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Women abusing men okay?

Last posted Sep 23, 2011 at 11:55PM EDT. Added Sep 08, 2011 at 04:24AM EDT
57 posts from 18 users

I don’t get why this is being so hard for people to process.

There are a lot of opinions on this subject, and there are a lot of social trends that happen in relation to this subject, and then there are facts.

FACT: Men in general are bigger, stronger, and tougher than women. (And perhaps more aggressive.)

This fact is not negated by a number of other important facts relating to this issue, such as:

1) In any specific heterosexual relationship, the woman could be bigger, stronger, and/or tougher than the man.
2) Even if the man is bigger, stronger, and tougher than the woman, the woman can still be abusive by any number of means.
3) (…and this fact may technically be an opinion, but I’m hoping it’s an opinion we can all agree on) Abuse is wrong regardless of the relative size, strength, and toughness of the abuser to the victim.

Look, I’m a big guy; six-foot-four with a hefty frame, and I’m stronger than most people despite the fact that I perform virtually no exercise. Nonetheless, while I’ve never met a woman who is bigger than me, I’ve met plenty who I’m sure could kick my ass if they wanted to. There is a problem in society however that because of the FACT that I listed above, it tends to be that when a woman and a man fight, psychologically the man always loses.

When I was in junior high, I was on the wrestling team. One day we had a meet against another school, and it was found that three members of their team were girls. All three guys on our team who were slated to wrestle a girl simply forfeited. I didn’t fully understand why then, but now I see that if they had stepped into the ring, they would come out to the ridicule of “You got beat up by a girl?” if they lost and, “You beat up a girl?” if they won. It’s unfair to those poor girls who wanted to show that they could compete in a traditionally male sport, but they weren’t victims of those boys, they were victims of society.

To wrap this up, Why did I bring that story up? It’s because those concepts are still part of our society today for people of all ages, and if a man is being abused by a woman, he loses if he fights back, and loses if he doesn’t fight back. But once again, in just about every way that matters, this is also true with the sexes reversed. In short, abuse victims can’t win, the best they can do is forfeit, and even that is difficult.

I knew it was a good decision to join this site. :)

I’ll respond to Oh Muh Gah with B.R.A.I.N.‘s response again: Any one outlying relationship where the woman is stronger does not break the trend (bold for emphasis, not for yelling.) I believe that trend is why people don’t intervene. If one feels that finding any case to the contrary makes the trend false, then there’s nothing that can be said to change that view.
I won’t add anymore to that though, because ChipBeat made a good point last night (but I needed to go to sleep, so I didn’t acknowledge it.)

Most cases of abuse (physical or otherwise) won’t occur unless the abuser feels an advantage over the abused. It doesn’t matter if either party is male or female, and that would render the fact irrelevant. After having that explained, perhaps that isn’t what should be discussed, because:

  1. The point has been made, period.
  2. Further discussion against overwhelming evidence is exacerbating the problem, because that focus overemphasizes that point: A perception that is causing the outcomes of abuse to be worse than they have to be, considering that there is abuse in some relationships. Well put, ChipBeat (assuming I’m getting what you’re saying.)

I think that most men being stronger than most women and the norms that follow suit is why people don’t respond to female-on-male violence the same way as people would male-on-female physical abuse, so to answer that question I have to make a nod to that discrepancy. Is that something we all (excluding Oh Muh Gah currently) agree upon?
So I’m focusing on what ChipBeat suggested (unless someone feels there are some loose ends to be addressed):

  • Abuse when a woman is clearly a threat to the male (because she has some advantage like a weapon, physical dominance, or a psychological or emotional edge.)

In regards to that, I think people would respond the same way as they did in the video.

  • People don’t respond as quickly to emotional abuse, because it’s less tangible. It’s hard to say when an discussion between a couple is turning into an argument. And when an arugment is making it’s way into name-calling, name-calling into verbal abuse, and verbal abuse into emotional and psychological abuse. Especially when you’re just passing by on the street.
  • Physical abuse may be taken the same way in this context. However, I think people would step in if the man was getting his hairy (assuming it is, in fact, hairy) can handed to him and he looked to be in danger of being physically injured.

