Love, Family

Domestic Violence: Is It Just As Bad When A Woman Hits A Man?

A woman confronts a man with flowers

Is it just as bad for a woman to hit a man, or is domestic violence one area where a double-standard is justified? One writer argues for the latter.

In an article for BlissTree, Valerie Curnow says: "Usually I'm fiercely against double-standards, but I have to admit: I don't think that a woman hitting a man is the same thing as a man hitting a woman. Don't get me wrong: I'm anti-domestic violence (physical and emotional), or any violence for that matter, but I just don't believe that if a woman hits a man, the ramifications are the same as when the reverse happens." 

Most probably wouldn't argue if we said, generally, men are stronger than women. It's not anti-feminist or off-base, it's just the way genders are biologically structured. It's nature: Men have the physical capability for more harmful violence than women do, at least when hands are the only "weapons" involved. But, because a man can inflict more injury on a woman as opposed to the other way around, does that make it OK for a woman to hit a man, since she might not be able to actually hurt him?

"If you were to slap your boyfriend/husband on the chest after he stayed out all night at a friend's bachelor party, would he call the cops and file an order of protection against you? Unlikely," says Curnow. "He knows this isn't domestic violence the way a man can perpetrate it against a woman. He knows you didn't really hurt him, that you couldn't really hurt him (at least not with your bare hands). Do your smacks and slaps annoy and irritate him? Almost certainly. But he won't smack or slap you back, even if it's just on your upper body, because he knows that would be considered domestic violence." 

We'd like to think we've adopted modern-day sensibilities. We fully believe that men and women should be equal at home, in the workplace—pretty much anywhere and everywhere. But, we can't help but wonder if nature makes it impossible for level ground in the area of domestic violence. It's a touchy topic with two schools of thought: If we were to say that female-against-male abuse should be treated the same as male-against-female abuse, would that take away from the seriousness of some domestic-violence cases? Or, if we were to say these two situations should be treated differently, that women can't really hurt men, would that be indicating it's OK for women to mistreat the guys in their lives? We want to know what you think.

Should there be a double-standard when it comes to domestic violence?

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