The blog where I rant about things that should be obvious to everyone

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Abusing Chivalry

Most men have the idea impressed on them that they should protect the weak. This is particularly manifest in the idea that a man should never hit a woman. The assumption with this idea is that the man is always stronger than the woman, otherwise it would not matter, as is made obvious in that severely handicapped men generally are not held to this standard, but find themselves falling more into the societal category of women in that they should never be hit either. What is less engrained is the idea that if you are on the receiving end of special treatment you should not abuse it. That is to say if you are a woman or in some other societal role where men are to refrain from being violent towards you, you are also obligated to refrain from being violent towards them. But more and more its getting to the point where this second half of the unspoken contract is completely ignored. Take for example the recent event with Phoenx Jones, the costume wearing, pepper spray wielding, crime patrolling, self styled super hero.

Phoenix Jones Stops Assault from Ryan McNamee on Vimeo.

In this video he is patrolling with his side kicks and sees a street fight taking place under an overpass. He immediately runs in and breaks up the fight with pepper spray while his side kicks call 911. Then one of the girls who was watching the fight starts chasing him around attacking him with her high heel. Now clearly there is no question that Phoenix Jones could literally kill this girl with his bare hands if he so chose, but she correctly assumes that he will hold up his end of the societal contract while she flagrantly breaks her part of it. And the real kicker is that the only person charged with anything in this case was Phoenix Jones, while clearly he was on the receiving end of assault.

Contrast that with the more recent case of two women assaulting a man working at McDonald's (read the story here).

In this case the worker behind the counter questioned a $50 bill that they gave him and in response one of them reached across the counter and slapped him, and then threw herself over the counter while her friend started walking the long way around to reach him. They also assumed that he would uphold his end of the societal contract while they flagrantly broke their end. In this case they were wrong. He responded by grabbing a metal rode and beating them. One of them just suffered a fairly deep cut, but the other suffered a broken skull and arm.

It's interesting the way that the story is reported. They keep it in terms like there was an altercation that got violent. The sense is very much, something bad just happened and then the McDonald's employee went crazy. It never mentions whether or not the $50 bill they gave him was counterfeit or not. So most likely what happened is that they gave him a fifty, and as per store policy he had to check it out make sure that it was not counterfeit. In their intoxicated state the two women took this as a slight and then go on to assault the worker. He excessively defends himself. So unlike the phrasing in the news report that he attacked unruly customers, or that it was a fight the escalated out of control, this is a case where a man was attacked by two women and responded. It is totally inappropriate to say that he attacked them, as they were literally chasing him behind the counter with intent to harm when he “attacked”.

At least in this case all parties were changed with crimes. However if we keep going on with the idea that men should just sit there and take it or run away while women attack them instead of responding we'll get more and more of these incidents. Also, it needs to be made clear to women what their role in the societal contract is, as many of them clearly think that theirs is a place of privilege and the the contract only goes one way.


  1. A million years ago, when I lived in the UK, polite society was shocked by the rise of female gangs. Feral teenage girls would beat homeless people to death- I can't remember how many times it happened, but there was a definite trend.

    My point is that she-rage is not a new thing. I think that it has something to do with abusing social power, as you mention, but also frustration from unrealistic expectations, crappy families, lack of meaning... the type of malaise that comes from intellectually inconsistent world-views like feminism, gansta culture, sexual liberation- all the good stuff that goes into childhood these days.

  2. the only reason it's wrong to hit a woman is because if women could be hit, with impunity, then grrrl power would rapidly dissolve in short order