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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Never hit a woman... (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Never hit a woman...
Gaffer
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I have been raised with this being a law in the family. It seemed odd to me, it's okay to hit a guy, but it isn't to hit a woman. Is there a little discrepancy here? The logic has never been readily apparent to me, but I'm not fond of hitting anyone so it wasn't that big an issue. What do you all think about it?

Why is hitting a guy okay, and a girl not? What about our society dictates the logic or lack there of behind this concept?


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LilBlueSmurf
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Hmm ... I think this goes along w/ the idea that women are automatically the weaker sex. So if the "stronger sex" were to hit the "weaker sex", then that's not fair. But if women hit men, they should be able to take it.

I don't think it's ever okay to hit anyone. So it really doesn't matter what sex the person is.

(uuumm ... hate to be a pest, but am i the only one that had to put the forum password? I don't think this one's open yet. Oops)

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John Doe
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I agree that the gender of the perpertrator and the victim of violence should be irrelevent. Conciveably one might consider the relative size and strength of the hitter and the one being hit. Unfortunately this attitude that it is worse for a woman to be a victim of violence than for a man to be a victim is not only instilled into children, but is enshrined in law and in the practice of our law enforcement system. It is why there is a federal "violence against women act" but no violence against men act, even though men are 3x as likley to be murdered in the US as women are.
Violence is violence, and it should not matter if the victim is male or female, white or black, christian, Jew or muslim.

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Gumdrop Girl
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while i hate the patronizing attitude implied in the "never hit a woman" rule, i understand that in the real world, physiological differences tend to make women a little less strong than men. for example, i cannot do as many chin-ups as my boyfriend.

but in a more perfect world, i'd like to think that i could hold my own if i ever had to roll up my sleeves and fight. for now, i'll just hold my own in a raging mosh pit

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Beppie
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I think what we should be asking, John, is why isn't there an overall "violence against anyone" act that doesn't discriminate according to gender. After all, when a person of one gender is hurt by an act of violence, it is not necessarily a person of another gender that is hurting them. While more men may be murdered in the US than women, do we know that that's because women are murdering them? And does it matter? The fact is that all people should have protection against violence.
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John Doe
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Beppie, i fully agree. I'm not looking for a violence against men act. I would love to see the violence against women act turned into a violence against humans act. My point was that in this society we tend to take violence against women more seriously than we do violence against men, and it is time for us to pay attention to violence against both men and women.
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bettie
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Perhaps the Violence Agaisnt Women Act exists because using force against women was seen as a man/husband's legitimate right and even responsibilty for many years.

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KittenGoddess
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bettie makes a very valid point here. I'm taking a class that focuses on the roles of women in early American society. The first place we see the enforced idea of no domestic violence is within the earliest Puritan settlements in New England. Back in the old world, it was a husband's right and duty to punish wives and daughters to the point of using physical violence against them. The settlers were completely against this idea and did have laws that said no spousal abuse from either party. These laws had a twofold purpose...firstly to keep the family unit intact and problem free, and secondly to protect women from being exploited and abused as had been the case back in England.

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John Doe
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K.G. You say that Bettie makes a valid point but then go on to undermine it completely. If there have been laws on the books against domestic violence for 400 years, it doesn't make sense that we have to pass new laws, ones which undermine the 14th amendment, to protect women. Also, the violence against women act is not just about domestic violence. I am much more comfortable with general anti domestic violence laws than I am with laws that target only one part of the population. Even that being said, the generalize anti domestic violence laws are hardly enforced in an evenhanded way.
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SolitaryTear
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I am going to take a twist on this topic for the simple fact that I actually like it.

I don't like the fact that it exists because women are stereotyped as being weaker in a relationship. I'm a weird person, during sex, I like to be slapped, not in the face but on other parts of my body, I like stuff during sexual stimulation to be kind of rough, and I like to be rough back, I'm not saying I like to be beat, I just like to be gently slapped, not to the point that I'm bruised or something, but to know that it's pleasureable. Now on the other hand, I like the "never hit a woman" bit, because I was abused by an ex boyfriend some time ago, and I'm now scared of making a man so angry that he hurt me like that one guy did. Since I do like that submissive thing, I also like to feel "protected" or what have you. I actually like to have to depend on my man to like reach things in high places, or protect me from the big bad wolves, so to speak. I think that if a woman just out from no where takes a bat or something or even her closed fist and goes upside her man's head, she should explain her reasoning, and if it's not something legible, slap her right back. You can't take advantage of the "don't hit women" rule and start hitting a guy at random just because you know he won't hit back. If a woman, or any sex for that matter, feels hurt emotionally, she's probably gonna swing. If say I walked in and found my man sleeping with another woman, or "jerking off" to a porn mag or movie, I'd have a cow and probably slap him or something. Although that doesn't justify my hitting him, it's a reaction, and he sort of deserved it.

