Monday, December 7, 2009

Dude-Victim Experiences Lady Fear

I first saw this article at Twisty's place. Police in British Columbia believe that a woman is going around kicking random men in the balls for no reason at all. She kicked one man so hard that he lost a testicle.

While acknowledging that violence is wrong, I think it is also worthwhile to examine male reaction to this article, as men are not often on the receiving end of this sort of random, overt gender-based violence.

Let's observe.

The man who lost his testicle said:

"I just want to know what her problem is," victim Anthony Clark, 22, said this week. "People like her shouldn't be on the streets."

He just wants to know what her problem is.

That's interesting, isn't it?

When a man assaults a woman in the most gendered, personal way possible- rape- it is not often that the woman, or anyone really, wonders aloud what the dude's "problem" is. When men leer at us when we pass them on the sidewalk, we don't ask what their "problem" is. When men sit next to us on the train and open their legs because obviously their cocks are too large to do otherwise, we don't ask what their "problem" is. When men tell jokes that aren't funny and are, in fact, sexist or offensive, we don't ask what their "problem" is.

We don't. Often. Instead, it is they who ask us what our problem is when we fail to smile, giggle, or otherwise appropriately acquiesce.

That, I suspect, is what the woman's "problem" is with respect to her alleged serial groin-kickery. If we're speculating.

The reality that we live with is that we all, especially women, know that a dude might one day decide to assault or rape somebody. That reality is such a given that when it actually happens, which it often does, it is unnecessary to ask what the dude's "problem" is. Men, we have learned, are just aggressive, violent, and dangerous. It is something we learn to live with, especially women. If we don't adequately learn to deal with that reality, we are told that we accept whatever we have coming to us.

So, rather than framing male assaults on women as the gender-based hate crimes that they are, sexual assault is framed as something sort of "natural" about our social order. Yet, when a woman commits a random* act of violence against a man, this upsets the "natural" order of things and leads some to speculate that she obviously Hates Men. (*The assaulted man claims that he was kicked in the balls for no reason at all, but right now all we have is his word to go on). In fact, reading comments around the world wide web, many men view this serial nutkicking as a barrage of feminazi hate crimes against men.

In reality, by violating someone in this very intimate way, this woman is treating men like how men treat women all the damn time.

That, too, is interesting, isn't it?

When a man experiences gender-based violence, men construct it as a feminist conspiracy against men. When women experience pervasive gender-based violence in the form of sexual assault and gender-based homicide, it's just business as usual. No hate crime. Nothing to see. Moving along.

What would these men say, I wonder, if random acts of scrotum-kicking was a common, everyday occurrence in the world? Would they live in fear for their nuts? Would they wear cups? If a man didn't wear a cup and got kicked in the groin, would everyone tsk tsk and say that he was "asking for it"? I wonder, too, how many of these male commenters who are convinced that the random nut-kicker is a feminazi man-hater are the same dudes who opine that The Patriarchy is a figment of the paranoid feminist imagination?

Like the existence of the draft, "men's rights activists" will point to these attacks to "prove" that feminism is unnecessary, that life is actually incredibly hard for men compared to women, and that the Patriarchy is non-existent. They will do this all while, as usual, reducing women to objects and bragging that they personally would "kill a bitch" and "punch the tits" of a woman who dared to kick their family jewels. (I'm not linking to these fellas, but comments like these can be found after virtually any article regarding the "serial groin-kicker.")

Before I end, let's look at the other way the "serial groinkicker" has made this particular man feel like a lady:

"My doctors say I will still be able to have children," Mr. Clark said. "But at 22 that's not something I want a stranger, this woman, to decide."

Well look at that. Some stranger almost made this guy lose control over both his fertility and choice of whether or not to have his own biological children.

Like we've been saying for years. If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

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