You’re taking a jog through the park when you spot a man and a woman at a bench up ahead. They’re not sitting calmly, though; they’re moving erratically. They’re yelling, and you can tell almost immediately that they’re fighting. Suddenly the man grabs the woman and shakes her violently. She tries to push him away, but before she can, he slaps her. Again. And again. What do you do? Do you come to her aid? Do you call the police? Or do you just keep jogging?
Now imagine the gender roles are reversed, and it’s the woman violently slapping the man. She’s screaming at him, pulling his hair, hitting him. How do you react now?
That’s the question ABC News asked during a hidden camera segment in which a female actress physically and verbally abused her male companion. Take a look:
As you can see in the video, most people, including an off-duty police officer, just kept walking. One woman even celebrated the other woman’s actions, stating that she was so nice all the time and thought she should start acting like the woman in the park. Many other women asserted the man probably “had it coming,” assuming he’d cheated on her. ABC shows only two women who tried to stop the violence; they are the only ones in the segment who asserted abuse is wrong regardless of gender.
Clearly double standards are still alive and well today. Okay, so women typically cause less injury as abusers simply due to physiology (if we assume no weapons are involved), but does that mean it’s okay for them to be abusive? Moreover, where did we come up with the assumption that if a woman is hitting a man, he must’ve “had it coming”? Why don’t we see men as victims in this scenario? The woman in the video may not leave any physical evidence of her abuse, but in a real life situation, there certainly would be emotional scarring.
And, yes, men can be emotionally scarred. They can feel pain, physically and emotionally. They cry. They seek approval and validation. They are capable of being hurt.
They just can’t show it because our social mores tell us it’s just not acceptable “male” behavior.
What’s truly sad is that if the man in the video had retaliated in any way against his female aggressor, the public would probably have jumped to her aid immediately. After all, men have it coming; women are victims.
Love and “it was just a love tap,”
The Slasher Chick