In my travels around youtube I just came across the video linked above.
First there is the cellphone footage. Though this incident would likely have happened anyway, I can`t help but to wonder if the presence of the video recorder spurred more drama out of some then would have otherwise been had (like the cheering). With the stupid things I have seen and heard of people doing just to go viral in recent years, it would not surprise me.
In this case, it looks like the main aggressor is the female. By all accounts, it seems that most of the disturbance and the provocation was on the part of her. But one must remember that, what we are seeing, is but a sliver of the whole picture. All were seeing, is a video of a few moments of conflict. We do not know what transpired before the recording was initiated, or the background of any involved.
As is the case with a 95% of all of these type of stories that go viral.
And like the rest of those incidents, I choose to not really take any one side or to condemn anyone prematurely. Partly out of my personal principals (I try to see all situations from all sides before I form an opinion). And partly, because I believe that it is not my place to pass judgement on a situation that does not involve anyone close to me in any way. Like many other viral stories of this kind, this should have never left the community it originated in (in this case, NYC).
Either way, the video is a mess, and there is blame to be assigned to all. And its good that all involved were charged.
But there was a problem with the commentary after the video was played. A problem, in that all members seems to show a strong degree of support for the presence of double standards specific to each gender.
Let me first start this off with, my background opinions as to gender issues in general (as I am unsure if I ever covered the subject on this blog in any depth).
The first thing I want to say is that I am not a feminist. Nor am I an MRA (Men`s Rights Advocate). I consider both terminologies (and to a degree, both ideologies) to be intellectually poisonous.
This is not just a reaction to the negative connotations that I see with either ideology (though that is part of it). Like the other few terminologies that I still choose to identify myself as, dropping the popular labels is (now) less about distancing from the group, then it is utilizing a term that that is plastic to ME. As opposed to making my conclusions plastic to a given ideological concept.
In laymen terms, in my mind, all of the various adjectives that we choose to surround ourselves with in terms of personality or even physical traits, are nothing but barricades to harmony. Embracing our various values is often times benefitial when it comes to the all important human social circle, but the road block comes in our viewpoint often never leaving that all familiar niche. A group that is all exchanging the very same information and sharing in the same views, will often times lock out everything else that runs afoul of said values out of the mistaken assumption that they already have it right.
I do not think in terms of what is best for any given race, gender or any other group (other then the whole of the human family). As such, gender equality for me, simply means that both genders should have equal opportunities, equal protection, and otherwise be on the same footing. Though I prefer to remain abstract, a term that would fit would be Gender Egalitarian.
And here is where the problems of the video come in.
All 3 members seem to believe unequivocally that it is never permissible for a male to hit a female in ANY situation, no matter what. Being that I am under the assumption that all of the above are believers in equality of the sexes, I guess I am confused as to how the contradictory nature of this stance does not occur to them. And not just them, but the hordes of others that also follow this flawed way of thinking.
I covered this somewhat in a topic about Abuse some time ago.
When someone brings up Gender Equality, most people have more or less the same definition. Women should be on the same footing as men, when it comes to all areas of life.
I don’t think that many in the `Men should not hit women` category see this glaring hypocrisy. The hypocrisy that is allowing for special treatment in a conflict just on account to ones gender.
This is not just a hypocritical stance, but it also sets a dangerous precedent.
First off, I am not a violent person. I have never been in a fight in my life, and would hope to remain as such. But most importantly, I do not condone ANY abuse, when it comes to social or domestic situations. I don’t care who it is coming from or who it is aimed at, it is unacceptable in all cases.
However, when push literally comes to shove in an abuse situation, I believe that ANY victim of abuse should be allowed to retaliate. It would be preferable if all parties could just leave into a neutral situation, but as many victims of domestic abuse can attest, it is not always possible.
There exists an element of abuse TOWARDS males from females, even though this situation is not often talked about (or flat out denied by some). The victims of this form of gender abuse have to deal with a double whammy.
They could suffer countless bouts of abuse for any length of time. None the less, should they lift a finger to the female abuser, they will be autocratically vilified if the female cries foul.
And as if this is not bad enough, the same stereotype that helps promote the “Men should not hit women” mantra (man are the stronger of the sexes) also serves to bite them in the ass in the unthinking minds of many. When a women reaches out from an abusive situation, many are more then happy to lend a hand without question.
If a male were to do it however, they may be viewed as a weak person (for allowing themselves to be dominated by a WOMEN).
I do not have any exact numbers or figures, when it comes to abuse towards males from females. I have seen some sources put the number on par with (if not higher) then that of men vs women. And I have seen other sources dispel the myth that women vs men violence is more prevalent then the reverse.
Either way, as a Gender Egalitarian, all of the numbers and such do not matter. What is important in this case, is that all victims of domestic abuse have the same tools to defend themselves, and the same resources to rely on should they finally leave the situation.
Setting up double standards is not helping to further Gender Equality, it is hindering it. Not just because of the hypocrisy, but because of the new batch of problems that arises when some females will inevitably take advantage of the double standard that allows them to be abusive without impunity.
You can not claim to be working towards the eradication of domestic violence if you wilfully ignore an entire segment of the victims.
I have heard in a few places of recent, a somewhat staunch dichotomy of gender issues. The exact saying was “If you are not a feminist, then you are a bigot”.
I have heard this from a couple people, one (unfortunately) being my most respected atheist of them all online, Aron Ra.
I understand your passion for the issue, and I sense that your heart ins in the right place. But do not smear all other contrary opinions, just because they do not fit into your chosen mould.