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New Men’s Rights hero: the Cleveland bus driver who punched and choked a female passenger

The bus driver winding up for the punch; the passenger’s arms are by her side.

Men’s Rights Activists have a new hero: a Cleveland bus driver who punched and choked a belligerent female passenger who had apparently refused to pay her fare.

The top post in the Men’s Rights subreddit at the moment, with more than 500 upvotes, links to a petition urging the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority to reinstate the bus driver, Artis Hughes, who was suspended after video of the incident leaked out. (See videos here and here.) According to the petition,

As a bus driver, mr. Hughes was lied to, insulted, threatened and eventually attacked by one of the passagers. He was clearly justified in striking back. Were he to suffer any negative consequences to his employment as a result of defending himself and striking back, this would set a disasterous precedent: he and other employees would legitimately believe that their workplace expects them to put up with harrassment, and that they will lose their jobs if they choose to stand up for themselves. …

As well as being a bus driver, mr. Hughes is a man, and [Shidea N. Lane, the passenger] is a woman. We continue to live in a world in which some people see fit to scold men for fighting back against the women who abuse them. After mr. Hughes struck ms. Lane, a woman could be heard protesting about it, saying “That’s a [censored] female”. Mr. Hughes responded by saying: “I don’t care. You want to be man? I’m going to treat you like a man!” This is a healthy attitude: if men refuse to strike back, fearing that the law will favour their female abusers over them, we create an environment in which women can harrass and victimize men with impunity. Instead, a man’s decision to fight back against a woman should be respected.

It is for these reasons – the fact that the bus driver was the real victim and was justified in hitting back; that he and other bus drivers should not fear the legal consequences of responding to attacks by passagers; and that men in general should not fear the legal consequences of responding to attacks by women – that we urge you to reinstate mr. Artis Hughes following the investigation on the incident, and hope that future policies will safeguard him and other bus drivers from legal assault whenever they respond to a passager’s physical assault.

There are a lot of things wrong with this statement, up to and including the spelling. But perhaps most germane to the discussion at hand is the fact that the various videos of the event circulating on YouTube make very clear that Hughes was not acting in self-defense.

Yes, it’s clear from the videos and the police report on the incident that the passenger was acting obnoxiously. And according to witnesses she struck first, spitting on Hughes, pushing him and apparently punching him in the head. (All I saw in the video was her pushing him.) That would be more than enough to charge her with assault, though Hughes declined to press charges.

But after she allegedly assaulted him, she backed off. When Hughes punched and then choked her, he was not defending himself; he was retaliating, and with disproportionate force – his punch literally knocked her to the floor.

In this case, Hughes’ victim was a woman. But what he did would have been equally wrong had he punched a man with similar force.

This isn’t the first time, by a long shot, that MRAs have defended the idea of responding to violence from women with disproportionate force. A year ago, you may recall, Men’s Rights Redditors and other MRAs jumped to the defense of Rayon McIntosh, the McDonalds employee who responded to an assault by two customers by beating them with a metal rod – and continuing to beat them after he knocked them to the floor. (See video of the incident here; TW for extreme violence.)

And as longtime readers here know, in one now-infamous post Paul Elam of A Voice for Men suggested that it would be proper for men abused by their female partners to

beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.

And then make them clean up the mess.

In the wake of the bus incident, a number of commenters in the Men’s Rights subreddit reacted to Hughes’ assault on the young woman with something close to glee. (Click on any of the yellow comments to see them in context; they’re all from different parts of the thread .)

True, some suggested that the response was disproportionate, but they tended to get a much less enthusiastic response from the regulars than those reveling in the punch:

And MRAs wonder why some people describe their movement, such as it is, as “the abusers lobby.”

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The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Even bouncers aren’t supposed to use disproportionate force, and theoretically they’re supposed to be trained to defuse a situation rather than escalate it. Several bouncers from Crown Casino are on trial for crushing a man to death at present. Fair bet that if it had been a woman, the MRM would be all over this as Poor Menz Losing Their Jobs And Liberty Cos Bitchez.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

@ Cassandrasays – you forgot bloggers. They’re constantly having to literally physically fight people off.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I once saw a bouncer throw* a woman down a flight of stairs at Brixton Academy because he thought she was leaving too slowly, so I’m thinking more what people in that job can get away with than what they ideally should be doing.

*By which I mean that he shoved her so hard that she went tumbling down the stairs arse over elbow, not that he pushed her to walk down the stairs more rapidly. It’s pure luck that she was able to get up and limp away with the help of friends rather than requiring immediate medical attention.

cloudiah
8 years ago

until the police press charges against him, there is no reason for him to lose his job over it.