I guess it's just generalized as the woman being the automatic submissive one, and the male being the dominant one, but sometimes it's different, a lot of times it's different.

Sorry if I rambled.

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Lisa D
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Solitary Tear,

I certainly do not think that the best way to address violence is with violence. If someone hits you, you don't hit them back to prove a point. Obviously, self defense is another issue entirely, but violence breeds more violence, and the problem ultimately remains unsolved.

also, bit o' trivia - did you know that the term "rule of thumb" actually comes from an earlier law that dictates how thick the switch or stick you use to hit your wife can be? Thicker than a thumb, it is illegal, less thick, perfectly acceptable.


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John Doe
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Lisa, sorry but that is an urban legend, it actually comes from early carpenters who could do their jobs so well that they did not need to use measuring tapes, and could do the measuring by their thumbs (ie the length from the thumb knuckle to the end is apx 1 inch)
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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by John Doe:
it actually comes from early carpenters who could do their jobs so well that they did not need to use measuring tapes, and could do the measuring by their thumbs (ie the length from the thumb knuckle to the end is apx 1 inch)

Yes, I too had this "urban legend" pointed out as a falsity to me a while back.
According to an old English Professor, the term originated in England during the Middle Ages, and has been used ever since. Kind of neat to know where such terms come from, isnt it?

And Solitary...you had better have a serious talk with your fiance about when, where, and how he can masturbate. Many people, men and women alike, use various "visual aids" which include pornography or erotic literature...and I would hope that you make sure that your fiance is okay with your ground rules prohibiting such material before you enforce it with a slap to the face.

And from a legal standpoint, no matter how much you think anyone "deserves" a slap, all fifty US states have laws regarding "Assault and Battery," and Domestic Violence laws have been amended to include "domestic partners, dating partners, and parents of a child." Domestic Violence laws apply both ways, and carry enhanced penalties above and beyond those of Simple Assault and Battery. In short, don't be slappin' people around...it isn't worth the jail time.

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'rin
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i'm going to be totally un pc here. i know violence against anyone by anyone is a bad thing. but there's a but here. i don't like the don't hit girls thing at all. if some guy is being a total jerk to me - like flirting agressively and won't go away when i ask him to (first politely, then loudly) - i would love to be able to physically make him go away. but my sence of fairness will not allow me to because he "can't" hit me back. i'm sorry, but if i deck some guy he has every right to deck me back, and if occationally it would be nice to live in a society where that was the accepted/expected behavior. i think men in bars would be a lot more polite if they knew that being a jerk could resualt in a broken nose. i hate to say it, but i think the fact that men and women "can't" fight on an equal footing in this society is part of the larger issue of non equality. if men and women were truely considered equal, than it would be either ok to hit everybody, or ok to hit nobody. this double standard just drives me nuts.
'rin

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sapphirecat
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I know what you mean, 'rin. Back in 6th grade, a guy was mad at me, so he had someone pinch the back of my neck because (presumably) guys don't hit girls. I turned around and smacked her. And I was the only one to get in trouble.

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SolitaryTear
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uhhh... why do you always insist on pointing me out and singling me out and attacking me Dan? If you don't like me, keep it to yourself, I am entitled to my opinion. I am not dumb ya know? I have talked to my fiance about this, he KNOWS i don't approve of the porno thing, and he doesn't either, he finds it to be a form of cheating as well... if someone hurts you, of course you're going to hit them, at least once. THEY DESERVE IT! you mean to tell me that if you were a woman and you caught your man in bed with another woman you wouldn't slap him? And I know the legal perspective as well. Don't point me out like I'm an infant, I'm 18 years old and I know the typical "violence solves nothing," I don't need to hear it again.
I know this will probably be deleted and I'll probably be told to chill and I'm banned for another week, but oh well. I don't deserve the harsh tones he is taking towards to me in so many occasions, and if you'd like I can point these out.

