KingMidget's Ramblings

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They Call Me … Misogynist


I had the misfortune of getting sucked into a comment firestorm first thing this morning. I checked out a new blog and found a post about women slapping men. In the post the blogger asked her male readers if they had ever been slapped by a woman. Since I had just written a post on the very same subject, I commented and linked to my post. And the firestorm ensued. The exchange is at the bottom of this post. I share it here because I worry that some of my regular readers might have interpreted my earlier post in the way this blogger did and I want to be abundantly clear about this.

I did not intend in anything I wrote in that post to justify Ray Rice’s actions. I did not intend to defend him. I did not intend to turn Janay into the perpetrator and Ray into the victim. I believe anybody who gave my post a fair reading would realize that and I cannot understand how somebody reading it would reach the conclusion that I was justifying or defending him and, ultimately, that I am a misogynist.

I wrote that post because I believe, as with most things, that snap judgments and conclusions based on scant evidence typically do nothing to further the discussion and our understanding of the dynamics of the situation. And frequently then end up totally wrong. As far as I’m concerned, a conclusion that the man is always wrong will never lead to a solution to the scourge of domestic violence.

I continue to be amazed at the articles and comments I have read this week by people who insist that the beginning and end of the discussion is that Ray Rice hit his girlfriend. I don’t get a world in which women are excused from assaultive behavior, but men must never strike their girlfriends. That there is a difference in who can and cannot assault another person. It seems that it is domestic violence when a man assaults, but it’s not when a woman does because she is smaller and frailer. Would that change if Janay had been a 220 lb WNBA player and Ray had been a 150 lb accountant? If it would, why? Why should it matter the weight, size or gender of the person doing the assaulting.

The other blogger seems to think the size and gender of the perpetrator matters, that the extent of damage caused by the respective combatants matters, and that anything that led up to the assault is irrelevant. This is a critically important statement from the commenter: “I don’t need to know what had happened before and neither do i care, even if she was punching him all night long, that is some disgusting despicable shit that we saw.” Just think about that.

My point is that size and gender shouldn’t matter. Nobody has a right to slap, strike, hit, or assault in anyway another individual unless in self defense, to save a life, or for some other justifiable reason. Domestic violence is wrong no matter the gender or size of the perpetrator. No matter the extent of the damage caused. Yet, so many people want to ignore the fundamental nature of what the video shows. And, ultimately, what the video doesn’t show … what led up to it, what has happened within their relationship in the past. This is all relevant as far as I’m concerned. Not to justify or defend Ray Rice, but to understand the dynamic.

I cannot and never have justified or defended Ray Rice knocking his girlfriend out. I am as disgusted by his actions as everybody else is. But I’m just as disgusted with her for assaulting him. I’ve stopped watching the video, but every time I watched it I cringed and wanted to jump into it and stop him. And her. But, please, give me a flipping break. Because I want to recognize that there is a whole history to their relationship that none of us know, that there is evidence that indicates that she was assaulting him also, that understanding the why and how is necessary to really resolve this issue of domestic violence, and that snap judgments and unfounded conclusions and wanting to hang him high does absolutely nothing for anybody … that makes me a misogynist! That turns me into a knuckle-dragging, mouth breather. That turns me into, apparently, somebody who is no better than Ray Rice.

My point for those of you who read my blog regularly is that I hope none of you interpreted what I wrote earlier this week as justifying or defending Ray Rice. That was not my intent. Hopefully, you understood.

And here’s the comment thread. Not my proudest moment in one or two places, but it is what it is. I think after getting called a misogynist and being subject to what I believed was a complete and continued mischaracterization of my post and my words, I had a right to say the things I said, but then again, maybe in this woman’s world, women can call men names and they’re just supposed to take it.

 

kingmidget

September 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Yes. I’ve been slapped. Just wrote a post about it and compared it to how people are viewing the Ray Rice situation … https://kingmidgetramblings.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/maybe/

I will never understand the view that women can slap men and men are just supposed to take it. Nobody should slap anybody.

Sorry to take this down a serious path.

Intergalacticbattlegirl

September 12, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the follow. Obviously i am apposed to all physical altercations between men and women. But i think you are mistaken in thinking that i will ever tolerate any injuring contact from a man to a woman, unless she’s got a knife or a gun and he is concerned for his life. I read your post and I’ll be very honest, I most ardently disagree with most of the content, in fact it’s appalling to me. Just being honest. I don’t need to know what had happened before and neither do i care, even if she was punching him all night long, that is some disgusting despicable shit that we saw. The fact that cringing in horror is not the only reaction that inspired in you, is indicative in my opinion of who you are. But that’s the beauty of wordpress we can agree to disagree and move on to the next debate. I hope the vitriol Ray Rice received follows him around like a shroud of shame for the rest of his life. Cheers.

kingmidget

September 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm

So because I can cringe in horror but also be open-minded enough to realize that the video doesn’t tell the whole story tells you who I am … Please tell me, what does it say to you about me?

