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The Adolescent Art
Passive-Aggressive Intimidation: Who, How and Why
© 2012 James LaFond
Yesterday, Wednesday, July 18th, at 12:21 P.M. I boarded the #55 from Towson over in Loch Raven Village. The bus was half full, with one person taking up one of each double seat. I noticed that, as usual, most people visibility did not want anyone sitting next to them. The yos and hos sprawled across multiple seats and some very ugly mean looking women made certain to pile belonging next to them. Now, in civilized cities like New York, this behavior earns a bus patron a ticket. In Baltimore, there are no transit personnel other then the driver. This driver is now shut in behind a plastic shield against attack, surrounded with cameras and posted warnings against attacking the driver.
In such a situation I must choose to be intimidated or choose to challenge. I do not challenge women, as I still harbor sentiments about them being non-combatants. So I look for the most aggressive yo; a tattooed wannabe gangbanger with I-pod, ear plugs, muscle shirt, and weighing fifty pounds less then that required to actually stand a chance of defeating me in close quarters combat.
As I sit on his bent leg he pulls it in violently and smacks his lips in disgust. I laugh and start loosening my shoulders in case I need to throw some elbows.
The seat in front of us empties and I don’t take it. He smacks his lips again.
The seat next to us empties and I don’t take it. He shakes his head and twists in his seat.
The seat behind us empties and I don’t take it. He smacks his lips and motions that he wants to get up. I step back to let him out and make him squeeze by me to take the rumble seat in the back. He smacks his lips in disgust and I laugh out loud.
He wanted me to get verbally aggressive with him so that he could gather a click from among the other violent youth on the back of the bus. I didn’t play his game and he had no functional testicles, so nothing happened.
Now, the day before yesterday, on the other side of Baltimore County, a white yo did the same thing. When I proceeded to sit on his feet, he yanked them out of the way and then apologized. You see, he was alone. He did not have a busload of potential comrades-in-arms and/or witnesses to my aggression.
Back on Saturday I was walking down a sidewalk as three yos approached in muscle shirts, pre-torn pants riding down around their knees, slouch-walking in apparent anger. They were spreading out and winging their elbows to drive a white woman off the sidewalk. I walked up next to her and stepped out in front of them, forcing them to fight or go around. They went around. However, the terrified white women apologized to them. Taking heart from this they circled back around and came towards us.
I shook out my shoulders and started flexing my feet so that I wouldn’t shred my old worn-out ankles when I pivoted. I began visualizing an elbow, and promised myself that the first yo who hit the ground would take a leaping two-footed stomp to the head. I wondered absently if this would trash my ankles. This got me excited, so I started flaring my nostrils to get as much oxygen as I could into my increasingly inadequate lungs. At the last moment they veered around the lady’s car and went on their way, flexing muscles and chanting about ‘hos and bitches’ and other laudable values. I helped the lady with her groceries and told her that apologizing to yos was tantamount to begging for violence.
Who Does Not Engage in Passive Aggressive Intimidation?
Men, children, white women and the elderly do not engage in this behavior. This says a lot. The men occupy the top of the aggression food chain, while the terrified hunched-over white women, innocent children and feeble elderly are at the bottom. Based on this profile of the non-perpetrators it is clear to see the motivation behind the behavior on the parts of the perpetrators.
The profile that emerges is of an insecure person in the middle of the food chain who harbors latent feelings of aggression. This type of person is ultimately very dangerous if they do succeed in attacking, because they will only attack as a member of a group, or with the group’s support, which would put a male defender in legal liability. It also points to the offenders.
Who Engages in Passive-Aggressive Intimidation?
Youths of both genders and all races, and black women, engage in this behavior. About one third of black women demonstrate passive-aggressive behavior in mass transit situations, whereas most youths do. However, passive-aggressive black women are more likely to attack and more likely to be successful. These situations sometimes escalate. All aggressions against bus drivers are committed by groups of youths, groups of black women, and lone black women. This is essentially low grade aggression that posses primarily a legal liability to healthy adult male passengers who might be forced to defend themselves.
I choose to challenge rather than to be intimidated. The hos and women leave an out for a man, as he can pretend to be acting chivalrously. The yos leave no choice. You challenge their dominance or you bow your head in defeat.
I suggest you choose the lesser of the two evils which best suits you at the time.
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