The web is abuzz over this viral video, in which a young woman, aided by a videocam-wielding minion, goes to excessive lengths to provoke a young man of significant size:
The question being debated: Is it ever ethical for a man to strike a woman?
If you are a feminist, or accept the premises of feminism, this question has to be folded into the question of whether a man should ever strike a smaller, weaker, more vulnerable man. The idea that a man should never strike a woman is rooted in chivalry and the special status women were once accorded due to their child-bearing function to the species, making them relatively more valuable to society and, for example, justifying excusing them from military combat. It proved impossible to maintain these traditions of keeping women as a special and separate breed of human without also accepting the accompanying biases and discrimination that such status appears to support. If women have to be protected and pampered, then they must be less capable, weak, and untrustworthy. Feminism has rejected that trade-off, for sound reasons. But women cannot claim equality and special status at the same time.
Thus, if this woman is threatening me…
or this one…
and I can’t outrun her, I’m going to try to break her nose to slow her down. Don’t tell me that’s not chivalrous; it’s self-defense. Similarly, I don’t think relative genders have anything to do with the right to self-preservation if this relationship turns violent:
Now let’s consider the situation in the video. The aggressor-female is not physically imposing, but she is engaging in egregious bullying behavior, taunting the man, violating his personal space, and engaging in assault. Not only that, but her accomplice is sticking a video in the victim’s face, essentially daring him to respond with excessive force. Should he walk away? Yes, just as he should walk away if this were an aggressive, offensive little man doing the same thing, because avoiding violence is the most ethical course if nothing of substance is being surrendered in the process. He is not ethically obligated to walk away however: chew on this one, “stand your ground” opponents. Why should anyone be required to yield to someone who abuses, provokes and humiliates him like this, while using the cultural bias against a man striking a woman as a shield for threatening behavior?
Once she touches, him, however, the man is within his rights to protect himself. If that means knocking her down, or out, so be it. He has to be careful not to use excessive force, and juries might not be rational in this sort of confrontation. The law might well find fault with an ethical response here. But if there was ever a bully who deserved to have her lights punched out, this woman is it.
So the answer to the question, “Is it ever ethical for a man to strike a woman?” is unequivocally yes.
This video is a perfect case in point.
Spark, Pointer, Source: The Blaze