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That Bitch: Protect Yourself Against Women With Malicious Intent Paperback – September 27, 2007
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Nominated 'Book of the week' - week commencing 22nd October 2007. --Menstuff.org
About the Author
Mary T Cleary is a former nurse who, after witnessing countless examples of men being admitted to A&E with horrific injuries came to realize that the injuries were sustained following unprovoked attacks by their intimate partners. In 1997 she founded, and has since run a charity (Amen in Ireland) for male victims of domestic violence - just one of the many forms of abuse covered in this book. Roy Sheppard is a former BBC national TV and radio reporter in England. He anchored the early evening news in London for many years. He has inerviewed countless celebrities and world leaders. More recently FW de Klerk who was awarded the Nobel Prize (with Nelson Mandela) for bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa. As well as former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Canadian Premier M Cretien. He has been a visiting lecturer at Cranfield School of Management (a leading UK business school) and specializes in chairing extended, highly complex panel discussions at conferences around the world.
Top customer reviews
I couldn't find any books that bore solely on work/volunteer relationships, so this book was the next best thing.
The book is primarily for men in abusive, domestic relationships, although there is a brief section on abusive women in non-romantic relationships. I found the book was enlightening in a few ways. First, it showed me how society reacts to the man who has physical evidence he has been abused (disbelief, amusement in his apparent lack of manhood); and the tendency for agencies and even the legal system is to side with the women. This part resonated with me given the experience I share at the end of this review..
I recognize women have been victims far too much in the past, but this book alerted me to the tactics of abusive women, who capitalize on society's sympathies toward women, often concocting stories against men, and reporting them to people in authority, in order to get what they want. I wasn't aware of the legal risks that men face at the hands of abusive women given society's willingness to pin blame on men, as well as the frustrations men have experienced when women truly abuse them physically. There are stories of women who have stabbed men, threatened to kill them in their sleep, etcetera. I also learned how men too, feel trapped to stay in abusive relationships given fear of the safety of their children, so they stay in the relationship. or hide their abusive partners' violence.
Second, the book showed me how to protect oneself from abusive women -- primarily by documenting what the abusive woman has done, documenting the presence of witnesses, providing evidence, and how to approach authorities about abusive behavior. For example, the author advocates keeping a handwritten journal that describes abusive situations -- not an electronic one which is harder to prove dates of incidents. The author also advocates asking questions of authorities, rather than trying to pin blame on the women. For example, instead of claiming abuse, talk to the police about what has happened to you, and ask how you might protect yourself given your circumstances. Get the message out in the context of seeking advice.
Also revelatory for me is why women target certain kinds of people. The author lists personality characteristics of people who are often targets of abuse, and how to recognize when such abuse is forming. I was surprised that many admirable traits -- such as agreeableness, kindness, sensitivity, often make people targets for abuse from women.
The most useful section was how to talk to an abusive female. The book is rich with questions to ask, attitudes to adopt, how to assert yourself, and of course, how to brace yourself for the inevitable aftermath of standing up to an abusive, manipulative woman. One insight, for me, is to set groundrules for the conversation, and where possible, have an impartial witness present This occurred to me as I read the book -- provided you know the woman is an abuser. This tends to soften the tactics of the manipulative woman, as the author indicates abusive women will sometimes avoid displaying abuse in the presence of others..
I want to say that in spite of what I have written here, I have had many positive experiences working with women in the workplace, and in volunteer contexts. I would also say, with confidence, that the females I have reported in both contexts have normally been better managers than most of the men. However, I have had four very startling experiences where women have behaved in highly manipulative, vindictive, and sometimes dishonest ways when we have disagreed about the best way to accomplish something -- all in volunteer contexts. Apparently, the personal stakes of misbehaving are less dire to the vindictive person in a volunteer context -- their livelihood isn't at stake if they are reprimanded.
I am glad I purchased this book, and will re-read the section on how to talk to an abusive person. I believe the advice is also useful when talking to abusive women and perhaps even argumentative teenagers, although with adaptation for the latter.. I do wish the examples were not so extreme, and more focused on the workplace or non-romantic situations.
Typical experience: I worked with a woman in a church who, after I indicated I would not be granting one of her requests, refused to answer my questions or talk further on the phone -- while keeping the call open. This went on for some time as I tried to engage her in further conversation about her concern. She refused to talk although she stayed on the line -- I could hear noise in the background.
Finally I said I didn't see the point in staying on the line if she was simply going to be silent -- in fact, I didn't even know if she was still there. I hung up the phone. Later, I was reprimanded by the person I reported to, for rudely hanging up on the woman after she made her request. Further, the person I reported to wouldn't believe what happened when I told them. I was floored at such dishonest and manipulative behavior, as well as the reaction of the men to whom she reported the fabricated story.