Protecting the Gift - Ch 4 discussion - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-17-2009, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're reading through Protecting the Gift by Gavin DeBecker. If you're new, feel free to join in.

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What stood out to you in chapter four?

How did the man get Jess away from his mother? Why do you think he was able to trick her that way?

ch 3 thread - http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1024016

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#2 of 13 Old 01-20-2009, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On page 68, DeBecker says "explicitness applied by women in this culture has a terrible reputation. A woman who is clear and precise is viewed as cold, or a bitch, or both." How have you seen that played out in your life?

I have friends who are not comfortable being direct with what they want or how they feel because they don't want people to think they are rude. Do you have trouble with that sort of thing?

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#3 of 13 Old 01-20-2009, 12:53 AM
 
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This chapter really brought back so many memories from my childhood!

I remember being so creeped out by our housekeeper/babysitter's husband when he came with her for the job interview. He asked me to sit on his lap and my mom made me! I was horrified and so scared and felt so many creepy sexual vibes from him.

I learned the importance of "saying out loud what your gut is saying to you." Also, not being able to turn a decent man into a violent one by being rude. We need to teach our children to listen to their natural feelings of danger. Make it a habit to ask women for help and teach this to our children.

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#4 of 13 Old 01-20-2009, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
On page 68, DeBecker says "explicitness applied by women in this culture has a terrible reputation. A woman who is clear and precise is viewed as cold, or a bitch, or both." How have you seen that played out in your life?

I have friends who are not comfortable being direct with what they want or how they feel because they don't want people to think they are rude. Do you have trouble with that sort of thing?
Women are taught that they can't be direct and they need to rely more upon negotiation skills. As a recent prominent example, Hillary Clinton's efforts at health care reform were characterized as "hollerin' at Congress" during the primary.

Is it any wonder that the average woman will second guess her instincts and inadvertently negotiate their safety with potential predators?

Every day we unconsciously make hundreds of Cost & Risk Benefit analyses. I suspect most women err on the side of "femininity" (being accomodating and not making waves) in most cases because the stakes are usually relatively low but the likelihood of being stigmatized are usually relatively high. Slowly and gradually we are socialized into a position of perpetual weakness, even when the stakes are high ... perhaps potentially a matter of life and death.

~Cath
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#5 of 13 Old 01-21-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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I love the list of "tricks" the predator uses to get you to let your guard down. I need to make a copy of that list to keep handy.

I was reminded of it atwork the other day, when a customer was trying to get out of paying his bill -- he was giving too many details and I could just tell he was lying becuase of it. It's one of thosethings -- nobody's memory is that good for everything he was coming up with -- didn't convince me at all. I felt glad that I could recognize it in a non-dangerous situation when someone was trying to persuade me -- hopefully I'd beable to catch it when it really mattered as well.
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#6 of 13 Old 01-21-2009, 11:18 AM
 
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I agree that the discussion of the "tricks" is very useful in a lot of situations.

I read large chunks of this chapter to my daughter (age 10). I think she is a smart and aware child...but she is too nice and very verbal. I can see that it would be really easy for a predator to engage her attention and keep her talking, even about why she isn't supposed to talk to him, even.

I think the rude "no" is a very important life skill for everyone, and, yeah, especially for women and girls.

As I posted in the last thread, I have experienced my child going missing, searching in vain, and calling the police. She was found completely ok after 45 infinitely long minutes, a miraculous rescue from hell for me, but I was a physical wreck for days afterwards. The story of the physical and emotional price the mom paid after she lost her son is devastating for anyone to read but I really felt it in my gut
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#7 of 13 Old 01-22-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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One thing, well, several now that 'm really analyzing it, that really stood out that de Becker didn't touch on, was that while Jesse's mom was uncomfortable with the guy, 1.) she moved away from them both, 2.) she did not direct Jesse away from the man, possibly cueing him to her uncomfortableness w/ the guy, 3.) she did not keep her son in her sight.

I really liked the questions de Becker leads the mom whose afraid of her daughter getting kidnaaped, thru, pg. 56. I think I might seriously do those with my mom, even tho' those years where I was in college and traveling a long ways are way past.

