First, take a look at this video of Michele Bachmann discussing her little debate with Democrat Arlen Specter, and keep a count of the things that she does that strike you as admirable.
What do we learn from this video?
My biggest problem in trying to get along with SOME women is the fact that I feel enormous pressure to only say things that women agree with. They only want to hear compliments, never criticisms. But I don’t like that – I want the freedom to be myself and to say whatever I want.
In a recent post that I was talking about William Lane Craig’s advice on how to have a happy marriage. He recommended that couples learn how to argue properly. And I think in that video we learn several tips on how to argue properly.
Here are some questions to ask about this video:
- Does Michele feel offended or victimized during the debate?
- Does Michele lose her temper during the debate?
- Does Michele make gender an issue during the debate?
- Does Michele focus more on arguments/evidence or feelings/motives?
- Does Michele accept apologies and try to move on?
For me, a fun thing to do with a woman is to get into a good argument without having to censor myself. This happened to me recently where I was getting into some very long debates with a woman I really liked and the more I was able to be myself and have her not censor me, the more I just wanted to grab her and hug her. It became a really powerful feeling that I had a LOT of trouble resisting.
I distinctly remember at one point we were having a real scrap and I was pleading with her every hour to see whether she was feeling OK with the degree of sustained disagreement that we were engaging in, and I’ll never ever forget what she said. She said that she was fine, but that she was willing to stop if I needed a break. We had been debating a bunch of things for about three hours. (a typical date)
The experience of being myself and being accepted is so different than what I hear other men saying about women that it really makes me sad. It turns out that men lie a lot to women in relationships – telling them what they want to hear and hiding their real views in order to get sex. I just think this is demeaning to women and men. A much better idea is to argue it out with her and treat her as an equal.
And that doesn’t mean that there is no place for feelings. I remember one day this woman tried to clobber me on some obscure point of theology and she took a very adversarial tack. And I was surprised that I just felt wounded and attacked, so I asked her to adjust her approach, and she did. So I do think that there is a time for talking about feelings, but not to use them as an argument.
I think that when a person is hurt (male or female), the thing to do is to get the other person a gift, and have them sit down with the gift and then you explain to them that you love them and that something they said or did hurt you and explain how it made you feel. But I don’t think that hurt feelings should be used as a substitute for an argument in a debate. Debates should be about truth, not who “wins”.
So the main point I am trying to make is that the way that a woman approaches debates can actually be a powerful way of getting a man to really like her. The experience of being able to be yourself with a woman and to express your views in a heated discussion without getting attacked or censored by her is exciting and addictive. It makes a man like a woman because he feels that she understands him.
There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.
- Winston Churchill
Women have the capacity to make a man like them without having to resort to sex. One last point – I also think that the experience of leading another person to try something new that’s morally good or serves God’s interests can also be a bonding experience.
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