A Spirited Woman

I've slapped a boyfriend across the face, hard, and more than once, and shoved and struck too. Now, you might say these were extraordinary circumstances, or that because I'm a fairly small woman striking a much larger man it's not so bad, but the fact remains that if the tables were turned, such behavior would be considered appalling.

When I sounded out some friends, several of them admitted to lashing out physically at a boyfriend, and while no one was exactly pleased with themselves over it, it also didn't seem like the Big Deal it obviously would be were a boyfriend doing the same thing. I can't speak for others, but in some ways, I feel like violence was encouraged in me; people always found my temper, with its foot-stomping, drink-tossing, vase-smashing theatrics, to be hilarious, largely because I am so small and because it comes out so rarely. Like my grandmother, I was "a spitfire," my grandpa always said approvingly. As a result, I didn't work to curb it as I should have, probably feeling in some way that it even denoted "spunk" or something, and doubtless there was some half-baked, unacknowledged idea of "lady's prerogative" at work, a double-standard I'd consciously have mocked.
Your grandpa was right. Sometimes the only way to get a man to listen to you is to knock him upside the head. That's true for other men, too: once in a while, a man just needs a good knock on his door.

The double-standard is wise and proper, though, because if he knocks you back he could kill you.


Texan99 said...

Yes, a symbolic slap across the face may be rude and uncalled for, but there's no realistic chance of sending the guy to the emergency room with it. The point of it isn't to terrorize. It's more like a spanking.

Ymar Sakar said...

Only idiots think that fists are non lethal weapons. It's ridiculously easy to knock someone down on concrete or ice and shatter their human weak selves.

That's why the experts don't let people fall free style into the ground using their head as the ram.

Problem is when people are angry and use violence, by definition they are no longer experts on anything, except monkeys.

Ymar Sakar said...

If you get close enough to someone that they allow you into their space and then they don't deflect or control your movements, that's their incompetence at fault. It may be your violent impulses at work, but its his victim mentality doing the victiming.

If people want to escalate emotions and then get hit, that's their problem. Of course those that escalate things and then can't handle the returned force, is their own problem.

Anonymous said...

I'm a woman. I would never slap a man, or think that I had a right to, or that it was acceptable in any way to do so. And, I wouldn't slap a woman either.

When you place your hands on someone else you are giving up control of yourself and the situation because, as Ymar said in his first comment, there is no telling what might happen next.

It doesn't matter that a woman might not have the same force as a man. It's still not OK and shouldn't be encouraged as such.

Grim said...

I had a woman knock me down once. It took about eighty-five tries, and I was purposefully teaching her how to do it, and letting her do it exactly the right way without doing anything to lessen the impact. But she did, eventually, knock me down.

Once when I was a teenager, my mother slapped me good and hard for something. I'm not sure what it was, but I'm sure I deserved it.

In general, applying a good hard slap now and then can be a wonderful teaching tool for people who are otherwise too hardheaded to teach. I'm in favor of it, and I think the law should butt out more than it does.

Ymar Sakar said...

Most people are still using Stone Age technology, applying merely the pulley force leverage of their bicep/tricep muscles and the mass of their arm or forearm alone.

That's so primitive compared to 21st century techniques and innovations concerning H2H.

Ymar Sakar said...

For example, in the 21st century, we have the Knock Out Game.

Which even girls can play at well. That's not even an innovation though, it's a game.

It's not the law doing anything, it's the Left interfering. People already had mutually consent fights ruled out as self defense, because it ain't one.

The lawyer unions and law suit banditry came afterwards. Well, after dueling at least.

douglas said...

There are other skills that are dangerous for a woman to deploy, and that they need to work to control the impulse to use. Verbal skills.

Ymar Sakar said...

I consider verbal violence and physical violence to be two sides of the same coin.

Even for strangers, one logickally can lead to the other. It's just a big spectrum, but people who like to feel the moral righteousness of being pseudo pacifists blame physical violence, while they trash the neighborhood in anti war protests. Just one example of projection.

That merely leads to the cycle of violence. It doesn't end the cycle of violence and revenge.

Cass said...

There are other skills that are dangerous for a woman to deploy, and that they need to work to control the impulse to use. Verbal skills.

