*So you want to be a tough girl—the kind who won’t tolerate disrespect from anyone, especially men. So what if he’s three times your size and has the words “soul taker” tattooed across his neck. You’d rather go down swinging with your pride firmly intact. If worse comes to worst, you can strangle him with your 10 foot weave.
Against your better judgment, that little voice of reason begging you to stay calm, your first instinct is to brawl with the man, a complete stranger, in the middle of a crowded Walgreens. You aren’t afraid—this ain’t the first time you’ve had to put a nigga in his place and it won’t be the last. Besides, he’s clearly a pacifist—definitely not the type of guy who would use your face as a punching bag.
Like any responsible mother would do, you order lil’ Ray Ray to go play with the toys in aisle “3.” He reluctantly obeys, but watches from a distance as you, his primary source of guidance, prepare to make a complete fool of yourself in public.
As onlookers adjust the lighting on their camera phones for added picture clarity, the man who accidentally cut you in line offers an apology and gestures peacefully to show that he means no harm. But it’s too late. You’re fed up with men thinking they have dominion over you—civil dialogue isn’t an option.
After you spend the next five minutes hurling every vulgarity known to man at your new found enemy, taking a butcher knife to his manhood in the process, he gets embarrassed and retaliates by calling you the “B” word. Huge mistake—it’s bad enough that he’s calling you out of your name, even though you’re clearly demonstrating demonstrative behavior.
Can’t he tell that you’re a strong, educated black woman? ITT Technical Institute doesn’t graduate just anyone.
How dare this man violate you in front of an entire audience? That’s what strip clubs are for, and your pole-dancing days are over.
There’s no way you’re allowing him to get the last word—nope, not on your watch. Instead, you respond with another heaping series of expletives and threatening hand motions. Before long, you’ve got your ashy finger practically writing lines in his face. Tensions begin to flare, emotions heighten and egos violently clash—it’s a shouting match. As your mouth foams with rage, it doesn’t occur to you to take a moment to breathe. Rather, you do what comes naturally—attack.
Yes ladies, it’s not completely his fault that you have a black eye and a fat lip. He warned you to keep your hands to yourself and tone down your voice and foul language. But you didn’t listen. Instead, you cranked up the pressure until he exploded with anger. If only you had been in control of your emotions, he probably wouldn’t have harmed you (or at the very least, you wouldn’t have deserved it). As the saying goes, “don’t start none, won’t be none.”
In the premodern era of western civilization, domestic abuse hadn’t emerged in the consciousness of lawmakers. Consequent of social normality during that period in time, everyday women didn’t flinch (albeit figuratively) when their spouses used violence as a method for control and oppression.
The climate of widespread misogyny in yesteryear also facilitated gender-discrimination, handicapping the progress and evolution of the world’s female population. In other words, scores of women suffered near-daily physical abuse in the comfort of their own home, and others risked marginalization in public.
Today, the scope of modern society places women on a higher pedestal than ever before; and as feminism continues to permeate the minds of American youth, future generations will experience a shift of dominance from one gender (male) to the other (female). This development, however, is causing friction among the sexes, particularly because of its influence to established gender roles.
Per example, many black women in urban communities have adopted the laws of street culture, causing them to behave in the same vein as male thugs. Rebellion against systematic intergenerational chauvinism is the platform on which modern women fight, even if their opponent has a Y chromosome.
Fear of legal and social consequence, not compassion, causes men to retreat when attacked by a woman. On the same token, it’s this knowledge that empowers many women to use violence, not words, during confrontation with men.
Many video sharing websites (ie YouTube, WorldStarHipHop.com, and most recently TMZ) regularly feature moments of conflict wherein black men are fiercely assaulted by their female counterparts. In many cases, certainly not all, the male victim takes a high road stance. Still, the outcome is seldom diplomatic and often exemplifies the savage, animal-like aggression associated with the black community.
A paradigm of this is contained in a surveillance video recently publicized by the scandal-driven website, TMZ. In the footage, which spans roughly four minutes, Solange Knowles, known largely for her association with her elder sister Beyonce, unleashes a violent flurry of haymakers aimed at rapper Jay Z in a New York elevator.
The affair was chiefly one-sided, ending with the trio—and a bodyguard—quietly dispersing as though nothing transpired. A short exchange of words clearly triggered the altercation, but the grainy video’s poor quality prevents interpretation. Despite being nearly hit across the face, Jay Z resisted the human instinct of self-preservation (maneuvering his hands only in defense of the blows).
When faced with this scenario, men of high morals opt to yield rather than engage. Social expectation dictates that physical abuse by a woman unto a man shouldn’t be met with equal force or consequence. But when will boundaries be drawn to protect male safety, and force the accountability of black women?
Turning the other cheek is biblical in nature (and theoretically very hard to do). Moreover, double standards ought not dictate the human right to personal safety, especially at the hands of an imminent threat (gender notwithstanding).
As a man inculcated with modern views, I would never think to strike a woman under any circumstance. As a human being, I have the right to protect myself (even if that means slapping a ho who’s trying to rip my face off with her finger nails). I choose me.
To all my brethren out there, who do you choose?
Based in Southern California, EURweb editorial associate Cory A. Haywood is also a certified personal fitness trainer. Contact him via: [email protected] and/or visit his websites: www.coryhaywood.webs.com and corythewriter.blogspot.com
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