More for the “men stand by while other men beat their property” files

Further to the Amazing Race assault post, another example of how men will just stand around while a man beats a woman, so long as they can assume that the woman is the man’s property.

Etana at Fatshionista writes “When two whole cakes ain’t enough arsenal…”

A random bloke assaulted her guide dog, assaulted and punched and spat at her, and swore at her repeatedly, at a bus stop. No one came to her aid.

Now it gets interesting. Like any high school bully he looks around for witnesses. Like any blind fool I don’t, I can’t tell. No one is rushing to my aide so I assume we’re alone to duke it out. Incredulously he turns around, starts to walk away and skips a beat. Returning to face me he says “you fucking fat cunt, fuck you. I’ll do what I want.” He then spits directly into my face – hitting my nose and mouth.

Then this happened afterwards:

A stranger from across the street walks over to me and asks if I knew the guy. Clearly, since we were fighting and all. If I had known him it would have been ok. Since I didn’t….well he felt bad. Luckily the bus finally came, I grabbed my dog and dignity and left.

[via a link roundup at FWD/Foward]

Categories: gender & feminism, violence

Tags: , , ,

9 replies

  1. OMG. What sort of man needs to prove his masculinity by assaulting someone with a disability? What sort of person waits until it is over before doing anything?

  2. Clearly, since we were fighting and all. If I had known him it would have been ok. Since I didn’t….well he felt bad.
    And no doubt he expected appreciation for this.

  3. Yet we are constantly told that violence against women can’t happen as much as the studies show, because any men nearby would always intervene to stop a man hitting a woman (or raping a woman).
    Right. If I was being assaulted by someone not my husband, and men who knew that he wasn’t my husband were there, yes, I’m pretty sure that they would step in.
    But if my husband was hitting me (not that he ever has or ever IMO would)? I’m not so sure at all that other men that know me would step in. Maybe one or two of them would.
    And if I was surrounded by men who didn’t know me at all? I would be absolutely astonished if a single one of them stepped in if I was being yelled at and beat up by a bloke. I’ve seen how it just doesn’t happen – I’ve only ever seen other women ask the woman being assaulted whether she needs help (and sometimes then nearby men are shamed into standing behind the woman stepping in to reinforce the question – but I’ve never once see a man step in first in this scenario).

  4. That is completely infuriating. He felt he had the right to assault her in public, and the man who didn’t step in affirmed that by not challenging it. And someone in the comments over there had the audacity to suggest that she was in the wrong for saying “That was a shitty thing to do”. Right, because all women are supposed to be polite and kind.
    This story is all kinds of fucked up 😡

  5. how loud can I scream as I read the story…

  6. While I agree that many people still view spousal/intimate abuse as ‘private’ (i.e. that women are, in a sense, their husband’s/boyfriend’s property) and are thus reluctant to intervene due to this sort of sexist reasoning, I think to a certain extent there is a taboo against intruding on intragender ‘private’ altercations as well. When I was publically assaulted by two *girls* (who were pretty clearly both punching, pushing and slapping at me while I ineffectually tried to fend them off) there was a passerby who was clearly concerned about what was going on but wary of intervening. When they ran off (partly because they noticed him standing there) he very haltingly came over and tentatively asked if I was ok, but became much more helpful once I said I didn’t know my attackers, that they just set on me without provocation etc. I’m sure, as you say, that the taboo against intruding is much stronger if the attacker appears to be in a romantic relationship with the victim due to outmoded ideas about gender etc, but I do also feel that people generally look for excuses not to become embroiled in threatening situations, and, as in the bizarre ranking system’ whereby people classify ‘date rape’ as less severe than stranger rape, victims seem that much more ‘innocent’ and deserving of protection if they are entirely unknown to their attackers and therefore can’t have provoked them in some way.

  7. This is not a mile away from parents hitting their children in public. It’s amazing how few people will intervene – even if the hitting is excessive and accompanied by verbal abuse – because they somehow think it is none of their business.
    The need to protect the VICTIM of the assault doesn’t seem to factor into their thinking.

  8. Usually I see the defense that they were afraid and that is why I didn’t intervene. A few years ago I was by myself and saw a guy getting physical with his girlfriend. I didn’t ignore the issue; what I did was yell very loudly, I am calling 911, the p0lice will be here shortly. It was enough for him to stop and leave the scene. Even if you don’t know the particulars, the police will sort it out and at the very least it lets the victim now that help is on the way if you cannot directly help. It is not that hard to call someone that can. I think that we don’t do things like this because we live in a culture of victim blaming. No matter the circumstance we always feel like someone brought it upon themselves.

  9. “And someone in the comments over there had the audacity to suggest that she was in the wrong for saying “That was a shitty thing to do”. Right, because all women are supposed to be polite and kind.”
    Ugh. As if a dude who feels entitled to surreptitiously pet an animal wearing signs clearly indicating it’s a service animal and should not be touched is going to be receptive to a simple “Please don’t touch my dog.” It’s what marginalized people always hear from asshats: “Oh, I might be more open to understanding your opinions and feelings if only you were nicer about it.” It’s code for “You brought this on yourself,” and “I’m going to deflect the blame onto you in order to put off examining my own actions and admitting that I am, in fact, an asshat who really should treat people better.”
    Renee, I agree. Even if you can’t physically intervene because of a legitimate threat to your safety, in most situations there is probably something you can do, especially when so many people have their cell phones with them at all times.

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