Let’s say you’re a man and walking down the street, a kid comes up to you and kicks you in the shin. Or, let’s say the child just shoves you. Now I understand that kids can be brats at times; my wife and I have two. But would you seriously ball your fist up and hit them in the same manner as you would another grown man whom you were fighting?
Now let me talk about me and my wife. I am 5’11” and 200 pounds. My wife is 5’0″ and etc. etc. pounds. We’ve been in a LOT of fights over the years. Now, aside from us having been married for more than 17 years, I cannot imagine a scenario (to include her coming at me with a weapon, depending on the circumstances) in which I would hit her in the same way as I would a man.
The reason for this is simple. It has nothing to do with thinking she is “weak,” that she is “lesser” of a person than me, or that I don’t see her as my equal. I lift weights. She doesn’t. I’m in a bit of better shape than she is just because I’m more of a fitness nut about it. So I am obviously physically stronger than my wife, just like I would be than that child who decided to shove me for whatever reason.
Because of this, for me to hit my wife would be MUCH different than if she were to hit or to shove me. Depending on where, a hit from her wouldn’t hurt nearly as much as a hit from me. Again…it’s not because of some macho mindset that “men are stronger than women” because not all of us are. It’s because of who my wife and I are. If I hit my wife as though I was hitting a man, with her being half my size, I could potentially kill her. Being different sizes means we are naturally at two different levels of physical strength. I could almost put a man of the same size in a similar situation and it would be nearly the same.
I was reading some comments on Twitter earlier in which a woman spoke about violence against women and they were met with responses from men to the tune of, “If women want equal rights, then they should be able to take a punch from a man” and “If a woman hits a man, then they should be hit back” and so on. You get the idea.
But it goes back to my example with the child. The kid is half or even a quarter of your size. For that child to be granted equal rights (which should not be up for discussion) doesn’t mean that we as grown men lose our ever-loving minds and hit them in the same way as we would hit other grown men. Especially when subduing the child would be relatively easy.
For me, it’s goes the same for women. We’re not neanderthals. We do have the ability to THINK rather than to just react with a “But she did it first” response.
Does this mean some women out there will not push the envelope? Of course they will. Some will come at you with weapons, spit on you and everything else. As usual, everything is case by case, but let’s face it; not every case of violence against women is that extreme. Let’s not play stupid here. There are MANY stories out there of women simply saying or doing things and being beaten by men because of it; no spitting or weapons involved at all.
There is no “If” women want equal rights. They deserve them. Period. And if you believe otherwise, you are wrong. In 20-almost-17, there’s no excuse for there to be such a fight for them to get it. Either way, the decision for women to “gain” equal rights does NOT rest solely on us being allowed to hit them like we would other men on the same level of physical strength as us. Who out there decided that equal rights for a woman means only that she should be able to take a punch from a man? Of all the areas in which women are still fighting for equal rights, and yet this is where it should be?
However, my purpose for writing this blog post goes deeper than that. As the title suggests, I don’t believe the acts of violence against women themselves is what bothers people…
…it’s when people speak up against it.
It’s like that with other cases as well. For some reason, I’ve noticed that people get more upset at those speaking up against stuff like this than those who commit the acts. Sort of like when kids are cutting up in school and another kid decides to snitch on the rest of them. The kids aren’t mad because of what they were doing, but only because someone said something about it. But here are a few more examples:
- People of color are put down all the time for speaking up against racism. Yet, Dylann Roof can shoot up a church, kill innocent black men and women and not a word is said by the same ones who berate people of color for speaking up against racism. Now these are the same people who don’t mind admitting that racism exists (not that we asked), but they still seem to get more up in arms about those who speak up against it than to denounce it themselves.
- President-Elect Donald Trump can blatantly admit to sexually assaulting women, saying things like “I just do it…I don’t even ask” and people put down the women for saying how wrong this is, to be followed by a ton of other tired excuses. Again…these people don’t have a problem admitting that sexual assault is a problem, but they seem to be more annoyed at the women who speak up about it than being upset that the problem exists in the first place. And no…I don’t care whether your “father said stuff like that too” or that you’re “a woman and you’ve said worse.” I think it’s pathetic coming from a woman as well, but that’s just me. Not to mention that a man running for president shouldn’t be held to the same standards as knuckleheads in a locker room.
