Social Question

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

At what point would you physically defend yourself?

Asked by TheProfoundPorcupine (2512 points ) January 16th, 2013

Currently here in Scotland there are discussions and links on various forums and Facebook to a video showing a teenage girl bullying and then punching a boy several times in the face. It was filmed by one of her friends and posted online, but now it has kicked back on them with the police involved etc.

Looking through comments about it, the one thing that comes across is that the majority of people feel that the boy did amazingly well with all of this provocation not to hit her with an arsewinder punch that would knock her into the middle of March and this links into the idea that as a guy you never hit a female.

This is something that I agree with and never would, but then I would hate to hit anybody, but it does raise the question as to when would you physically defend yourself? We are told you should never hit certain types of people, but where is that line at which point everything changes?

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33 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

If you are talking about the “jolene” Youtube video, why on earth did she have her friend video it. Apparently the boy is Autistic and quite defenseless.
He did very well By bullying him and circulating the clip she just make a socially limiting move that will follow her for many years to come.
He was the winner in that altercation.

I was trained to block any punch swiftly and decisively – no matter who delivers it.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@LuckyGuy Yeah that is exactly the one I’m talking about. I think she had her friend video it because they see it like some kind of trophy that they can use to show off to their friends and boost their ego.

I agree he was the winner as well.

Shippy's avatar

I treat like for like, but add an extra punch and kick. Sorry, just the way I am.

jonsblond's avatar

I would never sit and take a beating. I would defend myself.

Pachy's avatar

I honestly don’t know at what point. I’ve always shied away from fights and risky situations, but of course I know that someday I might unwittingly find myself in an unavoidable position. I don’t think for me the gender of the person would determine what I would do if the life or limb of myself or someone with me was threatened, but how I would defend myself (I don’t own guns) or to what extent, I just don’t know. I find it a really difficult subject to contemplate. I know one thing. Predicting how I would react while watching a video is a very different thing from knowing how I would handle an actual situation.

Coloma's avatar

I am an assertive type and if my verbal warning to back off didn’t have any effect on a situation and the other person was threatening me physically, yep, I’d do whatever was necessary to defend myself.
Those girls deserve some serious consequences for their atrocious bullying behaviors. Luckily they aren’t my kids, I would create a very fresh new hell for those two.

Seek's avatar

This goes for any unwanted touch.

One touch: “Please stop.”
Two touches: “If you do that again, I’m going to punch you in the face.”
Three touches: POW.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Ideally, I would physically defend myself after a physical threat has been initiated, but before it has been executed. In other words, intercept and counter (or evade and counter). I see no reason to wait any longer. Note that “counter” need not mean “hit back.” It could mean “restrain,” “disarm,” or anything else that stops the attack. This includes running away. The best defense, after all, is to not be there.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

My Dad, ex-soldier that he is, is of the opinion if a woman wants to act like a bloke, she should expect to be treated like a bloke. There have been times when he’s been tempted to punch the shit out of a woman who started physically causing shit.
My brother was bullied a lot at school and I may not have imparted the most wisest of words to him when I said “The trick is, when they threaten, you hit first without saying anything. It catches them by surprise and works on the “shock and awe” platform. You shock the shit out of ‘em and nine times out of ten they’ll chicken out.” It’s worked for me several times.

rojo's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster That is what I have referred to as the “Andy Capp” defense. I saw it in a comic one time. He was talking to a police officer, another character lying at his feet, and saying “I thought he was going to hit me so I hit him back first”.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Wow Andy Capp, I haven’t read that comic in a loooong time.

Seek's avatar

@lightsourcetrickster I agree with that.

Fortunately, being young, female, and often surrounded by large scary-looking metalhead men who think of me as a baby sister, I don’t have to defend myself often, but the few occasions in which I have, they’ve been due to someone who’d had a little too much to drink trying to get a little too close for my comfort.

The one and only time I had to fight due to violence, I threw the first – and only – punch. Bitch was throwing rocks at my little brother and sister. So I grabbed her by the hair and punched her in the face. Sent her crying to her mommy, who tried to cry to my mommy. I told her mommy “Yeah, I punched her. She deserved it for throwing bricks at a 6 year old.” and closed the door.

Aah, to be thirteen again.

The shock-and-awe platform – or “Andy Capp Defense” works.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Minus the cemetery hopefully, this is how I feel:

“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone but, if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”
– Malcolm X

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I always mention this on threads about physical violence, but I’ll say it again here: my bio dad always told me, “Never start a fight, but if someone starts one with you, you’d better finish it.”

I was physically prevented from fighting back in one tussle, but in the only other tussle I got involved in, I gave the bitch exactly what she deserved for the years of bullying I’d endured before she tried to kill me that day.

If someone hits you, you hit back. Period. That’s the best way to teach bullies a lesson. My daughters have already been taught to fight back, regardless of any ridiculous rules the school may have. I’d like to see our school try to punish one of my kids for self-defense.

If you’re a guy, and a crazy woman physically attacks you, fight back. Period. You can hold back so that you don’t seriously hurt her, because let’s face it, most men are stronger than women. But you fight back. If I were to haul off and hit my husband, I’d expect a retaliation, even if it was just a shocking slap.

