Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Let's not repeat the mistakes of men

I had a rather interesting experience last weekend. So, I was out with a few friends to a pub with a dance floor (in a town in England). I was thinking to myself, “well, my husband is actually one of the cutest boys in the crowd”, and felt quite smug about it all. Hm hm ..
Less than an hour of thinking that, after a brief moment of keeping him out of my sight, I hear back from a friend of the horrible attack that was brought upon my man.
“Do you know what happened…. X got slapped in his ass my some girl”
What? Ofcourse I was a bit shocked and instinctively my alter ego sprouted out which sways her finger and hips while saying
“Bitch! You ain’t gonna mess with m~~~y man, or you gonna find yo self some reaaaaal trouble!!”
Of course it would’ve been amusing to go find the girl in question and try out my miss thang and all that impression, I thought despite my urge to use this as an social experiment, a opportunity to do social research.
I was first shocked to find out, that “girl”, was in no way a girl, but a woman well in her mid/late thirties- with glasses and looks rather decent. I approached her…
Me: “Excuse me, did you happen to slap a person’s ass tonight?”
Ass slapper: “No… what do ya mean?”
Me: “Well, I was told that you did in fact slap someone’s ass tonight… and was wondering why you did it?”
Ass slapper: “What? I don’t remember… and I mean like guys do it all the time! So what?”
Me: “Do you think its okay, since guys slap your ass? Do you appreciate it if guys slap your ass? Was this your way of spreading the goodness of ass slapping?”
Ass slapper: “what… no… I mean, I guess it is embarrassing…?... I don’t X*”&”£ing care, I had loads of sambucca and don’t remember any ways!!”
Me: “Do you think its okay because you are drunk?”
Ass slapper: “Yeah, I mean like, whatever I had my sambucca and I don’t care what I do…”
Me: “Do you think its okay to use drunkenness and alcohol use as an excuse?”
Ass slapper: “What?? I don’t know, I ain’t talking to you no mo!”
(of course this is the shorter version of  the whole conversation)

Of course many people found this story quite amusing and really made the highlight of the night. The girl didn’t seem too embarrassed since she did not try to hide herself in any way nor showed any signs of remorse.
The interesting question is how we can see this happening. Actually many women do slap guys assess (or even grab their balls) in clubs and bars in the UK. I have to admit, this kind of behaviour is observed in the UK scene but I’ve never witnessed or heard of anything similar happening in other countries. I am not too sure about her argument that guys do it all the time.
What would’ve happened if it were the other way around – if a guy went up to her and slapped her ass. Of course it could be that she would’ve enjoyed it, but if it were for me, I would’ve been very disturbed and would’ve notified the bouncer/security to remove him from the premises if possible. My partner on the other hand was numb to this whole ordeal and thought nothing much of it. One other guy friend of mine added his view that guys usually enjoy it, since it is a dream come true for guys to be seen as sexual objects. Of course I disagree. I think that some guys do find it very disturbing if someone (anyone) slaps their ass and show sexual aggression towards them in any shape or form.
Many people said that even though there may be some guys who would feel that way, it is usually different for men and women. Yes, it is true. Since in most cases men are stronger than women physically, and there are more sexual assaults and violence committed towards women by men than the other way around, (47,000 women are raped every year in the UK (BCS, 2001)) the connotation one sexual assault holds from one sex to another is different depending on who commits the act.
However, this does not make the act a non aggressive act. Ass slapping perhaps is just a minor form of sexual aggression, but it is still a form that can inflict emotional and physical harm upon people. In addition, if we let this type of aggression slip, it can lead to more types of aggression that can inflict greater harm.
The point that this woman used – “well, guys do it all the time” is sometime used by women to justify their behaviours. Since men have used aggression towards women throughout history, it justifies aggression back towards them as well. In a way, this could be justified as a means to get men aware of how it actually feels to be harassed sexually by the other sex. On the other hand, the problem I have towards this approach is because it entails that women have learnt nothing from the wrong doings and the misogyny history of men. We cannot and should not repeat the horrid acts men have over centuries afflicted upon women but the other way around. We should learn from the agony and the pain caused from these acts, and make sure when women’s emancipation is reached (or when women take over the world) that we do not cause each other pain and no sex is tormented by the other.
That is my definition of emancipation. The goal is not to oppress men as they did to us, but to make everyone is equal and where both sexes can live in harmony... 

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