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Dzuunmod
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SolitaryTear,
If you have a problem with one of the moderators, this isn't the place for it, and I'm sure you know that. Take it to email.

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SlowCookie
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quote:
Originally posted by SolitaryTear:
...if someone hurts you, of course you're going to hit them, at least once. THEY DESERVE IT! you mean to tell me that if you were a woman and you caught your man in bed with another woman you wouldn't slap him?

No, I wouldn't slap him. If the first thing that you think to do when confronted with a problem is to hit someone, then I really think you should seek some professional help.

No one deserves to be hit. I'm sorry, but really, no one deserves to be hit. Giving someone a shot of stinging pain solves nothing. Perhaps at the sage age of 18, you're sick of hearing that violence solves nothing. However, if you actually listened and understood the principle behind it, then you wouldn't be saying they people deserve to be hit. That frame of mind is simply not healthy for anyone.

Furthermore, please refrain from verbally harrassing advocates and sexperts. It is against the guidelines, which would be most wise for you to review. Thank you.

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DarlingBri
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My opinion (as per usual) differs slightly from those in this thread so far.

I think of the "never hit a woman" mantra as being the adult evolution of the "pick on someone your own size" thing.

My other half is three inches taller than I am, outweighs me by at least two stone, and is a retired semi-pro athlete. If he hit me, he could do serious damage.

If I hit him, however (which I have), he doesn't even flinch. It has no impact.

Thus, while I may lose my temper and lash out on rare occasions, he will never, ever, ever hit me. Ever. We are both crystal clear on this.

To me, it's a "rule" that bolsters a stereotype - women are weaker than men. It's poorly expressed. If I were the more physically strong person, or had the ability to inflict pain or damage, the "rule" would be accordingly different.

[This message has been edited by DarlingBri (edited 09-26-2001).]


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anaon
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I don't know about anyone else in here, but whenever a girl tried to hit me when I was smaller (one my mum said to hit her back but softer than she hit you, so you don't do damage) one it allways hurt more than when my mate (bloke) hit me even though a girl may be weaker, this is because I was told that it hurts your ego, as in you were just hurt by a weaker person, and so the brain amplifies (though chems) the sensation giving you.... ouch that hurt. But back to the main topic.. I allways used to instead of hitting her back, tried to block all of her hits. yeah it might seem like martial arts to some, but it worked. The girls finally realized that hitting me wasn't going to work because they weren't going to be able to even touch their target. It was also fun to see them get frustrated because nothing they did worked. and they got really tired fast. phycologically I think messing with their mind and putting them in a devide by zero situation with no real solution or positive outcome helped. (that means, they got absolutly no where, but tired) If anyone doesn't understand this, or just wants to yell at me for it. i think me email addr. is on file.

toìraidh!


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FlutterBy01
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Well, this is a difficult topic to comment on without offending someone, but I'll give it a try.
Don't get me wrong, I don't support almost any old-fashioned views of women. But there are some views that i sort of agree with. Can any woman deny that she enjoys it when a man opens a door for her? And I don't agree with any sort of violence. Guys beating up on each other is not something to be condoned. However, it just seems to me to be that much worse when it's a male hitting a female. With all of the political-correctness out there, I think most people can admit one thing: men, on average, are physically stronger than women. I know that if almost any guy at my school wanted to, he could seriously injure me. Then again, if this happened, I have a few male friends who would personally see to it that whoever hurt me was right there with me in the hospital. That act of violence would not be justified be revenge, however. This may be a matter of being able to defend one's self. If you pick a figh with someone that would not be able to defend themself against you, I personally think that is worse than hitting someone who can defend themself, or "your own size", so to speak. I'm not saying that all women are helpless little creatures who need protection. But why do you think that humanity was male-dominated for so long? Because they could knock us out. Sorry, I'm not trying to joke, but it's the truth. If women were inheritly stronger than men, don't you think history books would be teaching us about all of the female leaders in ancient societies? Nowadays, if a woman hits a man (and not in a joking manner), he has every right to defend himself, or at least restrain her. I don't think women should hit men. But I think men should never, ever hit a woman, if they are stronger then them.

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Sallynha
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In my country - Portugal - there is a popular saying that goes something like this:

Never hit a woman, not even with a flower.

