I don’t really keep up with celebrity related twitter trends. I stay as far away as intellectually possible from ‘beliebers’ and ‘gleeks’ and the crazed fans of Rhianna, Gaga, and One Direction. I have no real problem with these people, I just don’t want to be plagued by faddy retweets, exaggeration and constant propaganda either extolling their chosen icon, or demeaning said icon’s rival icon.
Anyway, I tell you this to explain why I’m behind the times in the twitterverse. As you can imagine, I only heard about Chris Brown’s ‘feud’ with a certain Mr ‘CM Punk’ a couple of days ago. If you have no idea what I’m talking about (which is perfectly understandable) then this little article sums it up pretty nicely
The upshot of it all is that a wrestler – someone who is paid to beat other people up (however choreographed it may be) and glorify fighting – is disgusted by Chris Brown’s violence towards Rhianna.
Now this seems like a nice thing of ‘CM Punk’ to say – gentlemanly, chivalrous, perhaps even honourable and respectable. ‘I don’t hit women.’ Well that’s lovely of you. Thanks. I’m glad you respect and revere us ladies enough to refrain from driving your knuckles into our blushing cheeks and powdered noses.
In case you didn’t realise, there was a hint of sarcasm there. I say a hint, because I am glad thugs like him don’t hit women, but I find it terribly patronising that he is perfectly willing to knock men out. Women are just weak and fragile, where men are strong and can defend themselves, right? My point being, why is it wrong to hit a woman, but acceptable to hit a man? I know, I know, women are empirically and verifiably weaker than men, and I’m not arguing with that. The statistics speak for themselves. It is therefore wholly unacceptable to hit a woman, because we are unlikely to be able to fight back because of the difference in sheer force and power.
But surely any violence is wrong. How can hurting another person ever be morally right? In my mind, violence is always wrong, no matter who it is or what it’s for. It’s sometimes acceptable or justifiable, in very specific cases, but I would still say it’s wrong. I don’t know – can something be morally wrong, but realistically acceptable? In my head it can.
Let me give you a slightly different angle. There is a theory that language, and the ability to communicate through specific language, was evolutionarily preferable because it meant disputes could be resolved without the need for physical conflict. This makes sense; toddlers will often hit or kick or bite, until they can reach an age where they express their annoyance or anger verbally. We can imagine that those who were genetically predisposed to convey emotion through speech were able to survive and coexist with other speakers, where those who couldn’t, killed each other off whenever food or territory were scarce.
So where does this idea that fighting amongst men is admirable and praiseworthy come from? ‘CM Punk’ goes on and on at Chris Brown for being cowardly (by which he means hitting women) but he endorses hitting men. He challenges Brown to fight him. This makes no sense to me. Personally, I would dislike anyone who finds pleasure, gets respect from, or attains a sense of achievement through physically hurting anybody, irrespective of gender.
I think we need to ask some questions about our culture’s relationship with violence. Why is it almost universally acknowledged that hitting a woman is wrong, and yet almost universally acceptable for a man to be hit? Why is man-to-man fighting glorified? Why then, is woman-to-woman fighting seen as shameful, scandalous or downright chavvy (or, incomprehensibly in my eyes, erotic)?
I think everyone probably has a different view on these matters, and it’s probably very reliant on upbringing. I have two brothers, and we were all always told that hitting anyone is wrong. I don’t think we were ever taught that hitting women was worse than hitting men, just that hitting, in general, is wrong. That didn’t stop me brawling with my older brother, and I did of course notice as we grew up that my brother’s strength was growing exponentially compared to mine. We were pretty evenly matched when we were young (he did have the advantage of being two years older), but now I know I would stand no chance. And so I’m glad that my brother wouldn’t hit a woman, because I would probably have perpetually black eyes if he would (sibling rivalry is rife in our household), but I’m also glad my brother wouldn’t hit a man either. He is able to use words to convey meaning, and even to deeply hurt people, and I am far more proud that he is capable of this than I would be if he was handy with his fists. It seems to me that physical violence is used when a person is incapable of considered thought or unable to construct a convincing logical argument.
So Chris Brown, you are a douche. And no, I don’t think you’ve paid for what you did. But ‘CM Punk’, you are just as much of a douche, if not more; you continue to glorify and distribute the idea that violence is entertaining and honourable, where Brown has at least sheepishly backed down. You need to stop being a hypocrite and stop discriminating between genders, whether it’s positive discrimination or not.
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