In my post on Chivalry and protecting the weak commenter Sean was troubled by the example I gave of a woman who put a group of families walking on a dark road at risk by calling out a group of nearby thugs on their language. She felt that not only was the woman in the right by creating a confrontation, but that any men she was with were in the wrong for allowing anyone in her vicinity to curse:
The example the man used of punks cursing and using foul derogatory language around his family and him doing nothing was appalling…
I call it a manitude. You should be able to exude enough manliness to make other men back down, especially if they know they are in the wrong. If you won’t protect your own family from punks what good are you? And it’s wrong to blame the woman for wanting to be able to walk back to her car IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, and not have her kids ears assaulted. My father, uncles, brothers and husband were never petty around women but would never have allowed that situation to happen…
My uncles, and brothers exhibit the same type of manitude, very few men will step to them much less be disrespectful around their families. The few who have tried usually back down quickly once confronted.
While I disagree with her position on this, I will do my best to break down her case for you:
- Women need the protection of men because they are smaller, and therefore less able to defend themselves.
- A lady should never have to hear foul language, even if the alternative is to put the group’s physical safety at risk.
- The woman in the story should not have had to decide if it was her place to confront the thugs, or if one of the men would do so on her behalf. She shouldn’t have been left wondering about this.
- The men she was with should have acted in such a way that she would know that everything would be ok.
In summary, if you find yourself in a similar situation: Make sure the little lady knows her place and everything will be ok.
Marc ‘Animal’ MacYoung of No Nonsense Self-Defense describes a similar situation which he experienced many years ago. His drama queen girlfriend put him in a very bad spot:
my then-girlfriend had nearly put me into a situation where I would have to bust more than just a few heads. In fact, the odds were good I’d have to kill someone in order to save our hides.
She did this by plowing through a crowd of rough characters on a crowded sidewalk one night on Hollywood Blvd:
She whirled and literally charged through the crowd — in a straight line. At this time I’d like to remind you that it wasn’t the daylight crowd. This was the nightcrew and the ’boys’ were out in force. I watched in horror as she blew straight through a group of seriously not nice dudes. They reeled back in shock and confusion. Before they could regain their composure I can hot-footin’ after her — right through their midst’s. As I was moving hard to catch up with my sweet beloved I looked back over my shoulders and saw a look I knew all to well … predators deciding whether or not to go to work.
The combination of the fact that I was obviously armed and my ’I know she’s wrong, but you really want to let this one go’ expression convinced them that maybe a few more minutes off the clock wasn’t a bad idea.
What she didn’t understand is the reason the men she was antagonizing didn’t immediately physically stop her was they saw ‘Animal’ as the responsible party:
And once again, guess who was getting the hard looks? See along with that cultural bias about how women should behave in public, also comes the assumption that it’s the male who is responsible for a woman’s bad behavior. So although she had just insulted them, they’d be wanting to discuss the insult with me.
Fortunately having grown up on the street he knew what needed to be done:
I finally broke into a short dash and grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her around to face me. KNOCK IT OFF! I snarled. Giving our ethnic audience a “I’m handling this so you don’t have to” look, I grabbed her by the arm and dragged her towards the theatre.
As we walked side by side for a short distance I began to discuss her behavior under my breath: “We’re on the *%^$%!!! Boulevard! IF we &^%$*!!! need to cut through the *&&^^%$!! crowd, you *&^%$^&$!! follow me!!!! Now get behind me and don’t say a *&^%$!! word!”
He did this not just for his safety, but for hers as well:
In their little pea brains it was a simple equation, that was one hell of a woman, and they’d not hesitate to try take her. And if she objected, they’d take her by force. What was keeping her safe among the predators was the fact that they looked at me and figured that they could cut me off at the knees and call me a tripod. I numbered among those who you didn’t mess with without good reason.
However, what she had done by first moving ahead of me — is in their eyes — lessened my status.