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Fighting judge frames on what it means to be a man: a video example

First of all, look at this brief scene from Training Day:

Denzel: You put her in the backseat and bam! Cold X!
Ethan: (looks away, nervous) Man, I got a wife
Denzel: You got a dick. (looks at him as if to say "what the fuck are you talking about, are you stupid or what) You do have a dick don't you?

Denzel here is acting as a judge, claiming moral authority over Ethan.
His words and nonverbal show this frame here:

Real men fuck.
Whether you got a wife or not, if you don't fuck, you're a fag.

With his passive reaction, Ethan remains stuck in that frame, and ends up being negatively judged and branded as "not good enough".

Ethan's status has sunk in just a few seconds.

The Judge Frame

If you've gone through Power University, you know that judge frames are some of the most powerful frames one can use because they go at the core of morals and values.

And if you don't comply to that frame, you are "not good enough" in some fundamental ways.

If you are not aware of that game, it can lead to some very toxic reactions, including seeking the judge's approval, changing your behavior to please the judge, and internalizing the judge's frame and your unworthiness, which destroys your self-esteem.

What Could Have Ethan Done

A good countermove here would have been to counter judge frame with another judge frame.

Ethan was in a strong position, and he could have turned into an even more powerful frame.
He nly had to tap into his personal choice, link to his different system of values, and back it up with nonverbals.

Something like this:

Denzel: You put her in the backseat and bam! Cold X!
Ethan: (smiles, appreciates the humorous attitude at first) Nah man, I got a wife
Denzel: You got a dick. You do have a dick don't you?
Ethan: (shakes his head, shows nonverbally that he's not accepting that frame) It doens't work like that man. I'm the kind of man who once he gives his word, he sticks to it. I like men who keep their words (looks at him straight in the eyes)

The character Denzel plays in the movie wouldn't have rolled over.
Higher in seniority and higher in power, he would have probably sought a comeback, or made a joke about it.

Maybe something like:

Denzel: Uuh, we got a priest here in the platoon

But no matter what Denzel replies, Ethan would have made his point: I'm not a pushover. I'm as much of a man as you are, if not more. And as much as you can judge me, I can judge you too.
1-1 in the social power arena.

And Denzel would have ultimately respected him more.


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KellvorachelJohn FreemanSocial_Strategist#1blueskymielsonwheals
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