— Christina Stephens - Murder Statistics of Transgender People
I did another post on the gendering of nonviolence under the phrase, “I’d never hit a woman/girl.”
But now I want to talk about the acceptance of female abuse on males.
Because, it really bothers me. It seems to me that there are lots of accounts in television and movies of women slapping or throwing drinks on men after men say/do something that offends them.
Maybe I’m the only one who is annoyed by this, but I really hate that this behavior is shown as acceptable.
I am not as much of a pacifist as I would like to be - I honestly do believe there are times for violence - but I think they are last resorts. In my study of karate, I was always taught to only respond with violence when first met with violence. I believe violence should not be the knee-jerk, go-to response. It should be used in defense.
We came out of the fields and down from the trees to create civilization. Now lets act like we are civilized.
I really hate this idea that is “okay” for women to hit men because men are big and strong and can take it and women are weak and passionate and unable to control their emotions.
I call bullshit.
I think if we really want to end violence we need to teach our young women that it is not okay to slap a guy because he pisses you off. It is violence and it is not okay.
We need to teach our young men that they shouldn’t hit people not just women. Because hitting anyone is wrong, regardless of what gender they are (or aren’t).
Because our men are being beaten up by other men and this is a problem. (Not to downplay the violence of women against men, because that does happen and it is serious, but to attack the idea that nonviolence is gendered for the sole purpose of preventing men from assaulting women).
The truth is this - any man who is abusive will probably hit a woman regardless of how many times he gets told, “Never hit a girl.”
And no one ever seems to say - ladies, don’t hit the guys. That’s not cool.
I don’t pretend to be perfect. There was a time a coworker said something I took extreme offense to and, without thinking, I slapped him.
And everyone’s response was to laugh. They thought it was funny. I hit a guy and it was funny to everyone.
But I don’t even have to tell you if the roles has been reversed, that guy would’ve been shunned or worse.
I was mortified at myself and my behavior and I wish I could take it back. I didn’t him him particularly hard - but that’s not the point. I hit him because society says that is acceptable behavior and he just has to take it because I’m a woman.
I disagree. I was wrong. Society is wrong.
I am ashamed of myself.
We have language and intelligence and agency and we need to learn to settle differences through thought and debate and discussion.
We need to strive towards nonviolence collectively, without putting gendered guidelines into place because as long as their is tolerance for violence - someone will get beat up.
The human rights group Amnesty International has identified the girl as Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow and said she was killed by 50 men who stoned her in a stadium in Kismayu in front of about 1,000 spectators.
Her father and other sources were quoted by Amnesty International as saying that she had been raped by three men.
When the family tried to report the rape to the Shabab militia that controls Kismayu, the girl was accused of adultery and was detained. None of the men she accused of rape have been arrested."
— “Rape Victim Stoned to Death in Somalia Was 13, U.N. Says” - New York Times
(Source: The New York Times)
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.
— Jackson Katz in The Macho Paradox (via fupa-dupa)
— Jackson Katz, Tough Guise: Violence, Media, & the Crisis In Masculinity.
— bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (via humanformat)
‘Cause the thing is, you and the guys you hang out with may not really mean anything by it when you talk about crazy bitches and dumb sluts and heh-heh-I’d-hit-that and you just can’t reason with them and you can’t live with ‘em can’t shoot ‘em and she’s obviously only dressed like that because she wants to get laid and if they can’t stand the heat they should get out of the kitchen and if they can’t play by the rules they don’t belong here and if they can’t take a little teasing they should quit and heh heh they’re only good for fucking and cleaning and they’re not fit to be leaders and they’re too emotional to run a business and they just want to get their hands on our money and if they’d just stop overreacting and telling themselves they’re victims they’d realize they actually have all the power in this society and white men aren’t even allowed to do anything anymore and and and…
I get that you don’t really mean that shit. I get that you’re just talking out your ass.
But please listen, and please trust me on this one: you have probably, at some point in your life, engaged in that kind of talk with a man who really, truly hates women–to the extent of having beaten and/or raped at least one. And you probably didn’t know which one he was.
And that guy? Thought you were on his side."
My brilliant friend Kate Harding: http://kateharding.net/2007/04/14/on-being-a-no-name-blogger-using-her-real-name/ (via sanitywatchers)
Seriously. Making this kind of behaviour and these kinds of jokes ‘normal’ allows dangerous and violent people to appear normal.
— Jackson Katz, Tough Guise: Violence, Media, & the Crisis In Masculinity. (via hulksmashes)
Another popular performer who has tapped into the same type of anger against women and misogyny…is Howard Stern. Stern is often portrayed in the popular discourse as this bad boy who’s challenging traditional morality and transgressing against authority.
But that’s such a superficial reading of what he’s doing. What Stern actually does is simply reinforce, in crude fashion, some of the most tired, old fashioned, sexist values. He creates a world for his largely young, male audience. A world in which they can feel good about degrading women.
That is anything but transgressive.
In his reaction to the tragic shootings at Columbine High School, [Howard Stern] identified with the shooters. On his radio show, he said (and these are his very words):
‘There were some really good looking girls running out with their hands over their heads. Did those kids try to have sex with any of the good looking girls? They didn’t even do that? At least if you’re gonna kill yourself and kill all the kids, why wouldn’t you have some sex? If I was gonna kill some people, I’d take them out with sex.’
So Howard Stern took the Littleton tragedy as an opportunity to make a rape joke.
What a rebel."
— Jackson Katz, Violence, Media, & the Crisis In Masculinity. (via hulksmashes)
It was around eight in the morning on a Friday morning in March and we were in a McDonalds parking lot just off the highway, in a small town on the edge of New Mexico, making our way to Las Vegas for spring break. We were eating breakfast in the car with the doors open and ignoring the men.