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If you hit me, I hit you—fair is fair
I recently posted on social media about Jess beating up Richard while rough playing, and his response to my advice to him.
The discussion that followed on the thread is the basis of today’s column, but for those who didn’t see the thread here is the synopsis.
Jess is wild playing with Richard and he is just taking the hits, so I suggest beating her back, to which he responds “nah, I don’t want her to get use to thinking it’s okay for boys to beat her” So the debate started about whether or not it was fair that women be allowed to hit and not get hit back.
Here’s my take…
Our actions and standards must not be determined by the actions of others. If someone hits you, walk away. Most men won’t be severely hurt with the first slap dished out by a woman so they are quite capable of walking away. Sometimes they may need to exercise restraint and seek help to calm the woman, but very rarely is a proper beat down the only justifiable form of self defence. If our resolve is a non-violent one, then regardless of the other person’s actions we won’t engage in hit for hit.
Saying you hit me so I can hit you back is like saying “you looked for your licks” which is like victim blaming. No woman, I repeat NO WOMAN “looked for licks”.
There are women who are overly aggressive, there are women who annoy you and push your buttons to the point of no return, but at ALL times, YOU and YOU ALONE are responsible for your actions.
Maybe we should be sitting with our sons and teaching them how to appropriately defend themselves against irrational, irate women. Take them to self defence classes which will equip them to disarm any threat in the safest, most non-violent manner possible.
Two wrong can never, should never and would never make a right.
These subtle lessons make the big differences in our adults. Telling our boys, it’s only fair is a dangerous road to pave. And equally so for our girls. Yes, teach our girls appropriate action but never teach them that if they hit then it’s only fair to be hit back because then we set the stage for abused women staying silently in shame or fear that they were somehow to be blamed. We pave the road for their inner voice to say, “maybe I shouted too loud”, “maybe I embarrassed him in public”, “maybe I hit him harder than I should when we were arguing so that caused him to hit me back”.
The trivial things we condone become the norm. Please, be careful of the messages we teach. In our fight for equality, let us always remember equity. Men are stronger beings and will dish out far more injuries, so no, fair is not fair.
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