By David Futrelle
Men’s Rights activists really do seem intent on finding justifications for men to punch women. There’s the “jokey” slogan they like to use: “Equal Rights mean equal lefts.” There was Paul Elam’s “Bash a Violent Bitch Month,” in which he imagined men responding to physical abuse from women by “beat[ing] the living shit out of them. … I mean literally … grab[bing] them by the hair and smack[ing] their face against the wall.”
Now a Redditor calling herself Tozae222 seems to suggest that men should be allowed to hit their partners in response to verbal abuse that pushes them to their “breaking point.”
Apparently that’s what happened with a friend of hers who, as she explains in a post on the Men’s Rights subreddit, has “just been jailed because his ex has finally gotten what she wanted.” By which Tozae222 presumably means enough of a beatdown to leave visible bruises behind, because cops generally don’t arrest anyone for domestic violence if there aren’t physical markings on the victim. But in Tozae222’s mind she made him do it.
“If its never okay to physically abuse a woman, it should never be okay to push a man to breaking point,” Tozae222 writes.
If a woman has got the balls to be in a man’s face being verbally abusive, even physically they should be prepared to cop the same back.
You’re not entitled to respond to abuse with abuse of your own. And you’re definitely not entitled to escalate — to respond to a finger wagging in your face with a punch –which is presumably more or less what her jailed friend did.
NO one deserves to be screamed at in nose to nose distance. NO one deserves to be constantly threatened that they’re going to leave or going to take their kids away. NO one deserves to be belittled infront of family and friends.
Well, no. All that is clearly abusive behavior. But what it isn’t is an excuse to respond with a punch — even if, in your mind at least, you’ve been “pushed to the breaking point,” whatever that means.
And just who in this scenario gets to define what this “breaking point” is? Some men see any “backtalk” as such a threat to their fragile masculinity that they respond with physical violence. Should these men be able to tell the cops that “she pushed me to the breaking point” and thus wiggle out of any arrest for physical violence? Violence is never the answer, even if the woman in question has been shrieking like a banshee in her partner’s face. Even if someone on Reddit thinks the victim “has finally gotten what she wanted.” This is the case regardless of the genders of those involved.
Hell, even if the woman in question resorted to physical violence herself, the response must be proportionate. You can defend yourself; but you can’t give someone a concussion.
Naturally, this being the Men’s Rights subreddit, most of the regulars responded warmly to Tozae222’s argument, and her post got 100 upvotes. “You’re a really good person and I don’t get to say that often,” wrote one new fan of hers. “That really nice to hear,” wrote another.
Only one commenter had the temerity to suggest that escalating a verbal fight into physical violence was a bad idea.
Maybe there’s a good reason why some people call the Men’s Rights movement an abusers’ movement,
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