So the execrable Andrea Hardie — Twitter abuser, violence-threatener, Canada-embarrasser — has been pondering a deep philosophical conundrum: “Do some women benefit from being slapped around?”
If you have even the slightest familiarity with Hardie — known on the internet as JudgyBitch and/or Janet Bloomfield — you probably won’t be shocked to discover that her answer is yes.
You might be a little surprised that she considers herself, at least hypothetically, one of these women.
“There are all kinds of reasons I don’t cheat on my husband,” she explains, “but an important one is that I assume he would beat the sh*t out of me if I ever did. And I would bloody well deserve it.”
While Hardie insists that her husband “has never hit me in any context that wasn’t erotic and consensual” or even acted in a threatening manner towards her, she tells her readers that she “very much assume[s] that he would, and further, that in certain situations, he should.”
Cheating on her husband would be one of these “certain situations.” Being “disrespectful” of him in front of other people would be another. As she explains:
There are many things I would simply never dream of doing to my husband, because I assume I would get a slap or worse, if I did. All of those things are linked to respect. To be clear: all of this comes from me. Tim has never said “Don’t ever think of doing x because I will hit you.” … I just feel that he would, and he would be perfectly justified in doing so. There are a multitude of reasons I wouldn’t be disrespectful of my husband, especially in public. The possibility of taking a well-earned beating just happens to be one of them.
But unfortunately, Hardie claims, not all women are as well-behaved as she is.
I don’t go around inviting my husband to slap me by screaming at him in public or humiliating him by flirting with other men. But lots of women do. How much of domestic violence is caused by women pushing men into hitting them because that level of domination is familiar, and in a f*cked up way, deeply erotic for the women?
Yep, she went there, conflating consensual kink with men “beating the sh*t” out of women to punish them for their “disrespect.”
“[S]ome women do benefit from being slapped around,” Hardie concludes. “Some women crave it.”
She isn’t the only MRA who has tried to erase or complicate the clear distinction between consensual BDSM and domestic abuse. Youtube bloviater Karen “GirlWritesWhat” Straughan has suggested that many abused women “demand” their abuse, which Straughan thinks can lead to “scorching” sex. Anti-domestic-violence crusader turned domestic-violence apologist Erin Pizzey describes situations in which both partners are violent as “consensual violence.”
It’s not hard to tell the difference between violence in, say, sports and violence in real life — hitting someone in the face is perfectly acceptable, even encouraged, if you’re a professional boxer in the middle of a boxing match; it’s not acceptable to just go down the street punching random people who annoy you.
So is it really that hard for Hardie and other MRAs to tell the difference between, say, consensual spanking and “beating the sh^t” out of your partner? I don’t think it is. As you may recall, Hardie made clear early in her post that she understands this distinction quite well, telling us that her husband “has never hit me in any context that wasn’t erotic and consensual.”
The point of this phony “confusion” between consensual kink and domestic violence is to support an old victim-blaming narrative in which male violence is considered an excusable response to deliberate provocation from women who, in many cases, secretly love being beaten.
“For lots of women, submission to a violent man is a bonding experience,” Hardie writes.
[I]t’s incontrovertible that many women find violence erotic and even comforting. How many women feel this way, but have no way to articulate it, and thus end up provoking violence that can easily get out of hand?
Even more perversely, Hardie goes on to suggest that, when things do get “out of hand,” the abusive men are also somehow victims of the abuse they themselves inflict on their female partners.
Sure, Hardie says, women “may provoke more violence and anger than they intend, and thus end up getting really hurt.”
But men suffer as well, she writes, from being “provoked” into inflicting “violence [that goes] well beyond what is beneficial or wanted.”
Should men be punished when they’re “provoked” into beating their partners? I doubt it will come as much of a shock to discover that Hardie says “no.”
Oh, hitting women should still be illegal, she says. But, she insists, female “provocation” should be seen as “a mitigating factor … [e]ven to the point that provocation results in dismissed charges.”
How much “provocation” would be required to dismiss charges against a man who pummeled his wife so badly that he broke her nose and knocked out some teeth? Could this be considered a justified response to her cheating on him? To her flirting with other men in public? For her being late with dinner two nights in a row?
Hardie’s “logic” here is the same logic abusers themselves use to justify their abuse, spiced up a little with disingenuous references to kink.
Men who punch women for being “disrespectful” towards them don’t deserve that respect. Neither do the women who excuse this abuse.