Well, I have heard endless times a silly joke boys say that goes like this:

Never hit a woman, not even with a flower. -- Right, hit her with the vase!

Ok, maybe not so funny but I couldn't help telling you hehe

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sapphirecat
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Rereading this thread, something occurred to me. It's not so much strength as technique. To take a general example, if it was a matter of pure strength, there would be no self-defense classes, because they wouldn't work.

To take a specific example: go have someone hold your wrist with one hand. Tell them to hold on as tightly as they can. Then, as suddenly as possible, give your arm a yank (I don't have a good word for it, but it's similar) toward their thumb. The idea is to make the quickest, strongest motion you can. Since the thumb is the weakest part of their grip, that's the direction to go. Try it... I bet at least one of you will be surprised. (You can't do it on yourself, because you know what you're going to do, and your gripping hand will tend to follow your arm. At least, it does for me.)

It all reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon: Calvin boasts that he has three water balloons, and Hobbes only has one. So Hobbes says, "Catch!" and watches Calvin get soaked by all four.

To summarize, it's not what you have--it's how you use it.

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John Doe
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It seems to me that the probibition on hitting girls goes much deeper than just the "pick on someone your own size" idea. I have often seen a younger brother get into more trouble for hitting an older sister than vice versa. this often happens when the sister is larger and stronger than the brother. Part of it is training the boy that he will get into huge trouble in society if he hits a girl, but the girl will not face the same difficulties if she hits a boy later on. Also it seems to me that a big part of traditionally defined masculinity is about being a protector of women.
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the-old-soldier
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A person has the right to defend themselves if attacked. I taught my Mom & other women to defend themselves; basically redirecting the force against them. I am against any assault (MALE OR FEMALE). The knowlege of how to defend yourself can be very comforting. martial arts is one path to inner peace.
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FlutterBy01
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Okay, I see what you are saying with the older sister/younger brother scenario, but I still have some problems with that. First of all, I don't know what families you know, but as far as my family and most of my friends' families, if you hit someone, you are in trouble, period. If you hit someone and they are smaller than you, then you are in bigger trouble, be you female and them male or vice versa.
Secondly, I was not referring to especially young children. Before puberty, most boys and girls are about equal in size and strength. If I hit a young boy I would get in just as much trouble as if I hit a young girl. I don't know if you are thinking of some not-fit-to-be-parents type people's notion of telling little boys to "take it like a man", but that is absolute idiocy. Honestly, I know that sometimes, boys are treated like that, and I don't at all agree with it. Nobody should put up with any cr@p.
As for all the people saying that it is okay for girls to hit guys but not vice versa... I personally have never experienced this, but if you have, go ahead and tell me. Of course, I have guy friends with whom I tease around, like if they are giving me a hard time I give them a little mock punch in the shoulder, you know the type where your knucles barely even touch their skin. And maybe we accidentaly-onpurpose bump into each other a little too hard in the halls, but its just to be funny.
The whole gender role thing just exasperates me after a while. My view on things like this might insult people unless they knew me and understood that I don't think of women as less in ANY WAY. I just wonder how far PC is going to go, untill you can't even acknowledge the difference between male and female... Well, I for one don't go aroung hitting anyone. But I know that most people don't so I don't see the big problem. Ooo. Idea. This whole thing may stem from mother/father relationships. Eh, nevermind, too long of a rant... maybe later.

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Has not a friend to spare,
While he who has one enemy
Shall meet him everywhere." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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sapphirecat
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*sigh* earlier in this exact thread:

quote:
Back in 6th grade, a guy was mad at me, so he had someone pinch the back of my neck because (presumably) guys don't hit girls. I turned around and smacked her. And I was the only one to get in trouble.

The guy using her went unpunished. So did she. I got to sit in the principal's office and hear about how I shouldn't hit back.

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Daydreamer24
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I really don't know what to think. Women are called "the weaker sex", and for that reason, you're not supposed to hit them. It really makes me mad that men say this, but I can understand why because 9 times out of 10, a man will win a fight against a woman. I don't think hitting anyone is really right, so why are women aloud to hit men whenever men shouldn't hit women?

I don't know.. it's hard to look at... Hopefully with the way the world is equalizing (nice word, huh?) men and women, there will be no hitting.

