I recently read a blog that has been responded to with a surprising amount of controversy. I don't have much to say about the overall concept as I believe the author expresses her point just fine, and I don't have much to say about the controversy as I don't believe there should be any. However, it did remind me of something that happened to me as a child. Since you all seem to enjoy that sort of anecdote, I figured I'd go ahead and share it.
When I was little, no older than seven or eight, a boy kept hitting me on the playground. His name was Damian, as if that weren't somehow telling. While he wasn't outright beating me bloody or anything like that, it was at times enough to leave a bruise behind. When I told the principal, she smiled and said, "Oh, he just has a crush on you!" and totally dismissed it.
So the next day at recess when he hit me again, I socked him right in the face.
When I was sent to the principal's office, I honestly expected her to understand completely. After all, if it was okay to hit someone to show them that you like them, why would it be different to hit someone to show them that you didn't? Her reaction was far from jovial this time. I got three days of lunch detention -- no recess.
Looking back, the whole thing is still pretty odd to me. As an adult, a man hitting a woman is greatly frowned upon no matter the circumstance by pretty much everyone (with the exception of perhaps Chris Brown). Yet as children, it's not only acceptable for boys to hit girls, it seems expected of them. How can we accept one but not the other? Also, why is it that when roles are reversed in both age groups, the matter is handled completely differently?
If we're going to advocate against violence, gender and age bias shouldn't be factors at all.