I would like to say sometimes that wild brain doesn't kick all the way in when you're tired. The other night I was out late-ish 8pm w/my daughter at a wrap class. I left letting her walk and hold my hand (wiggly kid/me tired/icy sidewalks). The car was halfway down a half-lit street. I was looking around, and saw a man cutting across the school parking lot. I thought of the book and the guy following Kate, and didn't act in a hurry, but watched. I was trying to think ahead, but seriously, my brain was saying I had to get her in her carseat so she'd be safe. Later, I realized, I could have held her in my lap and driven even a couple blocks away from the guy to buckle her in, or closed the door behind me, she's in the middle in the backseat and locked the doors. Duh. my brain just focused on getting her in the carseat. And she wasn't cooperative. Fortunately, the guy went on down the block, but I watched to make sure he didn't double back.

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#8 of 13 Old 01-23-2009, 08:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1.) she moved away from them both, 3.) she did not keep her son in her sight.
I noticed that as well. I make a point to keep my children within reach and at least within sight when we're out. I've tried to explain to dh the feeling when someone steps in between me and one of the kids. It's like I want to elbow them. Not nice, I know, but don't get between me and my child.

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#9 of 13 Old 01-24-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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Yeah I'm also very careful to keep them in my sight. I know I'm probably a little crazy about that, and honestly it probably limits our lives to a small extent, but oh well.

Trying to not worry about being polite at my own expense is the story of my life, and I found it (ironically, maybe, since he's male) very validating to hear a male safety expert acknowledge that and basically say that it was OK to just be rude (or in some cases, merely not accommodating) if I was concerned. Even though I had thought about it, I liked how he summed it up that women are expected to be ready and willing to listen to men at all times. It also helped to hear him point out that you aren't going to turn a man violent. They might get nasty, but it's not going to cause them to hurt you the way being nicey nice to someone who creeps you out can.

I also found those tips so very helpful. Some I remembered, and a couple I had completely forgotten. They are good to know.
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#10 of 13 Old 01-25-2009, 12:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Maggirayne View Post
I would like to say sometimes that wild brain doesn't kick all the way in when you're tired. The other night I was out late-ish 8pm w/my daughter at a wrap class. I left letting her walk and hold my hand (wiggly kid/me tired/icy sidewalks). The car was halfway down a half-lit street. I was looking around, and saw a man cutting across the school parking lot. I thought of the book and the guy following Kate, and didn't act in a hurry, but watched. I was trying to think ahead, but seriously, my brain was saying I had to get her in her carseat so she'd be safe. Later, I realized, I could have held her in my lap and driven even a couple blocks away from the guy to buckle her in, or closed the door behind me, she's in the middle in the backseat and locked the doors. Duh. my brain just focused on getting her in the carseat. And she wasn't cooperative. Fortunately, the guy went on down the block, but I watched to make sure he didn't double back.
Perhaps you subconsciously knew that you weren't in any real danger, so your wild brain hadn't really kicked in. I bet if that guy was getting closer, you would have known to just throw her in the front seat and drive to a safe location.
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#11 of 13 Old 02-01-2009, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#12 of 13 Old 02-12-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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What stood out to you in chapter four? How did the man get Jess away from his mother? Why do you think he was able to trick her that way?

I think as he started engaging Jess in conversation, she wasn't paying attention to where they were until it was too late. It is so helpful how he has us recognize the ways a predator who is persuasive tries to get his victims; all those survival signals and how we should say what we think like "you've got to be kidding."

On page 68, DeBecker says "explicitness applied by women in this culture has a terrible reputation. A woman who is clear and precise is viewed as cold, or a bitch, or both." How have you seen that played out in your life?

I have definitely seen this..I think it starts at an early age...girls are taught to look pretty and act a certain way to attract boys..and I see it already in elementary school!!! Not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to look nice and have a boyfriend but the whole I am nothing without a man crap where all little girls have to not act too smart or the boys won't like them or don't say you like that because the boys won't think you're feminine and it stays with us over the years..I remember things like pretending I liked certain things to attract boys and it's like girls are afraid to be their own people, they all have to look like Britney Spears and talk in that annoying snob voice and then as we grow we must have a man, even if he treats us bad and we dont want any man to think we are a bitch even risking our lives. I think feminine needs to change..my new feminine role model is Jillian Michaels..pretty but STRONG.
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#13 of 13 Old 02-18-2009, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for joining us, Dr Worm.

I just posted the thread for ch 6, so that'll be up when it gets through a mod.

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