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.
It’s the friggin’ moral of the story of the tale of Sir Gawain and Lady Ragnell, something right out of arthurian legend. (And very amusingly boiled down here: http://bettermyths.com/sir-gawain-gets-married/ )
Nah, @Bryce, you completely missed the point. Or perhaps I didn’t make the point clearly enough. The point is that it is rare for prosperous privileged people to have enough spontaneous empathy to voluntarily connect unprecedented deprivation of privilege FOR THEMSELVES with systematic deprivation of privilege for people who are NOT LIKE THEM.
It’s not that “prosperous white males are bad” or “prosperous white males don’t have empathy” or “prosperous white males only care about themselves”, all of which are nonsensical overgeneralizations.
It’s that privilege is an inherently toxic condition which tends to atrophy its carriers’ sense of empathy and justice by reinforcing their unconscious assumptions that their privileged state is merely natural and fair and the way the world ought to be.
People who have been entrenched privilege-carriers for a long time are very unlikely to spontaneously react to unexpected loss of their own privilege with a revelation of empathy and understanding towards those who have always had less privilege.
Nothing says “I’m Mr. Empathy” quite like comparing mild criticism to forced relocation.
Hyperbole often spreads like a venereal disease among the socially criticized. Another version of irrationally shielding oneself with experiences more likely to be related to one’s critic.
I would say that upper and middle class cishet white men are as a group less empathetic to the plight of strangers and/or less privileged groups. Not necessarily less empathetic to friends and family and neighbors.
That does include you Bryce, because you have argued here before that men face equal or worse lookism and fat phobia to women and refused to acknowledge the intersection between misogyny and lookism or fat hatred.
Of course it includes Bryce. Nothing says “I have a serious empathy problem, just like Kimstu claimed” like making a conversation that had absolutely nothing to do with him into a conversation about his personal feels.
Isn’t there a whole genre of literature that addresses this point?
The earliest example that I can think of where a privileged person doesn’t realise the plight of the less privileged until a forced downgrading of status is “The Prince and The Pauper” but no doubt there are older examples. It’s such a universal truism I wouldn’t be surprised to see it reflected in fairy tales or classical plays.
There was at least one story in 1001 Nights in which a ruler disguises himself as a commoner and sees how his subjects live. Given that book is a collection of older stories, it’s probably not possible to say how old the trope is.
Believe it or not it isn’t that difficult to at least contemplate the advantages attached to being white, male, straight and relatively well off, which usually involve being free from certain barriers and negative experiences. I don’t live in the US and a lot of this characterization of privilege does seem to revolve around the experiences of minorities there.
? Now you seem to be talking about minorities perceiving the advantages of privilege enjoyed by non-minorities, which of course is an entirely different thing from privileged people perceiving their own privilege.
If what you’re trying to say is merely that sometimes privileged people can perceive their own privilege, well yes, of course they can. The point I’m making—and I don’t really know how I can explain it more clearly at this point—is that the specific experience of having one’s own lifelong privilege eroded by old age and ill health is usually more conducive to self-absorbed resentment than to spontaneous upwellings of empathy for all the other people who never had similar privilege in the first place.
Yes I meant from the perspective of someone aware of the advantages they inherit.
They did another penis transplant? I know they did the first one like 5 years ago, but that was in China, and we didn’t get to find out how it would have worked out long-term because — let’s the MRAs aren’t reading this — the man’s wife allegedly talked him into giving it back because having another man’s dick attached to her husband freaked her the hell out. I hope this procedure has more of a happy ending.
“I don’t like it that people are discussing something of great import to dust bunny, rather than something of great import to me. I need to change the convo ASAP. dust bunny’s problems are nothing compared with my delicate, delicate, extremely thin skin, so everybody had better privilege my feels immediately.”
Bryce, you are the reason why “I bathe in male tears” is a thing that some feminists say. You are proving your empathy fail harder with every post you make.
I don’t think I’ve commented on your writing before, which is foolish of me, because I quite enjoy it. I don’t always agree with you, but I don’t agree I do respect your opinion. And 90% of the time I agree.
Today I’m just really impressed by your is-ought argument. I’ve seen the basic ideas elsewhere — tried to make that basic arguent before — but I can never get it to come out as smoothly and powerfully as you did. Hats off.
EDIT: I remember now why I don’t give acclaim and shout-outs as much as I should, which is that I end up feeling presumptive. I’m looking at what I wrote and genuinely worried that I sound like I think I’m your writing professor marking up a paper or something. I always like to be very specific about why I like something because I think it will make me sound sincere, but maybe it just makes me seem controlling and self-aggrandizing. Idk. I hope you enjoy my comment, because that’s what I intended, and I hope you’ll tell me off if it feels wrong.
I’m glad you got something good out of that. 😀
Is-ought is linked strongly to the notion of a forced choice. Everyone is familiar with this: if you leave home to go somewhere important, and get 10-15 min out and suddenly remember that you left something really important behind, you’re experiencing a forced choice. You can go back and get it, and make yourself late, or you can keep going and live without the important item. You have no choice but to make a choice. I mean, technically you could stop where you are and dither forever, but that’s not actually a meaningful choice that anyone would make in reality. Eventually everyone is going to decide one way or another.
We notice forced choices more when all of the possible options will impact us negatively, but we are faced with forced choices every day. You’re about to leave the house and I tell you it’s raining outside, and there’s an umbrella you can use next to the door; the choice of whether to take an umbrella with you is now a forced choice you must make. Deciding to not decide is a decision.
Moral choices are exactly like this, too. Once we have noticed the status quo, or had it pointed out to us, we have to choose whether we think the status quo is fine and it ought to be this way. Choosing not to decide is a choice, in favor of the status quo. This is one of the reasons the status quo is so resistant to change. Mental inertia moves most people who aren’t being negatively impacted to decide to “not decide,” which means they have decided in favor of the status quo. “I’m not going to decide” just isn’t an option available to you when the choice is forced.
No worries. I didn’t read it that way at all.
You’re probably familiar with this quote.
ETA: Ooh, that came out a bit bigger than I thought. Still, it’s a point worth making.
How many threads does Bryce have to derail with his whiny-ass WATMing before he gets banned for tediousness?
Ah, thanks for clearing that up. But did you notice that all of this conversation is in the context of discussing @dust bunny’s experiences with her dad, someone who is emphatically and obstinately not aware of the advantages he inherits?
Let’s see if summarizing this point epigram-style will clarify it for you:
Privileged people who have spent their lives refusing to acknowledge that they’re privileged are unlikely to have a spontaneous epiphany on the subject just because they become old and sick.
So if you were seriously worried that somebody might have been trying to make the unfounded claim that all prosperous white men lack empathy and don’t care about anyone but themselves, you can relax: that’s not what’s being said here.
Holy crap! She is a terrible person.