Worried because I've delayed writing this post for about a year and a half.
Worried because I know most people out there won't agree with what I'm about to say.
But before you jump to conclusions, let me explain why I hate the phrase "You should never hit a woman".
Let me tell you a story.
During my final year at university, I was hanging out with some friends at a park. One of my friends was teasing another friend, a girl. Eventually, she decided he had gone too far. So, she punched him in the face. The next day, he had a black eye. Everyone laughed.
Now, what's funny about all this is that if it had been the other way around, no one would have laughed. Everybody would have turned on the guy who hit the girl. Would have been appalled at his behavior. Distanced themselves from him. Maybe even attacked him themselves.
Skeptical? Watch the video below.
When it comes to guys hitting girls, I know the status quo is. I understand where it comes from. But that doesn't mean I agree with it. Nor should you. Especially if you're a guy. But talk to most guys and they'll all be too quick to bow before it. Like a good soldier just following orders. Whatever they may be.
However, the ugly truth is that it doesn't make any sense. Think about your gut reaction when you hear of, or see a man being slapped by a woman. You either think it's funny, wonder what the guy did to deserve it, or have no response at all. But a woman can never deserve to be hit, it's unmanly.
There are 3 reasons why I find all of this kind of funny:
1. The Pop Culture Effect
Perception controls everything. And when you over emphasize that "You Should Never Hit A Woman", the reverse, men being hit by women loses importance. Think about some of the shows you watch, there's bound to be a scene somewhere where a woman slaps a man. I've been watching a lot of Revolution and The Originals lately and there are certainly some fine slaps been dished out left, right and center.
The problem is, when such behavior becomes a natural part of our TV experience, it makes it harder to separate it from day to day life. You could argue that seeing a man being slapped on TV has become normal. But if you saw a man give a woman, an uppercut to the jaw, eyebrows would be raised. That's not to say this encourages women to slap men, but it doesn't exactly discourage them either.
2. False Equality
You could call me a feminist. Or you could say I reject male chauvinism. I'm not interested in having thoughts as outdated as dinosaurs. Either way, I think it's fundamentally difficult to separate how you treat someone, from how you view them. If men don't think women are their equals, they won't treat them as such. This may be a stretch, but I believe the gut reaction to men hitting women relates to this.
If a man goes out of his way to annoy another man, by calling him names, insulting his mother, or something similar, and the man being insulted resorts to violence, a lot of people would call that justified. It would be stupid NOT to expect that reaction. But society has conditioned us not to treat women in the same way, not to treat them in the same way we would treat other men, even our closest friends if they pushed us too far.
Watch this distressing video and analyze your reaction to get my point.
3. The Phrase Itself
If you think I'm condoning men hitting women, you are truly mistaken. I'm a pacifist. I hate the phrase "You Should Never Hit A Woman", not the fact that men don't go around handing out left and right hooks all day like candy on Halloween. I hate it because of all the reasons mentioned above. Because logically, it should read "People Shouldn't Hit People".
I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not a fan of it being okay for people to hit each other. And although the lion's share of physical violence might be dominated by one sex over another, clearly the best thing to do is to encourage no violence towards each other at all. Sure, it's a tough pill to swallow, but you're not supposed to like your medicine, it's supposed to get the job done.
What do you think?