Akua's avatar

I hate fighting. Most physical altercations make me uneasy and I try to avoid them all together. If I’m intimidated I will seek help from someone, then I will issue a warning but if that fails and I’m backed into a corner, I will fight wildly. Nothing is off limits, I will bite, kick, spit, grab garbage cans and appliances to get you away from me. I won’t wait for you to hit me first, all I need to do is sense a threat. But as long as I’m NOT backed into a corner and I feel I can get away without fighting I will run to safety.

SavoirFaire's avatar

“Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.”
—Theodore Roosevelt

Symbeline's avatar

I’ll avoid physical violence how I can; running off, asking someone for help, whatever works. But if I get too scared or see no other choice, I’m digging their faces off with my claws haha.

burntbonez's avatar

I was in one physical fight in my life. We were quickly separated by my roommates at the time.

My philosophy is to avoid fighting of a certain kind. I avoid violence. I do not shy away from any other kind of fighting. But violence is temporary. Just because I run away doesn’t mean it’s over. Believe me. It is far from over. When it is over, you will have lost and won’t understand what happened. But I’m not going to let you hit me or touch me. I’ll will get away, and come back when I’m good and ready to destroy you. I do not lose.

josie's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate
@SavoirFaire
My dad, at different times in his life, gave me each of those bits of advice almost verbatim. Plus, he taught me how to do it. The military taught me even more. Interestingly, the more I learned about how to defend myself, the less inclined I became to use it (at least as a civilian).
But the answer to question is if I had compelling reason to believe that I was about to be harmed, I would defend myself. Otherwise, I would let it go.
BTW If a girl started punching me, I would stop the attack in a fashion the would not involve actually punching her. I would not feel good about sending a girl to the hospital.

ucme's avatar

I’m totally non confrontational, I abhor violence of any kind, but if a woman goes all bitch-witch on me, she’s playing by a whole new set of rules. I’m not going to change the policy of a lifetime, & hit her, but I may be tempted to use her vagina for a shoe-horn.

linguaphile's avatar

I can’t fight physically—it’s just not in my psyche to do so. When I was 9, sure, but now I find ways to talk, buy time, negotiate, wait or just leave. Now, if someone were to sucker-punch me out of the blue, I would probably first try to get away, but eventually probably would start fighting back in self-defense, using every tool at my disposal.

I love this quote:
Do not hurt when holding is enough
Do not wound when hurting is enough
Do not maim when wounding is enough
And kill not when maiming is enough
The greatest warrior is he who does not need to kill.

I had to do a search to find out who said this… I’m surprised this came from a book series I read when I was 15— Stephen P. Donaldson’s “Thomas Convenant” series. Didn’t realize I had it memorized this long!!

Seek's avatar

Lurve for Thomas Covenant reference!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@josie Gotta love dads. The only problem with my dad telling me that, was that he never taught me how to throw a punch. So that day, when I had no choice but to fight back, I modified a “girly” maneuver. It got the job done, but I still don’t know how to throw a punch after all these years.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

The you should never hit a female thing is bs. The you should never hit a person, of any gender, if you can is words I live by. At some point, in self-defense or in defense of my children, I’d fight and I’d fight anyone.

Seek's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate You punch the space 6 inches behind their head. Preferably with something cylindrical in your hand to support your fingers. The neck of a beer bottle is perfect.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Ha! Well, seeing as how I didn’t have access to a beer bottle that day, I modified the hair grabbing technique and introduced her face to a nearby locker. I should get my husband to teach me how to throw a punch, just in case I ever need to.

Seek's avatar

Lockers are a beautiful punch-substitute. Get the job done without hurting yourself in the process. That’s the idea.

Mariah's avatar

I’m not a guy, but if somebody is hitting me, there is no social norm that is going to tell me that I don’t have the right to hit back.

I’m a pacifist and will avoid altercations as a rule, but if one is forced upon me, I have no qualms defending myself.

Sunny2's avatar

When I was at half an arms length of being attacked physically, then I’d kick, scratch, pull hair or anything else to avoid getting hurt. If I was losing the battle, I’d curl into a ball on the ground and wait for an opportunity to get away.

muppetish's avatar

I think the frightening thing is that I don’t know when I would physically fight back. I am a pacifist by nature and struggle with the idea of bringing physical harm to another person. I should probably take a class and learn how to disarm others and escape with more ease, but beyond that.. I’m really not sure.

I have never been a situation that called for it. I hope that instinct would kick in and I’d save myself.

tinyfaery's avatar

I was surprised at my relation to physical violence. I was an abused child and would never stand up to my father, but when I was hit by a guy my instinct just took over and I punched him in the face.

I hate being touched. If someone hits me I just react.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@josie I understand what you mean. My own training has made me less disposed towards violence as well. In fact, I managed to resolve both of the self-defense situations that have arisen since I started studying martial arts without having to strike anyone. Quite the better outcome, in my opinion.

Paradox25's avatar

That boy would have been completely justified in my opinion to knock that girl out. There are limits, and when people cross them sometimes the best solution is to let them feel the pain they cause others. I even told my nephew that if anyone starts a fight with him that he should do what he feels is necessary to defend himself.

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