The other day I watched from my office windows as a woman screamed and flailed at the man walking with her.
Actually, with her is a bit false, he was walking slightly in front of her, trying to evade her punches, with one of those carefully measured expressions that is much scarier when you realize what’s behind it.
I applauded the man’s control, and was quite concerned about what would happen if it broke.
The woman continued to shriek loudly as they passed by, still continued to hit her companion, and then capped her performance by issuing a mighty shove, causing her companion to stumble off the curb into the street.
She pushed him… into the street.
No, there were no cars coming, but when kids do it, every adult for miles gets red-faced and preachy. We all understand why street pushing is a no-no.
The man never touched her. He was barely even looking at her, and just continued to walk down the street while she made a spectacle of herself.
I observed, a few minutes later, the couple standing on the corner talking to a pair of nattily dressed policemen (I’m sorry, but uniforms are so classy), so I’m hoping that the matter was peacefully resolved… or that the woman spent the night in the hoosegow for assault.
We don’t hit, ladies.
There’s a time to whack people (whack as in “strike”, not whack as in “kill”, although there’s a time for that, too, I suppose). We all know when hitting is appropriate, don’t we?
We don’t hit unless we’re in danger. We don’t hit unless we are protecting ourselves or others.
We especially don’t hit a man that we know won’t or can’t hit us back (because the second he swings on a woman, society has a name for him, and it’s not “Doctor”). This kind of behavior is rather problematic for at least two reasons.
1) No one likes a harpy.
There. I said it. Before anyone unleashes the pythons, I don’t much care for men who scream a lot either, so I’m covered on both gender fronts.
Ladies, if you’re mad, be mad, but for goodness sake, have a little dignity. Maintain some control. Don’t just let your temper own you. Take a minute… take an hour or a day or a week, if you need to, but figure out a way to express your feelings in an acceptable way.
Screaming blue murder and pinwheeling your arms is not an acceptable way, nor is it ultimately helpful.
You might get what you want, but you won’t get it in an honorable way, and you’re risking damage to your relationships.
2) Hitting a man is like blowing in a sweet bulldog’s face.
Every man that I have ever known has been capable of slapping me into next week.
Every single one.
None of them have chosen to do so (nor should they have…), but that doesn’t mean that they were or are physically incapable of it.
Every man that I have ever known has also had a temper threshold… and, at any given moment, I never knew how close or far away he was from it.
There’s one man that I know who is very quiet and very gentle and very kind. I have no fear of this man, he’s a truly lovely individual, and definitely resides in my “Safe Person” rolodex… but I would never, if I wanted to stay alive, walk into the room and hit him or any members of his family with a crowbar.
I wouldn’t spit in his face.
I wouldn’t grind my stiletto into his toes.
I just wouldn’t… mostly because I’m not psychotic, but also because the control that he might have to exert to not respond in kind might be beyond him on that particular day in that particular moment.
He might have just earned himself a speeding ticket… he may have just had a row with his wife… his kids may have morphed into sweet-faced little demons that morning… he may have just gotten laid off.
He may have, at that moment, just enough control left to handle getting a paper cut across his knuckles.
Even the men that we know best have to control themselves… you know, just like women have to control themselves.
Funny, that… it’s almost like we’re all humans with human stuff in common.
Testing that control is not wise, nor is it something you do to someone you claim to love.
Knocking a woman around is never acceptable. If a man isn’t defending himself (and we’re talking the Michael Douglas in “Fatal Attraction” level of self-defense), then hitting a woman is just about one of the filthiest things a person could do, in my opinion. Likewise, using that societal taboo to your advantage is equally as disgusting, ladies. Knocking a man around is also never acceptable, especially with the knowledge that the man won’t hit you back! You’re taking advantage of his self-control, and you’re not bothering to display any self-control of your own.
Don’t hit someone just because you can.
Hit because you have to.
If you’re going to hit someone, anyone, make it a KO, because you’re hitting for a really good reason, like defense of yourself or a child or your family or your country. Feel free to display those fancy kickboxing moves that you memorized from those eight workout DVDs that you bought on a whim in January.
But, for goodness sake, don’t unleash yourself on someone that can’t, in good conscience, fight you back, and certainly not someone that you supposedly love.
It’s just as abusive when you do it.