-by Kaarina Mikalson

In the wake of this awful verdict, I have recalled something strange: the number of times men have assured me–and each other in my presence–that they would never hit a woman.
There are two elements of this I find frustrating:

1) That they need to say this; that the default is that men would hit women, and they have chosen to deviate from it.
2) That this statement is worthy of praise, or at least positive acknowledgement.

I understand that this kind of statement is coming from a good place, but I'm not certain that it is accomplishing much. In its stead, I offer some other questions to ask and answer if youfeel like you want to disassociate yourself from men like Ghomeshi, or assure the people/women around you that you are different.

• I would never hit a woman, but what would I say to a woman? What other ways could I hurt her? How far have I gone?

• I would never hit a woman, but whom do I consider women? How much violence am I comfortable inflicting on someone who deviates from my definition of woman? How much violence would I inflict on someone who falls outside the gender binary? How invested am I in the gender binary?

• I would never hit a woman, but would I listen to her? Would I listen when what she is saying is scary, or difficult, or unbelievable? What is believable? Would I listen when what she has to say makes me feel smaller?

• I would never hit a woman, but do I feel entitled to her time? Her attention? When she is my loved one, my friend, my colleague, or a stranger? How much do I expect from her? Do I recognize when she sets limits on our interactions?

• I would never hit a woman, but would I hit a man? Under what conditions? For what reason? To what end? What if he challenges my masculinity? What is my masculinity?

• I would never hit a woman, but would I stand by someone who does? Have I? Do I share my space with abusers? Who avoids that space when I make abusive people feel welcome?



CopyRight ©2015, ©2016, ©2017 of Hub Content
is held by content creators