Part of it may just be plain apathy as well. If one’s view of what is OK isn’t being threatened, then the norm may be to stay out of “other people’s business.”

Yes, that is what I am saying. *^_^
You make a good point about emotional abuse, and I would add, psychological/emotional advantages being less visible/tangible to outsiders. It is more difficult for someone to recognize abuse if the abuser is not visibly advantaged by being obviously stronger or the dominant sex.
The question is how can we address this issue?
-debates over who is physically stronger distract discussions over who is advantageous. In an effort not to depict women as weaker than men, and to combat generalizations, many people argue that women are not physically weaker than men. This IMO hurts women for the sheer fact that the debate gets centered around who is stronger physically which will always lead to those arguing for women losing because women are in fact generally weaker than men. This has 2 negative effects:
1. Since the debate is focused on physical strength, people in real life primarily take notice of that and ignore other factors, emotional/social, etc.
2. Since women keep getting portrayed as generally physically weaker since any debate over who is stronger will lead to that, that becomes more and more the societal norm, lowering expectations of women to how strong they should be, leading to less women trying/expecting to become stronger, which in turn reinforces more women being weaker than men.
In short, this argument should not be focused around who is stronger physically. Even if you are trying to depict women as being capable at fighting(a good point), arguing against the fact that “men are generally stronger than women” will only distract away from your overall point and harm women(and men) in the long run.

Last edited Sep 12, 2011 at 12:42PM EDT

(Side note: I like your new avatar, Verbose!)

I think there’s a big issue at stake here that is unfortunately so often the case: historical and societal understandings of the relational dynamics between men and women will tend to make people have preconceived notions about any specific relationship, which of course not only may deviate from the norm, but is almost certain to, simply because everyone is different.

Expanding on ChipBeat’s two points:

1) As I said, the facts I quoted above in the thread focus on the physical aspect of gender differences alone. The mental/emotional aspects, although less well understood, are nonetheless suggestive of the idea that women, tending to be more in tune with the emotional aspect of themselves, may be far more likely to be capable of emotional abuse, which in many ways is far more powerful. (My own father was, at times, emotionally abusive due to his own mental instabilities, and frankly, there have been many times when I’d thought that I’d rather he had beaten me physically; physical bruises heal faster than a broken heart.)

2) Women in particular (and men as well in many cases) can and do find themselves limited by societal expectations; this may be even worse in this case where, once again, it is simply a scientific fact that women (in general we must always stress) are weaker. My hope would be that women can find opportunities to overcome this through strength training and/or self-defense skills. Sometimes this may not be the case. As I wrote in my blog (Another shameless plug here…) about another semi-related topic,

When [science journalist Sharon] Begley points out that the very fact of being told that you can’t do something impedes the brain from doing it, she points out that it doesn’t have to be personal. A girl doesn’t have to be told that she is incompetent in mathematics, she need only be told that historically, women have underachieved in comparison to men, and the discomfort that sets up in her mind is sufficient to impede her thought processes. This is the sort of thing that goes beyond self-worth, and turns into an evaluation of the worth of the group to which one belongs. We tell people that they are inferior for long enough, and some of them believe it; among those who have the determination to not believe it, more than a few will still be burdened by the injustice of the sentiment.

While I realize what you are saying about it being harmful to women to remind them that they are (physically) weaker, maybe what needs to be done is to reinforce in everyone’s mind that “Might makes right.” is not a morally superior position, and once again, the sex of the abuser should not be an issue.

Last edited Sep 12, 2011 at 03:24PM EDT

Do you want to know what men and women are really equal into?


A woman can persecute her ex-boy friend by spying him, phoning to him obsexively and beating up his actual partner to ruine their relationship the same well as a man do.


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