Most men and women
alike would say that "it's never OK for a man to hit a woman". Modern cultures (generally) see it to be a most heineous crime
, for a man to be labelled a "woman-beater" is a terrible mark of shame
. The problem, though, is delivering such a powerful ultimatum
on the topic; it's hard to simply draw the line and treat it as being something that you just don't do, no matter what
Ask anyone a yes/no question, and they can only give two possible answers, and one must be right, right? On the topic of hitting women, there is no right answer. Feminism calls for equality, but if we are to be equal then can a man hit a woman? Is it that men and woman cannot be equal (no misogyny here)?
Person A: Hey man, would you ever hit a chick?
Person B: No way, man!
Person A: What, woman aren't equals now? Why wouldn't you hit a girl if you'd hit a guy?
Person B: Well OK then, I would.
Person A: Well then you're a woman-beater!
Two men may get themselves into a fistfight and both end up with black eyes, but may a man enter into a fistfight with a woman? Apparently not, for that is woman-beating. What if the woman hits the man first? Woman-beating. What if the woman has a weapon and the man doesn't? Woman-beating. The man cannot win here (figuratively speaking).
I see no reason why it is worse for a man to hit a woman than for him to hit another man. "But the man has an unfair advantage!" I hear you cry, but where do we draw the line between fair and unfair? Let's say that a man were to hit a weaker man? Let's say the woman were large and burly, the man puny? The former is deemed acceptable, the latter not. Why? Even with a disadvantage, the man is still put at fault for hitting a woman.
Picture this: A young, fit man is being held at gunpoint by an equally young and fit woman. The man acts in his defence by hitting the gun aside and then knocking the woman unconscious with his fist. Blood trickles from the woman's forehead, now lying motionless on the cold pavement as the young man stands over her, trying to slow his rapid breathing. Do you feel that the man has done wrong? I certainly do, but why? If not for his actions he could well have been killed. Now imagine that same scene, only replace the young woman with another young man; do you now think that the man has comitted a crime? I don't.
How is this logical?
What about times when there is no real physicality involved; say, a slap? I've been slapped by both men and women, they both hurt the same; it makes little difference who dealt them. A woman could slap me, and all those around would wonder what I'd said or done to cause this. If I slapped her instead, all those around would be amazed at my complete lack of moral fibre. The harder she slaps me, the worse I look; the harder I slap her, the worse I look.
Do we all remember that scene from the film "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" where they are shooting it out in their house? We don't feel too bad about him fighting her, for one reason: she has a sub-machine gun and a shotgun, he has a pistol. She gets at least (say) three times more firepower than him, because she's a woman, or else it wouldn't seem fair. Later on as they fight hand-to-hand, he never once hits her pretty face; but she is given free license to kick him in the groin, smash vases over his head, and otherwise beat the shit out of him in any way she pleases. This is only because if it were any other way, we would be thinking "wow, he just punched her in the face, he must be a real asshole, I hope she maims him somehow".
I just hope that we can all consider and agree that it's not a black-and-white issue, that there are exceptions to any rule you care to make. Sometimes it's neccessary to hit a woman, just as it's sometimes neccessary to hit a man. Perhaps the problem is that women are considered far more fragile than men, as though made from some mysterious woman-matter (we'll call it Womatter)? Perhaps it's that good looks are considered too important, that we don't want women getting scarred and bruised like humans (mere mortals) do.
Seriously though, it's not cool to hit women.