“I’d hit women.”
There, I said it.
And with that, audible gasps filled the room. Fists curled and numerous pairs of eyebrows twitched. I felt a cold, sinking feeling in my chest, as if I’ve fallen to the depths of the abyss. But I could still feel the heat, and unlike the warmth of the receptionist lady or the bewitching nurse of your fantasies, this one held no love. Instead of a tender, soothing warmth, this flame seared mercilessly from those who heard me mutter that phrase.
As their eyes blazed with judgement upon my misogynism, my next words could stand a chance to hit a jackpot ticket to the hospital. A conversation partner – a friend, sensing the hostility in the air, prompted: “Are you serious?”.
I’ve said it before, and I’d say it again.
I’m basically Hitler now, right?
The First Time
And have I done it before? Yes, I most certainly have. My first time was about 6 years ago, back when I was about 14. In our classroom, we sat in doubles and with the opposite gender, where the only exceptions are when the gender ratio isn’t 1:1. As fate would have it, I found myself seated next to a girl. She was a little shorter than me, pale and slightly less bulky than most. She wasn’t the most athletic person in class either.
3 months in, she received my virgin punch.
My friend’s facial expression warped into a desperate mix of confusion and denial. She refused to believe, and even now she still fought on – hanging on a shred of hope that perhaps, I jest. I’m rather thankful for her reaction, it implied a recognition – that she believed that the person in-front of her right now would never stoop that low. I mean, wife-beaters and their like are cowards and scumbags of the galaxy, right?
“Well, have I ever hit anyone before?”
So what about that girl who I punched 6 years ago? Yeap, still not taking that back – and never will. If I get a chance to change the past and do otherwise, I’m not exactly confident that I wouldn’t punch her.
We never really got along.
Given the incessant sounds of bickering day after day, I was surprised our seats haven’t been swapped. We put up with each other day after day, but this is no romantic comedy – one day I finally snapped. I couldn’t exactly recall the exact contents of the conversation, but it concerned my deceased relatives.
It was rude and uncalled for.
After months of interaction, or rather dispute, it is apparent to me that she holds no respect for me. That, I could stomach. I wasn’t very athletic, wasn’t too good-looking and spent my time fanboying over games, anime, cartoons and various similar virtual fantasies. I’m not very “respectable”, in the sense that I’ve never done anything noteworthy or impressive enough. I’m just your average kid.
Resorting to Violence
Facial expressions, body language and touch – they’re all forms of expression. Your actions speak, sometimes arguably louder than words. And for this specific moment I chose not to rely on verbalization, and delivered a punch to her shoulder.
I didn’t hit with full strength, of course. Just enough to hurt – to get the point across.
And I wouldn’t have put in more strength if I faced a guy. I treated her like how I would have treated anyone, male or female. And yet it can easily be mistaken for misogyny whilst accompanied by cries of “Chivaly is dead”.
It is widely expected of men to treat women with utmost respect. There are unwritten rules among men back in the day when women had very little rights. They were seen as fragile, weak and inferior – they required the tougher sex to fend for them. Chivalry of Knights strengthened back in those days, spearheaded by virtuous men and women whom benefited from the code.
And Yet The Glass Ceiling Still Stands
While it did rise out of emphasis for better treatment of womenfolk back in the past, but it arose out of a belief that women are too delicate to survive on their own. And with it, strengthened the assumption of superiority in the male sex. I try to treat people as my equal, and I reject the notion of gender roles being “predefined”. Because which female would gladly be insultingly patronized by arcane rituals performed around her – and out of a belief of their inferiority?
Some people are just better at some things than other people, there’s no need to factor in neither race nor gender. If I were born with “XX” chromosomes instead, I’d still hold the same principles; allowing people to punch me and certainly wouldn’t want to be thought of as inherently frail and helpless.
Sometimes, people get this misconception that I ‘hate’ women. Well, I don’t. I just despise their blatant hypocrisy – to be treated ‘equally’ and yet to uphold chivalry, a vestige of patriarchy, as soon as it benefits them.
To me, her gender didn’t matter. Her remarks were the aggressor, and the invocation of anger; its impact. The act of violence was a surrender to my emotions, so much that I gave up articulation in the midst. It communicated, but the recipient was hurt in the process.
Maybe I should have held it in back then. And thankfully, I haven’t been throwing punches since then. But I’d prefer my next ones to be determined by context, and not gender.