As a husband, a father of two girls and a mentor to many I am very concerned about the underlying thread of misogyny that perpetuates itself online and in popular culture. That the subject of women being mistreated by men is deemed OK and something that is as seen as funny worries me deeply.
On the interwebs last weekend a video went viral of a woman being punched by a bus driver. Published on the site World Star Hip Hop, a gossip rag that seems to pride itself on viral videos of cameo video violence, it showed a rather ungracious and testy woman goading a bus driver. After the taunting the driver stepped out of his seat and delivered the kind of punch I only see in a boxing ring or on video games. Personally no matter how much she taunted him I still don’t see why he decided to get out and punch her in that way. Maybe I am old school but I felt that it was just wrong. A veteran driver of some 22 years it would seem he is facing the sack too.
I posted on my Twitter timeline that for me it is never funny or acceptable to hit a woman. I find it hard to understand that some would say “she deserved” it (both male and female commentators) and would support that kind of behaviour. The accompanying article had commentators saying
wanna be a man , i will treat you like one … he is my new hero cause i cant stand females that bark with no bite …
They need to give the guy a promotion and a pay raise. She attacked him, he defended himself, his bus, and protected his passengers. RTA get a clue and stop apologizing for everything out of fear and political correctness.
Seriously? You would condone this violence?
The second case in point for me was the story of students at a school who dressed in blackface and reenacted Chris Brown’s physical attack on Rhianna. Whilst it is a whole other issue as to why they chose to do blackface, I have to quote the article in trying to understand why it “is that a group of teenage boys attempted to win a popularity contest (literally) by pretending to beat the crap out of a girl—and nobody seems to care.” Why is this the case?
Talking about Rhianna there have been a number of instances where it has been noted that teenage girls thought “she deserved it”. Is this what we want teenage girls, or any woman for that matter, believing?
This week on Channel 4 in the UK there has been a series of news reports documenting the harrowing cases that many women have had to endure as a result of domestic violence. While I am acutely aware that there are male victims of domestic violence the majority of the cases tend to be against women. In a culture that will tolerate, laugh at even mimic the physical abuse of women whether through video or even in the extreme cases those who would cast a blind eye at honour killings it is worrying. I for one cannot stay silent and not speak out about such mistreatment.
Both men and women need to accept that physical violence against a woman can never ever be tolerated. It’s not funny either.