Intergalacticbattlegirl

September 12, 2014 at 2:31 pm

That you’re open to making excuses to a grotesque act of violence against a woman. Although you’re saying that you’re merely trying to mitigate the vitriol, what you are really doing is suggesting that it might have not been what it looked like. She musta done something to piss him off, he snapped, he’s had enough” Nothing matters or justifies whats recorded in that video. A 220+ man punches out a 100lbs girl and drags her out like a rag doll. Come on.

September 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Now I understand. You’re a selective reader. I have stated several times how disgusted I am by what he did. The point of my post was not to make excuses for him but to try to get close-minded people like you who want to attack the man regardless of the circumstances to recognize that many DV situations are not as clean cut as you might think. Where’s the outrage that she slapped him and spit on him?

Intergalacticbattlegirl

September 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm

There is also no “but also” & no “circumstance” your rhetoric is very obvious, you’re
a misogynist, plain and simple, and not just a little bit. You either are capable of beating down a woman or you are not.

Intergalacticbattlegirl

September 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I’d think her slapping him WAS outrageous if he didnt cause her brain damage.

Intergalacticbattlegirl

September 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm

And yea, men are just supposed to take it. Real men can walk away and never look back. Slack jawed mouthbreathers retaliate and hit women back.

kingmidget

September 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm

You’re disgusting.

Intergalacticbattlegirl

September 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

Thats some funny stuff you’re putting down. Please vacate my Blog space. Thanks

kingmidget

September 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Shortest blog follow of my life. I need no part of your close minded black and white world. You have absolutely no clue who I am and what I am yet you have no problem tagging me with a vile description that doesn’t even come close to my reality. Yes you are disgusting.

Intergalacticbattlegirl

September 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm

Happy travels

kingmidget

September 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

And to you too. Hopefully, you’ll one day recognize the world is full of shades of gray. It’s more complicated that way but it’s also very real.

Intergalacticbattlegirl

September 12, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Shades of grey on the subject of the circumstance which justify men beating down women in elevators? You’re still here and still funny, and it’s still regrettable.

kingmidget

September 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Are you always a selective reader?

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38 responses to “They Call Me … Misogynist

  1. Jennwith2ns September 12, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I agree that there’s an insane double-standard. I think it’s right to point it out.

    • kingmidget September 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Thank you. I’m really struggling with the reaction to this in general and to my post specifically.

      • Jennwith2ns September 12, 2014 at 6:29 pm

        I believe you. This stuff stings.

      • kingmidget September 12, 2014 at 6:40 pm

        Thank you for being a lonely voice in the wilderness.

      • Jennwith2ns September 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

        I’d say it’s a pleasure, although that doesn’t seem right… Anyway, you’re welcome.

      • John Callaghan September 12, 2014 at 6:52 pm

        But, if you discuss something this controversial you’re going to get really strong reactions.

      • kingmidget September 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm

        I’ve been blogging for several years now. Written about a lot of controversial subjects. Nothing has produced what this has.

      • John Callaghan September 12, 2014 at 7:08 pm

        Oh. Yikes. Sorry about that.

      • kingmidget September 12, 2014 at 7:19 pm

        No worries from you, my friend. I’m just amazed that this is the issue that caused the explosion. I don’t get people’s complete unwillingness to consider anything beyond what the video shows. Yes, it’s disgusting, but you know what? If people want to have any understanding of domestic violence, they actually need to consider the reality behind the video and the reality that far too many people live.

      • John Callaghan September 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm

        I do understand what you are saying. I am a little surprised at the intensity with which people are expressing themselves. But in no way would I ever think of other than someone who is expressing a different approach to situation. That makes you thoughtful and imaginative, not misogynistic.

      • kingmidget September 13, 2014 at 6:48 am

        Yeah … this is the problem. Some people, while paying lip service to being open to different views, can only attack and name call when they get those different views. It’s what I can’t stand about what the internet has done to the level of dialogue in our society. Attempts at an adult dialogue are virtually impossible because people are too quick to judge and sink to the gutter in their responses. It’s like people have shut down the thinking part of their brains and just react. It’s like an elementary school playground. Funny thing is that she and I probably have more in common than we think, but her immediate jump to calling me a misogynist makes it virtually impossible to have a real conversation.

  2. John Callaghan September 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I read your post and the post in question and I gave, more or less, the same comment for both. I have not been reading your blog for a very long time but I know you aren’t a mysogynist. I don’t agree with all aspects of your argument but I understand you have no malice of intent. When a man is being hit by a woman he is physically able to remove himself from the situation. But not so for a woman. If she is being aussaulted she physically can’t remove herself. For me that is the key difference in the power dynamic. The other part of the video that I found so repugnant was after the aussault Rice dragged the woman out of the elevator in such a callus way it spoke to me of extreme misogyny, a hatred, to the point he could knock her out and then drag her into a hallway. No 911 call.

    • kingmidget September 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      There’s a lot in the video to be repugnant about. There is definitely callous behavior on his part.

