No one around here is for hitting or brutalizing women, but there’s an enduring myth—that persists right up to the present—that you should never hit a woman. No matter what. As you can see from this PSA, this notion goes right up to the top: the President and Vice-President of the United States are saying it to your face. This isn’t a Democrat-Republican issue. This isn’t an Obama issue. This is a Western phenomenon, that long predates—and will long out-survive—this administration.
The problem is that this whole idea is predicated on several problematic assumptions. Among them are that:
1. Women never hit anyone, including men.
2. Hitting women is somehow worse than any other forms of unilateral violence (e.g., women hitting men, men hitting weaker men, or adults hitting children).
3. Women never provoke men, with inflammatory actions that—while not violence per se—are designed to elicit a reaction, humiliate them, or destroy their possessions (e.g., smash their car).
4. Hitting a woman immediately renders all of the prior circumstances irrelevant.
5. Mutual fights between women and men are impossible.
Real “domestic violence” (what I’d broadly define as uneven, unilateral forms of violence—bullying, essentially—between people in certain types of relationships) is a serious matter—one that should be legislated and punished. But, when you create an across-the-board, over-simplified rule that you should “never hit a woman,” you basically reduce domestic violence to only unprovoked, male-to-female violence. Plus, it feeds an existing culture that grants women virtual carte blanche to act however they want—including hitting men—with little fear of serious legal, physical, or social consequences.
If she hits him, he must have done something wrong. If he hits her back, he’s abusive. In this calculus, men always turn out in the wrong. Meanwhile, a man will receive all three consequences—in spades—if he merely responds with the same exact level of violence. He’ll likely get his-ass stomped by white knights. The cops will arrest him. And, people who learn of “his actions” will shame him.
Despite the countless problems with this appalling state of affairs, I’d say a majority of men, in my social circle at least, know how to handle a situation when a woman becomes violent at a bar, at home, or on the street–pushing him, getting in his face, punching him, or dumping a drink on him. They walk away, tell the bouncer, or restrain the woman until she calms down. He’s expected to–and must–display the patience, restraint, and physical resilience of a saint.
But more importantly, what kind of women do you create as a society when you take the now-anachronistic notion (thanks to feminism) that women are in need of special protection to its logical extreme, selectively keeping that in place while removing other so-called out-dated notions of gender?
Comedian Bill Burr put it funniest, but here’s what it looks like in action.
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