Union steward here. Just confirming Bodsy’s statement about these two things not really being connected. Even if the police never press charges, the bus company may well decide that they don’t want to employ someone in a public-facing position who cannot control either his anger or his behavior. What if they leave him on the job, and the next time he attacks and seriously injures someone who was merely verbally abusive to him? Then the company would face legal liability because they left him in a position where it was reasonably foreseeable that he might attack & injure someone else.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Cassandrasays – holy shit. 🙁

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Has schtickwit used up his three posts already? Or did he have to go away and look up ‘obtuse’? (If he did, he’s doubtless wondering why I called him a triangle.)

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Some Asshole Racist, do you really think bloggers have training? A look at any blog, especially MRA ones, puts the lie to that bullshit.

Seriously, someone said it last night, and I was like, “nah,” but is Some Jag really B__n?

nwoslave
8 years ago

Funny how victim blaming is promoted when it’s a man. She yelled, screamed, spit and attacked, yet she’s the victim and he’s the oppressor. Oh that’s right she stepped back. Do we know she wasn’t going to attack again if he just sat there and took it? Would there be a praticular number of times a man needs to endure being attacked? Two, ten, twelve? If a woman steps back after every attack should a man just shake his head and say, “She’s just letting off a little steam. Oh and please be so kind as to pass me a hanky to clean up the blood pouring out of my face.”

Does anyone here know she wouldn’t have attacked again had he done nothing? When is enough, enough? You people are vile.

Myoo
Myoo
8 years ago

It doesn’t sound like B___n to me, not enough about how awesome and above it all he is. Sadly, boring self-centered trolls are a dime a dozen.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Maybe schticky thinks you have to go to Special Blogger School and that’s why he hasn’t taken up the blog David set up for him.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

No talk about his sex life yet = probably not B.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Urgh, I’m glad I wasn’t here for B’s heyday if he rabbitted on about his sex life.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Rabbit is a good word for it.

blitzgal
8 years ago

I can understand perhaps not knowing Sherri Shepherd by name (although he knew Joy Behar by name), but who the fuck doesn’t know Whoopi Goldberg by name? LOL.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

It was Whoopi Goldberg? She was one of schticky’s “two African American women”?

Feckin’ oath. I’ve never heard of Sherri Shepherd and I can’t call to mind any associations with Joy Behar, but internationally famous actor Whoopi Goldberg?????

Unfeckinbelievable.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

If Schticky doesn’t know who Whoopi Goldberg is I’m going to assume that he is Encino Man and has only just woken up, thus having missed the last 25 years worth of movies/TV.

whataboutthemoonz
8 years ago

Some guy bored with your schtick: “Check your privilege CassandraSays,”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH OH GOD they really are a cargo cult, aren’t they?

blitzgal
8 years ago

It was Whoopi Goldberg? She was one of schticky’s “two African American women”?

Yeah. I watched the video he linked to make sure there weren’t fill-in hosts that day, but I knew that Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd are two main hosts of The View, and they were present for this conversation.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I could see arguing that Walters is as big a deal as Goldberg, especially if you’re trying to build a persona that’s about pretending to care about journalism, but to name Behar and not Goldberg? Yep, that was pretty telling.

Nepenthe
Nepenthe
8 years ago

And Nepenthe, seriously, take your subtle cry of racism and jam it deep.

Dammit, that wasn’t meant to be subtle. Pretend that I wrote “HEY STICKY, ONLY IDENTIFYING THE WHITE LADIES IN YOUR STORY MIGHT BE A LITTLE BIT RACIST, OKAY?”.

And also “IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHO WHOOPI GOLDBERG IS, YOU SHOULD WATCH ‘GHOST’ BECAUSE IT’S A PRETTY SWEET MOVIE AS I RECALL.”

Sorry for the shouting guys. Wanted to make sure that I didn’t come off as too subtle this time.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

I have to really think poorly of someone to recommend that they watch Ghost.

Schticky, you should totally watch Ghost. On repeat, all day.

captainbathrobe
captainbathrobe
8 years ago

@Slavey,

Shouldn’t we wait until Sharon Osbourne weighs in? She is, after all, the final authority on what feminists consider acceptable retaliation.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

Check your privilege CassandraSays,

In this incident, the two African American women might have views that are more insightful and informed than the other three white women.

lol @ schticky attempting to use social justicey language, failing miserably, and then being outright racist. When it comes to tripping over their own feet, these MRA fuckers never disappoint.

