When Violence is Okay?
My feminist mentoring is coming along with my oldest daughter. Of course, it should have been evident all along, but, for the longest, she was closed to such conversations. It is one of those mysteries in life as to why.
So in the latest example of “What do you think of this?”, or I could call it, “Misogynist examples in Rural Town, USA,” my daughter relayed a story to me, and it includes her cousin (my niece), Holly. Poor child, I hate to keep using my niece as an example, but there she is, in all of her not aware of how it is sexist/misogynistic and not trying to hear differently glory begging to be used as an example.
On Easter Sunday my sister and her daughter, Holly badgered Fleur into meeting this boy, a perfect boy they said. “Short and young (19), like you prefer them,” they told her. “Look” she said, “I had one boyfriend who was short (not that there is anything wrong with that), and a few who were younger than me [she is 27], but that does not make it my preference.” [If she listened to her mother, she would not be thinking of any boys/men, at all. Sheesh. There are more important things in life]. After a few hours of pressuring, Fleur finally gave in and went with Holly to meet, Joe. On the way there, Holly said, “Oh by the way, he is recovering from knee surgery and he doesn’t have a job.” “Oh, I see, a real winner” Fleur retorted. Fleur did not elaborate, but at this point, I am sure Holly said something along the lines of “You are such a stuck up snob” or “Give it a chance, everyone has issues.” I know that family well; I can most certainly fill in the blanks.
As Holly and Fleur pull up to Joe’s place (his mother’s place) they see a small gathering on the front lawn conversing with Rural Town, USA’s finest (country coppers). Before they engaged the park brake, a large, humongous SUV rolls up and out pops a woman who then opens the door to the back seat and removes a small child. As soon as she places the child on her/his feet, the 19-year-old Casanova starts going downtown on her. The woman is his sister. Apparently, the sister had left her child in the care of her brother, Joe while she worked, since he does not have a job and could use some money. About an hour earlier she had came by for lunch and found her child in the front yard, alone. After waiting a few minutes to see if anyone came out, she put the child in her vehicle and drove off, intentionally wanting to teach her brother a lesson. I have to admit I did this once with my daughter’s scooter and bicycle, and Fleur told me she did think about that when she learned what had transpired between this brother and sister. I would tell her every afternoon to bring in her scooter and bicycle, and every night I was the one out there bringing her scooter and bicycle in. So one morning when I went outside and found that the scooter and bicycle had been left outside, I placed them in the trunk of my car and went to work. When I got home, she was crying her eyes out about how her scooter and bicycle must have been stolen. We went around the neighborhood looking for her scooter and bicycle. When I felt she had suffered enough, I told her the truth. I know it is a cruel world and a scooter and a bicycle are not a child, but there it is.
When the sister told the group that she found her child alone and wanted to teach her brother a lesson, most everyone felt she was wrong and the brother was justified in hitting her. Only the police, the fucking police thought it was wrong for Joe to hit his sister. Fleur told Holly it was wrong and that the sister should press charges (she didn’t, although the police encouraged her to), that he had no business hitting her, that he should have been baby-sitting since he did in fact agree to baby-sit. Needless to say, Fleur was not interested in meeting Joe and she put her foot down. Holly pouted all the way home, because, she felt like Joe was justified in hitting his sister and Fleur should not hold that against him. After all, his sister should not have stressed him out like that.