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 thenelli01

Fighting a girl

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I'd say it's exactly the same as using retaliatory force against the same sex, and the only reason people hesitate is because of cultural norms. If a girl was beating on me, I'd beat right back if I really had to without a thought to her sex, but I'm gay and smallish so it's a no-brainer and without any cultural hangups.

Force is force. The degrees of force should be judged by degrees, not by the originator's sex (even if sex will determine some degrees).

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Is it moral to use retaliatory force (punch) against a woman if she hits you?

Should we treat force by a woman differently than we do if the force was done by a man?

Retaliatory? No. Getting hit once, especially by a woman, isn't proof that she's trying to beat you up, so it doesn't warrant reacting with a punch.

You should only start punching someone once it's clear that they are there to fight you or beat you up. Until then, there are better ways to handle it. That's especially the case with a woman, who probably expects to get away with slapping or hitting someone once, so it's unlikely that she's a danger to your physical wellbeing.

You can always file a complaint with the Police, if you don't want to let her get away with it. But there's no reason for you to punish her yourself.

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I'd say it's exactly the same as using retaliatory force against the same sex, and the only reason people hesitate is because of cultural norms.

Should we always ignore cultural norms?

I think fights between men are acceptable in many cultures. That means that, if you are challenged to one, you should consider accepting the challenge, provided that you wish to be a part of that culture, you're not just an outsider trying to mind his own business. And getting hit by a man is considered a challenge.

However, fights between men and women aren't acceptable in too many cultures. So you shouldn't treat getting hit by a woman as a challenge to fight. It probably isn't, it's just an expression of anger. That means that you should only fight back to the extent you need to immediately protect yourself (in most cases, that wouldn't involve punching her).

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This calls to mind a scene from a perfectly awful Clint Eastwood movie from the 70's, The Gauntlet. Some bikers, including a really butch female specimen, beat up Clint, but he finally gets the better of them. When he gets round to the female she says "you wouldn't hit a woman", then CLUNK!

So anyway, for my two bits on the OP, I say it depends on the context. The Objectivist Ethics aren't about categorical imperatives, like never never never use retaliatory force when your attacker has certain chromosomes.

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There are two things that prevent men from hitting women.

1) Most people don't like destroying pretty things. The female face is usually thought to be pretty, and is even fetishized by our culture to some extent. So distorting one with blows just doesn't feel right.

2) Men see women as weaker I think that hitting a woman would feel like hitting a child in some sense. Women are typically thinner, shorter, and lighter weight than most men

I doubt many people cringed when they saw a buff ugly woman with a knife getting punched.

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That's especially the case with a woman, who probably expects to get away with slapping or hitting someone once, so it's unlikely that she's a danger to your physical wellbeing.

I will agree with you that you should never actually hit someone unless you are protecting yourself from imminent harm. A single hit may simply have been out of pure anger and does not warrant an escalation to the situation. However I will say that I find great fault with the idea you have presented in the above statement. I posit that it in no way is it acceptable for someone to expect to "get away with" hitting another adult person no matter the gender. Striking another is an act of violence and is intolerable. Allowing women or men of any kind to consider that it is "ok" to hit someone because they are angry is unacceptable.

I do agree with you, however, that this is the prevalent thought pattern in our society. A female hitting a male because she feels that she, as a woman, can do so without fear of retaliation. I feel that should this happen, then hitting them back, in kind is completely acceptable. However countering a slap with a full on punch would not. If she slaps you, slap her back. If she punches you punch her back. Do what you would do should the other person be another man. Women are not special, they are not above men in some mystical way that should give them undue protection. If you feel uncomfortable personally hitting a female then at least file charges for an illegal act of violence against your person. Assault can be a rather serious charge, and they would deserve what they get.

That's my two cents. Thanks,

C

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In practical terms, there is no reason to do this unless you really needed to defend yourself. Otherwise your just opening yourself up to a no win situation. Either you are either the guy that got beat up by a girl or you’re the bastard who hit a girl. Generally speaking walking away is the better road.

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Why does hitting a girl automatically end with you being the bastard? Are you simply saying this because society feels this way?

In practical terms, there is no reason to do this unless you really needed to defend yourself. Otherwise your just opening yourself up to a no win situation. Either you are either the guy that got beat up by a girl or you’re the bastard who hit a girl. Generally speaking walking away is the better road.

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Why does hitting a girl automatically end with you being the bastard? Are you simply saying this because society feels this way?