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Life is not fair, a fair is a place you show cows


Posts: 1619 | From: TEXAS | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
la jaunty bohemian
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This is a terribly complicated topic, and the ideas voice here are awesome.

I'd like to throw my two cents in here.

So we talk about violence against women. Granted, there really shouldn't be violence against anyone. That's not the way it is, however. Women are more likely to be attacked on the streets, in their homes, on their jobs and sexually assulted more than men. I don't want to argue about who's actually more phyically clever or stronger, the point is that overwhelmingly, it's not men who are being beaten, raped and left in the street to die.

It's women.

Who are targets simply because they are women.

Granted, this goes for every other minority- sexual, ethnic or religious. These are the people / we are the people / who become targets for abuse because the perpetrators get away with their crimes because of the nature of the system.

Then, when the victims fight back, they're punished severly. [Women serving life sentences for killing their abusers in self-defense, etc.]

So, I'm going to say that because women are such a targeted group in terms of being recipients of violence, I'm happy to see laws in place that focus on reforming the situation.

It's not the ideal, but considering the current situation, it's working to fix one problem at a time.


Posts: 105 | From: Baltimore, MD, USA | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Confused boy
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There are some glaring innaccuracies in that particular argument. The people who are in fact attacked the most outside their homes are.............. young men (18-26). I may try to find the statistic to back that up but I am sure I have heard that somewhere. The reason is that being more aggressive and risk taking, young men are more likely to get into fights with other people. So as well as being the offenders, they also tend to be the victims. This figure is not all that surprising considering that when women/children/old people get attacked its an outrage that will usually get into newspapers. When a man is attacked its just a night out that "got a little out of hand."

I am not trying to portray men as victims, just saying that they are often at least as much risk from violence as women. Rape is a slightly different matter but it is quite probable that male rape is far less reported than female rape and so is also a risk for men.

For domestic violence, I suppose it is probably more likely to be women at risk. However, manslaughter is hardly ever a justified self defence. Surely a victim of abuse can just leave and if the cases of abuse are bad call the police. Murder is practically never a justifiable act; manslaughter occasionally since it is commited on the spur of the moment (sometimes by accident).

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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sapphirecat
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quote:
Originally posted by Confused boy:

I am not trying to portray men as victims, just saying that they are often at least as much risk from violence as women. Rape is a slightly different matter but it is quite probable that male rape is far less reported than female rape and so is also a risk for men.

It's enough of a risk that here, the anti-rape task force has put up signs stating everyone is at risk, and encouraging anyone to walk with a friend (or helpful ARTF member.)

quote:
Also by Confused boy:

For domestic violence, I suppose it is probably more likely to be women at risk. However, manslaughter is hardly ever a justified self defence. Surely a victim of abuse can just leave and if the cases of abuse are bad call the police.

Erm. I believe the original reference was to people being imprisoned for killing someone attacking them on the street.

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Sapphire Cat
You can love me or hate me, but it won't change who I am.


Posts: 235 | From: Louisville KY (St. Matthews) | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Beppie
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While it is true that women are generally physically weaker than men, I feel that it is dangerous to say that "weaker people hitting stronger people that they cannot hurt is not as bad, and therefore women hitting men is not as bad." It may be that in many cases, a women will be unable to cause real harm to a man due to his greater physical strength, but this is not the case every time, and once you start attributing justifications of "strength" and "weakness" to genders it's all too likely that you will end up with cases where a man who is facing physical threat from a woman will not be taken seriously.
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Confused boy
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Sorry about the domestic violence thing. I dont know how I read that out of the post.

Men who kill men who have attacked them are just as likely to be charged with manslaughter as women who do the same, so that particular point is not a gender imbalance.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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violet
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i know this is a bit late in the thread, but i just wanted to say that although i am totally against violence of any kind, and i do agree with slow cookie, i think solitary tear is just as entitled to her opinion as i am to mine. while i don't think there's anything wrong with pointing out the flaws in her argument, it was getting pretty heated back there, and i think theres a danger of people getting 'shut out' for having a different opinion to the majority.
x

Posts: 29 | From: London, England | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lonelygurl
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i hear that alot too but i dont think they should say that...they just say that cause guys are usually stronger then girls...but no one should be hitting anyone to begin with
Posts: 3 | From: Merrillville,Indiana | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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