Calling a Black woman “aggressive” in corporate settings is a form of gaslighting.
A contributor in the workplace has two choices, to be aggressive or to be meek.
Aggressive: ready or likely to attack or confront; characterized by or resulting from aggression or pursuing one's aims and interests forcefully, sometimes unduly so.
Meek: quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.
Gaslighting: manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity.
Aggressive is an adjective, “a word or phrase naming an attribute, added to or grammatically related to a noun to modify or describe it”.
In order to be aggressive, one must have “aggression” (noun).
Aggression is defined as “the action or an act of attacking without provocation”,
Aggression is the act of attacking without provocation. To be aggressive means that you are likely to attack or confront; characterized by or resulting from aggression, aggression being defined as attacking without provocation.
Calling a black woman “aggressive” assumes that the black woman is acting without provocation; “action or speech that makes someone annoyed or angry, especially deliberately”.
If at any time you are responding from a space of annoyance, anger or someone’s deliberate attempts to annoy or anger you, then no you are not “aggressive”.
A person who is aggressive is ready or likely to attack or confront for no reason at all.
Calling women who respond to aggravation, annoyance, disrespect or deliberate attempts to discredit them “aggressive” is a form of gaslighting.
You have every right to be aggressive and it is in fact appropriate to be aggressive at appropriate times.
When someone calls a black women aggressive what they are really saying is “you should submit”, “it should not be this hard to impose upon you”, calling a black woman aggressive is an attempt to put her in her place.
It is the very suggestion that a black woman should not object, ask questions, defend their thoughts, ideas or positions.
Black woman are constantly being classified as aggressive, because their critics lack competence, basic vocabulary and comprehension.
In most situations a black woman labeled as the “aggressive black woman”, is not aggressive at all.
In most situations these are woman who are demonstrating “passion”; strong and barely controllable emotion.
To suggest that a professional should not be passionate about their work, their thoughts, ideas or contributions is a notation that encourages mediocrity, surface level exchanges and work with which they are not attached.
755,701 jobs on Indeed are seeking individuals that are “passionate”
54,466 jobs require contributors to work in environments described as “aggressive”
In fact being passionate & aggressive are the very attributes that have made companies like ALLSTATE & Home Depot multi billion dollar companies.
Only one position on Indeed contained “meek” and that’s because it was in the companies name.
Being meek or criticizing black women who are passionate, aggressive or misclassified as aggressive is requesting that we withdraw from any role that would pay above $65K, that we should only be in customer service or support level roles.
It suggests that we should omit a seemingly highly desirable & profitable skill set and reduce ourselves to roles where we can be imposed upon where we will easily submit and be taken advantage of.
When Black Woman are called “aggressive” in professional or corporate settings what is really being said is that “we cannot impose upon” or “take advantage” of you. It is almost always said in a derogatory tone and as an attempt to humble or suggest that the characteristic of being aggressive is negative and undesirable.
Some of the most successful contributors to modern and historic society have been aggressive or possessing the qualities of aggression, been passionate and have performed well under adversity which requires aggression.
You are not “aggressive” when you are responding to a stimulant that requires passion or an aggressive response.