Unless you are defending yourself from immediate harm, fighting someone is one of two things:

1. A choice to compete, as in a sporting exercise. Like a duel, without the killing. Choosing to compete in a fist fight against a weaker woman is irrational for objective reasons, not just because society feels that way. Women are usually not a match to men, in a fight.

2. Retaliation. Choosing to hit anyone (man or woman) as punishment for a crime, in a civilized society, is always irrational. It's not your prerogative to retaliate against someone. Not even if you're the victim. It's the justice system's. (You may only take justice in your own hands if the justice system fails you.)

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I'd say it's exactly the same as using retaliatory force against the same sex, and the only reason people hesitate is because of cultural norms.

I agree partially, that it is the same situation but not that it is only because of cultural norms. In choosing to defend yourself from any attacker it is necessary to scale the force used to the level of threat since at some point it will be necessary to provide evidence that you only defended yourself and did not become the attacker. (the trayvon martin case comes to mind) With a woman, particularly a small framed one, it would be exceedingly difficult as a 200# guy to convince a judge or jury that you were afraid of being hurt. If she came at you with a knife, on the other hand, knocking her out might be more easily justified as opposed to restraining her or something more mild. Likewise with a quadriplegic attacker. Even if he does legitimately attack yo, you are not suddenly legally or even ethically free to use any amount of force you would like to.

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Unless you are defending yourself from immediate harm, fighting someone is one of two things:

1. A choice to compete, as in a sporting exercise. Like a duel, without the killing. Choosing to compete in a fist fight against a weaker woman is irrational for objective reasons, not just because society feels that way. Women are usually not a match to men, in a fight.

2. Retaliation. Choosing to hit anyone (man or woman) as punishment for a crime, in a civilized society, is always irrational. It's not your prerogative to retaliate against someone. Not even if you're the victim. It's the justice system's. (You may only take justice in your own hands if the justice system fails you.)

So a woman stabs you and leaves you to die, but is acquitted of charges by a jury, you are saying it is moral and your right to go to her house and do....?

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So a woman stabs you and leaves you to die, but is acquitted of charges by a jury, you are saying it is moral and your right to go to her house and do....?

Depends. I said "if the justice system fails you". But I don't necessarily consider having someone acquitted by a jury to be "the justice system failing the victim". I don't think Casey Anthony's acquittal was the justice system failing, for instance. Expecting 100% conviction rates from the justice system would be an unreasonable standard for non-failure.

The minimal requirement for a justice system failure would be the willful miscarriage of justice or blatant and provable incompetence on the part of officials. In that case, yes, an individual does have the moral right to act instead.

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Depends. I said "if the justice system fails you". But I don't necessarily consider having someone acquitted by a jury to be "the justice system failing the victim". I don't think Casey Anthony's acquittal was the justice system failing, for instance. Expecting 100% conviction rates from the justice system would be an unreasonable standard for non-failure.

The minimal requirement for a justice system failure would be the willful miscarriage of justice or blatant and provable incompetence on the part of officials. In that case, yes, an individual does have the moral right to act instead.

What are you saying the guy has a moral right to do? Lets stick with my example, and we'll say the acquittal is due to incompetence of officials and bribery; what does "taking justice in your own hands" and the "moral right to act" mean in this situation?

Edited by Matt Giannelli

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A female hitting a male because she feels that she, as a woman, can do so without fear of retaliation. I feel that should this happen, then hitting them back, in kind is completely acceptable. However countering a slap with a full on punch would not. If she slaps you, slap her back. If she punches you punch her back. Do what you would do should the other person be another man. Women are not special

This is a touchy subject because domestic abuse rates are so high. In 2003: "Women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15%." Too many men fly off the handle and hit their partners when they're angry, drunk, etc. Whether it's "deserved" or "initiated by her" or not doesn't matter. If you're in a situation where your girlfriend/wife hits you (how often does this happen, anyway?) and you feel threatened, you should back off and think hard about whether you want to continue seeing her. Punching her isn't going to do anything, except maybe show everyone that you can't control your temper.

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This is a touchy subject because domestic abuse rates are so high. In 2003: "Women accounted for 85% of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for approximately 15%." Too many men fly off the handle and hit their partners when they're angry, drunk, etc. Whether it's "deserved" or "initiated by her" or not doesn't matter. If you're in a situation where your girlfriend/wife hits you (how often does this happen, anyway?) and you feel threatened, you should back off and think hard about whether you want to continue seeing her. Punching her isn't going to do anything, except maybe show everyone that you can't control your temper.

