Friday, March 18, 2011

When is it okay for a woman to hit a man? (by anon)

I ran across an article written by Valerie Curnow titled: “Domestic Violence Debate: It’s Not Wrong for Women to Hit Men.” Here’s the link to the article:

Obviously, I had to respond:

Feminism and the Civil Rights Movement made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on gender, race, etc. It was no longer OK to say, “She can’t do this job because she’s a woman.” It was no longer OK to say, “He can’t live in this apartment building because he’s black.” So, to discriminate in a matter of physical abuse based on someone’s gender is anti-feminist.

The writer claims the biology of the woman makes her weaker and therefore not able to hurt a man in the types of physical abuse she describes. Although her actions are criminal, her biology gives her a free pass. However, if we apply this biology principle to other situations, I think we’d see a different point-of-view from the feminists who buy into the physical abuse double standard. What if we apply the biology principle to pregnancy? What if I were to say a man can’t get pregnant, so he shouldn’t be held responsible for the pregnancy of a woman? It’s not in his biology. Just as it’s not a woman’s responsibility for how she slaps her man, it’s not the man’s responsibility for how he impregnated his woman. The woman doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of her actions as long as the man doesn’t have to suffer the consequences of his actions.

Of course the feminists will say when a man enters into a sexual relationship with a woman (no matter how long it lasts…years or seconds), it’s his responsibility to be aware of the consequences that could take place. And because he’s a willing participant in this sexual relationship, he signs a sort of social contract to help the woman in whatever way she (or the courts) requires him. However, would feminists agree that a woman willingly enters into a physically abusive relationship with a man if she hits him? Because she does. Once someone brings physical abuse into the relationship, it is no longer a healthy relationship. So, if it is right for a man to assume responsibility for the consequences of the type of relationship he enters into, wouldn’t it be right for a woman to also assume responsibility for such consequences (his ridicule from friends, emotional stress, etc.)? So, if a woman hits a man and knowingly creates a physically abusive relationship, we should hold her responsible for any beatings she may take in this physically abusive relationship. Does this seem right?

I’ve never hit a woman, and I’m a man. I’ve gotten plenty mad at certain women before, but I’ve never hit one. I have something called self-control. I understand I must solve my problems in other ways. They teach this to kids in pre-school; it’s called using your words. When I get angry, I don’t throw fists at people. Rather, I assess the situation and think of something to say in order to begin a dialogue in which the problem can be solved. When someone in a relationship hits another, it’s about control. When a man hits a woman, he’s physically controlling her. But when a woman hits a man, she’s emotionally controlling him. Physical abuse shouldn’t be judged by the degree to which someone physically hurt another.

Allowing for a double standard in physical abuse leads to the creation of a dangerous slippery slope. What could come next? A woman’s verbal abuse against her man isn’t taken as seriously because he used the word “cunt,” which is infinitely worse than anything she could have called him? A black person can’t verbally abuse anyone of another race because they have the power to call the black person “nigger,” which is more powerful and hurtful? These situations are ridiculous, but so is the physical abuse double standard.

What pisses me off more than any of this is that I even have to write this article. Why is anyone using physical abuse at all? Why can’t we just respect each other? Respect is generated from equality, that we see the other person as having the equal attributes that make us living, breathing, feeling human beings. Where can respect be seen in physically abusive relationships?


  1. Hi,

    Long time reader, first time commenter...

    I'm not sure why someone would go out of their way to write an article defending physical abuse from either gender. I totally agree that hitting has no place in a healthy relationship.

    I do have some qualms about this response however.

    I believe that violence is bad.
    *I believe that men hitting women is bad.
    *I believe that women hitting men is just as bad.

    I do not believe that women hitting men is ~less~ bad, but can men hitting women be ~more~ bad?

    I know that that is paradoxical, but does it make sense? It is always bad to use violence, especially against someone you love. I would never say that it is okay for women to use violence because they are physically weaker. The act of hitting, slapping, etc. is, in and of itself, bad. However, when one of the two people is physically stronger, the power dynamic is unbalanced. (I just asked my dad what he thought, and he said that with power comes responsibility).

    For example, let's say that the US bombs Denmark, and Denmark bombs us back. Bombing is always bad. There are no good bombings. But, in my opinion, the US is bigger and stronger, so its bombing of Denmark is more wrong. The US would be taking advantage of the imbalance of power. How is Denmark supposed to defend itself against the US?! Because the US has the most power, we also have the most responsibility.

    I’m not saying that women shouldn’t take responsibility for the physical violence they commit. Women do NOT get a free pass, and physical violence is never good. But picking on someone weaker than oneself is ~more~ wrong. It is universally understood that harming something defenseless (mockingbirds, unicorns, whatever :) ) is more of a sin than meeting a worthy nemesis on a level playing field.

    Thanks for this well written article!

  2. Does a slight push make a relationship abusive? It depends! Is it a part of a regular pattern? Or is it just some bull shit aberrant behavior? Maybe the husband took a peek at a girl's ass as she walked by and his wife pushed him. Who the fuck knows! Shit happens in a relationship. People do things that they later regret. Some people go and get mental help. Some couples stay together, some divorce.

    Next, I don't have a clue as to what constitutes a "healthy" relationship. To some extent, they are all fucked up. There is a lot of research out there that supports the notion that humans are not monogamous creatures. So two people together may be fucked up.

    Regarding violence, again, I avoid absolutes. It depends on the nature of the situation. For example, by law, you can send a motherfucker to see Jesus, Buddha, Allah, or some other bullshit celestial power if you feel your life is in danger. Democracy rest on the monopoly of legitimate state violence.

  3. In response to angelica:

    I think what the author of the article is trying to say is that the effects of physical abuse can't be measured solely by the amount of physical damage actually done to a person. There are other factors that play into it. In this way, physical abuse can be related to other types of abuse. I'd bet if I asked a woman who'd been beaten by her male significant other if the only pain she felt from being physically abused were the bruises, she'd tell me she also suffers some mental and emotional side effects as well.

    In response to Anonymous:

    All relationships have a power aspect to them, but there's a difference between legitimate power (and uses thereof) and illegitimate power. It's important to distinguish what gives someone legitimate power and what gives them illegitimate power. In this world, size and muscle doesn't give one legitimate power. (Nor does the illusion of you know.)

  4. This is the stupidest thing ive ever read and I hope u all dont have kids. If u do dont raise your son to be a punching bag

  5. Great articles.

    And LOL at the silly sexist double standards of the worthless feminazis