Also, are we forgetting that we’re talking about Whoopi “rape-rape” Goldberg? She is not exactly the most enlightened icon of modern feminism, Schticky. Or much at all. I mean, she was hot shit as Guinan, but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

I mean, she was hot shit as Guinan, but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

Careful, you’ll have Mr Irony Fail saying, “Hahahaha you don’t know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars!”

And yeah, you’d think a good little MRA like schticky would know and approve of someone who’s been a rape apologist.

clairedammit
clairedammit
8 years ago

Us bloggers all know how others should act.

So wait, you’re a blogger now, Schtick? Link to your blog, please.

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

Nah, I accidentally a word and then late at night typed. I was trying to say that the bus driver, unlike the cop or the blogger may not have the experience and training you demand of him to overcome the natural human anger and desire to beat the other person up. The cop should know how to handle himself. Us bloggers all know how others should act. But the bus driver on the scene, regardless of his annual training class on how to deal with these incidents, he may not be as enlightened as you or I. Even the cops don’t take this very professionally.

Jesus, what the fuck is this muddle? Is he being serious about the police and sarcastic about the blogger? Serious about the blogger and patronizing about the bus driver? Is he actually implying it takes some sort of special training to figure sending a passenger flying via uppercut is probably a termination-worthy offense? How fucking classist is that implication? Dude, you don’t need special training to not KO the customers- people already fucking know this. And why would a blogger know more about protocol when handling passengers than the goddamn bus driver?

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

And why would a blogger know more about protocol when handling passengers than the goddamn bus driver?

‘Cos blogging is JOURNALISM and journalists are responsible for everything?

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

Careful, you’ll have Mr Irony Fail saying, “Hahahaha you don’t know the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars!”

Uh-oh. Now I’ll have to read screeds about how if I was an honest sci-fi fan I would be careful to distinguish the speculative context in which transporters appear in Star Trek versus the mythological/fairy-tale aspects of the Star Wars mythos, and anyway shouldn’t I be commenting about Red Letter Media’s take on the Prequels? Also the misandry in Revenge of the Sith, in which Anakin turns evil just to save his ungrateful wife’s life and doesn’t even get laid for his troubles.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Tulgey – BWAHAHahahahahaha!

+1

The First Joe
The First Joe
8 years ago

This is not a gender issue. This is a don’t be a violent asshole, because people will refuse to be victimized and they will fight back issue.

2 incidents:

1- McIntosh. Slapped in the face for doing his job. His attacker leaped over the counter, threatening and cursing while pursuing him as he retreated. A second attacker joined the pursuit. Having perfectly good reason to believe that either or both attackers might be armed (why else would they be so insanely bold?) and that his life was in danger, and being backed into a corner he siezed a weapon and defended himself. If you watch the video carefully he hit his attackers just enough to knock them to the ground and keep them there. He only strikes after they fall – when they try to get up again. i.e. he neutralised the threat against him, and kept it neutralised. This is self-defence. The court agreed and acquitted him.

Manboobz “oh it’s abuse, because women are special snowflakes.” Yeah, because being stabbed or shot by a woman is soooo harmless. Also, I’m pretty sure you’ve never had two attackers threaten your life and come after you. McIntosh had done time. As an ex-con, he no doubt learned: fight or die.

2- Bus driver. Doing his job. Had to deal with a passenger who refused to pay fare. Eventually persuaded her to pay fare. Passenger having paid, she threated him with violence. Bus driver remained calm. Passenger grabbed bus driver by the throat, spat in his face and punched him in the face. That she then broke off the attack for a moment to posture and threaten some more?* Irrelevant. Passenger has demonstrated immediate physical threat. Again, bus driver had no way of knowing whether or not she was armed. Therefore he defended himself physically.

Manboobz “Oh abuse: because woman! Also, *gasp* he postured! and bragged! How awful!”

(*That you believe arms by your sides = non-aggression *rolleyes* tells me you’ve seen very few real life street fights)

Take home lesson:
Do NOT attack innocent, non-agressive people, including those who are just doing their jobs. They are entitled to defend themselves against your physical aggression with a physical response. Their responsibility is not to you – the attacker, but to protect themselves from your attack. If you get injured it is your own fault for physically attacking someone.
DO NOT DO THIS. You will not be protected by your membership of a designated priveleged class, those days are long gone. Wake up. You no longer have carte blanche, you are an adult and you have to live by the same rules as every other adult.

Simple.