Supposedly the ratio of reported female spousal abuse to male spousal abuse is not actually reflective of reality. A great deal of female on male abuse goes unreported for a number of reasons. First, the man can usually fend the female off with relative ease. Second, the male is often embarrassed to seek assistance in restraining and punishing a woman. Third, most Western culturals generally see it as permissible for a woman to strike a man to some degree (how often do men get slapped by women in moves with no retaliation). Unfortunately it is difficult to find any exact statisitcs precisely because such events go unreported.

Edited by Dormin111

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In practical terms, there is no reason to do this unless you really needed to defend yourself. Otherwise your just opening yourself up to a no win situation. Either you are either the guy that got beat up by a girl or you’re the bastard who hit a girl. Generally speaking walking away is the better road.

I'd gladly be the bastard who hit a girl before walking away. I can easily live with the reputation of not taking that kind of crap - I don't accept anyone getting violent with me.

On the other hand, there is a big difference in context between getting hit by a man and getting hit by a woman. Getting hit by most men is a serious threat. There's usually enough power to make it potentially lethal, even if by accident(there are enough cases of people getting knocked out and suffering severe head trauma from the fall). Getting hit by most women is much less serious.

Retaliating against a woman could have very serious consequences. A much stronger man retaliating in anger will likely find it very hard to control the force and there's a big risk of things going really ugly. And afterwards you can't really go: "Well, she slapped me!".

Personally i'd cut a woman a lot of slack and rather control her than hit her. But it should be made very clear that such behavior is unacceptable.

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Personally i'd cut a woman a lot of slack and rather control her than hit her. But it should be made very clear that such behavior is unacceptable.

This option is equally as immature as slapping back. Better to leave the situation entirely, and find people who actually act mature and respectful, even through disagreement. Retaliating is a necessity regarding self-defense, not for teaching someone a lesson.

Edited by Eiuol

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What are you saying the guy has a moral right to do? Lets stick with my example, and we'll say the acquittal is due to incompetence of officials and bribery; what does "taking justice in your own hands" and the "moral right to act" mean in this situation?

You haven't provided enough of a context for me to be able to say anything specific. All you provided was a brief description of the crime. What one has a moral right to do in response to such a crime depends on much more than just the crime itself.

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This option is equally as immature as slapping back. Better to leave the situation entirely, and find people who actually act mature and respectful, even through disagreement. Retaliating is a necessity regarding self-defense, not for teaching someone a lesson.

I disagree. Someone who hits me once may do it twice, and i'm not inclined to taking that without standing up for myself.

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Retaliatory? No. Getting hit once, especially by a woman, isn't proof that she's trying to beat you up, so it doesn't warrant reacting with a punch.

You should only start punching someone once it's clear that they are there to fight you or beat you up. Until then, there are better ways to handle it. That's especially the case with a woman, who probably expects to get away with slapping or hitting someone once, so it's unlikely that she's a danger to your physical wellbeing.

You can always file a complaint with the Police, if you don't want to let her get away with it. But there's no reason for you to punish her yourself.

That is utterly ridiculous. If someone has hit you, they probably plan on doing it again within the next second or so. Even if they don't, they've given you plenty of reason to believe that they might and that is reason enough to prevent yourself from being hit even a single more time. You don't have to fear real damage before defending yourself. You have the right to use a reasonable amount of force to prevent yourself from being hit even once.

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Yes, it's moral to retaliate if a woman strikes you.

No, force shouldn't be treated differently between a woman and a man.

Whether you find it appropriate, yourself, to retaliate is dependent on the context, man or woman.

There may be typically different contexts for a man and a woman, but that fact doesn't change the basic principle: an assault on your rights.

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You haven't provided enough of a context for me to be able to say anything specific. All you provided was a brief description of the crime. What one has a moral right to do in response to such a crime depends on much more than just the crime itself.

You should be able to give an answer with just the information provided. Random woman stabs you on the street, steals your wallet, leaves you to die. Is then aquitted due to incompetance and a cover up by the police. What does one have the moral right to do? Does he have the moral right to go to her house and stab her? I am just curious what you mean by "taking justice in your own hands."

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Are they? How do you figure?

This is all dependent on context. In a lot of situations, you really can't know whether the person is going to hit you again or not, and it's better to err on the side of safety than to figure "They won't do that again." Striking another person is a serious violation of their rights and isn't supposed to be taken lightly. I could easily see myself responding to a woman slapping me in the face with a hard punch to her's.

Of course, in accord with the correct context, I could see myself not doing anything if a woman were to slap me, e.g. I know her to have upstanding character, but, nonetheless, this criteria doesn't change once one makes the rights violator a man. The principle still stands.

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