staring problem and that we should have moved if we wanted it to be quiet in a library.
The question I wanted to post is:
How is a non aggressive male able to communicate productively with an aggressive male in confrontational situation?


art. said...

How is a non aggressive male able to communicate productively with an aggressive male in confrontational situation?

this is a tough one. it's probably important that he stay seated; standing up would most likely validate [in their minds] the aggressive behavior.

Merritt Johnson said...

I agree, Art. This is an important topic especially in a class such as masculinity studies. What makes men think they need to act agressive in order to fix a problem? It seems as if any situation that arises men take agression as the first option in fixing it.

Kelly T said...

Thanks for sharing this! I bet that if it weren't a "pack" of males that were causing a ruckus that everything would have been fine and they would have been more quiet (like they should be) and understanding of your requests. I feel like in this given situation a non aggressive male wouldn't be able to communicate productively because the other men were obviously in a sense egged on by having their fellow "bros" around. I applaud your friend for not feeling that he needed to resort to the same tactics of communication as the group of men did.