Real People Don’t Hit People

Flickr / Mrs. Gemstone
Flickr / Mrs. Gemstone

For ages, it was believed that women are mentally and physically weaker than men. These beliefs led to the traditions of chivalry and courtship. Among those customs was born the notion that men should never even raise their hand against a woman.

The view that men should never EVER hit a woman still exists, even with the statistics showing that perpetrators of domestic violence are very often female. Fathers and mothers teach their sons that it is prohibited to strike a girl or woman, while women may even be encouraged to hit a man.

“He deserved it!”
“You go girl!”
“Girl power!”

You may have heard these phrases many times in your life from both men and women while they watch a woman slapping a man.

But men who have hit women—even in self-defense—are immediately frowned upon, humilitiated, and deemed unworthy to be men, despite of what may have happened in those incidents. Plain self-defense toward female perpeprators should be acceptable, but it’s not.

Growing up in an egalitarian home and being male, I was taught that physically hurting a person is never acceptable, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. I was warned that I’d be labeled as a misogynist the moment I’d strike back toward a woman. I’ve never hit someone because I’ve learned to tame my nerves. I know in my heart that violence is wrong, and as cliché at it sounds, it doesn’t solve anything.

I’ve seen and intervened in cases with both male and female offenders. Most cases involved a man and a woman beating up each other. Statistically, that’s usually the case.

One time I spoke up against a woman hitting her boyfriend hard and repeatedly. Once the incident ceased, the man needed serious medical attention. Unfortunately, the woman faced no trial at all.

But another time I spoke up against a man angrily beating up his wife. The woman needed serious medical attention. The man faced trial.

Women are not the helpless creatures they are believed to be. Women are not fragile flowers. Despite the size and strength disparities between men and women, women can cause serious physical damage. A woman can throw a strong punch the same way a woman can walk, run, lift weights, and shoot a weapon. A well-delivered punch is dangerous even from a child. Punches hurt. Slaps hurt. Nail scratches hurt. Bites hurt. Hair-tearing and pulling hurt. And weapons cause even more serious harm. Everyone can wield them. Women also have muscles and bones. Women can become soldiers, martial artists, bouncers, bodyguards, and violent criminals. They have the strength to harm. Of course a female offender can be neutralized in her attack, but defusing them is going to cost for the defender. He might be arrested and/or publicly shamed.

The belief that men shouldn’t hit women in self-defense is outdated and comes straight from the chivalry era, which is ironically a relic of the patriarchy. Men may use this belief to show off their imaginary resistance to any type of pain. They may also use it to seem chivalrous and thus raise their status in female eyes. Women may use it to do whatever they want without facing consequences.

Given the damage a female offender can cause, it’s only logical to argue that a male should be allowed to strike a woman back in self-defense. The legal right exists, but not the “moral” right. The shaming of men who defend themselves should stop. After all, a female offender is an offender. It’s wrong to say, “Real men don’t hit women.” It’s right to say, “Real people don’t hit people.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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