The Internet was in an uproar yesterday over the shocking video showing a Ohio bus-driving uppercutting a young woman after an altercation broke out on his bus. The woman in question, 25-year-old Shi’dea Lane and the 59-year-old bus driver, Artis Hughes have decided not to press charges against each other, but Hughes has been suspended from his job of 22 years. To say that opinions ran rampant in regards to who was right and who was wrong in this situation is an understatement. It also provided a sad commentary on what people condone. I must have been busy the day the “It’s Ok To Hit A Woman” memo went out. Maybe it was sent as an email that was immediately marked as spam, because apparently other people were on the receiving end of it.
When my son was 5 years old, he came home from school to talk about a girl who hit him because she wanted a box of crayons he was using. Before I could even ask what he did in return, he told me he didn’t hit her because she’s a girl, but he walked away and got another box. Now that he’s in 8th grade, he still recognizes the fact that there are girls that will try to provoke people, regardless of gender. He’s been provoked, but he’s walked away. He’s had a girl hit him, but he didn’t dare raise his hand to defend himself. My son is 13 and from the looks of it, the common sense that so many adults lack, he has an abundance of it.
I was appalled to read that so many men and women condoned the use of violence by a man against a woman. “Oh, well if she can act like a man, she can get treated like a man”. The logic in that statement is severely flawed. First, you’ve established the fact that acting like a man, automatically means being violent. So is it safe to assume, that all men are violent? Sorry, I’m not buying that. Secondly, “get treated like a man”, once again, more flawed logic. To be treated like a man implies that violence has to come into play. I’ve never preached this sort of rhetoric to my son, and never will.
Women, if you throw the first punch, you’re dead wrong. Lets just put that out there. Just as if a man was to throw the first punch. But apparently many people feel that it’s “sexist” not to treat a woman the way she treats a man when it comes to physical violence. Wait. What? Maybe I missed something, but violence against any gender is uncalled for, but now it’s sexist for a man not to hit back? This is not “equal pay for equal work”. I guess people feel because of feminism and women fighting for equality, they should be equally “manhandled”. “They have a warped sense of reality. Men and women are not on equal footing when it comes to physical combat”, says psychologist Carla Rhodes. “Men have a responsibility to keep their biological advantage in check. They have the advantage of being stronger and larger and potentially doing more damage. Men also have a responsibility to recognize when they are in danger of hitting a woman and to gain control of their composure in the situation.”
Even from my own guy friends, I heard comments such as, “Well, my mother always told me (insert random comment about it being ok for a man to defend himself by hitting a woman if she hits him)”. This is where their mothers have failed them. I think if a man hears this rationale early on as a child, it sticks with them, and of course they know no other recourse to follow. I hope one-day people will come to their senses and realize diffusing a situation doesn’t have to involve violence. It’s never ok for a man to hit a woman. Or for a woman to hit a man.