The argument for and against laying hands on a woman is never black and white.
Women get out of pocket, sometimes in extreme ways, and I’d be lying if I said I never took it, you know, there.
When I was in first grade, a girl came up to me and teased me while I was standing against the wall all the bad kids stood against. I kicked the girl in the knee and told her to get away from me. She told on me, the teacher told my mom, my mom told my Pop, and he subsequently whooped me so bad, I’ll put it like this: I was in first grade when I received the butt whooping. I’m 28 now and as I am writing this, I just winced.
Needless to say, it set me straight, but what really made me understand just how wrong it is for a man to lay hands on a woman is when I saw it occur in my own family.
Without saying too much about those I love, and out of respect for their privacy, I won’t get into details of the things I saw. But for years I have wished for a hole deep enough for me to bury those memories in because they have scarred me for life. Yet sadly, they have not been enough to keep me from making two more small mistakes of my own.
I pushed two women who were my girlfriends at the time, once in college and once post-college. No marks were left and it doesn’t matter why. What matters is I should have remembered those moments I witnessed those I loved most being hurt by bigger, stronger men. Instead, in my own moments of rage, I acted like those men who to this day I still hate. Even if what I did to those two girls wasn’t nearly as bad, I sure acted just as idiotic as they had.
I am speaking on this now because of an article I read the other day on The Root, written by Sherrilyn A. Ifill. The piece, — ‘Nobody Really Knows What Happened.’ Yes We Do — used the Chris Brown/Rihanna scandal to speak on the much larger issue of domestic violence. (For those who did not know, October is actually Domestic Violence Awareness month.)
The gist of Ifill’s piece is how even though people like to say women are often times the catalyst for such events to occur, it doesn’t make it right. To prove her point, she cites some well-qualified hard data and that’s what truly saddens me.
I understand why men like writer Jimi Izrael want people to understand domestic violence is a two way street, and I’m not writing this piece to change anyone’s mind, but I need to speak my own.
No man who defends hitting a woman should be ridiculed for his point of view. All of us, women and men alike can imagine some extreme circumstance in which the fairer sex might deserve a fresh one. But that’s all just good old fashion table talk.
For me, No amount of statistical evidence needs to be given to understand how wrong laying hands on a woman is. The stats I have compiled in my own experiences are just fine and they go like this:
One hundred percent of the time I or another man lays his hands on a woman, a woman is hurt physically or emotionally, and sometimes both.
One hundred percent of the time I or another man lays his hands on a woman, the man ends up the bigger idiot.
This is what I told myself the last time I felt like I had a justifiable cause for laying my hands on a woman.
The same woman I pushed last, is the same one who for other reasons I will not get into, completely and utterly trashed my apartment. The damage was so extensive I actually had to call people in for repairs and clean up, both of which cost me a pretty penny. Never before did I want so badly to inflict physical pain on a woman. Never before did I have a better reason. But by then I already learned my lesson. If I did so much as push this woman again, I would be doing nothing more than acting like a first grader.
Even I know that last fact is 100% true.