While trawling the internet I recently found a video, which clearly breaks down an issue on many people’s lips today. We’ve seen all the videos about how a man gets treated when he hits a woman compared to a woman hitting a man, and most of us, I am glad to say, have been downright outraged at the normalisation of domestic abuse against men. Most people on the street don’t intervene if they see a woman hit a man, even around the face. This video was clear and informative, and raises the issue of happy slapping in media which surrounds us today, and she asks why are we teaching our children that it is okay for a woman to hit a man? The simple answer to this question is that it is not okay. We shouldn’t live in a society where this double standard not only exists, but is perpetuated in popular culture.
Though I knew it was without a doubt a bad idea, I had a little peek at the comment section, and yet again YouTube commenters did not fail to disgust me. Youtuber ‘spoofer20′ comments :’My ex slapped me really hard (actually 2 times) because she got upset, I slapped her back and she cried and said “WHY DID YOU SLAP ME IM A GIRL!” I told her girl or boy I dont care, you slap me I slap you She didnt slap me a single time after that, easy problem to solve.’.
It disturbs me that a great video advocating kindness and encouraging us to use a little bit of humanity before we act is contaminated by these kind of thought processes.It worries me that some are using this video to encourage their own mutated form of gender equality, one which instead of focussing on improving our society for the betterment of both sexes instead focusses on a poisoned kind of equality which is detrimental to both. I was shocked to find so many were okay with this kind of comment, it received 92 up votes, and my question is why are we up voting domestic abuse? This comment reminded me of an argument I have heard used many times about feminism. Frequently when discussing feminism in the past I have been asked ‘So does this mean men get to hit women too now?’. The answer is absolutely not. A discussion about equality and equal rights should not be followed up by a violent threatening question such as this. It truly shocks me that this is what many people’s response is to a debate about gender equality. In what world does gender equality equate to violence?
I was going to discuss in this post how fundamentally men and women are different, we have different body masses, women bruise easier and that in my opinion the consequence is what is important rather than the incentive, which is why men shouldn’t retaliate when hit by a woman. But I have come to the realisation that this is besides the point. The larger question here is why instead of taking on the view promoted in this video that we shouldn’t hit a man or a woman, we instead discuss that abuse towards either gender is fine. Violence should be intolerable in any setting, there shouldn’t be any conditions. It shouldn’t be a matter of ‘she hit me first so I hit her back’, it shouldn’t be a question of gender or race, religion or any other variable you can think of. I left that video feeling sadly disillusioned. This is not what gender equality means, and I am glad I know this, but I fear that there will always be some individuals who suggest that equality means violence against all is acceptable. So lets battle (without throwing a punch) these dated ideologies and spread the word that gender equality does not equal violence.
Here’s Natalia Milano’s article on the normalisation of slapping men in the media, this makes for a really interesting read, and really made me think about why so many people think hitting men is normal.
If you liked this post, you might want to read a few of my thoughts on rape culture.