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Averting Passive/Aggressive Behavior Could Avert Violence

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Men fighting women is wrong and unacceptable. However, in some cases, women provoke men into violence but are exempt from culpability because of their gender. As a lad, I repeatedly heard, and dutifully accepted the unilateral rule of engagement, that a boy should never strike a girl. There were no such guidelines that taught girls that they should be careful not to provoke violence from a male. Many females will not hesitate to slap a male and feel protected by the rules of engagement given all males. There was a time in elementary school that I teased a girl for being skinny. I called her Olive Oyl. She sprung on me with her fingernails like a bobcat.  All I could do to protect myself was to cover up and yell because I knew that a boy was not supposed to hit a girl. A teacher rescued.

However, I got a one-day suspension from the principal, and two Band-Aids on my face from the school nurse. In later years, a jealous girlfriend verbally attacked me about looking at another woman. I tried to leave the scene but she blocked my exit. Finally, I pushed her aside and left her apartment. I eventually received a summons to appear before a district attorney arbitrator to determine if assault charges should be filed against me. The woman showed such a belligerent attitude at the hearings that the case was dismissed and I was free to leave without charges being filed.

The aforementioned events seem similar to two recent publicly reported physical altercations between romantically connected celebrities. Rihanna recently told TV host Diane Sawyer on national television the attacks started with an argument over a text message Brown received while they were driving home from an industry party. “I couldn’t take it that he kept lying to me. And he couldn’t take it that I wouldn’t drop it, and it was ugly,” she told Sawyer. Rihanna pretty much admitted that she verbally hounded and rode Brown until he snapped. That’s what I call passive/ aggressive behavior. Of course Brown was wrong to snap and needs anger management counseling.  However, Rihanna further said on the TV interview that she wants her experience to be a lesson to other young women. My advice to Rihanna is to tell young women when to back off and not push men into a combat zone.

Another case in point, approximately two years ago, the news broke about 50-year-old Rev. Juanita Bynum being savagely beat in a hotel parking lot by her estranged husband Bishop Thomas Weeks. According to an Atlanta Police Department report, Weeks allegedly attacked Bynum. In a statement to police, Bynum said Weeks, “choked her, pushed her down, kicked her and stomped her in a hotel parking lot.” The investigation uncovered that the two were separated and met to talk about their troubled marriage. The meeting reportedly did not go well and ended with Bishop Weeks leaving abruptly.  Reverend Bynum followed him to the parking lot where the two exchanged bitter words. Though Weeks was the physical aggressor, Bynum was first the passive aggressor because she shouldn’t have followed him, especially talking trash.

There are thousands, perhaps millions, of women that get beat annually all because nobody taught them when to let it go. Most males were taught not to hit females; however, statistics show that many men cannot control their tempters when verbally backed into a corner by a relentless confrontational female.  This would become a safer and happier society for both sexes if men would learn to keep their hands to themselves and women would learn to when to wisely retreat before they push a man, perhaps already on the edge, too far.

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