In this video, you see a woman who throws her baby so she can fight another woman on the bus. If you find that hard to watch, don’t click on the video below. That said, there are a few points worth considering if you do watch it, in particular relating to female violence. First, a short introduction:
- We don’t see the beginning of the incident, it is well underway when the footage starts.
- There is a lot of cursing and shouting but we can’t say who instigated the incident. What is clear is that both parties are more than willing to continue engaging the other; there is virtually no de-escalation.
- As a result, one woman snaps and throws her baby at another passenger to start the fight.
Here’s the video:
Earlier this week I taught a thirty-something woman self-defense and female violence is is one of the topics that came up. Here’s why:
There is the assumption in modern society that violence is strictly a male issue, but nothing could be further from the truth. Women fight and use violence too, but it tends to get less press than when men fight. There are several reasons for that, one of them being that women tend to do less damage when they fight (except when they use weapons.) Regardless, woman-on-woman violence and fighting is real and more prevalent than you might expect. The video shows a few interesting dynamics in this regards, so here are some thoughts:
- Mother of the year. The maternal instinct is often explained as an unstoppable force that women cannot resist: they’ll die to protect their baby. While there are many examples of just that happening, this video shows the opposite end of the scale, one that also exists but is too often ignored when discussing this topic: she throws her baby to start the fight with the other woman. It doesn’t look like she knows who that person who catches her baby is. She doesn’t seem to care about what that person does to her baby while she fights. She also doesn’t care what happens to her baby if she loses; who’ll take care of it if she is knocked out or hospitalized? All in all, her maternal instinct doesn’t seem to be well developed.
- Men don’t have the monopoly on macho behavior. You can hear her yell about “disrespecting me in front of my baby” as if that is some sort of mortal danger to the child. This implies that she needs to defend her child against it. In contrast, she then throws the baby away to go fight, an act which is at the very least dangerous to the child. On a basic level, this is no different than men fighting for the “honor” of their woman, regardless of what happens to the woman if they lose the fight or if she gets injured during it.
- Not self-defense. Though we don’t see the beginning of the confrontation, nothing in this video suggest self-defense laws apply here. There is a lot of woofing and monkey-dancing, but there is no legal basis for a self-defense claim that would justify her running up to the woman to start punching.
There were enough opportunities and time for the woman to de-escalate this situation, but she chose to put her child at risk to start a fight. This should tell women something about the kind of violence they can expect from other females. It can be just as irrational and stupid as what they see men engage in.
Here’s some more information on how to avoid ending up like this woman and engaging in senseless violence:
- 8 self-defense tips for men. Though I wrote this article for men, it applies to women as well.
- Conflict Communication (ConCom): A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication. Rory wrote an excellent book on handling conflict, one that not only explains the dynamics but also hands you tools that can get you out of it without having to resort to violence. Go here for the paper version and here for the e-book.
- Verbal Judo: The gentle art of persuasion. Think of this as a very basic introduction to avoiding violence. If you’re looking for a quick and dirty solution, this is a good place to start.