      As for the differences between how a man and woman can or cannot remove themselves from the situation, I disagree with your characterization. If a man can remove himself because he’s bigger and stronger, that assumes several things … first, that he actually is bigger and stronger; and second, that he can do so without violence.

  3. sknicholls September 12, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Closed minded people will never see an open minded way.

    • kingmidget September 12, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      I’m swimming against the tide on this one. It is far too easy for people to take the easy approach and condemn him with consideration. I condemn him, too, but from a different place. Apparently, a place that most people can’t handle.

      • sknicholls September 12, 2014 at 7:21 pm

        I worked for two years in a very active ER and I have seen men terrified of their wives and seriously wounded but too proud to speak up. It’s a two way street that many choose to ride down with blinders on.

      • kingmidget September 12, 2014 at 8:09 pm

        Hold on a sec. Is that a fact getting in the way of assumptions that are far easier to make than dealing with reality? 🙂

  4. Trent Lewin September 12, 2014 at 7:23 pm

    Well, you found a live one there, Mark. I read your initial post and for someone to call you a misogynist is the height of stupidity. Sorry you had to put up with such crap. I think Ray Rice is a moron, period, and if she had smacked him like that, she would be too.

  5. Philip Walter September 13, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    You can’t have a conversation with someone on their high horse who manipulates and cherry picks single of few words in a string. Can’t be done.

  6. Amy Reese September 14, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    I haven’t read the woman’s post and really haven’t watched the video, if you can believe that. Hearing about it is enough for me. Violence on anyone’s part is shameful. My position is that men can be called be out on this behavior when they put a woman in a life-threatening situation and the woman is unable to defend herself because she may be weaker, not as strong, and powerless. This is the main difference to me.

    • kingmidget September 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      I agree that men who do that should be called out. I was just trying to describe a scenario that might provide an alternative explanation — one that doesn’t justify but provides a bigger context. I applaud you for not watching the video. It’s one of my goals — to stop watching this stuff an getting sucked in. Not working too well so far.

      • Amy Reese September 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm

        There’s a lot of things I’m not watching now. That said, I listened to news stories about it and what he did was absolutely repugnant, and he belongs in jail. Certainly, he shouldn’t have the privilege of playing football. The power of images and videos have a huge impact. Look at the beheadings prompting a new war. That blogger you had words was emotionally charged, and I’m sure seeing the video has a lot to do with it. I don’t think I can watch it.

  7. Justine September 15, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Well said – you’re not a misogynist, you’re a sensible voice in a mad world.

  8. Elyse September 28, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Ummm, I just came over here after our exchange at Gibber’s.

    I think you make very good points. (My sister was beaten by her husband — she once told me that she usually started it. Alcohol was involved — once he stopped drinking, he stopped hitting. She did too.)

    But the woman in the comments followed your blog and then went into her rant? Ummmmmmmm. There is a serious disconnect in the mind of anyone who claims to think you so awful, but essentially just signed up for more. (I didn’t go beyond that point, though, because she lost all credibility.)

    • kingmidget September 28, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      No. Most of the comments took place over on her blog. She posted something about women getting away with slapping their men and asked if any of her male readers had ever been hit or slapped by a woman. I commented that I had and also had just written a blog post about it in response to the Ray Rice situation. Her first reply to my comment along the lines of “I disagree with everything you wrote in your post and now I know what kind of man you are.” To which I replied, of course, “what kind?” And that’s when she called me a misogynist. What’s interesting is that her blog is called Misanthrophy Misunderstood — which basically means she hates all people. 🙂

      Thanks for your support, by the way. That was one comment exchange that really through me for a loop.

      • Elyse September 28, 2014 at 1:56 pm

        I had one once that had me alternating between tears and rage for about a week, so I do understand.

        I also really do accept that there are a lot of assholes in the world. I just try not to be one of them. Or not too often, anyway!i

      • kingmidget September 28, 2014 at 1:58 pm

        Me, too. Unfortunately, there are people out there who think I’m an asshole because I think it appropriate at times to ask “why?” when they’re unwilling to believe there’s a reason to explain. 🙂

      • Elyse September 28, 2014 at 1:59 pm

        People– too many see only black and white when really everything is gray

      • kingmidget September 28, 2014 at 2:01 pm

        That is exactly the point I was trying to make to her. It’s exactly what drives me crazy about my in-laws. It is exactly the thing that drives me crazy about so many people. See something, react immediately, form judgments. Without ever stopping and considering the reasons why.

  9. JunkChuck October 17, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I missed this back when you posted it–you sure walked into the buzz saw with that one, but what you said made sense to me, rhetorically. I was punched by a woman once, a good hard haymaker to the jaw. It didn’t hurt much, but it hurt a lot. I read that blog post you commented on–you never had a chance, man. I looked at a few other posts. I hardly remember what it’s like to be young and earnest, crazily confident in naive confidence, with no time or patience for nuance. LIke I said, you didn’t have a chance.

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