A Dangerous Fantasy

I stumbled on this by British author and historian Leanda de Lisle on Twitter yesterday:

There’s an issue to get the mind going first thing on a Monday.

That tweet caused me to remember this. When she was in high school (many years ago, back on Long Island, in New York), a boy struck my sister. With no one else around, he punched her against her locker, drawing blood. (I had graduated and was long gone by then.)

That assault led to the only time I recall my (normally NOT confrontational) father ever going up to the school on his own.

[Stock Photo.]

“What the hell are you running here,” angrily he questioned the principal, “that he even thinks he can do that to a girl? I don’t care what he says she said. She’s half his size. When I went to school no boy ever raised a hand to a girl whatever she said to you. He does that in the street, he gets arrested. His parents are lucky I’m not calling the cops.”

I recall my mother fuming to me while sharing her own distinctive brand of logic: “They’re teaching these boys the girls are just like them. They’re also telling these girls they are just like the boys. They aren’t; they’re different. I’m a lot smarter than your father is, but he could knock me thru a goddamn wall.”

I tend to rely on women’s perspectives on that matter. And fiction is fiction, of course. However, if fictional women are not armed, or possessing superpowers, as a man I have to say it does seem generally fantastical ordinarily to have one woman standing toe to toe with a bigger man exchanging punches and kicks and prevailing over him.