Social Question

jca's avatar

What would you do or think if you were in a restaurant and saw a man punch or slap his wife/partner, if she did not seem to mind it?

Asked by jca (36054points) April 30th, 2011

I went to dinner before with a couple that I know. They are into BDSM, and the wife is the “slave” of the husband. During dinner, he punched her hard on the arm once, and later on he slapped her twice on her shoulder. I was somewhat embarassed because I felt like other people would find that behavior alarming, as I did. I feel like it’s fine to do what pleases you in your own home, or amongst your friends, but in public I think it’s inappropriate.

What would you do or think if you were in a restaurant and saw slap or punch his wife/partner, if she did not seem to mind? I am referring to a couple that you did not know personally, you’ve never seen them before, they’re strangers.

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13 Answers

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wundayatta's avatar

Nope. Inappropriate. Would not like to see it. I don’t even think it’s appropriate for people to yell at each other or fight in public. It would shock me, and I’d try to figure out what needed to be done to stop it.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Honestly, I don’t know. I have trouble understanding how a master/slave relationship all the time isn’t abusive. Plus, punching seems quite a bit more drastic than a spanking in the sack. And I get the idea that it’s all consensual, but so are many abusive relationships to a certain extent. But it would definitely keep me up for a few nights wondering what to do about it.
At the very least, they’re idiots for thinking it’s cool to do that in public.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If I was dining with the couple, and knew the BDSM background, I’d ask them to keep it private in this situation. If I wasn’t aware of their lifestyle, I’d call the man out.

If I witnessed it in a public situation and didn’t know the couple, I would discretely alert an authority figure, like the restaurant manager, and ask that they keep an eye on it.

If you were to reverse the roles and say that it was the woman who did the punching and slapping, I have to confess that I would still be alarmed, but probably would not take any action. How sexist is that?

MasterAir16's avatar

I would Stand up and push the man off and say LEAVE this pretty lady alone. if it get worst then call 911, police will take cares.

Aethelwine's avatar

Unless it looked like 100% undeniable abuse, I would ignore such behavior. I would expect the same. Not saying I approve or like it, but I don’t like to be scrutinized when I’m out in public. I would like to think others feel the same.

Jeruba's avatar

If her reaction conveyed that she had no problem with this behavior and they seemed fine otherwise, I would think they were probably a kinky pair unwisely taking a bit of their private life out into the open. I don’t think that belongs in a public sphere any more than excessive fondling or any other too-personal behavior. But I don’t have a problem with what consenting adults do in their private lives.

If she seemed distressed and it looked like a bad or dangerous situation was developing, I would alert the manager.

lillycoyote's avatar

If they were good friends of mine I think I would say something. I would say exactly what you were thinking. “I know that’s what you are into but we are out in public and it makes me uncomfortable so if you don’t mind please keep that business at home and not in public, at least when you are out with me. I hope you understand.”

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

That man must want to get his ass kicked by complete strangers as that is what will happen to him eventually if he continues to hit his wife in public.
If any of my friends are into that,they are smart enough not to bring it into a public place and if they did do that,I would ask them to not do that when I am with them.

LuckyGuy's avatar

You said: “I was somewhat embarrassed because I felt like other people would find that behavior alarming, as I did.”

If they are friends I would mention it. Tell them you feel alarmed and embarrassed when they behave that way. If they ignore your feelings and insist on continuing a behavior than makes you feel uncomfortable, they are abusing you as well. That would be the last time I went out with them.

I might also call the woman privately and ask if she is really ok with it.

faye's avatar

Don’t understand it, don’t want to eat my dinner next to it. I would find it very upsetting and would have called 911.

Kardamom's avatar

Because I am a very small person, I wouldn’t want to intevene physically, because I would likely get hurt myself. I think I would remove myself from view and talk to the restaurant manager or call 911, myself (out of view of these people).

If I knew them, I would speak up and say that I’m very un-comfortable with this type of behavior, I might talk to the wife privately and see what the deal is. I absolutely believe that this type of BDSM is abuse, even if the couple wants to call it “fun” or “role playing.” Those are the same type of people who call abuse of their children “effective discipline” or “sparing the rod and spoiling the child.” There’s always some excuse (mostly for men) to beat their wives and try to justify it. I would probably drop these people as friends (after talking to the wife and offerering her some help).

jca's avatar

If I were in a restaurant with my child and we witnessed this behavior, I would definitely alert the management, because not only is it confusing and upsetting for children to see, but I would not want my child thinking this is proper behavior at any age.

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