Amen. I will say that as a wife and mother, my experience has been that women don't always know when they're hurting persuns of the testosterone-having persuasion. Guys often clam up or don't show emotion, so the natural response for a female is to think, "He's not paying attention - I need to amp up my arguments to get through to him."

The problem lies in relying on that perception rather than trusting that the person you're talking to can in fact hear and is responsible for what he does with what you've told him going forward. Hitting or being verbally abusive essentially assumes they won't even try to change - it's pre-emptive punishment for a future offense that may never occur, and seems more based on your own fear/insecurity than anything else.

In a relationship, all you can do is make your position clear. If the other person insists on behaving unacceptably to you once you're stated your position, it's time to end the relationship.

Which is a pretty darned good attention-getter in its own way :p

Joe Katzman said...

1. Slaps can be dangerous in their own right. You can blow out someone's eardrum quite nicely with a well-placed open-hand.

2. Statistically, a woman who will hit a man will often use weapons as well (note "vase-smashing theatrics"). Those are not harmless.

The writer is correct. She should be a better person, a full adult and human who can be trusted within a relationship. Or revert to ALL of the standards of her grandmother's day, and leave the trait unaddressed.

Grim, you're flat-out wrong.

Grim said...

Grim, you're flat-out wrong.

Well, that happens sometimes.

Still, it could be we just disagree. I'll take a blow from a woman, if she is inclined, without hitting her back. I wouldn't take a blow from a man without offering at least a symbolic reply -- turning the other cheek, say.

On the other hand, I'm not much inclined to do women in such wise that they might want to hit me.

Anonymous said...

I'm the anonymous commenter from before

It's not about whether you would take a blow and would not hit her back. It's whether you would accept that behavior from a woman as an acceptable way for her to interact with you.

So what if she couldn't hurt you much?

If the intent is there, it means you are involved with someone who thinks that hitting/slapping/throwing things at you is an appropriate way to express anger. It means that you are with someone who wants to hurt you. Whether or not they are capable of actually hurting you is not the point.

I wouldn't accept that from a mother, friend, teacher, or significant other.

It simply is not OK.

I have two sons. I wouldn't want them involved with someone who thought smacking someone upside the head was the appropriate response to dealing with their anger or frustration.

We aren't talking about play-fighting, or the obligatory girl-punch to the arm, or kick under the table if you make a sexist joke, or are teasing them in a playful way.

We're talking about a real slap...in anger.

Grim said...

It's whether you would accept that behavior from a woman as an acceptable way for her to interact with you.

I assume that she is hitting me because I have already done something unacceptable.

Now Cass would say, "Two wrongs don't make a right." The point of disagreement is that I don't accept that the slap by the woman is wrong. It's licensed as a kind of self defense to the offense brought against her.

I don't have any great fear of violence. There are times when it is the right thing to do. If a man has said or done something that made a woman intensely the subject of unwanted sexual attention, a good slap might set things right -- especially it might if society backs up her right to refuse in those terms.

If a man has cheated on her (which is the example here), it may be that a good slap to the face is what it takes to help him begin to understand what she feels. It's certainly healthier than her going and cheating on him in reprisal, which (if they are not yet married) is thought unexceptional legally and morally in our current society.

Ymar Sakar said...

If a person, like Grim, reads the context of the situation and wants to take the hit, that's their problem.

I usually see a lot of fantasy people go around thinking it won't escalate up or down, however. Like a certain someone with his "tactical folder", that's what he called it when I thought it was just a paper clip, would be able to handle situations without it going out of hand. People kept telling him that just having a weapon doesn't mean you control the situation, any more than a gun will absolutely stop knife or charging enemies. Bringing a gun to a knife fight or a knife to a gun fight is just about context and tactics. There's no all supreme weapon or tool.

There's also no cookie cutter solution to everyone's relationship and emotional problems. Some guy is out there with his personal harem, he does serial monogamy with 5 or 7 women. When he is with one, he is totally there and the women compete with each other for status or affection. Then there's the guy who holds down his girlfriend and makes it clear that physical violence won't be tolerated because it Doesn't Work because he is going to escalate up and over the block. Then there's people who use apologies or emotional manipulation to de-escalate conflicts down, rather than escalate them up.

It doesn't matter what people think they want to use. It only matters that Death is the eventual master of these roads. And if you escalate things out of hand, no human is immune to death once accelerated to the End Path.