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Stop Telling Women to Take the High Road

Written By: Lauren Howard

Stop telling women to take the high road.


Whoever did the thing didn’t take the high road.

I understand your point. You think you’re telling them that they have something to preserve by not getting in the mud with crummy people.

It’s not that you’re wrong about that, but the functional implications of that idea are not what you think.

What you’re also saying is, “You are responsible for the emotional labor of enabling that behavior. That person isn’t responsible for their actions, but because they’re not worth the energy, you’re responsible for shouldering the burden of their actions, internalizing what has happened and ignoring it.”

You’re taking the onus off the person who did the thing and giving it to the person who now has to live with the thing, whatever it is.

That’s not to say that every troll deserves an internet response or that you have to respond with anger or aggression every time.

But being better means doing work that the other party was not willing to do, and that is emotional labor. You're asking them to do work that will likely not hold the person accountable or get them a resolution beyond ignoring the worst.

We don't need to be above it. We need to get through it and heal from it. There's a difference.


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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