Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yes but, WHY was it wrong?

(Looks like this link has been killed. There is a video of the attack at the link below.)

By now I'm sure you've seen this story about the Cleveland bus driver that uppercut a woman on his bus. Am I the only one that noticed that some of the very same women that were cheering for the woman while she was talking smack and attacking the bus driver then turned around and started crying "but that's a woman!" after she got hit back?

That's what I want to talk about.

First off I'm not trying to argue that the bus driver should not have been suspended. I'll be the first to agree that he was wrong for STRIKING BACK against someone that attacked first. I put that in bold letters for the folks that will invariably try to turn this into some, "this shows that violence against women is okay" angle.

She attacked him first plain and simple. Sure you can argue that he shouldn't have struck back but let me ask you something.

Exactly WHY was it wrong for him to strike her back?

I'm asking this question because the fact that she struck first seems to be getting left out of the outrage. I mean look at the very headline of the link I gave above, "RTA bus driver suspended after video surfaces of him uppercutting female bus passenger".

Now if you want to argue from a generic, "Violence is wrong" perspective then I can respect that because ideally there would be no violence against anyone and no matter which two people you put in that situation it would be seen as wrong. And I also hope that someone who believes this would recognize that by the virtue of violence being wrong the woman that attacked first was also wrong.

But I don't think that is the reason that people are outraging over what he did. No I think they are upset and
calling him wrong for hitting a woman specifically.

I know I'm not the only guy in existence that was taught that under no circumstances should I ever hit a girl/woman. Now there is something useful there as it relates to the generic, "violence is wrong" standpoint. However it goes beyond that. The idea that as a guy I should never hit a woman/girl is a sexist notion in two respects.

First and foremost it locks guys under a condition that simply being a guy means that hitting a woman/girl is wrong not because violence is wrong but specifically violence against girls/women is wrong, no matter the reason. Whip on guys all we want but touch a woman and suddenly we're wrong.

Second it doesn't do a lot of favors for girls and women because it treats some of the the violence they commit against men as something that should not be taken seriously.

Well by not taking the violence that women/girls commit against guys seriously you give rise to the other, unspoken, side of "men/boys should never hit girls/women".

Girls and women are free to hit boys and men free of consequence.

Now you're probably thinking something to the effect of reaching for male against female violence stats and try to prove that women and girls are not able to hit boys and men free of consequence. No it doesn't prove that it only proves that not all girls and women enjoy this privilege and that that there are other "truths" at the intersection of violence and gender. Don't believe me? Take a look at how female against male violence is treated.

But anyway back to this incident.

People aren't mad because the bus driver got violent. No they are made that the male bus driver got violent against a woman. Why are they mad about that? Would they be just as mad if the unruly passenger had been a man?

Now this is not to say that there was no entertainment value taken from the fact that this man hit a woman. There sure was. But I also bet that some of that entertainment value came from a woman thinking that she could get physical with a man and get away with it and learning the hard way she couldn't.

And let's face it if he had not hit her back this video would be posted as evidence of how that bus driver got put in his place by a woman and there would be "girl power chanting" and "you go girl" cheers all over the place. But she learned the hard way that that bus driver doesn't roll that way.

So for all the people that want to get all "why is violence against women seen as okay for funny" I have to ask.

Where was your concern and outrage when she was the one that got physical first?