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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Let them fend for themselves

Unsurprisingly, some women are upset that most people are inclined to stay out of a domestic dispute, especially if the woman is lower class:
Last night, ABC used hidden cameras and actors to see what regular people would do if they saw an obviously abused woman being harassed by her boyfriend. A lot of regular people failed the test.
Failed the test? I'd say they passed it, assuming that the test is of their intelligence. Only a white knighting gamma or a clueless fool doesn't know that many women are aficionados of the "let's you and him fight" game. If I don't know the couple involved, there is very little chance that I am going to risk injury or jail on behalf of a woman with a taste for the thug life. And since women are so strong and independent these days, why should they expect help from anyone of either sex? I respect the right of women to not only make their own decisions, but also to experience the full consequences of those decisions.

This isn't to say I have never intervened in a violent situation. If I happen to know the people involved and understand the situation, I will consider escalating the level of violence without warning to bring the situation to a close. An acquaintance once punched his girlfriend in the jaw right in front of me; she was a friend of mine who had previously dated one of my best friends. So, I immediately bounced his face off a nearby brick wall. Twice. However, to be honest, I have to admit that I had always disliked the guy and it is entirely possible that my reaction was less white knightly and more opportunistic.

Anyhow, the point is that you should never get involved in a violent situation unless you intervene without warning and with a conclusive level of violence. Unless the situation CLEARLY and ABSOLUTELY justifies you incapacitating the assailant without warning, stay completely out of it. Don't posture, don't lecture, and don't white knight. It's not your business and you really don't want to end up like the Hispanic guy who was killed trying to help a woman who couldn't even bother to call for help for her rescuer.

This doesn't mean that one must suffer the interruption to one's dinner, of course. Etiquette demands that one clear one's throat, lean over, and say: "My dear man, I could not possibly care less what sort of gorilla sex games the two of you happen to enjoy, but unless this is part of the scheduled dinner theatre, I would be most appreciative if you would throttle your woman outside the premises, thank you very much."

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