probably definitely will get a lot of vitriol for my title from members of both sexes but I do believe that if you take the time to read this you will ultimately agree with me.
I want to begin by saying that I was once one of those guys who would swear from heaven to earth that they would never hit a woman under any circumstance. This was mainly as a result of my Christian upbringing and the fact that the environment in which I was raised violence against women was generally shunned. While I don’t consider myself incorrect in having held these beliefs, I have grown up a little and now realize that I was backwards and relatively chauvinistic in my thinking. I don’t consider myself a feminist, I find it difficult to attach such a title to myself when my biology doesn’t quite match the criteria. That being said, I am supportive of the feminist cause and the empowerment of women in general. I draw my first point from this movement.
Let me being by stating that the phrase: “I would never hit a woman” is inherently a chauvinistic statement. After all, by delineating between gender in terms of who you can and cannot hit, you are automatically casting women into a lower “needs protection” category. You are implying that women are weaker than men and they cannot defend themselves. Obviously the first statement is generally true, the average woman is weaker than the average man. That is simply a biological fact. While this might seem to contradict the point I am making, I believe that it actually enhances it. After all, this fact deals in generalities and in life we deal with specifics. When you are put in a situation in which you would be in a position to hit a woman, you are not dealing with the statistical data that claims that women are weaker, but rather a flesh and blood woman who could either be weaker or substantially stronger than you. If I am put in a situation where an aggressive woman is attacking me and it is apparent that she is either stronger or more technically advanced in some martial art, I can not stand there and simply take the abuse while claiming that women are weaker than men. This would result in a rapid visit to the emergency room.
The next problem I have with this “I would never hit a woman” lies in the fact that it exemplifies how skewed our perception of genders and their relationship to trouble-making is in this country. The implication of this statement is that the man is the aggressor in the situation, because after all “women can’t be aggressors”. Even though social science shows that men are more likely to be the aggressors, this does not make women gentle lambs incapable of violent actions or perpetrating violence. I watched a video which really opened my eyes to how ingrained the notion that women are incapable of deviant behavior is in our society. Three actors were positioned in a public park clearly attempting to steal a bike. A white male. A black male. And an attractive white female (note that I said attractive as I feel this is relevant). As you might guess in the comparisons between the black and white male, the black male was stopped more often. Now the interesting part was that in situations involving the girl it seemed that most people simply either ignored her or tried to help, one guy going as far as to offer to get a saw to help her steal the bike. While this doesn’t relate to violence, it does relate to our view of women and deviant behavior. As a society we do not seem to believe that women are capable of deviant behavior. This is clearly inaccurate as there is plenty of evidence that women can be as violently deviant as men. This has been clearly shown in the source video of the Sharkeisha meme that has taken the internet by a storm. A girl like her would be very capable of attacking and potentially harming someone else. Would you stand there and allow yourself to be kicked in the face simply because she is a girl?
My last and most relevant point is drawn directly from my pacifist views. I personally do not believe in violence and have never actually been in a legitimate altercation in my life. The most violent action I have taken in my 20 years of living has been pushing a third grader after he pushed me, keep in mind I was also in third grade at the time. That being said, I love contact sports and I am an avid kick boxer because I do not believe that these actions are violent. My basic premise to violence is I will not attack you unless there is a extremely pressing problem that I cannot in any way, shape, or form, resolve without the need to resort to violent action. I will defend myself if attacked, as non violently as possible (holds and restraining moves) for as long as that is a tenable solution. I will defend my loved ones from attack. These basic three tenets are how I view the world of violence. You will note that this does not include the age, race, gender or any other information about the assailant. This is because those factors do not matter. If I believe that a 5 year old is putting my life or the lives of those I love in danger, I will hit that 5 year old. If I am attacked by a woman, or if a friend is attacked by a woman and I feel like they will come to harm if I do not intervene I will intervene.
In conclusion, my view of the world has expanded and I have realized that basing my beliefs on violence on faulty generalizations or proper sounding dogma is not my cup of tea. I now base my beliefs on violence strictly on a situation by situation basis which is as it should be. That being said, I do not condone spousal abuse. You will note that I did not say wife abuse, which is what the term spousal abuse has come to connotatively mean. Husbands, you do not have the right to beat your wives. It’s not scriptural and it is not justifiable. You are put together in a partnership and you should be capable of resolving your issue by discussion and not fist fights. The same goes for wives.
And that ladies and gentlemen is why when I am now asked the question “Would you ever hit a woman?”, my answer is yes. If I am in a situation when violence is absolutely necessary then I will hit whatever and whomever I have to hit.