- Many people put down those who report or speak up against bullying than those who commit the bullying acts themselves. Most I’ve noticed don’t avoid saying that bullying is wrong, but say that people should “just deal with it because we dealt with bullying too.” So apparently, the responsibility is more on the person being bullied than the bully.
I’m sure there are MANY other examples, but you get the idea. And here is what I think it boils down to.
I don’t believe that deep down, people are unaware that this stuff happens. But to acknowledge it makes them uncomfortable. So it’s best for some to just “let it be” and hope it goes away. Of course, people who speak up against it ruins that plan for them, which explains why they are MUCH more annoyed about that than the people who actually behave these ways.
But back to violence against women. I’ll be the first person to admit that this makes me VERY uncomfortable. But my goodness…what about the WOMEN THEMSELVES who have to experience this? How do you suppose it makes THEM feel? The hell with ME being uncomfortable. I think they’d feel they were in pretty good shape to just have to “talk” about it like we are, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
I don’t expect every man (and quite a few women as well) to think the way I do. But how come we’ve become so complacent that we’re more angry at people who speak up in wanting to STOP rape, sexual assaults and other violence against women than we are about those who actually commit those acts? As a man, it pisses me off to hear that another woman has been raped, assaulted, or has been involved in domestic violence. Within reason, but again…let’s not pretend that every woman who is ever involved with this is chasing their men around the house with butcher knives. Some men are just bullies and relish in the fact that they can easily overpower their women, but wouldn’t dare attempt the same with a man his own size. I don’t mince words. I’ve always been a “pick on someone your own size” kind of person anyway.
And please spare me the “But it happens to men, too.” Yes, it does. But this is the oldest copout in the book. Just the fact that “too” exists at the end of that statement means that the person saying it acknowledges that it does happen to women, but eh…that should take a back seat to the fraction of the times it happens to men.
To me, that’s the same as someone saying to me, “15 different kids in that elementary school have reported being bullied to their principal in the past month,” just for me to respond with, “YES, BUT I GET BULLIED AT WORK, TOO!!” Um…not saying it doesn’t happen or that it’s less important, but come on…it’s separate. Don’t take from the attention the bullied children deserve just because talking about them makes you uncomfortable.
With women, the numbers aren’t even close. And it doesn’t matter how many men “don’t report it” when it happens to them, because guess what? Not every woman reports it, either.
But the bottom line is that many people usually want to hide from problems when they’re not directly affected by them, and for anyone to speak up about these issues makes it difficult for them to do so. It’s the same reason I honestly believe that some people are okay with Mr. Trump. In their eyes, him being there, to certain people, means an increased likelihood that women and people of color are “silenced” or that their voices are nullified because that has clearly been his attitude as well on so many occasions.
But nope…not happening. That’s not even up for debate. Damn sure isn’t with me.
Anyway, I hate to finish this with “If it happens to your daughter…” because it shouldn’t take our innocent female loved ones to be dragged into this for us as men to care. But it seems that that’s about the only time many do. Men are so ready to “kick everyone’s asses” if it happens to our daughters, so obviously it IS wrong. So what makes it wrong when our daughters are involved? What exactly is the difference, other than relationship?
I know…life would be easy if these problems didn’t exist. But alas…they do. Oh, but if people just shut up about them, then things would be okay. Right? How dare they speak up and want to fix what’s wrong with this country?
Men, I know…when women are physically or sexually assaulted, it makes US look bad. And ladies, when women speak up against it, it makes some of you look or maybe feel “weak.” So why isn’t this even more of a reason to come after those who COMMIT the acts themselves?
A person sets fire to a house in your neighborhood. Someone comes along and wants to take the steps to put the fire out. Why the hell would you get mad at that person, but not the one who started the fire in the first place?