(N.B. the mass media went out of the way to paint the aggressor as victim, mainly by claiming she was “Just a teen”. She’s actually 25. Not that this is relevant given that there are teen girls on record having taken active part in beating people to death.)

The First Joe
The First Joe
8 years ago

By the way: given how fast she got back up from that punch? She’s probably high as balls / drunk and / or both.

So an addendum to the lesson:
Don’t get off your head on whatever if getting off your head makes you a violent asshole.

Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III
8 years ago

MRAs really just live on their own planet, don’t they?

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

Wow, Joe, way to completely not understand what escalation is at all. It’s amazing what the guys who constantly pull out bullshit like “Pussy Pass” will strain out of their rectums in order to justify anything a man does. So far today I’ve seen Steele whine that Adrien Chen is being oppressive by “silencing” a person who contributes to the normalization of predation, and now I see you deciding that two situations with almost entirely opposite courses of events both merit the same disproportionate response. You chucklefucks are printing Cock Passes like you’re the motherfucking Federal Cock Pass Reserve.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Oh, great, Joe’s here. Now the raging asshole quota has not been met, it’s been exceeded.

Joe, you think you’re smart–find me where anyone here has ever said women are special snowflakes. Take as long as you need.

clairedammit
clairedammit
8 years ago

MRAs really just live on their own planet, don’t they?

They do! MRAs make this into a man vs. woman thing, we comment that no, it’s not really, it’s two people being assholes to each other who are both wrong, and then they come over here to tell us “you feminists, you make everything into a woman vs. man thing!”

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Tulgey: I think I pulled something laughing at “motherfucking Federal Cock Reserve.”

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

MRAs really just live on their own planet, don’t they?

If only.

pecunium
8 years ago

Joe: Manboobz “oh it’s abuse, because women are special snowflakes.” Yeah, because being stabbed or shot by a woman is soooo harmless. Also, I’m pretty sure you’ve never had two attackers threaten your life and come after you. McIntosh had done time. As an ex-con, he no doubt learned: fight or die.

Nope. It’s assault because he was not in danger when he came back from another room to hit them with a weapon.

hat she then broke off the attack for a moment to posture and threaten some more?* Irrelevant. Passenger has demonstrated immediate physical threat. Again, bus driver had no way of knowing whether or not she was armed. Therefore he defended himself physically.

Nope.

Self defense is pretty straightforward. She was not attacking him, at that moment. She had no weapon in hand.

That means it wasn’t self-defense.

This is really simple law. That so many fools (such as yourself) don’t get it, and think, “oh… that person might attack me” = “I have the right to attack them in ‘self defense'” is why so many times both parties end up in jail.

If someone isn’t attacking you, it’s not self-defense.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

I remember my days at the Federal Cock Reserve fondly. Such good times.

It’s important work, making sure our nation’s Strategic Rooster Reserve is well maintained and staffed by competent individuals. We may not always need it, but one day we will, and when we do those Cocks will be ready to be the Cock of the walk.

you have to live by the same rules as every other adult.

Hahaha, I sorta zoned out before I got to this, but it’s hella ironic. Joe: those rules include a little thing we like to call “don’t escalate.” Men have to follow it, too, despite your excuses.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

A typical day at the Federal Cock Reserve.

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

@ special case joe- Eat a bag of dicks, asshole- had you been bothering to read the fucking posts you may have noticed I wondered if the dude was scared in the first place and thought he had the rage in the second. So, no, the manboobzians are not hiveminded, go to hell, and may all the shittiness of my day be transferred onto you.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

Cocky, the (a href=”http://www.uselessgraphics.com/rooster.gif”>mascot of the Federal Cock Reserve, living life to the fullest (like he always does).

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

Broke a link! I think that’s my first broken link here. Lamest way to break one, too.

Please accept my gratuitous and totally sincere apologies.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Joe, dude, we’re saying the bus driver and the passenger are both wrong. Try reading for comprehension, and try learning what self defense really is.

cloudiah
8 years ago

@ttf, Maybe this will cheer you up some, or at least make you laugh:

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Ninja’d! ttf, I was going to offer some kitty massage. But I will anyway, because cuteness.

http://youtu.be/598IdFlOXcQ

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

Thomas. O’Malley. Flufferpants.

I rest my case.

cloudiah
8 years ago

THE CUTE, IT BURNS!!!!

Or actually it’s just really really cute.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
The Kittehs' Unpaid Help
8 years ago

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

whataboutthemoonz
8 years ago

You chucklefucks are printing Cock Passes like you’re the motherfucking Federal Cock Pass Reserve.

With whom does one apply for a Federal Cock Pass?