Alright, I am not advocating violence against women. I’m really not.
What I’m advocating is a removal of violence in society as a whole.
And not GENDERING nonviolence.
Every time I hear a guy say this, the implication is: hitting men is okay.
I think we need to teach that hitting people is wrong.
That violence is un-becoming and uncivilized. And we live in a civilized society, so, maybe, instead of teaching our boys (because we only teach our boys this), that “hitting girls is wrong” and “never hit a woman” we teach them, “don’t hit people.” Period.
End of story.
On a personal note: Don’t say this to me.
I’ve practiced karate for literally half my life. I have studied under one of the highest ranking black belts in the country, I have gone to conferences and been taught by masters from Japan.
I have taken first or second place in sparing in competition since I was a white belt (I stopped competing because I don’t like competing, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have the experience).
I have taken down guys significantly larger than me in my job as a bouncer and I know how to take a hit because - I have been hit. A lot.
I regularly have bruises from karate and the bar. All the time.
I have wounds that are never going to heal from karate. This is my life and I love it.
Every time some jackass says to me, “I’d never hit a woman.” He is telling me that by only the virtue of having male-gendered genitalia he can take me in a fight and it gets me so instantly angry that I want to invite him into the parking lot and prove him wrong.
Because ninety-percent of the time, I can promise you, I would win that fight.
Every time a guy says that to me, it’s insulting my black belt, my years of training, my Sensei and karate itself.
You are not born knowing how to fight because you were born male-bodied. That takes training - and, frankly, boys get it from other boys through rough-housing from day one, and women and girls almost always have to seek it out and formally learn from an instructor in a school
Of course, whenever I do (and I always do, because I’m egotistical and human), invite a guy to take me on in a fight, he always says something like, “I know you’d win, but really, I honestly can’t hit a woman.”
This is benevolent sexism. This is the idea that I am intrinsically weaker by virtue of being female bodied.
And he’s only tagging the “I’d know you’d win” part in to acknowledge the fact that he knows I’m trained. I have only had one guy say this to me who I actually believe thought I would win in a fight. Most of them just say that to humor me but still think being male means they would win.
Last time I checked - muscle, bone, blood and flesh are all the same, regardless of what shape they are forming (male, female, intersex).
Another thing that bothers me is this: even in the martial arts community, there is this “never hit a woman” thing that gets preached constantly. Sometimes, people go easier on me than they would a guy. Sometimes, they don’t hold me to the same expectations of greatness that they do males in the community.
This bothers me because I study karate first and for most as a form of self defense.
That is what karate is: the art of self defense.
When men refuse to push my limits, to dare me and other women to train harder, be better, when the men in my life refuse to rough-house with me but do it with their male buddies - they are refusing to let me ascend in my skill and potential.
The fact of the matter is this: if I do get attacked. It will (most likely) be by a guy.
And if I have not trained hard with men who are bigger than me, men who are stronger than me (or even people in general because I’ve known several female-black belts I had twenty pounds and half a foot on who could still kick my ass), I will not be prepared to defend myself against that attacker.
And, in the spirit of victim blaming - this will not be my fault, because I did seek out knowledge to defend myself - it will be the fault of every “good” man who refused to spar, rough-house or fight me because of my gender.
It will be because, in the spirit of protecting women, they have not given me adequate training.
And that, is the greatest insult of all. It is also a very sneaky, sneaky way of making sure that even us “tough” girls stay policed into male control.
So, those “good guys” might not be the one who hits me, but by refusing to train me fully, they are allowing the non-“good guys” to hurt me.
Stop gendering nonviolence and don’t be afraid to train your girls to be as tough as your boys.