Road Rage as a Learning Moment

Road rage in Massachusetts is out of control, as I imagine it is in a lot of other states throughout the U.S.  Earlier, I was driving down a main thoroughfare when a burly white guy from off a side street pushed his car into oncoming traffic, in front of me, to my left.  I shook my head at him as I drove on by.  Shortly, he sped up from behind, turned into a store parking lot (to my right) and barreled along there while making it a point to flip me the bird– instead of watch where he was going.

Toxic masculinity is a real thing, be it on the road or anywhere else.  This problematic phenomenon admittedly irritates me when I’m faced with it head on.  It’s all such an obnoxious exhibition of childish entitlement, lack of empathy, and poor sense of boundaries.  Very un-evolved.  Breathe and enter a peaceful place, I try to remind myself, time and again.  This behavior from some men is troublesome and, ultimately, rather sad.  Toxic masculine men deeply challenge my human compassion capacity.  Therein lays the reason why they continue to be teachers of sorts for me.  Live and learn, then wake up another day to keep living and learning, while also taking no shit.

11 thoughts on “Road Rage as a Learning Moment

  1. I absolutely love that last line. I notice a lot of women have severe boundary issues and will stop at nothing to get their way. It sets up a toxic environment when this behavior is acted out in the place you live. I have been doing my share of breathing exercises today, What a waste of energy it all is. Speaking of the acting out, not the breathing. Thanks for sharing this today especially. I seem to be at my limit for tolerating BS.

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  2. I, too, am tried by and oh-so-tired of all toxic masculinity (and femininity), most especially when it endangers others physically, such as with driving. Yikes I recall being down near the Boston Common a while back when a raging man exited his car at a stoplight and came to mine to bang his fists on the windows and scream obscenities. I have no clue what I did to set him off. It was terrifying, but also so very sad that he lacked any control over himself. I’m glad for you that your experience offered another teaching moment, but so sorry it happened at all. I grew up with a driver full of road-rage and so witnessed that flavor of toxic masculinity burst forth a bazillion times. It’s definitely a part hijacking because the same person was also the highly responsible driver who taught me defensive driving. People are so complicated. My penny opinion is that road rage (and most toxic masculinity and/or femininity for that matter) comes out of a primal fear that one’s power will be taken away.

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    1. So sorry that happened to you with that raging driver, and that you grew up with one as well. And, yes, I agree with your final point. I also think it’s about people who don’t feel particularly empowered in the first place, so whatever little sense of power they do have will be, as you say, taken away.

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      1. You hit the nail on the head when you talk about people who don’t feel particularly empowered in the first place. I am well aware of this part of them that needs to stay in control and thus, empowered. It is just so hard to not fall into their toxic way of gaining empowerment (that getting back at behavior) and being able to maintain some semblance of truly caring about another human being without giving up on humankind altogether. In many ways, that lack of empowerment in myself is the very reason I put up with this kind of behavior at all (give them an excuse). Sometimes, it just leads to isolation and a sense of melancholy that leads to an existential depression I was saddled with shortly after birth. Wow, looks like I may need to do some work on this one.

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    2. I totally agree with your comment about primal fear. Their need to act it out in such a dangerous way is just so scary. By disempowering all of us in one swift second, they regain the power they lost possibly for just one moment in time that is so etched in their system. Thanks for sharing, Jazz.

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